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Kane County family law attorneysUnfortunately, divorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Some couples who decide to end their marriage are able to do so with relatively little malice, while others fight tooth and nail throughout the entirety of the divorce process. If you are considering or have already decided to divorce and you think your spouse may try to “get even” with you by recklessly spending money or otherwise wasting assets, read on to learn about a legal concept called dissipation.

What Is Considered Dissipation According to Illinois Law?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as “the use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Marital property generally refers to income, property, and debt accumulated by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Certain assets such as gifts or inheritance may not be considered marital property. The term “irretrievable breakdown” means that the marriage is ending. A couple who has stopped sharing a bedroom, does not enjoy time together, and does not wish to salvage the marriage would be considered in the midst of an irreconcilable breakdown.

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Kane County family law attorneyFollowing a divorce or breakup between two people who have children together, it is common for one parent to be granted a majority of the parenting time. Equal parenting time, in many cases, is impossible or impractical due to scheduling or geographic complications. In other cases, it may be in the child’s best interest to spend significantly more time with one parent than the other.

If you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent who has been given less parenting time than your child’s other parent, it can be difficult to maintain the relationship you desire with your child. Fortunately, Illinois law provides a way for you to possibly get additional parenting time by including the right of first refusal in your parenting agreement.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

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Kane County divorce attorneyDivorce is considered to be the second-most stress-inducing life event a person can endure. Only losing a spouse through death is more stressful according to the American Institute of Stress. In addition to the emotional difficulty of ending a marriage, divorce can also bring up challenges when it comes to shared property. If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse own your home, you will need to decide how that asset will be divided.

Benefits of Keeping the Home

Many divorcing couples struggle with what to do with the family home when they realize their marriage is ending. A large number of couples with children decide to keep the home. They may not want to introduce too many changes to the family at once or do not want school-aged children to have to change schools. When deciding which spouse will stay in the home and which will move out, there are a few factors to consider. Which spouse will have the majority of parental responsibilities (custody)? Does the person keeping the house have the ability to maintain the property adequately? Can one spouse afford the mortgage payment on his or her own? A financial adviser or divorce attorney can help struggling couples understand their options regarding their house.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_hiding-assets-hidden-divorce-finances.jpgWhen a married couple divorces and cannot decide how their property should be divided, the courts must step in to determine the fairest division arrangement. Courts use each spouse’s self-reported financial information like income and debts to make decisions about, child support, spousal maintenance, property division, and more.

Sometimes a divorcing spouse will lie about his or her finances during a divorce. Deceit can make the divorce process much more complicated and drawn out than it would otherwise be. Someone trying to misrepresent their financial circumstances may artificially devalue their income, hide real estate, or transfer funds to unknown accounts. These actions can result in monetary penalties called sanctions among other consequences.

How Do Spouses Misrepresent Their Financial Status?

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Kane County family law attorneysSharing parental responsibilities can be quite complicated for divorced, separated, or unmarried parents. Each parent may have an idea of how he or she thinks the child should be raised, and such ideas often differ—even between reasonable, well-meaning parents. Conflicting ideas about parenting can create confusion for the child, which is why it is so important for parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that clearly determines what role each parent will play in making significant decisions about the child’s life. 

What Are Significant Decisions?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines “significant decision-making” as “deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child.” The law also provides several considerations that are always considered significant decisions, such as:

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