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Lake County and Cook County Divorce Law Blog

Protecting assets in a high asset divorce

Ending a marriage in which numerous assets are involved can be more complicated than the average divorce. Though high asset divorce can take more time and effort to complete, it does not have to seem impossible. Of course, most Illinois residents facing this type of case are likely worried about what will happen to their assets.

If parties want to protect their assets as much as possible during their divorce cases, they may want to start by inventorying all the assets and knowing what belongs to each person. Though much of the assets may be considered marital property, each spouse may also have separate property that will not be divided during the legal proceedings. However, it may be necessary to have evidence that certain assets are actually separate property; otherwise, the other party could make a claim to it.

Mediation allows flexibility during property division in Illinois

Many people in Illinois have the misconception that divorce is always bitter and filled with contentious court battles. They may worry that they will have little control in the property division process if a judge -- who knows little about them personally -- makes the decisions. Fortunately, there are methods of alternative dispute resolution that will allow them more flexibility in the decisions made as they seek to separate their lives.

Cases that involve litigation are often lengthy and expensive. Fortunately, options such as mediation allows couples to resolve their issues amicably, in less time and at less cost. They are free to make decisions regarding child support, custody and personal property division that best meet their needs.

Child custody: Visitation in Illinois

When a couple chooses to end their marriage, they are often left with a variety of issues to sort through. If there are children involved, one of the biggest issues they face is determining child custody and visitation. Unfortunately, many people in Illinois may not fully understand the options available to them.

In some cases, a judge will determine that reasonable visitation is appropriate, meaning that the parents are allowed to create a parental visitation plan. This arrangement is preferable to some because it allows both parents flexibility to arrange visitations around their schedules. Often, the custodial parent will have more influence of visitation in this arrangement. While it does have its benefits, it requires parents who are able to openly communicate with one another.

Seeking insight on what to expect after a divorce is finalized

Going through the end of a marriage can be a stressful experience, and the outcome of the situation could have a significant impact on your life. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can remain amicable during your divorce, with a variety of aspects to address, the process can still be intimidating.

Although developing a strategy to protect your future during negotiations can be vital, it may do little to help prepare you for what happens after you finalize the process. Understanding the changes you may encounter and the challenges that might arise could be essential in preparing to open a new chapter in life.

Is a pension plan subject to property division in Illinois?

Many couples in Illinois start planning their retirement early on in their marriage. As such, retirement plans and other related assets may be the most significant ones that couples must divide as they go through the property division process of a divorce. Because pensions and other retirement plans acquired during marriage are typically considered marital property, they are likely subject to equitable distribution.

To divide a pension, there must first be a determination of its value, which is often more difficult to find than a 401(k). However, a value can be determined based on the estimated future monthly payment. Often, it is necessary to seek assistance from a pension appraisal expert or a financial professional.

Child support considerations in Illinois

The end of a marriage is often a difficult process. Couples must make a variety of important decisions regarding how to divide their assets, among other issues. If there are children involved, there are even more considerations that must be made. In addition to child custody, perhaps one of the most important decisions regarding minor children involves child support.

Children in Illinois and across the country have the legal right to be supported financially by both of their parents. When parents are no longer in a relationship, often a judge will step in and make a determination regarding the appropriate amount of support a noncustodial parent will provide to the custodial parent for the care of their children. While all cases are unique, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has worksheets to help determine how much support is appropriate.

Uncontested versus contested divorce in Illinois

For most people in Illinois, the decision to end their marriage is likely the most important one that they will make in their lives. Once that decision is made, a variety of others must follow -- decisions that could ultimately impact their overall quality of life based on their ability to support themselves. As such, many people choose the experienced law firm of Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. to guide them through the divorce process.

While there are certain factors that could make proceedings more complex, such as military services or significant assets, Illinois has two basic types of divorces. In an uncontested divorce, couples are ultimately able to come to an agreement regarding all aspects of their divorce, including decisions regarding child custody and asset division. Once the agreement is completed, the court will approve it. Only one lawyer is necessary to ensure that the process is correctly followed.

Can I get retirement benefits in a military divorce?

Military members and their loved ones deal with many different challenges. Frequent moves are rarely easy, and time spent apart during deployments can make it hard to maintain closeness in a marriage. Whether this was your experience, or you dealt with other issues, filing for divorce was the best choice you could make in your situation. However, you may have questions about how certain things work during a military divorce.

Just like when civilians get divorced, you will still deal with things like spousal and child support, child custody and property division. But since your ex will receive retirement pay after he or she leaves the military, you will have a little more to think about. Dealing with military retirement benefits is different than dividing money tucked away in retirement accounts.

The facts about alimony in Illinois

When people in Illinois plan for the future, they often base their plans on their current situation. For example, a parent may choose to stay home with children, rather than furthering his or her career, based on the fact that he or she is currently financially secure as a result of income from a spouse. However, a divorce often requires a reshuffling of financial plans. For many, alimony may need to be paid to help during the transition. 

In Illinois, judges have a great deal of discretion when it comes to ordering that alimony should be paid. The same can be said for the duration of such payments. There are a variety of different factors that the court will consider when making such a determination.

Divorce proceedings could affect sale of business

Some people in Illinois put a great deal of time and effort into creating a business that will be successful. However, all of that effort could be put into jeopardy should the marriage end in a divorce without certain protections in place for the business. In fact, some claim that the sale of a business in another state, and subsequent court filings in response, are the result of the business owner's divorce proceedings.

The business that is at the center of the dispute is Suitable Technologies, a company owned by a man going through divorce. Another company, Blue Ocean Robotics, announced in August that it would be buying Suitable Technologies. However, the owner's estranged wife has recently filed papers asking for an injunction of the sale. 

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