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naperville divorce lawyer Divorce can be demanding and taxing, especially when there is suspicion of hidden assets. The main reason someone would consider hiding their assets and finances during a divorce would be to minimize any financial losses that a spouse may suffer due to the split. 

Having a divorce attorney by your side can help you uncover important documents and financial records so your divorce settlement is based on accurate financial information. While a spouse may be able to ask for these things alone, there is no guarantee that they will be given truthfully. An attorney can request these documents using discovery tools such as subpoenas and requests for production. If the spouse does not comply or hides anything, they can risk serious consequences. 

Common Ways Spouses Hide Assets

It is not always easy to spot when a spouse may be hiding assets. The following may be signs that a spouse is hiding assets or lying about income during divorce: 

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will county divorce lawyerIllinois is an “equitable division” state, meaning that marital property and debts divided by the court do not need to be divided equally, but rather the law requires that it be divided equitably. Property division may be negotiated and agreed upon by the spouses or decided in court. While the division of assets does not need to be equal, it should be fair, regardless of marital factors such as who was the household provider or who purchased what. 

Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property 

When evaluating assets, divorcing spouses may be able to divide their assets into two categories: material property and non-marital property. Assets that are considered marital property are all things that were acquired during the marriage and before the couple was legally separated. Assets considered non-marital property are all things acquired before the couple was legally married. Assets appointed through inheritance or gifted during a marriage can also be considered non-marital property. 

Dividing Different Types of Property

Deciding on the division of properties is going to lead to difficult conversations. When deciding what is fair for both parties, it is important to go into these conversations with a level head and willingness to negotiate. Knowing the different types of property that will be discussed will make these conversations easier to settle. 

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will county divorce lawyer Divorce is different for every couple. An uncontested divorce involves both parties agreeing on divorce issues like property division and child custody. However, the many divorces are not this simple. Contested divorces are more difficult. The spouses do not agree on how to resolve divorce issues and the divorce may including complications such as custody disputes, high-value assets, and business ownership. In general, here are some concerns to look for that make your divorce far more complex.

Complex Factors To Look Out For

  • Child-Related Issues - If you have children, this will complicate the divorce. The focus will revolve around who will be the sole caretaker for the child, parenting time rights, and who will pay child support. Child support payments may lead to questions about who will pay for the expenses of the child, such as potential medical bills or college tuition. The best case scenario to make these decisions less complex will be for the couple to create a parenting plan. This will help the couple decide what is not only in the best interest of the child but for both of the parents as well. Of course, even with a parenting plan, the ultimate decision will be approved by a judge whose main interest is in the child’s well-being. 

  • Valuable Assets - A high-asset divorce is any divorce with expensive assets or substantial wealth. In these cases, dividing these assets can prolong the divorce and make the process more complex. These types of assets may include big-ticket items such as expensive homes and retirement accounts. In a divorce dealing with these types of assets, a forensic accountant may be required to ensure that all assets are accounted for and valued properly. 

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How Long Will An Illinois Divorce Take? 

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyer Divorce can be a difficult subject to tackle. Whether there are children involved, or simply shared finances, there are many obstacles that must be worked through. In the state of Illinois, there is no mandatory waiting period for divorce. As long as the petitioner has been a resident of Illinois for at least a minimum of 90 days, then it should be relatively simple to file for divorce. Illinois recognizes the grounds for divorce as no-fault, this means that a marriage has reached an irretrievable end. However, many things may lead to delays when finalizing a divorce. Whether it be the separation of finances, child-related factors, or your spouse prolonging the separation for their reasons. It is important to be patient and allow an experienced divorce attorney to help navigate you through this complex process. 

Types Of Divorce and How Long They Can Take

There are many variations of divorce. The best way to know how long your divorce may take is to determine what type of divorce you are going through. Doing this will help you approximate how long your divorce will take and the different factors it will entail.

  • Contested Divorce - A contested divorce occurs when the spouses disagree about property division, child custody, spousal maintenance, or other divorce issues. This divorce can take up to six months to a year or potentially longer. 

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naperville divorce lawyerFormal court proceedings are not always the desired way to resolve a divorce case, but the good news for people wanting to keep cases out of court is that alternative dispute resolution (also known as ADR) may offer a solution. The general idea of ADR is to allow people a more cost-effective and less confrontational manner of resolving their divorce disputes.

Four forms of ADR are available in Illinois, although two are more common than the other two. Legal representation may be required for certain forms of ADR, but you should always be sure to consult with a skilled Naperville divorce lawyer before you agree to enter any form of ADR.

Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law, and Pre-Trial Settlement

The main types of alternative dispute resolution available in Illinois divorces are mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and a pre-trial settlement conference. 

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will county divorce lawyerIn the olden days, people who were filing for divorce could blame their spouse for the breakdown of the marriage, possibly filing for divorce under such grounds as infidelity, cruelty, or other acts. As of 2016, however, Illinois is now entirely a no-fault divorce state under Public Act 099-0090.

Under Illinois law now, people can only base their decision to divorce on “irreconcilable differences,” which is another way of saying that spouses can no longer get along despite repeated efforts to try and work things out. Under 750 ILCS 5/401(a-5), there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met when the parties live separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than six months immediately preceding the entry of the judgment dissolving the marriage.

Proving Irreconcilable Differences

Spouses living apart for six months proves that there are irreconcilable differences. The truth, however, is that spouses do not actually need to be literally living in separate homes to satisfy the requirement. Spouses may have to remain living together because of certain financial considerations or other factors, but may live in separate rooms and lead separate lives. 

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Dividing Retirement Accounts in Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Napervile divorce lawyer Retirement accounts and pensions can be major issues in many divorces because they can be the most valuable assets a married couple owns. 

The parts of retirement accounts that are classified as marital property will need to be addressed during divorce, and one spouse paying into a retirement account or pension during the marriage usually makes the retirement account or pension partially marital property. Retirement accounts can be complex assets to divide, so it is important to work with a skilled divorce attorney.

Retirement Plans and Your Ilinois Divorce

Retirement accounts include a wide variety of possible plans, including:

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dupage county divorce lawyerAs many of us prepare to enter 2023 with big plans for a new year and resolutions to do things differently, the one thing that can be common in many homes this time of year is a spouse seeking a divorce. January is sometimes called “divorce month” because the rate of divorce increases significantly at the start of a new year.

MarketWatch has reported that January sees lawyers getting a 25 to 30 percent increase in clientele. While many attorneys claim there is an inevitable increase in divorce applications after the holidays, the New York Times reported that the two most common months for spouses to split were actually March and August.

Divorces Are Commonly Initiated in January 

The reasons for divorce vary, but for many, the start of the new year offers a chance for a fresh start. People who have been stuck in difficult marriages for the past year or longer often want to seek something different.

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Making Sense of Divorce Statistics

Posted on in Divorce

will county divorce lawyerThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of divorces in the United States has actually declined over the past two decades, going from 944,000 divorces and annulments a yearto 630,505 a year. U.S. News and World Report further reported that Illinois had the fifth-lowest divorce rate in the country at 6.2 percent.

While many people are now of the belief that most marriages will begin with a 50 percent chance of divorce, many experts believe the divorce rate is lower than this. Unfortunately, there are still a multitude of reasons that a marriage can end these days. If you are planning to divorce, make sure to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you throughout the process. 

Common Issues in an Illinois Divorce Case 

While divorce might be becoming less common than it was 20 years ago, many people still deal with divorce issues like property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance every year. While the overall divorce rate has decreased, the over-50 population has seen a dramatic increase in divorce cases. Older people are divorcing at a much higher rate than the younger crowd. With age often comes increased financial resources, including complex assets like investments and real estate. Dividing property in a “gray divorce” often presents a unique challenge. 

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will county divorce lawyerMany people who have friends in other states who have gone through a divorce can are surprised to learn that property division during divorce varies from state to state. Community property laws dictate a 50-50 split of all marital property. Illinois is among the majority of states using equitable division laws as opposed to community property laws. Equitable distribution involves a fair but not necessarily equal distribution of marital assets.

Illinois law can be rather complex when it comes to determining the distribution of marital property, and a number of factors can influence court decisions in these cases. The value of property, the spouses’ earning capacity, and each party’s contribution to the marital estate can all be factors that dictate how property will be distributed.

How Equitable Distribution Applies to Your Divorce

Courts only utilize equitable distribution when divorcing spouses cannot negotiate an agreement regarding their marital property settlement. Equitable distribution will only apply to marital property, or the property that was acquired during the marriage. It does not include property obtained during the marriage by gift or inheritance, which is considered separate property.

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Gray Divorces Are Only Getting More Common

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerEarlier this year, the American Bar Association (ABA) said that while the overall divorce rate in the United States was on the decline, the one group seeing an increase was the so-called “gray-haired” demographic. People 50 years of age or older account for 25 percent of all divorces, and 1 in 10 individuals getting divorced are 65 years of age or older. Anybody who is going through a gray divorce in the greater Naperville area will want to be sure they are working with an experienced divorce attorney for people in retirement or near retirement.

