How is Joint Debt Handled in an Illinois Divorce?
DuPage County Divorce Attorneys
In an Illinois divorce, the couple's assets are divided equitably. This means that instead of being split 50/50, they are divided among the partners according to each partner's personal needs and contributions to the couple's asset pool. Their debts, which can include their mortgage debt, their credit card debt, and any student debt accrued during the marriage, are also divided this way. This is because any financial transactions made during the marriage, other than a few key exceptions, are considered to be made by both parties. Purchases made this way are deemed to be marital property and debts accrued this way are marital debt.
In most divorces, the division of assets is the most substantial part of the process. Educate yourself about how your debt will be handled before you begin the divorce process so you do not face any surprises.
Examples of Marital Debt
The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Wheaton, Illinois Family Law Attorneys
A prenuptial agreement is a document that an engaged couple signs before they are married that sets the guidelines for the division of their assets upon their divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also include directives for the disbursement of an individual's assets to his or her loved ones upon his or her death. Prenuptial agreements are often utilized by individuals who are entering their second or subsequent marriages as a way to ensure that their assets go to their children from their previous relationships in the event their new spouses survive them. They are also frequently used by business owners and other individuals who have built substantial wealth before getting married.
If you are planning to marry your partner, talk to him or her about signing a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can state which debts and assets remain singly-held property and how to divide any future assets acquired during the marriage. Getting a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily mean you will divorce. It simply means that if you do get divorced or if one of you passes away, there will be a plan in place for your assets.
Why Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
How Are Expert Witnesses Utilized in a Divorce?
DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
Even in the most straightforward, amicable divorce, the process is not simply completed between the divorcing partners. Generally, each spouse retains his or her own lawyer and in many divorces, other professionals become involved in the process to ensure that the couple's settlement complies with Illinois law. These other professionals are known as expert witnesses. They provide insight to issues present in the couple's divorce based on their own professional experience and this insight is used to make fair determinations regarding the division of the couple's assets, their parenting time and child support agreements, and their spousal maintenance agreement.
Who Are Expert Witnesses?
Expert witnesses are individuals who utilize their professional expertise to advise the court about decisions in a couple's divorce settlement.
Illinois Custody Evaluations: Are You Prepared?
Wheaton Family Law Firm
If you are a parent going through a divorce, you likely have your children’s best interests in mind. When words such as “custody” and “visitation” start being used frequently, you may grow concerned that there is a chance you will be unable to spend as much time with your child as you desire. The best interests of a child are always the primary consideration when determining custody (now referred to as “allocation of parenting responsibilities”), but sometimes divorcing parents cannot agree on those best interests. As such, divorcing couples may require the assistance of an experienced Illinois family law attorney that can help them come to an amicable agreement regarding a parenting plan or help them to find a custody evaluator that may meet their needs.
Parenting Plans and Custody Evaluations
A recently enacted Illinois law now requires parents to submit proposed parenting plans when they file for divorce. The parenting plans are designed to be reasonable proposals for allocation of the children’s time between the parents. These plans are designed to allocate “decision-making” authority and parental responsibility concerning the child’s education, religion, finances, medical treatment, extracurricular activities, and other critical decisions.
Post Divorce Modifications in Illinois
Wheaton Divorce Attorneys
While divorce decrees in the State of Illinois are considered “final” once they are admitted to the court, there are circumstances that warrant post-decree modifications. Whether one party’s financial situation changed and post-divorce child support or spousal maintenance awards must be updated accordingly, or if one of the parents wishes to move a marital child out of state, any official changes to the divorce decree require court intervention. Hiring an experienced post-divorce decree modification attorney will ensure that the process is completed as expeditiously as possible while ensuring fairness to both parties.
What Can Be Modified?
You cannot simply change the terms of your divorce because the terms are inconvenient or burdensome. Failure to abide by the terms of a divorce decree may result in court action or contempt charges, and all terms should be strictly complied with until a court order is entered that changes the terms. Some circumstances that may warrant re-visiting a divorce decree include:
What Happens When Business Partners Divorce?
DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
Divorce proceedings require that all marital property be divided equitably between the parties upon divorce. What does “equitable” mean? What is considered “marital property?” Rich or poor, children or not, divorce impacts all people significantly in different ways. One unique situation that some divorcing couples must face is division of a very important part of their lives—their business.
Illinois Marital Property
Marital property, under Illinois law, includes nearly all income, debt, assets, accounts, real property, and personal property obtained during the course of the marriage, even if the property was only issued to one of the spouses. Property acquired prior to marriage and certain testamentary gifts are exempt, but other than that, all equity in homes, balances in 401(k) accounts, and interests in businesses are fair game. If you and your spouse formed a business together, but are now getting divorced, what should you do?