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Wheaton asset division lawyer 
Division of property is often one of the most consequential aspects of a divorce. Spouses have worked hard to acquire the property they own, and they understandably do not want this property to be divided unfairly. Typically, high-value assets and complex assets like family businesses, real estate, investments, and stocks are more difficult to value and accurately address during divorce than simpler assets. Property division is made even more complicated when marital assets and nonmarital assets are commingled, or mixed. If you have concerns about how your property will be divided during divorce, speak with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible to receive guidance customized for your particular situation.   

Property Is Divided According to Equitable Distribution in Illinois

During divorce, spouses have the option of determining their own property division arrangements. This is often accomplished through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. However, in some situations, spouses cannot reach an agreement about property without help from the courts. In Illinois, courts divide property according to a method called “equitable distribution.” Property is divided fairly based on the duration of the marriage, provisions made for the spouses’ children, each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate, the spouses’ income and employability, and other factors.

Differentiating Between Marital and Nonmarital Property

Only marital property is divided by Illinois courts in a divorce. Separate property, also called nonmarital property, is assigned to the spouse who originally owned the property. Generally, marital property includes any assets that were purchased or acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Assets that a spouse owned before getting married and property obtained through gift or inheritance are typically classified as nonmarital property and are therefore not divided. 

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Wheaton, IL dissipation of assets lawyerIllinois no longer allows divorcing spouses to claim fault-based grounds for divorce. However, this does not mean that a spouse’s behavior cannot influence a divorce settlement. Spouses who waste or destroy property during the breakdown of their marriage or during divorce proceedings may be guilty of dissipating assets. If you are planning to get divorced or have already started the divorce process, and you believe your spouse has grossly misused marital funds or property, you may have a valid dissipation claim.

Defining Dissipation of Assets

Illinois law defines dissipation as the use of marital property for a purpose not related to the marriage when the marriage is undergoing an irreparable breakdown. Examples of dissipation of assets include situations such as:

  • After a wife files for divorce, a husband decides to “get even” with her. He intentionally destroys thousands of dollars of their furniture and other household property so that the wife cannot be assigned these items during property division.

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DuPage County spousal support lawyer

If you are getting divorced and earn a lower income than your spouse, you probably have many concerns about finances. Making ends meet on a single income can be a daunting prospect. This is especially true if you have been out of the workforce for many years because you were raising your children. Spousal support, also called maintenance or alimony, may offer the financial relief you desperately need. However, only individuals meeting certain criteria will be eligible for spousal support in Illinois.

When Is Alimony Awarded in Illinois?

Not every person who gets divorced will qualify for spousal maintenance. The courts typically only award a spouse maintenance if it is “reasonable and necessary.” There are many factors considered by Illinois courts when deciding whether or not maintenance is appropriate. These include but are not limited to:

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DuPage County asset division attorney for homemakersWhen a couple chooses to get a divorce, one of the key issues they must resolve is how to split up their property and assets. In an equitable distribution state like Illinois, property is divided in a fair and equitable manner rather than split equally between the spouses. A judge will look at a number of factors to determine how to divide assets fairly. But what if one of the parties did not earn an income because he or she stayed home to raise the children? According to a new study, many people are still conflicted about what homemakers should be entitled to after the divorce.

Who Is More Likely to Be a Homemaker?

According to research, about one in five parents are stay-at-home parents. 27% of all U.S. mothers are stay-at-home parents, while around 7% of fathers stay home to raise the children. While around 10% of mothers who hold a master’s degree or higher choose to opt out of the workplace in order to raise their children, these moms make up about 4% of all stay-at-home mothers. Surveys have also found that the majority of Americans believe that mothers do a better job than fathers of caring for children. 

Results of the Study About Dividing Marital Property

Should caretaking by a stay-at-home parent be valued as highly as the contributions of the partner who brings in the income? A recent study by two professors at Vanderbilt University recruited more than 3,000 subjects to determine their opinion of what homemakers should receive in a divorce. In the study, the professors presented a case of a heterosexual couple where the wife was the homemaker, and the husband initiated the divorce after 17 years of marriage. When making decisions about how to divide the couple’s property, women were more likely to award the wife a higher amount, regardless of the wife’s educational level. Men were more likely to award the wife higher amounts of property if she also had a higher education level.

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Who Has to Leave the House After the Divorce Starts?

DuPage County divorce lawyer, after the divorceWhen two people decide to get divorced, often they already live in different places. However, both spouses may still live in the family home after a divorce has been filed. Who has to leave the home once the divorce process is underway?

Issues of Property Ownership

Under the law of Illinois, generally, no one is required to leave the family home while the divorce is still underway. In Illinois, the family home is most likely marital property.

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