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Kane County divorce lawyerThere is little question that divorce can be a messy, often traumatic process. Unresolved anger and fear of an uncertain future can lead to a long, drawn-out proceeding that costs both spouses significant time, money, and energy. In many cases, a bitter, contentious divorce can destroy what was once a loving relationship, making it nearly impossible for the parties to even be in the same room for years into the future. Divorce, however, does not need to be this way. In fact, with a little work and the right attitude, a couple may find that an uncontested divorce may provide an opportunity to move forward with their lives more quickly and at much less expense.

Amicable or Uncontested Divorce

Sometimes referred to as an amicable divorce, an uncontested divorce is one that does not require the court to get involved in settling differences or ruling on issues between the spouses. Instead, the couple is able to reach a workable agreement regarding all of the necessary considerations, including:

  • Division of marital assets and debt;
  • Spousal support arrangements;
  • Parental responsibilities and parenting time schedules; and
  • Child support.

As long as the agreement is relatively fair and does not compromise the rights or best interests of the child in any way, the court will approve the agreement. In most cases, an uncontested divorce is much faster than litigation, and can often be completed with just a single appearance in court by the couple.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-costs-money-cash-broken-heart.jpgIn many divorce cases, finances are a major cause of contention. Depending on the complexity of a couple’s circumstances, the divorce process itself can be very expensive. In addition, divorce requires the marital estate, including all marital assets and debts, to be allocated between the parties.

When property division is left to the discretion of the court, Illinois law requires an equitable—not necessarily equal—allocation based on the consideration of a number of factors. These factors normally include the income and resources of each spouse, the contributions of each to the marital estate, and arrangements made for any children. The court must also consider claims of dissipation, or the inappropriate spending of marital assets by one spouse for purposes unrelated to the marriage. But are attorneys’ fees and other expenses of divorce considered “unrelated to the marriage?”

Unclear Statutory Guidance

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) gives the court presiding over a divorce case the authority to order one spouse to contribute toward the payment of attorney fees and related expenses of the other party. The court also has the discretion to order the repayment of dissipated assets to the marital estate by the offending spouse. However, the possibility of considering attorney fees and other divorce expenses as dissipation may not seem to be clearly addressed in the law. Thus, the court may rely on precedents set in previous decisions in making its determination.

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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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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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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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