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IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is never easy, but when a spouse refuses to cooperate, it is especially difficult. In some cases, spouses actively hide in order to avoid divorce proceedings. If you cannot find your spouse and you want to divorce, take heart in knowing that your spouse cannot delay the divorce forever. It is possible to get divorced without your spouse’s participation, however, the process is a bit more complicated. A divorce lawyer can be a huge help in a situation like this.

What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot Be Located

When someone files for divorce in Illinois, they use a document called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The spouse who files for divorce is the petitioner and the other spouse is the respondent. The divorce petition is “served” or delivered to the other spouse by the petitioner or by a sheriff or private process server. The respondent must respond to the petition within 30 days of receiving it.

Some spouses try to avoid getting divorced by not responding to the petition or even by hiding where a process server cannot find them. Others spouses move out of state or even out of the country and do not tell the other spouse where they are. This can make the process of serving the petition nearly impossible.

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IL divorce lawyerFor art lovers, the pieces they have accumulated throughout the years are more than just property. They are valuable investments with great financial and personal value. Unfortunately, owning expensive artwork or other collectibles can complicate a divorce case significantly. The true financial value of a painting or sculpture is not easily ascertained, and spouses may disagree about the value of art. Spouses may also disagree about who should keep artwork, antiques, or collections. In some cases, art and collectibles are even used as vehicles for financial fraud in a divorce case.

Valuing Property During Property Distribution

Illinois couples may be able to reach their own property division arrangement without the court’s involvement. They may be able to negotiate a mutually-satisfactory agreement through their attorneys or during the divorce mediation process. However, before they can determine a fair division of property, they must determine the property’s value. This often requires input from a professional appraiser. If the couple cannot reach a property division settlement, the court will need to know the precise value of the assets to determine an equitable division of property. Consequently, having the artwork professionally valued is often the first step toward addressing art during divorce.

Who Gets to Keep Artwork?

The value of a rare or valuable piece of art is not only monetary. Art enthusiasts also place great sentimental value on artwork. Deciding who should get to keep the art after divorce is often a major point of contention. If a divorce case goes to trial, the division of property is decided by the court. According to Illinois divorce law, art and other assets accumulated during the marriage are usually marital property. However, there are exceptions. For example, if a spouse inherited a painting from a relative, the painting may be considered non-marital property belonging solely to that spouse. Illinois courts divide property equitably based on many factors, including the spouses’ financial resources, duration of the marriage, and standard of living experienced by the couple during the marriage.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you may be well aware of the financial consequences of ending a marriage. You may have already started gathering financial documents and creating a budget for your post-divorce life. Financial concerns are a major part of the divorce process. Not only do spouses have to divide marital property and address issues like child support and spousal support, they must also deal with the tax implications of these matters. The decisions you make during your divorce can impact your finances for years after the split. This is why it is important to research your options and work with an experienced divorce attorney.

Handling Tax Returns in the Middle of a Divorce

Filing taxes is already stressful. Filing taxes in the middle of a divorce is even more confusing and overwhelming. If you are getting divorced, you may wonder if you can still file jointly. According to federal law, you may file a joint tax return if:

  • You were still technically married as of December 31 and
  • Both spouses agree to file jointly

By filing jointly, you may enjoy a decreased tax obligation. However, filing jointly may also mean that both spouses are liable for any tax penalties.

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IL divorce lawyerFor many Americans, winter is synonymous with the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or take part in other cultural celebrations, divorcing during this special time of year is especially challenging. Consider the following tips for coping with divorce from mental health professionals.

Make Concrete Plans Regarding Your Shared Children

Separating from your spouse during the holidays is hard enough. Adding children into the situation makes it even harder. If you share children with your soon-to-be-ex, make solid plans for the holiday season. Include detailed information about which parent will have custody of the children and how the children will be transported between houses. Put these plans in writing.

Prioritize Peace of Mind Over Gifts

For many, buying gifts for others is even more enjoyable than receiving gifts. If you are someone who takes pride in finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, you may feel pressure to maintain this high standard this holiday season. However, it is important to priories your own health and wellbeing. Do not go overboard buying gifts when you should be taking care of your own needs.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets married, few describe the union in terms of the marriage’s legal significance. However, it is important to remember that marriage is a legal relationship between two people. Undoing that legal partnership through a divorce can take a significant amount of time and money. However, the cost of divorce ranges dramatically from case to case. If you are thinking about divorce, consider the following factors to estimate how much the divorce will cost.

Estimating the Financial Cost of Your Divorce

When it comes to divorce, it is nearly impossible to predict the exact cost ahead of time. Multiple factors influence the total cost, including the complexity of the couple’s financial situation and what issues the spouses disagree on.

According to Business Insider, the average cost of divorce in the United States is approximately $15,000. However, some divorces cost much less, and others cost much more. If a couple owns few assets, has no children, and agrees on the relevant divorce issues, they may be able to get divorced for as little as a couple of hundred dollars. Divorce cases that go to trial can result in overall costs of $50,000 or more.

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