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Lake County and Cook County Divorce Law Blog

How can I uncover an offshore account in a divorce?

When you are involved in a high asset divorce in Illinois, there is always a concern about your spouse possibly hiding assets. This can be done in a variety of ways, but a common approach is to put money in an offshore account. You have to uncover the money if you wish for it to be considered by the court when your assets are divided, so you can get what is owed to you under the law.

According to Forbes, setting up an offshore account usually involves getting a second passport and visiting the country to open the account. If your spouse gets a second passport, it will be done secretly so he or she can visit the country with the country while remaining undetected. Other aspects of maintaining this account are also done secretly and through means that can be difficult to trace.

Custody regulations for moving to a different location

After a divorce in Illinois, one parent is typically granted physical custody of any children. This parent is who the children live with the majority of the time and who has general decision-making responsibly over the children on a day-to-day basis. If the parent decides to move and relocate the children, certain steps may need to be followed.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, a parent who wishes to relocate with the children must give notice at least 60 days in advance. The notice must be signed by the other parent and submitted to the court. Not providing this notice can be cause for the court to intervene. The other parent may object to the move, which would also trigger a court intervention.

Child support modification process

Illinois child support orders are not set in stone. According to the Department of Health and Family Services, substantial changes in circumstances can because for a child support modification request. In addition, every case can be modified every three years. Support may be increased, reduced or, in some cases, ended. First, a case must be reviewed, which involves checking into financial information and other related facts, such as employment.

According to Illinois Legal Aid, changes in a child support order can only be made by going to court. It takes a judge to rule on any changes for them to be enforced. In addition, if it is not time within the three-year window for a modification, there must be substantial changes in order to get the case before a court. Changes that would fall under this definition include the loss of a job, paternity being called into question, an increase or decrease in income and changes in the needs of the child.

Classifying property in an Illinois divorce

If you are getting a divorce in Illinois, then it is a good idea to become familiar with the state’s property division laws. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD, we understand that it can be difficult to understand the difference between marital and non-marital property. However, understanding how the laws defines each type of property is essential when navigating your divorce.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, the court considers many factors when dividing property. It will divide property on the basis of fairness, which is determined by looking at things such as your economic situation, if you have obligations to a prior marriage, contributions you made towards the property, the involvement of children and how long you were married.

Uncovering hidden assets takes a little detective work

Would you know if your spouse was hiding assets from you? If you have not taken a lot of interest in your marital finances, it is very possible that he or she has accounts or property of which you may not be aware. If you are going through the divorce process, you may be getting the short end of the stick -- so to speak -- in your final settlement unless you are able to uncover these hidden assets.

In Illinois and elsewhere, it is illegal to hide or withhold property or earnings during a divorce. Unless property is separate or protected in a prenuptial agreement, all marital assets must be accounted for and available for division.

Taxes and alimony

Every year, you have to file your taxes, and if you pay or receive alimony in Illinois, you may be wondering how you report it to the IRS. The short answer is that you must report it, but the IRS may define alimony a bit differently than you or the courts. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., we understand that this can be a little difficult to understand. However, it is essential to make sure you are clear on how to report alimony on your taxes.

To begin with, the IRS defines alimony as money received as part of a divorce. This is a fairly broad definition that may include money you would not otherwise think of as alimony. Thankfully, there are specific requirements that qualify something as alimony. There should be no liability to pay further if the recipient passes away. It should not be child support or a payment made in cash. In addition, you cannot file a joint return or live with each other when the payment is made. Finally, the payment should not be specified as non-alimony in your divorce papers but must be made under an order from a divorce document.

The concept of parenting time in Illinois child custody

If you have children and are getting a divorce in Illinois, you will hear the term “parenting time.” This is a newer term being used instead of visitation. We at Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD, are familiar with parenting time and how it applies to divorce cases. It is important that you, too, become familiar with this term and what it means.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, parenting time is only used to refer to visitation times. It is the time when a parent has the children but only has non-significant decision-making power over them. This means you have the right to make decisions regarding the child about his or her safety and health, along with routine decisions, such as what he or she will eat. It is not the same as having legal custody of a child. For example, you are a father who gets to see his children every other weekend, but the children live with their mother. These weekends would be classified as parenting time.

Back child support and the Passport Denial Program

Those who are unable to pay child support may face various consequences, some of which can completely upend life. In Wheeling, and cities throughout Illinois, back child support can result in steep financial penalties and arrest. Moreover, unpaid child support could leave a non-custodial parent unable to use his or her passport if they wish to leave the country. For those who are passionate about travel or need to head overseas for business, this is often devastating.

According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, non-custodial parents who have back child support in excess of $2,500 are entered into the Passport Denial Program, which bars them from using their passports or having their passport applications approved. Moreover, it is vital for parents who have found themselves in this position to understand that it may take a certain amount of time for them to have these restrictions removed, even after they have paid the child support they owe.

Legal services you may need in a high asset divorce

If you are considering a divorce in Illinois but have accounts, real estate, antiques or other personal possessions that are highly valuable or complex, then you will likely be facing a high asset divorce. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd., we have experience with situations like this where there may be some special circumstances not found in other divorces. Depending on your finances and investments, there may be high asset divorce legal services that you will need.

If you have concerns about your spouse trying to hide assets, then you may need help searching for them. A financial investigation can be done to uncover any assets that would need to be divided under the law. Assistance can also be given to help you with dividing retirement accounts and evaluating and dividing stock options. These can both be tricky due to taxes and other regulations. With retirement accounts, you may need a qualified domestic relations order. When it comes to stock options, the tax obligations and responsibilities need to be spelled out.

Will divorce mediation make my marital split easier?

When you imagine going through a divorce, images of repeated battles over the house and the money may understandably play on the screen in your mind. The reality is that some family law disputes may simply be impossible for you and your spouse to resolve on your own, namely the distribution of assets, child custody or the division of property. When dealing with these types of matters in a contested divorce, divorce mediation can be a helpful solution in Illinois.