Tag Archives: money

Financial Abuse is an Often-Overlooked Type of Domestic Violence

financial abuse, Wheaton family law attorneyWhen we think about domestic violence, what often comes to mind is the physical and emotional abuse that domestic violence victims sadly experience. However, financial abuse is also a type of domestic violence which abusers use to control and overpower their victims. Read on to learn about the warning signs of financial abuse.

When One Spouse is Completely Oblivious to Finances

In many marriages, one spouse is more financially-savvy than the other and therefore does the majority of money management. There is nothing wrong with this scenario. However, sometimes this imbalance of financial responsibility starts to become too extreme. When one spouse is solely in charge of the finances and does not allow the other spouse access to information or funds, he or she could be using money to abuse his or her partner. One major warning sign of financial abuse is when one spouse does not have his or her own debit card, credit card, or checkbook and only pays cash for items. Some abusive partners do not allow their victims access to bank accounts because they do not want them to escape the abusive relationship.

When a Spouse is Forced to Sign Documents

Abusive individuals can also control their victims by having them sign documents which decrease their rights. Some victims of domestic violence have reported being tricked or forced into signing things like business agreements, tax returns, or prenuptial agreements. No one should ever sign a legally-binding document without reading and understanding it entirely. If someone is encouraging their partner to turn a blind eye to the content of a document they must sign, this could be a red flag for financial abuse.

Other signs of financial abuse in a marriage include when one spouse insists that the other spouse relinquish all of his or her paychecks. A spouse who is afraid to spend his or her own money may be a victim of financial abuse. When one spouse is exclusively responsible for paying the bills, managing bank accounts, and making all purchase decisions, it is very easy for the relationship to become abusive. If you are experiencing financial abuse, you should know that there are ways to get help.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are ready to take control back of your life by ending an abusive marriage, the Andrew Cores Law Group is ready to help. Our DuPage County divorce attorneys have the skills and experience to help you end your marriage on your terms. Contact our office today to set up a free initial consultation by calling 630-871-1002.





Avoid These Mistakes During Divorce

mistakes, Wheaton divorce attorneyAlthough we rarely think of it this way, marriage and, consequently, divorce are business decisions as much as they are personal decisions. When a marriage ends, it is not only the spouses who separate but also the lives they have created together. This includes the home which they share together, their property, assets, debts and more. Undoing a marriage through divorce can be a tricky process. If you are planning to divorce, make sure to avoid these classic mistakes.

Overestimating Your Future Income

As the old saying goes, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” When you are deciding how the marriage will end, try to be conservative when picturing your life as a single person. Sometimes people overestimate what they will be able to afford on their own. For example, they may want to stay in the family home for sentimental reasons, but are not ready for the burden of the mortgage payments. If you are the lower-earning spouse, it is possible that you will receive spousal maintenance payments as part of your divorce settlement, but this is far from guaranteed.

Refusing Offers of Help

In many cases, people who get divorced are hesitant to let others know. Even though 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce today, there is still a stigma attached with divorce. If you are planning to divorce, resist the urge to isolate yourself. Friends and family will probably ask how they can help during this difficult time in your life; do not be too proud to take them up on their offer. Something as simple as going to the movies with a friend can do wonders for your emotional state.

Thinking with Emotions

It is completely understandable that you will feel emotions such as anger, resentment, despair, and even vengeance during a divorce– especially if your marriage ended on bad terms. However, acting on these feelings can cause the divorce process to be much longer and more expensive than it needs to be. Some couples argue endlessly about trivial issues during divorce negotiations because they are more interested in hurting each other than making real progress.

Not Hiring a Competent Attorney

If you are getting divorced, do not place your future in the hands of an unqualified family law attorney. The experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys of Andrew Cores Family Law Group are prepared to help you navigate even the most complicated divorce. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 630-871-1002.





Bankruptcy Could Affect Divorce Proceedings

bankruptcy, Wheaton divorce attorneysMany marriages fail due to financial stress. Even if there are other factors involved, if one or both spouses file for bankruptcy, that may complicate any pending divorce proceedings. The biggest impact, in many cases, stems from the fact that filing for bankruptcy in federal court automatically stays or suspends any pending judicial proceedings involving the debtor. This includes a divorce lawsuit that has already been filed in the Illinois courts.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor must turn all of his or her assets over to a court-appointed trustee. The trustee then liquidates the assets, subject to certain exemptions, and uses the proceeds to pay back the creditors as much as possible. Any exempt or remaining assets are then returned to the debtor, who receives a discharge from the bankruptcy court.

But what happens to marital assets that are divided during a divorce? For example, in a recent Illinois bankruptcy case, a Chapter 7 trustee sought to “avoid” or undo a transfer of a husband’s share of his formal marital residence to his wife. The couple owned the house as “marital property,” which under Illinois law meant each spouse “has a species of common ownership” that “vests” once one spouse filed for divorce. Once the court divides the property and distributes it to one spouse, the other spouse’s legal interest is “extinguished.”

Judge Rejects Bankruptcy Trustee’s Efforts to Undo Divorce Settlement

In this case, the wife filed for divorce in October 2012. A few months later, the husband filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. This automatically stayed the divorce case for about two years. Once the bankruptcy court lifted its stay, the divorce court in Illinois proceeded to award sole ownership of the residence to the wife.

The Chapter 7 trustee challenged this order in bankruptcy court. The trustee argued the wife was required to file a formal lien on the property in order to enforce the divorce court’s judgment. The bankruptcy judge–and later a U.S. district court judge–rejected this argument.

As the district judge explained, federal law treats the bankruptcy trustee as the equivalent of a “bona fide purchaser” of real property. This is a formal way of saying that a hypothetical person who wanted to buy the husband’s 50 percent interest in the house has a legal right to notice of the wife’s contingent claim on that interest. The trustee argued the wife never provided that notice by filing a formal lien.

The judge, however, said that was unnecessary. The trustee already had “constructive” notice of the wife’s interest based on the fact the property was previously held as joint tenancy—which is a matter of public record—and the husband and wife had lived there together for many years. A “prudent buyer” would have inquired as to the wife’s ownership interest in the property, regardless of whether she filed a lien.

Are You Facing Bankruptcy and Divorce?

This is the sort of highly technical legal issue that may arise when bankruptcy mixes with divorce. Even under the best of financial circumstances, divorce is usually a messy operation. That is why you need an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at your side. Contact one our three convenient locations to speak with a lawyer today.