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St. Charles family law attorney property division

When a couple is going through a divorce, property and asset division is often one of the most important concerns. It can also be a very difficult one, especially if the couple has amassed significant assets and/or property during their marriage. The first step your divorce attorney will take is assessing what should be deemed marital property and what should be deemed nonmarital property. While this may seem fairly straightforward, it is not uncommon for spouses to disagree on what is and is not marital property.

Marital Property Versus Premarital Property

Under Illinois divorce law, property that is acquired and owned during the marriage is considered marital property. However, property that you acquired and owned prior to marriage is considered your premarital property. This property is not considered part of the divorce and should be immediately transferred to the person who originally owned the property. There is one caveat, however, and that is if there was an increase in the value of the premarital property during the marriage, that increase may then be considered a marital possession.

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St. Charles divorce attorney hidden assets

One of the most crucial parts of an Illinois divorce is the submission of each spouse’s financial affidavit. The financial affidavit is where you will list your income, assets, debts, and expenses. It is often the first divorce-related document on which a deceptive spouse may lie. Divorcing spouses have many reasons to fabricate financial information during a divorce. Some are hoping to lower the amount their spouse receives in a property division settlement. Others are hoping to reduce the amount they pay in spousal support or child support. If you are getting divorced in Illinois, it is important to be watchful for signs of hidden assets and other financial deception.

Manipulating the Outcome of the Divorce by Hiding Assets  

Spouses are expected to disclose all of their assets and income. Some spouses intentionally leave out sources of income in order to artificially reduce their net worth. There are many different ways that a spouse may attempt to sway the divorce decree in his or her favor. A spouse may “forget” to include sources of income or certain property on his or her financial disclosure. He or she may undervalue assets, create fake expenses, lie about business revenue, transfer property to friends and family, or intentionally overpay the IRS. Some spouses hide assets by literally hiding cash in their home, office, or safety deposit box.

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St. Charles family law attorney divorce

As the 2021 tax filing deadline approaches, you may have questions about how your recent divorce will affect the filing process. The financial aspects of divorce can have a variety of tax implications, one of which is the filing status you will use when completing your tax return. Depending on the situation, you may have options when it comes to your filing status, which in turn can significantly impact your tax obligations.

How to Determine Your Filing Status

If you have recently begun or completed the divorce process, your 2021 tax filing status may depend on several factors, including the date of your divorce and the terms of the resolution. In most cases, your filing status will be one of the following:

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St. Charles divorce attorney legal separation

Some states require a waiting period during which a married couple must be separated before a divorce can be finalized, and Illinois used to be the same. However, since 2016, an Illinois couple can proceed with a divorce at any time as long as one of the spouses has been an Illinois resident for at least 90 days and the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences. That said, while a legal separation is no longer a necessary step on the path to divorce in Illinois, it is still an option, and you may have questions regarding whether it is a good idea in your case.

Potential Benefits of Legal Separation

Many married couples choose to live apart from each other while considering a divorce. If you and your spouse have already taken this step, but you are not yet sure that you want to initiate divorce proceedings, you can instead petition for a judgment of legal separation. Doing so offers several possible legal benefits, including:

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St. Charles divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In Illinois, spousal support or maintenance is not a guaranteed part of all divorce orders; rather, it is generally only ordered if one spouse has a financial need and there is an imbalance in income and assets between the two parties. As a result, it can often be a contentious part of the divorce process, as the two parties may have different ideas as to whether a spousal support order is justified. This contention may continue even after the divorce is finalized as both parties’ circumstances change. If you have been ordered to pay spousal support and you believe that you should no longer have to do so, you may have legal options to pursue the modification or termination of the spousal support order.

Reasons to Modify a Spousal Maintenance Order

You should know that it is usually not possible to stop paying spousal support simply because you are angry or upset with your ex-spouse. Rather, you will need to demonstrate to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that justifies a reduction to your obligation. Possible reasons for a modification include:

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