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McHenry County divorce lawyerMovies and pop culture would have you believe that spousal support is almost always granted to one spouse—usually the wife—during a divorce. However, this is not always the case. There are many divorce cases in Illinois where maintenance is deemed unnecessary for a variety of reasons. If you are in the process of getting divorced, it is important that you understand the reality surrounding spousal support as it is handled under Illinois law. 

Factors Considered in Awarding Spousal Support in Illinois

Illinois law encourages divorcing spouses to reach their own agreement regarding all of the issues of their divorce, including arrangements for spousal support, whenever possible. If the couple cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be left up to the court to decide.

In order to determine whether support is appropriate or not, a court must consider a list of many different factors. Some of the relevant considerations include:

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How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Affect Your Divorce?Coming to a settlement that both parties agree to can be challenging even in the most amicable divorce. There are many important factors to consider, including division of assets and debts, spousal support, child support, parenting time, and parental responsibilities. Couples who are considering a prenuptial agreement or who already have one in place may expect that it will prevent any major disagreements in the event of a divorce, but it is important to keep a few things in mind about how a prenup may actually impact the divorce proceedings.

A Prenup Can Ease Financial Negotiations in a Divorce Settlement

Under Illinois law, a prenuptial agreement can address a variety of important financial considerations that are likely to come up in a future divorce. Couples can determine which of their properties will be considered marital and non-marital assets, which may be beneficial if one or both spouses have family heirlooms or businesses that they want to retain. Couples can also agree as to how assets and debts will be distributed in the event of a divorce, as well as whether any spousal support will be paid.

If both spouses entered the prenuptial agreement in good faith, divorce settlement negotiations regarding finances often proceed smoothly, especially if the divorce is amicable. Because there are few, if any, additional property decisions to be made, divorcing couples have more time and energy to focus on other aspects of the separation.

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Three Financials Disputes That Can Affect Your DivorceMoney is a common issue for married couples to argue over. So, it should be no surprise that financial strife is one of the most common reasons that people give for getting divorced. Unfortunately, these same money problems can continue during your divorce negotiations. Because it is important to come out of a divorce with financial security, you should understand how different financial problems from your marriage can affect your divorce. Here are three examples of monetary disputes that divorcing spouses may have:

  1. Heavy Debt: The stress of being unable to keep up with debt payments can break your marriage. Part of your divorce will be figuring out how to divide your marital debts, which you share just like with marital properties. You can divide the debt based on which of you was more responsible for each debt or which of you is more capable of repaying it. Your divorce agreement should state which debts each of you are responsible for in case a creditor comes after you because your former spouse failed to repay the debt.
  2. Different Spending Habits: Sometimes, your attitude towards how you spend your money can lead to disagreement, even if it does not cause problems with debt. You or your spouse may be more comfortable making big purchases, spending on luxury items, and going into short-term debt. This can cause a disagreement during your divorce on what are necessary expenses and how much spousal maintenance one of you should pay. Creating a responsible budget is an important part of life after divorce, and you should not be subsidizing your former spouse’s reckless spending.
  3. Financial Infidelity: A person commits financial infidelity when they hide major expenditures or assets from their spouse. The betrayal of trust can destroy your marriage if you discover financial infidelity, but there are also practical concerns you must address during your divorce. Are you liable for debts that your spouse created without your knowledge? Is your spouse still trying to hide assets that should be included in the division of marital property? You need to investigate the extent of the damage that your spouse’s financial infidelity has caused.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a chance to improve your financial future, whether you believe that your spouse’s decisions were harming you or you are trying to break bad habits from your marriage. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can discuss how to stabilize your finances after a divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Divorced Astronaut Accused of Identity Theft While in SpaceAn unusual story has emerged about an astronaut who may have committed identity theft against her former wife while on the International Space Station. The former wife filed charges with the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that the astronaut inappropriately accessed her bank account. A computer registered to NASA had accessed the account at a time when the astronaut was preparing for a spacewalk on the station. The FTC is investigating the claim, which the astronaut denies. The former spouses divorced last year and had a bitter custody battle over their son.

Identity theft is a real concern for divorcees because they have shared sensitive personal and financial information with a former spouse who may harbor ill-will towards them. However, protecting your identity is not rocket science. There are common-sense steps you can take to prevent identity theft:

  1. Close Your Joint Accounts: Your spouse has equal access to your joint accounts, such as those with banks and credit card companies. You should conduct all of your financial activity through private, individual accounts that your spouse cannot view without your permission or obtaining a court order.
  2. Check Your Credit Report: Getting a current credit report serves multiple purposes. It may remind you about a credit account that you opened individually or share with your spouse. You also get a complete picture of your credit history, which may warn you if you have already been a victim of identity theft.
  3. Change Your Passwords and PINs: Spouses commonly share their passwords to individual accounts because they trust each other. You should update those passwords to something that your spouse would not be able to guess, which means your passwords should not be based on personal information.
  4. Alert Financial Institutions to Your Divorce: Your bank and creditors should know about your impending divorce. Tell them that you do not give your spouse permission to access your individual accounts or to start new accounts or lines of credit in your name.
  5. Keep an Eye on Your Accounts: If you are unable to prevent identity theft, your best course of action is to catch it early on. Look for unexplained activity in your accounts, and try to determine the source. You have time to reverse the damage done and hold your spouse accountable.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

Your identity and financial security should be priorities during your divorce. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can advise you on what action you should take to protect yourself. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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