How Can a Business Owner Hide Assets During Divorce?

Wheaton divorce and hidden assets lawyerThere are many ways that spouses attempt to hide marital assets from their wives or husbands. Methods can be as simple as stashing cash in a secret safe deposit box or transferring funds to family members or friends with the intent to recover them once the divorce is finalized. Other methods are somewhat more complex, such as creating offshore bank accounts or asking an employer to delay a large bonus or salary increase until after divorce.

Not only does hiding assets affect the division of property during divorce, but it can also affect child support payments and alimony. A husband or wife that successfully conceals marital property can end up getting away with tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have otherwise been distributed to their spouse or used for child support.

Business owners are at a great advantage when it comes to hiding assets during divorce, because there are dozens of ways that significant assets can be concealed. In many cases, a person may attempt to devalue the business, which is the same as stealing money from their spouse.

Unlawful Methods of Devaluing a Business

Small businesses do not always have small profits. In fact, 49 percent of full-time business owners have sales between $100,000 and $1 million per year. Some methods that business owners may use to attempt to reduce the value of their business include:

  • Failing to Report Cash Payments—A business owner that receives cash may hide these unreported earnings in a safety deposit box or a secret bank account.

  • Creating a Fake Employee—A spouse may pay a salary to an employee that does not exist, with plans to void those paychecks at a later time.

  • Prepaying Expenses—A business owner may make payments in advance for certain expenses, such as employee benefits, office supplies or furniture, or raw materials, with the intent of reducing the business’s bottom line.

  • Overpaying Taxes—A spouse may pay more in taxes than is actually owed, in hopes of receiving a large refund after the divorce has been finalized.

  • Welcoming Debts—A business owner may allow clients to defer payments until after the divorce is finalized in order to reduce the income earned by the business.

Reach Out to a DuPage County Hidden Asset Attorney

Do not let your spouse cheat you out of your fair share of marital property or use unlawful methods to reduce their child support or spousal maintenance payments. Hold them accountable by hiring an experienced divorce attorney. Here at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our attorneys are skilled at uncovering hidden assets, and we will ensure that you receive the marital property and financial support you deserve. Call our Wheaton divorce attorneys today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/11/14/what-are-the-consequences-of-hiding-assets-during-divorce/#7bde61b7190c

https://www.businessknowhow.com/money/earn.htm

 

How Is Student Loan Debt Handled During Divorce?

DuPage County debt division attorneyIn 2017, the average student loan debt for graduates was over $37,000, which would amount to more than $45,000 when paid over 10 years with an average interest rate. This is a considerable amount of money. Graduate degrees are even more costly; the average student with a graduate degree has over $84,000 in debt, while the average medical school student has an astounding sum of $246,000 of debt. Many spouses may wonder what happens to this debt during divorce. This is a good question, because these debts can have a profound impact on a person’s life after finalizing the divorce process.

When the Loans Were Taken Out Before Marriage

If a student loan was procured before a couple was married, it will not be classified as marital property. Only marital property is divided during divorce. Non-marital property, such as bank accounts, real estate property, and debt, which was acquired before marriage remains the property and responsibility of that individual spouse. This means that if your wife took out $100,000 in law school loans before you were married, that debt will not become your responsibility after divorce.

Student Debt Acquired During Marriage

Everything changes when student loans are acquired during a marriage. However, simply because the debt is considered marital property does not mean that both spouses will be responsible for the debt. Many factors are taken into account when determining how to divide student debt, such as the following questions:

  • Which spouse profited from the education?

  • Did the non-debtor contribute to paying for the education or provide assistance in other ways, such as taking care of children while the debtor went to school?

  • How were the loans used? For example, did they cover housing as well as class fees?

  • What is the earning capacity of each spouse?

The spouse who went to school may end up being responsible for paying for all of their student loan debt after divorce based on how the above questions are answered. Depending on the circumstances and the decisions made during the divorce process, the other spouse may end up being responsible for paying off the debt as well.

A Wheaton Debt Division Attorney Can Help With Your Divorce

Distributing student loan debt during divorce can be exceedingly complicated. To ensure that your best interests are put at the forefront, you need an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney on your side. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.debt.org/students/

https://www.credible.com/blog/statistics/average-grad-school-debt-statistics/

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/20/how-much-the-average-student-loan-borrower-owes-when-they-graduate.html

 

What if a Parent Blocks a Grandparent’s Visitation With Grandchildren?

Wheaton grandparents' rights attorneyGrandparents provide a wealth of loving care and family traditions to the younger generation, and most grandchildren will remember the time with their grandfathers and grandmothers well into their own adulthood. Grandparents add value to the lives of young children in immeasurable ways. Unfortunately, old feuds can get in the way of grandparents’ visitation rights, especially when the parents of the children separate or get divorced. In many cases, a child’s parent may disallow visitation with their ex-spouse’s parents, though it is sometimes a grandparent’s own children that disallow them from seeing their young loved ones.

What Steps Can I Take as Grandparent?

In Illinois, grandparents can petition the court to secure visitation rights with grandchildren. However, a grandparent must show that by not seeing their grandparents, the child is being harmed. As such, “the burden is on the party filing a petition” to prove that the parent’s decision about visitation will “cause undue harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health,” according to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/602.9. A grandmother or grandfather must show that the time spent with them has a positive impact on their grandchild’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Having a close relationship with a grandparent benefits children’s well-being; previous research has shown that these types of relationships can reduce depressive symptoms in both the grandparents and the grandchild. If this is so widely known, and many studies have come to the same conclusion, does that mean that a court will simply accept a grandparent’s and child’s mutual wishes to continue spending time with one another? Sadly, the situation is more complex than this.

The Court’s Considerations

When making decisions about whether grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interests, the court will use the following factors to make a decision about grandparent visitation:

  • The wishes of the child.
  • The length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.
  • The good faith of the grandparent and the good faith of the parent denying visitation access.
  • The quantity of visitation time requested.
  • Any potential adverse effects that visitation could have.
  • Factors that reveal the effects the loss of the grandparent/grandchild relationship would have on the child.
  • Whether or not the visitation can be structured in a manner to avoid conflict between the adult parties.

Call an Experienced DuPage County Grandparent Visitation Lawyer Today

The emotional bond between a grandparent and a grandchild should never be broken because of a parent’s vengeful mindset. Our dedicated Wheaton family law attorneys can help reunite grandparents with their grandchildren by petitioning for visitation rights. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.9.htm

https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/09/06/close-relationship-with-grandparents-benefits-grandchildren/