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IL divorce lawyerDivorcing spouses may reach an out-of-court settlement regarding divorce issues like property division or the case may go to litigation. Regardless, the spouses will need to divulge detailed financial information about their income, assets, and debts. Without this information, it is impossible to make an informed decision about financial issues during divorce. Lying about financial information on a financial affidavit is against the law, but unfortunately, some spouses do it anyway.

If you are getting divorced, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of financial deception. Failing to disclose full, accurate financial information can significantly impact a divorce case.

Red Flags a Spouse is Lying About Income and Assets in a Divorce

Child support, spousal maintenance, and the division of marital assets and debts are all influenced by the spouses’ financial circumstances. Some spouses try to manipulate the outcome of their divorce by failing to disclose all forms of income, inflating debts or expenses, or hiding assets.

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McHenry County parenting time attorneyCo-parenting children with an ex-spouse can be challenging and frustrating. However, it is also an opportunity for a fresh start. If you are a parent who is recently divorced or plans to divorce soon, you may already be thinking ahead to the summer. When children are out of school on summer vacation, schedules and routines that were established during the school year can fall apart. Understandably, this can make managing a two-household family a bit more difficult for everyone involved.  

There is no way to completely eliminate the stress that comes with co-parenting after divorce, but the following tips may help you and your family make the most of the upcoming summer months.

Comply with the Terms of Your Parenting Plan

When Illinois parents divorce, they create a Parenting Plan that outlines the parenting time schedule and other important matters. If parents cannot agree on the terms of the Parenting Plan, the court determines the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time for them. Following the provisions of the Parenting Plan is crucial not only because it is a legally binding court order, but also because children thrive in consistency.

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McHenry County divorce lawyerMany people assume that they will be granted a more favorable divorce settlement if their spouse cheated on them or they were otherwise wronged by their soon-to-be-ex. However, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. Divorcing spouses do not need to show proof of marital misconduct like infidelity or mental cruelty to be granted a divorce. In most cases, the reason that the marriage is ending does not matter to Illinois courts. That being said, reckless or wasteful financial decisions during the marriage can impact the outcome of the divorce.

How Illinois Courts Divide Property

Divorcing couples in Illinois may be able to reach an agreement on how to divide their shared property without the court’s involvement. However, if the couple cannot reach a settlement, the court will divide their property according to a legal doctrine called equitable distribution. Property is divided fairly based on many factors, including both spouses’ financial circumstances. Illinois law specifically states that courts will divide marital property without regard to marital misconduct. For example, courts cannot award less marital property to a spouse solely because that spouse cheated on or abused his or her partner. However, there is one major exception to this rule: If a spouse dissipated marital assets, the non-dissipating spouse may be entitled to reimbursement.  

Dissipation of Assets Claims for Wasted Assets

The term “dissipation” refers to wasteful spending or use of marital property. Specifically, Illinois law defines dissipation of assets as the use of marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse during a marital breakdown.

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Crystal Lake gray divorce attorneyDid you know that the divorce rate for individuals over age 50 has more than doubled in the last few decades? Older couples divorce for many reasons. Some end their marriage because of infidelity or abuse. Others simply grow apart. Whatever your reasons for getting divorced, you should know that “gray divorce” is often more complex than typical divorce cases.  

Valuing and Dividing Retirement Assets

One of the most important issues in a gray divorce is retirement. Money that spouses have put away for retirement is usually considered during asset division in a divorce case. Funds that were acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage are marital assets jointly owned by both spouses. If both spouses worked outside the home and have retirement accounts, they may decide not to divide any retirement funds. However, if one spouse did not work or earned significantly less than the other spouse, he or she may not have sufficient funds to cover retirement.

Depending on the tax consequences and financial implications of property division, it may make sense for one spouse to retain retirement funds while the other spouse keeps assets of equivalent value. Alternatively, the spouses may divide retirement accounts using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QIDRO). Spouses who have been married for at least ten years may also be able to obtain Social Security benefits through their spouse’s work history.

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McHenry County divorce attorneysIf you are planning to divorce, you may worry about how the split will affect your finances. This concern is understandable. Divorce can influence your financial situation in a variety of significant ways. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare in advance and minimize the negative financial impact of divorce.   

Take Stock of Your Current Financial Situation

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for divorce is to take stock of your income, assets, debts, and expenses. If you are like most people, you may have tax returns, bank statements, and other paperwork scattered in various locations. Take some time to gather your paystubs, bank statements, retirement account statements, tax returns, real estate deeds, credit card statements, business financial statements, and any other financial documentation. Make sure you understand what you own and what you owe so you can make informed decisions during the divorce process.

Think About Your Post-Divorce Budget

Whether you are the family's breadwinner or the lesser-earning spouse, divorce will influence your financial resources and responsibilities. It is a good idea to start thinking about a post-divorce budget. If you want to maintain your current standard of living after the divorce, you may need to reduce your spending on non-essential expenses. Take some time to think about your financial goals and how you plan to meet those goals as a divorced person.

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