susan a. marks

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When a marriage breaks down, one spouse may decide it is better to hide or spend–or even destroy–certain assets rather than risk the other spouse gaining control of the property in a divorce. Such thinking is not only short-sighted and foolish. It can also place the spouse who misused the asset in a weaker legal position before the divorce court. What we are really talking about here is a legal concept known as “dissipation of marital assets.” The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the use of marital property or assets for purposes outside of the marriage when…
An often-overlooked issue in Illinois divorce cases is whether or not a spouse–usually a woman–wants to revert to the use of her maiden or former last name. Many people simply do not think about this until after the divorce is final. Some of you might just assume you can just start using your maiden name … Continue reading “New Illinois Law Simplifies Process for Restoring Maiden Names After Divorce”
Like most other states, Illinois follows the theory of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing marital assets in a divorce. This means the property and any marital debts will be divided in a fair and equitable manner. With a community property state, assets are essentially split 50/50 during a divorce. With equitable distribution, it means that the end result should be fair and equitable for both parties, but it does not mean that each spouse will walk away with 50% of each asset. Perhaps you will get one piece of property while your ex gets the yacht, etc. Determining…
Some people are familiar with the court process and expert witnesses from watching legal procedural shows and movies. An expert witness is usually the “hired gun” who testifies on behalf of one side, blowing a hole in the other side’s case. However, in the real world, an expert’s testimony is not typically so dramatic. This does not mean that it is any less effective, though. Experts are not just used in big criminal and civil cases, they can also play an important role in family law matters, especially divorce cases. What are Expert Witnesses? Someone who is an expert…