Tag Archives: property division

What if My Spouse Is Hiding Assets During Our Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County divorce lawyer for hidden assetsWhen a couple reaches the point where their marriage is irretrievably broken, they will likely seek a divorce. The process of legally ending a marriage can be complicated, especially if there are a lot of issues to resolve. If spouses are argumentative or bitter, this may only further complicate matters. Part of the divorce proceedings involve dividing any marital property or assets. In some situations, one of the spouses may try to hide monetary funds or other valuable possessions. A study by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 31 percent of spouses with combined assets report they were deceptive about money, and 58 percent of those people admitted to hiding money from their partner or spouse. In divorce cases involving hidden assets, it is imperative to hire professional legal assistance to uncover such deception.

Division of Marital Assets

In the state of Illinois, marital property and assets are divided using the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means they will be split fairly, but not necessarily completely 50/50. Any assets that were acquired during the matrimonial union may be subject to division. Anything that one of the spouses owned prior to the marriage does not have to be split, unless the other spouse contributed to its value in some way. For example, if one party owned a business before getting married, but his or her spouse helped run it during the marriage, that spouse may be able to receive reimbursement for his or her contributions to any increase in the value of the business.

Separate property is considered anything acquired by a spouse before the marriage. However, a gift or inheritance received during the marriage can also be classified as the personal property of one spouse. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement may also be used to classify certain assets as separate property. At the time of divorce, any property that is labeled as separate property belongs to the spouse who acquired it.

Types of Assets That Are Often Hidden

Asset division can be a complex process, since it often includes many different types of property, including physical items, financial accounts, and debts. There are some types of property that may be easily hidden. Certain assets may go undetected, especially if only one spouse’s name is on an account, retirement plan, or subscription. Some assets may “fly under the radar;” that is, one spouse may not even be aware of their existence or value. The following are examples of these types of assets:

  • Timeshare properties

  • Frequent-flyer miles

  • Stocks or bonds

  • Health club or country club memberships

  • Income tax refunds

  • Retirement benefits

  • Life insurance policies

  • Season tickets (entertainment, sports)

  • Antiques and collectibles

  • Cash

Hidden assets can involve illegal activities such as fraud, as well as legitimate loopholes.  However, manipulating valid processes and procedures for the purpose of defrauding the court or the other spouse is illegal.

The discovery of hidden assets in a divorce case can change the outcome of the property distribution. In addition to the loss of ownership of assets that were hidden, the guilty party could face a permanent criminal record. Violations can result in criminal charges of fraud, contempt of court, and perjury.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

A divorce can be one of the most difficult transitions you will go through in your life, and you deserve your fair share of the property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. If your spouse is hiding assets from you in order to come out ahead, you should take legal action to ensure that all of your marital assets are divided correctly. At the Andrew Cores Law Group, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of Illinois divorce law, including how to uncover hidden assets. Our Wheaton property division lawyers can help you understand all of your options to make sure you receive a fair settlement. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

 

How Is a Professional Practice Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for professional practice division

When going through a divorce, a couple will need to divide up their property. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), marital property is divided using “equitable distribution.” This means any property or assets acquired during the marriage must be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. If one spouse is a doctor, dentist, lawyer, psychologist, accountant, or any professional who owns his or her own practice or business, this can complicate matters. Like any piece of the marital estate, several factors will be considered to determine how to divide a professional practice or business during the divorce proceedings. It is important to seek legal counsel so you know your rights when it comes to splitting this valuable asset.

Factors the Court Will Consider

A professional practice or business is subject to division in a divorce unless there is a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specifies how ownership of this asset will be handled. In many cases, the court will consider which spouse has contributed the most to the practice and allow that spouse to keep ownership of the practice, while the other spouse will receive marital assets that are of a similar value.

If one spouse opened his or her practice or business during the marriage, it is classified as marital property. On the other hand, if it was started prior to the union, it may still be considered part of the marital estate if the other spouse made significant contributions to establish the practice or keep it running. These contributions may include using marital money to finance the business or working at the practice as an employee.

When allocating assets, the court will also consider whether one partner helped pay for the other partner’s education for a degree or professional license. In some cases, the supporting spouse may be compensated for their contributions that may have led to an increase in value for the practice. This compensation may come in the form of a higher share of the practice’s profits or value. However, the judge may choose to give that spouse a greater share of other assets instead. Other factors the court will take into account include:

  • The fair market value of the practice/business

  • How much the practice/business is expected to appreciate or depreciate

  • Any tax consequences/obligations

  • The value of the real estate on which the practice/business resides

  • The value of any equipment used by the practice (if applicable)

Typically, a law firm will work with business appraisers in addition to financial planners/professionals to determine the true value of a practice or business and the ideal methods for dividing these types of assets.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer

A person works hard to earn his or her professional degree or license. In the event of a divorce, dividing a professional practice or business can be a complex matter. Whether or not you own the practice, it is imperative to understand your rights during the division of property. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group has handled high-asset and complex divorces, and our attorneys understand the importance of equitable distribution. Our skilled DuPage County property division attorneys can assist you in protecting your share of the marital estate. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

 

What Happens to Pets in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton divorce attorney for pet custodyFor couples who have decided to get a divorce, one issue that may catch them unprepared is how to deal with the family pet, if they have one. In some cases, a pet may be beloved by both spouses, and neither one can imagine life without it. The law, of course, provides guidelines on how to deal with issues involving children of divorcing parents, and decisions about the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time are made based on what is in children’s best interests. However, pets are often a different story.

Changes to the Laws on Pet Ownership After Divorce

While divorce has been around for a long time, new and increasingly complex issues often arise in divorce cases. As a result, legislatures must pass new laws to address or respond to these new issues. Illinois is no exception, and one area the legislature has recently addressed is pet ownership after divorce.

In the past, pets were treated as property, and therefore, their ownership was determined in the same manner as all other marital property. However, there is no rational way to split ownership of a pet based on a percentage, neither is it humane to treat a pet the same as a piece of furniture. When factoring in the emotional nature of decisions related to family pets, the need for the legislature to act on these matters becomes evident.

What Judges May Consider When Deciding Pet Ownership

According to the updated law, judges in Illinois divorce cases are now required to consider the well-being of the pet when deciding ownership. However, pets are still legally considered to be property, so the laws regarding the division of marital property will still apply in determining who gets the pet. What the law now brings into the equation is deciding which of the two spouses will give the pet better care—something that was not a factor before.

How About Joint Custody of Pets?

Joint “custody” of a pet is possible under the new Illinois law. If a couple demonstrates that they are both capable of taking care of the pet, and if they can afford to and wish to continue to share the pet, then a judge may decide that joint ownership of the pet is the best option. In these cases, the couple may create a schedule of when the pet will stay in each home, and they may wish to specify how they will divide costs related to the pet, such as vet bills.

Contact a Wheaton Marital Property Division Lawyer

If you have a pet and are determined to keep it after divorcing in Illinois, we are here to give you guidance on how to resolve this and other disputes. Find out how a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney can help you achieve your objectives during your divorce by calling our office today at 630-871-1002 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K502.htm