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While adultery and betrayal can be central to any divorce, there seems to be no greater betrayal than financial betrayal. Illinois, while being a no-fault state for divorce, does recognize financial betrayal and takes strict accounting of extreme financial malfeasance on the part of either spouse. This accounting of marital moneys spent on girlfriends, boyfriends, drugs, gambling or other non-marital purposes is referred to as a “dissipation of assets.” What Is A Dissipation Of Assets In An Illinois Divorce? “Dissipation is defined as the use of marital property for one spouse’s sole benefit for a purpose unrelated to the marriage…
Tax refunds can be afterthought in an Illinois divorce. Maintenance, child support and the division of assets and debts will dwarf the money the at the U.S. government owes one or both parties to an Illinois divorce. Still, money is money and someone is going to get that last tax refund. So, who gets the tax refund in an Illinois divorce? Filing Jointly During An Illinois Divorce Spouses may file their taxes together and thus receive a joint tax refund. “A husband and wife may make a single return jointly of income taxes under subtitle A, even though one…
Much of the divorce process looks like backroom horse trading…and it kind of is. But, when you can’t agree in those back rooms, you have the right to go to a full hearing in front of a judge. At that point, the bargaining is over and your case is 100% governed by evidence presented as applied to the Illinois law. Presenting evidence is no joke. There is no time to look up how to do present evidence properly. There’s even less time to object to someone presenting evidence you don’t like. And, there’s less than a second to…
Every divorce litigant ends up realizing that a massive amount of their divorce is devoted to discovery. Discovery is the accumulation of relevant information which either gives a party peace of mind or gives a party evidence to use in a trial later. Either way, information must be exchanged to resolve a divorce case. When relevant information for a divorce case goes missing or is destroyed, it is a problem for the divorce case in general and the person responsible for that evidence in particular. What happens when evidence is missing or destroyed in an Illinois divorce case? Purposely missing…
In an Illinois divorce hearing or trial before evidence is put on there will be the opportunity for each side to deliver an opening statement “The opening statement is intended generally to inform the [finder of fact] concerning the nature of the action and the issues involved and to give them an outline of the case so that they can better understand the testimony….Counsel may summarily outline what he expects the evidence admissible at the trial will show but no statement may be made in opening which counsel does not intend to prove or cannot prove.” Gillson v. GM &…
If you cannot agree with your spouse as to the terms of your divorce, you are going to have ask a judge to resolve your disagreements. In Illinois, the finder of fact is a judge NOT a jury. “There shall be no trial by jury” 50 ILCS 5/103 Often, you can present your case to your judge in a more informal pre-trial setting where the judge will make recommendations based on the summary of the facts by the respective sides. If you don’t agree with the judge’s recommendations, you can present your evidence to the judge and request a…
When a parent goes away it’s sad for everyone but when a parent is literally locked up and inaccessible to their children and unable to provide for their children, it’s a tragedy. But, just because someone is in jail and cannot get a job from which their check can be garnished, does not relieve them of the obligation to support their children. How Does Child Support Get Established In Illinois If the parents of the child were married, there will be a child support order if either parent files for divorce or separation. “[T]he court may order either…
In the lead up to a marriage there is much thought given to how to build a life together but very little thought as to how those intertwined lives would be unwound if there was a divorce. People entering into a marriage with significant assets always think about how to unwind the marriage…with all their assets in tact. The wealthy are especially nervous about divorce if they’ve been divorced before. Whether it is to protect assets or to reduce the possible outcomes in a divorce, soon-to-be-married couples enter into prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are contracts entered into by…
There are so many acronyms in Illinois family law: HFS, MSA, OC, QDRO, QILDRO. It’s hard to keep track of terms that are only relevant in an Illinois divorce…while you’re in the middle of an Illinois divorce. What is a QILDRO? “”Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order” or “QILDRO” means an Illinois court order that creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee’s right to receive all or a portion of a member’s accrued benefits in a retirement system, is issued pursuant…the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act…; a QILDRO is intended to be a domestic relations order…
Most of people’s understanding of divorce comes from television and movies…which are made in California. Therefore, we often parrot back Californian law that has little to no impact in states such as Illinois. One Californian legal concept is that the standard of living to which a spouse was accustomed to will determine that spouse’s alimony (called “maintenance” in Illinois). That is not how it works in Illinois.  But, standard of living can still be a considered factor in an Illinois divorce. How Is Maintenance Calculated In Illinois? In Illinois, before any award of maintenance can be made, “[t]he court shall…
Sex outside of a marriage is bad enough but when someone brings something back from extramarital sex, it is really bad. Sadly, a sexually transmitted disease is usually the cherry on top of a horrible divorce sundae. It’s embarrassing at best and life-threatening at worst. What options does a spouse have in an Illinois divorce when they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from their spouse? Grounds For Divorce While contracting a sexually transmitted disease from a spouse seems like the biggest reason to get a divorce, a specific reason for the divorce is not required in order to…
Married couples move apart over time. They often literally move away from each other and one spouse will file for divorce in a state that the other spouse doesn’t live in. This is inconvenient for the out-of-state spouse at best and in direct violation of the out-of-state spouse’s constitutional due process rights at worst. So, what can an out-of-state spouse do when they are served with Illinois divorce papers? How Does An Illinois Court Have Jurisdiction Over An Out-of-state Party In order to file for divorce in Illinois just one of the spouses must live in Illinois. “The court…
Things change when people get divorced. Whether it is the stress of a divorce or a conniving strategy, incomes seems to plummet during the divorce process. In Illinois, income is what determines maintenance (formerly known as alimony) and child support. If your spouse suddenly is making less income, you’re going to pay more maintenance and/or child support or you will receive less maintenance and/or child support. So, what can you do if your spouse’s income has drastically decreased during your Illinois divorce? Income and Maintenance in An Illinois Divorce In an Illinois divorce, maintenance is “calculated by taking 33 1/3%…
There are a lot of assets to account for in an Illinois divorce. 401ks, houses, cars, bank accounts and personal items must all be allocated to each party in a divorce.  It is easy to overlook smaller accounts during the flurry of paperwork that encompasses both discovery and drafting of a Marital Settlement Agreement in an Illinois divorce. One of the smallest accounts you or your spouse may have is a flexible spending account (FSA). Flexible spending accounts, while designed to spend, are still assets that should be divided in an Illinois. What Is A Flexible Spending Account?…
Getting into the United States is relatively easy. Staying in the United States, legally, is the tricky part. Many people who get permission to remain in the United States beyond the terms of their visa do so by adjusting their immigration status through marrying a U.S. Citizen. So, what happens to an immigration status after a divorce? Divorce While Applying for a Green Card Or Permanent Residency When a U.S. Citizen is married to someone without permission to remain in the United States on a permanent basis, the U.S. Citizen can apply for their spouse to get permission to…
A broken marriage can be the final result of a series of financial disasters. When a couple experiences loss of income, additional expenses and debt, that couple will end the year without paying their taxes in full. That leaves the couple with debt to the IRS and the local state government. Finally, the strain of the financial problems causes the couple to divorce. What happens to IRS tax debt in an Illinois divorce? Debt And Divorce In Illinois Illinois divorce courts “shall divide the marital property without regard to marital misconduct in just proportions” 750 ILCS 503(d) “”marital property” means all…