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st. charles divorce lawyerDivorce can be hard on a couple no matter their income level. In fact, a couple with a high net worth can face some of the most difficult complications when it comes to the financial aspects of divorce like the division of assets and spousal maintenance. If you are ending a marriage in which one spouse was the primary earner, there is a good chance that spousal support will be a factor in your divorce resolution. It is important to understand how this issue is handled in Illinois family court, as well as the options you may have for reaching an agreement.

Spousal Maintenance Decisions in an Illinois Divorce

There are a number of situations in which spousal maintenance may be necessary to ensure a fair resolution to a high-asset divorce. One common example is a situation in which one spouse did not work but instead relied entirely on the other spouse’s income and assets. In a case such as this, a high-earning spouse may want to retain full ownership of high-value businesses and real estate properties, which can lead to an even greater financial disparity. Spousal maintenance may be the best option to ensure that the other spouse can support themself after the divorce.

According to Illinois law, another possible reason for spousal support is to help a spouse maintain the standard of living they have become accustomed to during the marriage. In a high-asset divorce, even a spouse who works and earns their own income may have a case for maintenance if the other spouse has significantly greater income and assets.

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kane county divorce lawyerEarlier this week, Bill and Melinda Gates, widely known for their work at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced that they were ending their marriage. This marks the second divorce of one of the world’s most wealthy individuals in recent years after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott ended their marriage in 2019. Very few divorces will match the Gates divorce in terms of the assets to be addressed, but other high-asset couples considering divorce may be able to learn something from the Gates’s situation.

Preparing for a High-Asset Divorce in Illinois

Though the Gates divorce is being resolved in the State of Washington, some of the issues at hand offer possible lessons for divorcing couples with significant assets in Illinois. For example:

  • Property division can be resolved through an agreement between spouses. When filing for divorce, the Gateses noted that they have reached a separation agreement regarding their property and assets. In a high-asset divorce in Illinois, it may be possible to reach a similar resolution with your spouse, rather than leaving the division of assets in the hands of the court. However, it is usually a good idea to consult with financial experts who can help you understand the full implications of your decisions.

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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 parenting time

While married parents are often able to work together to provide for their children and make important decisions about their well-being, the task of co-parenting can be more complicated after a divorce. Divorced parents often need to find a way to coordinate matters regarding their children while living in different homes, and this can be further complicated when there is a certain degree of conflict between the two parents. Matters related to a child’s health and medical needs can be some of the most challenging for divorced parents, especially at a time when health issues are front and center in the public eye.

Which Parent Makes Decisions About a Child’s Health?

Part of the allocation of parental responsibilities during the divorce process is determining how parents will share decision-making authority for their children. Typically, a parent has responsibility for the child’s day-to-day health and routine decisions during his or her scheduled parenting time. This includes fulfilling the child’s needs related to nutrition, sleep, and hygiene, as well as any regular medical needs. If the child has a medical or health emergency during a parent’s parenting time, that parent also has the responsibility to make appropriate decisions to respond to the situation.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are going through the divorce process are able to set aside at least some of their differences to work together on a parenting agreement that serves the best interests of their children. However, there are also divorces in which parenting time and parental responsibilities are a major source of conflict, and not just because the parents have trouble getting along. In some cases, a parent has concerns about their children spending time alone with the other parent, which may lead them to pursue parenting time restrictions.

Illinois Parenting Time Restrictions

It is important to note that just because one parent is granted a greater share of parenting time or parental responsibilities, that does not necessarily mean that the other parent’s time or responsibilities are restricted. The court will usually prioritize a parenting plan that allows each parent as much time as possible with the children. That said, the children’s best interests are the most important consideration, and sometimes children benefit from more time living with one parent to allow them to maintain their education and after-school routine with minimal interruptions.

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St. Charles divorce attorney property division

For business owners, the division of marital property required in the Illinois divorce process can be challenging regardless of their spouse’s involvement or role in the business. However, if you and your spouse are business partners as well as life partners, the process becomes even more complicated. In order to ensure a fair outcome that protects your interests, you should work with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you on the implications of your decisions.

Are Businesses Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

While a business that you owned prior to your marriage may be considered your personal, non-marital property, a business that you or your spouse founded or acquired during your marriage is usually considered marital property, even if the other spouse is not involved. If you and your spouse started or purchased a business together during your marriage, there is no question that it will be an important consideration in the division of marital property, and the same is likely true if your spouse became a partner in a business that you already owned. You may even have a business contract that further defines the terms of your partnership outside of your marital relationship, and such a contract will likely influence your options for dividing the business in your divorce.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

When you are getting a divorce, reaching an agreement on parenting time can be challenging both emotionally and logistically. It is often hard for parents and children alike to adjust to an arrangement in which they no longer live with each other full time, and with the schedules of several different people to consider, it may be hard to find a solution that allows both parents to make the most of their time while interrupting the children’s routine as little as possible. It is important to think carefully as you create your initial parenting plan and to be open to change in the coming years if necessary.

How to Create a Parenting Time Schedule

During the divorce process in Illinois, the court will usually ask each parent to submit a proposed parenting plan that addresses many important issues regarding parenting time, including a schedule of days to be spent with each parent, plans for transportation between homes, provisions for holidays, and other extenuating circumstances, and provisions for the process of modifying the plan in the future. The court will issue a decision after reviewing both parents’ proposed plans. However, if the parents are able to work together to create a plan, the court will often approve of it as long as the proposed plan is in the children’s best interests.

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St. Charles child custody attorney parental relocation

Moving to a new location after your divorce can help to give you a fresh start, especially if you are pursuing a new opportunity for yourself or your children. However, in Illinois, many parental relocations require court approval to ensure that the best interests of your children and their relationship with their other parent are protected. If you are planning a move, you should make sure you know whether legal action is necessary, and consider how you can help the process go smoothly.

When Does Relocation Require Approval?

The reality is that after a divorce, one or both parents will have to find a new residence, and in many cases, these moves require no special approval. However, in Illinois, the distance of the move can make a significant difference. Specifically, state law requires approval for the following:

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting plan

The holiday season is often a time of family traditions and togetherness, and while it can bring great joy, it can also be hard for anyone who has recently gone through a divorce. Going from being married to being single is a major life transition, and it can take time to adjust to this new lifestyle. The thought of celebrating without your whole family intact can be sad and overwhelming, but as the 2020 holiday season approaches, it may help to consider some suggestions that can make it easier to bear, and maybe even help you enjoy the holidays again with new traditions.

Suggestions for Managing the Holidays After Divorce

There is no denying that the holidays will look different after your divorce, but that does not mean they have to be something you dread. You can better prepare yourself for the holiday season by considering the following advice:

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St. Charles divorce attorney division of assets

When you make the decision to get a divorce, the financial implications can be just as important as the emotional implications, especially when it comes to your retirement savings. Contributions to a retirement account during your marriage are almost always considered marital property and are therefore subject to division between you and your spouse if you choose to end your marriage. With this in mind, you need to prepare for the possibility that your personal retirement assets will decrease and understand how to properly divide your accounts to avoid excessive tax penalties.

3 Common Types of Retirement Accounts in a Divorce

In an Illinois divorce, 401k accounts, Roth IRAs, and pensions are all considered in the division of assets, but each type of account involves its own unique considerations to ensure the distribution is handled properly.

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