Tag Archives: division of assets

When to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement

Wheaton postnup agreement lawyerMarriage is more than love and romance. The union is comprised of many facets, not the least of which is the financial component. One must remember that above all, marriage is a legal contract, and unless an agreement exists stating otherwise, “What is mine is yours” is the general rule that will be followed. Under Illinois law, any property or debt acquired during a marriage is considered marital property, meaning both parties have an equal claim to these assets in the case of divorce. Although this may seem trivial when everything is sunshine and rainbows during a marriage, it can be extremely detrimental should the union fail. To address these issues, a postnuptial agreement can protect your interests if your relationship encounters difficulty.

A Logical Look to the Future

A prenuptial agreement can document what should happen to assets and debts should the marriage result in divorce. Although the thought of the marriage failing before it even begins can be unromantic, logically, this is an ideal time for the discussion, especially given that approximately 50% of marriages result in divorce. When preparing to get married, you can civilly discuss the intimate details without the hostility associated with separation.

After “I Do,” It Is Not Too Late

For many Americans, a prenuptial agreement is either out of the question or regarded as unnecessary. However, as a marriage progresses, circumstances change that alter the family dynamic. In these cases, it is not too late to create a legal agreement to protect yourself. A postnuptial agreement is fundamentally identical to a prenup, except that it is created after the marriage vows. The contract can include any provisions the couple deems necessary, such as how assets will be divided or whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance. Some spouses even choose to incorporate a clause regarding what should happen in the event of adultery, something the state does not include in divorce decisions.

When Is a Postnuptial Agreement Appropriate?

The decision to create a postnuptial agreement does not always come when either or both spouses are considering divorce, although this can happen. Typically, the marriage is in great shape, but something has changed that requires legal clarification. For instance, one spouse may quit their job to stay home and raise the children. It may be a good idea to create legal documentation to ensure that the other spouse cannot later claim that they were against this decision.

Other circumstances in which a postnuptial agreement can be helpful include:

  • One spouse comes into a large inheritance.
  • A family-owned business grew and expanded over the course of the marriage.
  • A spouse was unfaithful, and the other spouse wants to ensure future faithfulness.

A Wheaton Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you think you may need a postnuptial agreement, it is essential to ask an experienced DuPage County postnuptial agreement lawyer for assistance. The laws surrounding divorce and other family issues fluctuate continuously, and it is important to ensure that these issues are properly addressed in a marital agreement. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can advise you on how to create an agreement that meets your needs and protects your rights. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free initial consultation.




Factors Considered in Equitable Distribution of Assets in Illinois Divorce

equitable distribution, Wheaton divorce attorneysIllinois is considered an equitable distribution state when it comes to dividing marital property. This means that the court is most concerned with making sure the division of property between ex-spouses is considered fair and just, not necessarily equal.

While splitting all of the marital property equally—as is done in community property states—may seem to be fair on its face, this method can actually disadvantage one party, depending on the details of the family’s particular situation. Rather, the Illinois law requires the court to consider the whole picture when determining what is fair and decide property division on a case-by-case basis.

If you are going through a divorce in Illinois or are considering filing for divorce, it is important that you understand just how marital assets may be allocated. Your experienced DuPage County family law attorney with our firm can take a look at the marital assets and liabilities that you and your spouse maintain and make arguments and recommendations to the court regarding how the relevant factors ought to be interpreted given your specific circumstances.

What Property is Subject to Equitable Division?

Only the property that is considered part of the marital estate can be subject to equitable division. Any assets or property that either party brought into the marriage, as well as certain inheritances and gifts, are typically considered separate individual property, while most property acquired during the marriage, including pensions and investments established during the marriage, are generally considered part of the marital estate.

Equitable Division Factors

Illinois law sets out a dozen specific factors that the court can take into account when deciding which spouse gets what property. These factors include:

  • The manner and amount each spouse contributed to the marital estate, both in terms of economic contribution, such as salary and wages and noneconomic contribution, such as working as a homemaker and caring the for the needs and education of the children;
  • Any dissipation of the property by each party;
  • The value of the property in question;
  • The marriage’s duration;
  • Each party’s economic circumstances and the relevant details, such as who is maintaining primary custody of the children and whether they will continue to reside in the family home;
  • Whether either party has a prior marriage that impacts the property division in the current marriage;
  • Whether the parties can come to a negotiated prenuptial agreement;
  • The needs of each party relevant to their age, health, employment status, income, skills, employment prospects, liabilities, and the marital estate itself;
  • Parenting time and parenting plan agreements;
  • Whether spousal support will be provided;
  • To what degree each spouse will have the opportunity and capacity to earn additional assets, capital or income; and
  • The tax consequences associated with the property division.

Consult an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Regardless of your situation, your DuPage County divorce and family law attorney can highlight for the court the details of your circumstances in relation to the equitable distribution factors set out by the Illinois law. We will do everything within our power to make sure you receive the share of your marital assets that is fair and just.




Receiving a Portion of a Former Spouse’s Pension Through a QILDRO

QILDRO, Wheaton Family Law AttorneysPensions are big money in the state of Illinois. Virtually every public sector employee contributes to one of the state’s 17 pension funds, and almost all police and fire departments have locally administered pension funds. Illinois courts have long held that, in most cases, a pension is marital property that can be distributed to a former spouse in a divorce. However, merely stating that a former spouse is entitled to half of a pension is legally insufficient. The parties must enter a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO) with the court.

What is a QILDRO?

A QILDRO can be incorporated into a marital settlement agreement, or may exist as a separate document. The QILDRO must contain the caption of the divorce case and the name of the pension systems to which the public sector employee belongs. QILDROs can contain either exact dollar amounts or percentages. If the parties opt to include percentages, a separate QILDRO calculation order must be submitted to the court that determines what share of the pension the former spouse will receive.

The exact amount of pension benefits that a former spouse receives will always vary. The formula mandated by the state of Illinois takes into account the number of months the parties were married, how long the employee was a member of the pension system during the marriage, and the monthly payments that the pensioner will receive. Typically, about 50 percent of the employee’s pension will go to the former spouse if he or she contributed to the fund throughout a marriage, but this is not a hard and fast rule. An attorney experienced in preparing QILDROs will be able to determine the exact amount that the parties will receive.


But the QILDRO calculation order is not the final step in the process. Besides that document, a certified copy of the order will have to be mailed to the pension fund, along with a $50 processing fee. Employees who have contributed to pension funds prior to 1999 will also have to submit QILDRO consent forms for the final orders to be valid.

The pension fund should then keep a record of all of these documents. Nothing will then happen immediately, but when the employee retirees, his or her former spouse should automatically begin receiving the court-ordered portion of the pension. QILDROs can also make provisions for a former spouse to receive a portion of the death benefits included in the pension. The specific terms must be based on the rules of the pension and the unique circumstances of each case.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you are divorcing a state employee with a pension and believe you are entitled to a portion of it, it is important to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss the best how to prepare a QILDRO. Pension law is one more of the complicated areas of practice in Illinois, so it’s important to meet with an attorney well-versed in how it can interact with family law. Contact our caring DuPage County family law attorneys today for a consultation.