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Kane County divorce lawyersWhen you are the one to file a divorce petition, it is up to you to decide where to file it. This means that you will select the county circuit court in which the divorce will be handled. On the other hand, if your spouse was the one to file, he or she had the opportunity to make that choice. It may come as a surprise, however, to learn that you are not automatically stuck with the decision that your soon-to-be ex-spouse made. While he or she might have gotten the ball rolling, it is your right to contest the choice of venue, but it is important to take action quickly.

What Does “Venue” Mean?

The legal term “venue” refers to the particular court in which a case is handled. At the state level, venue refers to the circuit courts of each county, and at the federal level, venue refers to specific federal district courts. As a state matter, a divorce in Illinois is handled by the circuit court of an individual county.

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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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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 divorce lawyersIt is common for divorced individuals to look back on their relationship and acknowledge that the marriage was over long before they filed a petition for divorce. While the reality is not always as obvious to those in a struggling marriage, some people are able to recognize the proverbial writing on the wall. If your marriage has reached the point where divorce is the only viable option, it is important to prepare for the difficult road that lies ahead.

Know What You Have

Regardless of whether you expect your divorce to be amicable or bitter, one of the most important first steps is to compile an inventory of everything you and your spouse own. Start by making a list of all of your major assets, including any real estate holdings, vehicles, investments, and retirement savings. Locate purchase contracts, loan documents, and account statements so that you can determine when each asset was acquired and how much it may be worth now. Once you have covered the large assets, move on to smaller things like furniture, artwork, and jewelry, again recording the item and when it was purchased.

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Kane County divorce attorneysIf you are someone considering getting divorced, or your spouse is considering filing for divorce, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. You may be wondering if you should hire an attorney, how you will share responsibilities and parenting time with your children, or how your assets and property will be divided. Additionally, you may be worried about how you will mentally and emotionally cope with the end of your marriage. There is no perfect way to get divorced, but there are some actions which can certainly convolute the process and make it more drawn out and expensive than necessary.

Hiding Assets or Lying About Your Financial Status

Everyone handles divorce differently, but there are some mistakes which should be avoided at all costs. Hiding assets is one of these mistakes. Divorce is a not only a personal separation but also a financial separation. Courts need accurate financial information from both spouses in order to make decisions about spousal maintenance, child support, property division, and more. Artificially deflating your income, failing to report a piece of real estate, or otherwise misrepresenting your financial circumstances can result in penalties, money sanctions, and a more problematic and expensive divorce. In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, it is critical that both spouses are honest regarding marital debt and assets.

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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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