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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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New Lenox divorce attorney for child issues

When you have children, it changes your entire life. You put their wants and needs before your own much of the time, and you always want what is best for them. This is why many couples try to “stay together for the kids” even if they are not happy in their relationship. While this may seem like a good idea, studies have shown that staying in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children actually does more harm than good. Children who grow up in unhappy households tend to have more problems than children whose parents got divorced. While it is true that a divorce can affect the children, there are things you can do to help protect your kids as you and your spouse separate from each other.

Take Your Fighting Elsewhere

Most people do not plan to have an argument, and disagreements or fights often happen in the heat of the moment. With that being said, it is important to avoid fighting in front of your children if you can help it. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to their parents’ constant fighting tend to have more behavioral and/or emotional issues. If you and your spouse have an issue you need to resolve, make sure you do it out of earshot of the children.

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 New Lenox divorce lawyer for hidden assetsNo matter the reason you and your spouse are getting divorced, there is probably some sort of tension between the two of you, even if it is just a small amount. In divorces involving couples who have a lack of trust, it is not uncommon for the property division process to be long and contentious. When you begin the process of allocating your assets, you and your spouse will have to provide information about all of your assets and debts. Full disclosure is required, though it is not always given. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, you should begin the process of uncovering those assets right away. Here are a few ways you can look for hidden assets if you suspect your spouse is not being truthful:

Start With Tax Returns

The first place you should begin to look for hidden assets is in your spouse’s tax returns. Get copies of his or her tax returns from at least the last five years and examine them closely. Look at the sources of income that are listed, itemized deductions that were taken, capital gains and losses, and profits and losses from any businesses.

Check Bank Account Statements

Next, begin to examine your bank account statements from any financial institutions that you bank with. Look at both checking and savings accounts. You should be looking for any unusual deposits or withdrawals. Also, look for any canceled checks and who they are made payable to. You may be able to reveal the purchase of an investment or other property.

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Mokena divorce QDRO lawyer

Property division can be one of the most contentious portions of your divorce. Even after just a few years of marriage, you and your spouse have probably commingled some of your separate property and acquired quite a bit of marital property. In Illinois, marital property is defined as any assets or debts that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. All marital property must be divided before you can finalize your divorce -- including your retirement accounts. These can have both marital and non-marital characteristics, which is why they can be so difficult to deal with. Certain types of retirement accounts require certain procedures in order to divide them in accordance with the law. A knowledgeable asset division attorney can help you determine what kind of steps you must take to divide this valuable marital property.

Is Your Retirement Account Marital or Nonmarital Property?

As a general rule of thumb, any retirement accounts that either spouse acquired or participated in during their marriage are presumed to be marital property. These may include pension benefits, defined contribution plans and accounts, individual retirement accounts, and non-qualified plans. If you believe that your retirement account or pension should not be considered marital property, you must prove to the court that your retirement benefits were acquired through a method that would deem them to be nonmarital property, such as through gift or legacy. In addition, your retirement benefits could be specifically excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

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Elmhurst, IL property division lawyerFor many people, getting a divorce is the hardest and most stressful thing they will do in their life. Divorce involves legally separating yourself from the person you have been with for years. Not only do you have to deal with the legality of a divorce, but you also have to deal with the emotional ramifications. When it comes to property division during a divorce, both the legal and emotional aspects are involved. Much of the property that is divided in a divorce has both sentimental and monetary value, which is why property division can be so contentious. If you are getting a divorce, it is important that you understand Illinois law affects the way property is divided.

Marital or Non-Marital Property?

Before any property division can occur, you must first know what property is actually subject to being divided. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division, whereas non-marital property is not. Marital property includes any and all property or debts that were acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they separated. A few exceptions to this rule exist, and depending on the circumstances, some assets may be considered to be non-marital property. Examples of non-marital property include:

  • Anything acquired by gift, legacy, or descent, as well as property that was acquired in exchange for this type of property;
  • Anything that was acquired in exchange for property that was acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Property acquired by either spouse after they were legally separated; and
  • Property that is specifically excluded from the marital estate, as stated by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Factors Used for Consideration

It is always better to come to an agreement about property division with your spouse rather than relying on someone else to do it. In some cases, settling this issue fairly without legal intervention is impossible. If a judge has to make decisions on how the marital property will be divided, he or she will look at a variety of factors, including:

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Will County divorce lawyer

Making the decision to get a divorce is rarely easy. Marriages do not just break down overnight. They typically deteriorate over years or even decades. By the time you are at the point of wanting to end your marriage, you want the divorce process to go as quickly as possible. Fortunately, the state of Illinois has created a streamlined way of getting a divorce, though only some couples qualify. This type of divorce process is called a joint simplified dissolution and it can be greatly beneficial for couples who utilize it.

Qualifying Criteria

Before you file for a joint simplified dissolution, you must make sure you meet the criteria set forth in section 452 of Part IV-A of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. You must prove that all of the following conditions exist before you can file for a joint simplified dissolution:

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