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Tag Archives: Illinois divorce lawyers

Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can make a massive impact on your life, especially when it comes to financial matters. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate the risks. Learn more about managing your finances while pursuing an Illinois divorce in the following sections. 

Create a Pre- and Post-Divorce Budget 

Divorcing parties are often aware that a new budget is necessary. One budget may not be adequate, however. You may need both a pre- and post-divorce budget. The first (your pre-divorce budget) addresses how you and your spouse will handle any joint accounts in the months leading up to the divorce, along with your own personal financial responsibilities. The latter (the post-divorce budget) focuses on how you will manage your financial obligations once the divorce has been finalized. 

Consider Paying Down Debt Before the Divorce 

While it may be tempting to wait to pay down your debt until after receiving your divorce settlement, such a plan can create unnecessary financial risks for you once the divorce has been finalized. Interest rates may increase the amount owed. Accounts may be sent to collection agencies, which can hurt your credit. Lastly, your settlement amount may not be enough to cover any overdue balances. Alternatively, by using the settlement to cover the debt, rather than forge a new future, you could increase your risk of long-term financial issues. To avoid such an issue, consider paying down your debt before filing for divorce. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneysGoing through a divorce will likely have a profound impact on nearly every aspect of your life. This is especially true when it comes to your finances. For most people, a divorce is not only going to take two combined incomes and split them up, but it will also change what financial responsibilities you have.

You may, for example, have to start paying child support or spousal support, which will obviously have to be added into your monthly budget. Even if you are receiving child support or spousal support payments, however, you will need to use that money to cover many new expenses caused by the divorce. The following four tips can help you to put yourself in as strong of a position as possible after your divorce is finalized. 

1. Start a Strict Budget Now

Living on a budget is always important, but during and just after a divorce, it is more critical than ever. Do everything you can to minimize your expenses now, and live well under your means. Once the divorce is finalized and you are able to accurately see all your new income and expenses, you can start transitioning into your ‘new normal’ for money. It is much easier to have a little extra money in your budget after a divorce than it would be to be short each month. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can bring out the worst in people. In fact, some spouses are willing to go so far as to illegally hide money from their spouses to keep more for themselves. This act, known as asset hiding, can leave one party financially disadvantaged - and not just during and immediately after the divorce. The impact of asset hiding in a divorce can last a lifetime. Thankfully, disadvantaged parties do have the law on their side, and if appropriate measures are taken, they can still obtain a fair settlement during their divorce. 

The Law and Hidden Assets in Divorce 

Under Illinois state law, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered part of the marital estate. If the couple goes through a divorce and no prenuptial document is in place, the total value of those assets is calculated. The entire marital estate is then distributed “equitably,” or fairly between the parties. Fair holds a different meaning for everyone, however, which is why spouses sometimes attempt to hide money during the divorce process. 

As an example, consider the spouse with a young but growing company. They may have achieved their success because their partner stayed home to care for their toddler, but once the divorce proceedings start, they may begin to feel as though the stay-at-home parent is not entitled to that money because they did not financially contribute to the couple’s marital estate. As such, the spouse may attempt to hide some of the money from their spouse. The law may see things differently, however. The courts might consider the stay-at-home parent’s time with the children as a non-financial contribution that entitles them to a portion of the business’s earnings. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOf all the issues that a couple faces in divorce, matters that pertain to the division of marital assets can be some of the most complex, confusing, and contentious. This area is also where couples tend to make the most critical mistakes. Avoid such issues during your Illinois divorce with help from the following information and assistance from a competent divorce lawyer. 

How Assets Are Handled in an Illinois Divorce

Unless the divorcing parties signed a prenuptial agreement before the beginning of their marriage, the assets that were obtained over the duration of their union are typically considered “joint” or “marital assets.” Such assets are usually subject to the division of assets process that takes place during a divorce. Parties can negotiate how they will be divided, but it is highly recommended that spouses each obtain their own legal counsel before signing a settlement agreement, as there may be factors that dramatically change one’s entitlement to the marital estate. For example, a stay-at-home mother may not think she is entitled to much of the marital estate since she did not really earn any income over the course of the marriage, but the courts would consider her contribution to the family (sacrificing her career or earning ability to care for the couple’s children) as one that increases her overall stake in the marital estate.

When to Split the Debts and Assets in Your Marital Estate

When it comes to dividing your debts and assets in a divorce, timing is everything. Some items should not be divided until the entire divorce process is complete (i.e. a retirement pension plan or a child’s college savings fund). Others, like credit card debt and student loan debt, can be separated before you officially file for a divorce, so long as you both agree to the terms. How you handle the latter is entirely up to you, but do not enter an agreement or make changes to your marital estate without first consulting your attorney. They can guide you in how to ensure that any agreements made before the start of proceedings are honored at the end of them. 

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Wheaton family law attorneysDivorce is extremely common in the United States. In fact, an estimated 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages end this way. Perhaps even more common is divorce among entrepreneurs, who often sacrifice time with their families to spend countless hours building their businesses. Sadly, many learn that their spouse is entitled to far more of the company than they predicted, and some have even lost their businesses because of divorce. Thankfully, there are strategies that entrepreneurs can use to protect a business in a divorce. Learn more about them in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can help to improve the outcome in your case. 

Businesses as Marital Assets - A Closer Look at What is at Stake

Whether started before the marriage or once it began, businesses that are not protected by a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement are usually considered a marital asset. That means your spouse could be entitled to a share - how much depends on the contributions that they made during the marriage. Note that contributions are not just monetary, such as offering funds to stimulate company growth; a contribution can also mean staying home with the children so that the entrepreneur can network and attend meetings. If the family had to make substantial sacrifices during the business’s early years, this, too, could be considered a contribution to the business’s growth and success. It is also important to note that spouses who work as partners or contribute to the business directly are often entitled to even more shares of the company. 

Protecting Your Business in an Illinois Divorce

The most effective way to protect a business in divorce is through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Unfortunately, if neither document was created prior to divorce proceedings, the parties must use other strategies to protect their company. Such methods can include:

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone630-580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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