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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1675197565.jpg Ending a marriage requires the spouses to address multiple financial issues. Most couples need to determine who will keep the marital home, vehicles, furniture, and other property. They may also need to divide bank account balances, retirement funds, business profits, and other assets. Financial issues such as these are especially consequential in a high-asset divorce case.

However, for spouses or the court to determine a reasonable division of assets and liabilities, they must have a full accounting of assets and debts. Unfortunately, some spouses lie about property or income during divorce. They try to hide assets to shield them from division or fabricate financial information to lower their child support or spousal maintenance obligations. If your spouse is being less than forthcoming about financial information in your divorce, forensic accounting may help.

Uncovering the Truth When a Spouse Lies About Finances

The complexity, expense, and frustration of a divorce is often directly related to the spouses’ ability to cooperate with divorce proceedings. A crucial component of the divorce process is financial disclosure. When a spouse tries to manipulate the outcome of the divorce by concealing assets, undervaluing assets, or hiding income sources, the forensic accounting process may help reveal the truth.

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illinois family law attorneyAs parents age and children become adults, sometimes the parenting roles flip, and an adult child takes on a caretaking role for his or her parents. Age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and physical disabilities can leave an older person unable to care for themselves. If your parent is suffering from a physical or mental disability, you may be curious about seeking guardianship.

Guardian of an Adult in Illinois

Guardianship is a legal tool that gives control of a person’s personal affairs and/or finances to someone else – often a relative of the disabled person. The Illinois probate court recognizes several forms of guardianship: “Guardian of the person” gives a responsible adult control over the ward’s personal and healthcare decisions. “Guardian of the estate” gives the person control over the ward’s finances.

Often, guardianship is needed because an elderly person cannot make sound decisions and/or keep themselves safe. Limited guardians can make decisions about specific concerns but do not have full control over the ward’s personal or financial affairs. A plenary guardian has the authority to make any and all major decisions about healthcare and/or finances. The same person may act as guardian of the estate and guardian of the person or different people may fill these roles.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1570550227-min.jpgIt is common for spouses to mutually agree that one will work outside the home, while the other stays home to raise children or manage the household. When couples in these situations divorce, the spouse who did not work for pay is often fearful about how they will support themselves going forward. Fortunately, Illinois courts consider the value of non-economic contributions made by a homemaker spouse during property division decisions.

Illinois law also offers opportunities to homemakers in the form of spousal maintenance. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer can help ensure that you take full advantage of these opportunities. 

What Legal Protections Do I Have as a Homemaker During Divorce?

When a spouse has been out of the workforce for years, it can be difficult for them to fend for themselves financially. Courts will usually try to prevent a situation where one spouse is unable to support themselves and provide for their basic needs after getting divorced. If you gave up a career to devote yourself to homemaking or child-rearing, these options may be available to you: 

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kane county divorce lawyerWhen a couple divorces, they must determine how to divide the property they accumulated during the marriage. According to Illinois law, nearly every asset that a couple obtains during the marriage is considered marital property in a divorce. Assets that were obtained before the divorce are nonmarital or separate property – with some exceptions.

If you are getting divorced, you may have questions about how your retirement assets will be handled. You may ask, “Does my spouse get a portion of my retirement funds?” Or “Will I have enough money to retire if I get divorced?”

Who Gets Retirement Savings?

If you are like many people planning to divorce, you may assume that your retirement savings are yours alone. After all, your retirement assets were earned based on your hard work. However, retirement assets are typically treated just like any other asset during divorce. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement or another type of marital agreement that gives you sole ownership over retirement assets, any assets you earned during your marriage are likely marital property. This means that your spouse does have a right to an equitable share of the retirement assets. Assets that you earned before you got married are non-marital assets.

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kane county divorce lawyerReaching the decision to divorce can be just as difficult as the divorce itself. Married couples may try to make the marriage work for years before finally admitting defeat. Typically, by the time a couple files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the marriage is beyond saving. However, relationships are complex and sometimes, a divorcing couple changes their mind. Read on to learn about your options if you have changed your mind about ending your marriage through a divorce in Kane County.

Filling a Motion to Dismiss Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is final. Once a divorce is complete, the spouses’ marriage is over. If they decide that they made a mistake in getting divorced, their only option is to get re-married – which can come with its own complications.  However, if both parties agree, you can completely stop divorce proceedings before the final divorce judgment is issued. You can file a Notice to dismiss the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and stop the divorce from proceeding. However, if the parties do not agree, and a Counter- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage had been filed, the divorce proceedings will continue.

Protecting Yourself Legally and Financially During Reconciliation Attempts

Sometimes, a spouse decides to give the other spouse a second chance. If you thought you wanted to divorce but now you want to attempt to reconcile your marriage, you may want to take certain steps to protect yourself and your finances. Some people use a postnuptial agreement to protect their finances in a situation like this. A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed after the couple is married. A postnuptial agreement may be used to protect a spouse against another spouse’s debt, separate marital property from non-marital property, protect a spouse’s business interests, and more.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree