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Kane County divorce lawyerLies during the divorce process can seriously impact an individual's future and the outcome of their divorce. Exaggerating or falsifying legal documents during your divorce is a crime, leading to severe repercussions. Divorce attorneys can hire forensic accountants and other skilled specialists to look into a bank account and determine if there are hidden assets or falsified financial information. Here are common ways divorce documents are falsified and how hidden information can affect the outcome of your divorce.

Common Ways Divorce Documents are Falsified 

Perjury is commonly portrayed as lying during testimony on the witness stand, but there are other ways to perjure yourself in the court of law. Another common form of perjury occurs through falsifying court documents. Partners often lie in divorce cases to withhold shared assets or hide finances. In the case of divorce, perjury can be split into two main categories — direct and indirect acts. Direct acts of perjury include an individual explicitly lying. For example, a spouse claims they do not own any property besides the marital home, but there is a deed for another property with their name on it. Indirect perjury includes not sharing the entire truth. This form of perjury can look like undervaluing an asset to hide money. For example, a spouse values their business at $100,000, but an appraisal shows the company was worth $200,000.

Hiding assets is common for spouses to falsify information for personal gain in a divorce. Individuals may hide assets by:

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Kane County divorce lawyerMany lifestyle changes occur following a divorce, from living arrangements to property division. If you recently completed a divorce, you may have questions regarding how this significant change affects different areas of your life, including how to file for taxes as a single individual. Tax considerations are often addressed directly in the divorce decree before entirely dissolving the marriage. However, individuals may still have questions regarding how to make tax filing changes or how a divorce will affect their tax refund at the end of the year. 

Filing Taxes Separately 

Whether or not a couple in the process of getting divorced can file their taxes jointly depends entirely on when the divorce is finalized. Suppose the spouses are still legally married before the last day of the year, December 31. In that case, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) still recognizes the individuals as a legally married couple, and they have the option to file taxes jointly. Once the divorce is finalized, the IRS will require that taxes be filed separately for that tax year. 

You can amend your tax filing status by filling out a 1040-X form. Often, divorced couples will have changes in their total income or child custody arrangements. For example, individuals who now have sole custody of their dependent children must update this on their tax status. Similarly, if you no longer have full custody of your children, you must also document this in your tax file. It is crucial to make these modifications if there has been a change in:

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Kane County divorce attorneysCouples have to make many difficult decisions throughout the divorce process, including division of shared property, determining child custody and parenting time, and choosing who will remain in the family home. These choices present a challenge for many spouses, and the process of reaching a mutual decision is often contested. However, once couples have made a joint decision on all of the necessary factors following a divorce, there is another process to follow before the marriage can be fully dissolved. Couples must develop a Marital Settlement Agreement and prepare for a conference with their spouse. 

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement? 

After all of the difficult decisions have been made and agreed upon, couples must solidify the information in what is known as a Marital Settlement Agreement, also called an MSA. This agreement outlines all pertinent information that will make up the divorce decree, a legally binding document that expresses all of the required actions following the divorce. The MSA will include:

This agreement includes all of the decisions made during the divorce processes wrapped up in one legal document. It is essential for completing the divorce process. 

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Kane County family law attorneyGoing through a divorce can be both complicated and frightening for many couples. Choosing to dissolve a marriage is emotionally taxing, and the complex legal proceedings can leave some individuals feeling lost — especially stay-at-home spouses. It may seem to be common knowledge that the partner in a relationship who is the primary caretaker will be awarded more assets during the divorce. However, Illinois places a firm emphasis on an equal division of property between both partners. If you are a full-time parent or homemaker preparing for divorce, here are three financial factors to consider.

Requesting Spousal Support 

Spousal support, maintenance payments, and alimony refer to the same concept — creating an income stream for the stay-at-home spouse following the divorce. When an individual does not have the means to be financially independent of their spouse, divorce can seem like a distant option. However, spousal support can provide monetary security for the home-based spouse. Spousal payments may be awarded if:

  • The stay-at-home spouse has been out of the workforce for a long time and is unable to find work following the divorce 
  • The homemaking spouse is the full-time caretaker of the children and chooses to remain a stay-at-home parent
  • Spousal support payments are being used to counteract a financial imbalance between a separate division of property between the spouses

Spousal support payments may be awarded depending on the duration of the marriage. A marriage that lasts five years or less can result in spousal maintenance for one year. A five-to ten-year marriage may result in spousal support for four years. A longer marriage that lasted upwards of 20 years could result in lifetime spousal support payments. 

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Kane County divorce appeals lawyerDivorce judgments, also known as divorce decrees, are made during a marriage dissolution. These legal documents are intended to give ex-spouses a guideline for how their joint assets will be divided and allocate spousal and parental responsibilities. However, there are situations where an individual believes the court made a grave error in a decision made during a divorce proceeding. These errors can cause distress to a spouse or parent who feels the court ruled improperly. In Illinois, citizens have the right to appeal a final court ruling that has been implemented.

Valid Reasons to Submit an Appeal

It is essential to have a valid reason in the appealing process of making a change to important legal documents. Various circumstances could yield a good reason to appeal a decision. For example, if the court rules that one parent should not have visitation time with the children without understanding all of the evidence, that parent has the right to appeal that ruling. A spouse can not legally appeal a court decision simply because they are dissatisfied with the result of their case. There must be a legitimate legal flaw in the case, which could include:

  • The evidence used to make a legal ruling was inaccurate, incomplete, or inadmissible
  • A lawyer, judge, or jury made a procedural mistake in the case
  • The judge inaccurately applied the law in their ruling 
  • The was another error in the law that the judge used to make a final decision 

Real-life examples of how an error in the law could have created an improper ruling in a divorce case can include:

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