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Lake County and Cook County Divorce Law Blog

Rudy Giuliani's high asset divorce appears contentious

There is no doubt that a divorce has the potential of being contentious. Fortunately, many people in Illinois and across the country are able to settle their differences with only a relatively minor amount of upset. In the case of a high asset divorce, however, there are often additional considerations that could make the process more complicated.

Recent news stories indicate that Rudy Giuliani's divorce from his wife of 15 years is headed toward contention.  At issue, according to reports, is how Giuliani's assets that he acquired since his marriage will be divided. His estranged wife is reportedly asking him to pay for expenses on two different homes, the salary of her personal assistant and bills associated with her mother's stay in an assisted living facility.

The ins and outs of alimony in Illinois

If you are going through a divorce in Illinois, you may wonder what your life may look like at the end of it all. How will you fare financially? Will you have to pay alimony? Will you get to collect spousal support? Alimony could make or break your post-divorce financial situation, so it is certainly something you should be looking into.

Every state has different laws regarding alimony. Not everyone qualifies for this benefit. Couples have the opportunity to figure out an alimony payment on their own, but if they cannot come to terms, the courts will get to make a final ruling on the matter.

Experienced counsel during high asset divorce in Illinois

When a couple in Illinois chooses to walk down the aisle, they likely do so with every intention of spending the rest of their lives together. Over the years that follow, they may have children and become professionally successful, even opening their own business, all while saving for retirement. However, some couples drift apart, leaving them with the prospect of a high asset divorce.

Couples facing asset division in a divorce sometimes quickly realize the complexity of the task facing them. As such, many turn to Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. for guidance. Our attorneys have over 45 years of combined experience helping address the issues associated with asset division as part of a divorce. We are dedicated to our clients, ensuring that they are informed throughout the process.

Discussing property division in a prenuptial agreement

It seems that millennials in Illinois and across the country are trendsetters. A great deal of their behavioral patterns are changing many things, including the way people conduct business. In fact, recent reports indicate that the actions of millennials are also changing certain ideas about marriage. For example, prior to their marriage millennials are much more likely to consider property division issues that might arise in a subsequent divorce by creating a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract created between two people before they marry that allows them to predetermine how certain assets and debts would be divided in the event of a divorce. For all couples, choosing to get married is about love and the desire to spend the rest of their lives with each other. However, some argue that marriage is a contractual agreement, and everyone wants to ensure that their interests are carefully considered and protected when entering into a contract.

Child custody matters: Guiding children through a divorce

The vast majority of people in Illinois would likely agree that divorce is difficult for all parties involved. In fact, some people may choose to delay or avoid a divorce because they are worried about the overall well-being of the children. While a contentious divorce can have a negative impact on children, there are certain child custody and other considerations that could help children with the transition to two homes.

As parents shift from one family home to two, there is some inherent upheaval. While there are often negative feelings associated with the end of a marriage, some reports indicate that parents who can work together to reduce the conflict can make the experience easier for children. Parents who can prioritize their children's well-being over their emotions can be successful in this.

Changes in way alimony is taxed coming in 2019

A new law affecting many couples getting divorced in Illinois and all around the nation will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The law addresses how alimony will be taxed for both the payer and the recipient. The current law has been in place for 75 years, making the upcoming changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rather significant to those involved.

Currently, someone paying alimony is able to deduct the amount from his or her taxable income. Also, those receiving the payments must pay taxes on them at this time. However, this will be reversed for those divorces that become final in 2019 and after. Many matrimonial lawyers believe that this change will make divorce settlements more contentious in the future. A survey conducted by an association of marital law attorneys showed that 95 percent of them predict that the new law will change the divorce settlement process.

When your spouse is hiding assets in divorce, you can fight back

Facing the prospect of divorce can be daunting -- you may have serious concerns over how this process will impact your financial security and your plans for the future. As you move ahead with your Illinois divorce, it can prove beneficial for you to think about what is ahead and how you can protect yourself. This can be particularly important in high-asset divorces.

When there is a lot of money and significant assets on the line, your spouse may be tempted to hide money and bank accounts. Hidden assets can lead to grossly lopsided divorce orders and final resolutions that are not fair to the other side. If you suspect this is happening, there are things you can do to fight back and work for your fair share of all marital assets. 

Shared parenting now viewed as ideal child custody plan

Shared parenting is often promoted today as the ideal living arrangement in divorce cases in Illinois and elsewhere around the country involving children. While it seems to be the favored child custody scenario now, it has not always been viewed as such. A psychologist who has long studied children and divorce has offered insights on how shared parenting is viewed by professionals.

In the past, custody was usually awarded to the mother, with the father seeing the children on weekends and some holidays. Research has shown that the majority of children benefit from spending time with each parent. However, over the past 40 years, arguments against shared parenting have come in cycles.

Some states no longer deciding pet custody in property division

When an Illinois couple or one elsewhere around the nation decides to get a divorce, there are a multitude of decisions that must be made. Typically, many of the decisions deal with property division and determining who gets what after the couple is no longer together. In the past, most courts viewed a couple's pets as property and made their determination as to where a pet would reside with that mindset. However, many states have enacted laws -- or are planning to -- that will consider custody of pets in the same manner as child custody.

Pets are often considered to be members of one's family. Therefore, the shift in how pet custody is determined is a welcome change. Another state has passed a law that will go into effect in 2019 that will make decisions based on the best interest of the pet, not simply seen as property to be divided.

Judge says paying off ex's student debt qualifies as alimony

A tax court judge recently ruled that paying a former spouse's student loan could be claimed as an alimony tax deduction. The decision is considered to be quite profound since the noose has been tightened on alimony deductions as per the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which also affects tax deductions. As it currently stands, alimony payments are deductible for the payor and taxable for the payee, but that will all change this Jan. 1 and will also affect divorcing Illinois couples.

The California case upon which the judge made his decision hinged upon a 2011 divorce decree, which showed that the couple not only agreed to the division of assets but also spoke to debts. The decree stipulated that the husband would pay off his former wife's student loan. The judge ruled that this constituted alimony.