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Wheaton property division attorney

When you are going through a divorce, you are not only separating from your ex-spouse, but you will also need to split up the assets you own together. Depending on the length of the marriage, it can be difficult to untangle your shared assets and determine who should keep what property. Here are some basic rules for how marital property is divided in Illinois:

Marital Property

During a divorce, Illinois courts only have the authority to divide up marital property. Marital property is defined as property or assets that were obtained during the marriage. Inheritances or gifts that were given only to one spouse and assets obtained before the marriage or after legal separation are considered separate assets that are not eligible for division during the divorce. However, marital and separate property may not always be so easy to define. If an asset that would have been considered separate property was used by both spouses, or if it was “commingled” with marital property, the court may consider it to be a marital asset. For example, if you earned money before your marriage but transferred it into a joint account, then it may be considered marital property.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County property division lawyer family homeDeciding to get a divorce is a much bigger decision than just choosing to split from your partner. Ending your marriage may potentially mean that you will see your kids less often, and you will need to give up ownership of some of the property you own. Determining how to handle ownership of the family home is often one of the most complex issues to be addressed during divorce. Some divorcing couples choose to sell their house and split the profits, but one person may not want to uproot their life. If both parties wish to continue living in the marital home, then disputes over the division of marital property may be difficult to resolve. If you are looking to retain ownership of your home, you should consider the following:

Determine the Value of the House

If you want to keep your house, you will need to buy out your partner’s share of the equity in the home, and the mortgage will need to be refinanced in your name. The equity is the value of the house minus the amount that is owed on the mortgage. It may be necessary to perform an appraisal or consult with a real estate professional to determine the true value of the home. 

Decide How to Divide the Home’s Equity

Once a proper value has been placed on the home, you will need to determine each spouse’s share of the equity. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital assets should be divided fairly between divorcing spouses. A home’s equity may be split evenly between spouses, or another fair and equitable arrangement may be reached. Spouses may be able to negotiate an arrangement between themselves, but if they cannot decide on this or other issues, the ultimate decision may be left up to the judge in their case.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County order of protection attorney

Ending your marriage can not only be a painful process, but without proper planning, divorce can also be expensive. Fortunately, you have options for how you can complete your divorce, and you can take steps to keep the costs down and dissolve your marriage efficiently and cost-effectively. If you want to ensure that your divorce is completed effectively without breaking the bank, consider the tips below:

Avoid a Trial

The costs of divorce litigation can be very high, and when you need to make multiple appearances in court, legal fees and attorney expenses can add up quickly. To avoid this, you can work with your divorce lawyer and your ex-spouse to settle your case outside of court. You and your former partner may also choose to use mediation to settle your outstanding issues. When you participate in this process, you will work with a neutral third-party mediator to reach an agreement. 

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DuPage County order of protection attorneyWhen a couple chooses to get divorced, the best-case scenario involves them parting ways amicably while still maintaining respect for each other. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some ex-partners can be dangerous, and it may seem difficult to remove them from one’s life even when the divorce is over. An ex-spouse may commit multiple different types of harassment, including electronic stalking. This can be a subtle but invasive method of stalking someone, and many people do not even know their privacy has been compromised until it is too late. If you are concerned that your ex-partner is stalking you, here are some tips to help protect your privacy and your safety.

Change Your Passwords

If you and your ex-partner shared accounts for email, social media, or other apps during your marriage, it is important to change the usernames and passwords of those accounts immediately. You should also take steps to remove your ex from any bank accounts or credit cards the two of you shared. Your ex-partner could still be using online apps or financial records to track your communications, your whereabouts, and your spending habits. Make sure you use a password that is not obvious to your ex-partner. Avoid the use of easy-to-guess references like your first pet or your middle name. Consider a password generator that provides a completely random sequence of unguessable characters.

Look Out for Stalking Apps and Programs

In some cases, your ex may download an illicit application onto your phone or install a hidden program on your computer. With this type of stalking app, they may be able to see your phone conversations, text messages, photos, and passwords. Some apps can even turn on your phone’s or computer’s camera or microphone without your knowledge, allowing your ex to listen to or watch you without your permission. Even though you might not see the app icon or know the spyware has been installed, there are a few signs. If your phone’s battery drains faster, if your computer is hard to turn off, or if your data bill is higher than normal, you might want to check for a stalking app or spyware program. 

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Wheaton, IL order of protection lawyer

Divorce can be a difficult process, but if you are in an abusive relationship, it may be a necessary one. Unfortunately, abusive relationships often involve manipulation, and sometimes the person who is being abused does not realize they are a victim. Those who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship should be sure to recognize the signs of abuse and learn about their options for escaping an abusive situation.

What Defines an Abusive Relationship?

Not all abusive relationships are physically violent. These relationships typically involve one partner taking control or power over the other. This control can be expressed through physical violence, verbal abuse, and/or manipulative behavior. Mind games, threats, gaslighting, coercion, and intimidation are all common traits of manipulative behavior. Domestic violence can result in physical harm to a spouse or their children, but abuse can cause a great deal of emotional and psychological harm as well.

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