There are certainly advantages to getting a divorce when you are older, as there is less likelihood for adverse effects on children who are presumably grown up and out of the house by this point. There can still be a number of complicated issues for people to deal with in these cases, however.

Making Gray Divorces Work

Getting divorced at an older age involves many uniquely complex issues. A few of the most challenging issues that can arise in gray divorces include:

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How Modifications Work in Divorce Cases

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced, they either negotiate a settlement regarding property division, child custody, and other divorce matters, or a decision is handed down by the court. However, It is not uncommon for circumstances to change among divorced individuals, and certain changes can create a need for people to modify or enforce their divorce agreements

Common Kinds of Divorce Modifications

Certain kinds of divorce issues are more common for modifications, while many others will be viewed as being somewhat settled law. Martial property division matters, for example, are usually not going to be something a court revisits.

Some of the areas that may be more likely to see modifications include, but are not limited to:

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naperville divorce lawyerInfidelity is one of the top reasons for a divorce. The trust and commitment that the married couple had agreed upon have broken down and been betrayed. Though the unfaithful act may cause a marriage to break down, it is often unclear exactly how it affects the divorce. 

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

As of 2016, the state of Illinois recognized irreconcilable differences as the sole grounds for a divorce. Because of this, one spouse cannot blame the other’s actions as the primary reason for the divorce. This is beneficial for the spouse that is petitioning for the dissolution of the marriage in that they are not required to prove that the other spouse is at fault. They must only prove that the couple’s differences are too great for the marriage to continue. 

However, this means that despite the infidelity, the spouse’s actions will not be held against them in accordance with the outcome of the divorce. As far as property division is concerned, they are determined through other factors including:

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How Long Will My Illinois Divorce Take?

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerIt is no secret that a divorce can be a lengthy process. If the relationship between the couple has become increasingly hostile, it can be exceptionally difficult. Conversely, if the couple wishes to end the marriage but seeks an uncontested divorce, then their compromises and agreements on many issues can expedite the process quite a bit. Depending on a multitude of issues, you can expect a divorce to take anywhere from several months to several years. The key factor is how much conflict lies between you and your spouse.

What Factors Influence the Duration of a Divorce?

A divorce is one of those unfortunate events in one’s life that most typically want to end as quickly as possible. There are certain criteria and steps that can be taken to help get you through it faster.

Children complicate the process exponentially. The courts are seeking the fairest outcome for all parties involved, especially if there are any children. Determining what is best for the children will take additional time. Parenting plans and custody will have to be established. The living situations of the spouses will certainly change and most likely impact the children’s life drastically.

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naperville child support lawyerDivorce is already a complicated process, but when there are dependents involved, it further complicates matters. Children are the typical dependents involved in a divorce, and most financial support will end when the child reaches eighteen years of age or graduates from high school. There are other instances, however, in which additional support may be required for a dependent who is no longer a minor. 

Just because your child reaches the age of eighteen does not mean they no longer need support. A divorce disrupts many things, but the parents and the courts can work together to find what will be best for a dependent’s future.

What Instances Would Require Non-Minor Child Support?

The state of Illinois can require support for someone over the age of eighteen in a few specific circumstances. While many factors go into the decision of the court to instate support for a non-minor, the two main reasons are education and the health of the child.

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naperville divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, the couple is encouraged to agree on how to divide their property and settle outstanding issues. This can be a simple task for some amicable couples, but it can become a struggle for others. If agreements can be reached outside of court, it will speed up the proceedings. When the spouses cannot reach an agreement on several issues, introducing a mediator may be highly beneficial. 

Mediation is common in many divorces and is a fair way to ensure that both parties have an opportunity to voice their opinions. In many cases, mediation helps spouses mutually agree on how to dissolve the marriage. With a third party facilitating the conversation, many outstanding disagreements may be solved outside of a courtroom.

What Role Does the Mediator Play?

A mediator is a third party who will help the couple divide property and resolve outstanding issues within the marriage including:

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How Do I Begin my DuPage County Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerInitiating the process of beginning a divorce can seem like an impossible task. Not only does a divorce take an immense emotional toll on everyone involved, but it can also be overwhelming to navigate through all of the legal proceedings and logistics of the process. As is the case with many things in life, starting can be the hardest part. Fortunately, the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. has years of experience to help you take that first step so you may begin your new life.

Determining your Situation 

There are many considerations at the beginning of the divorce process, but to determine how to begin, you must first assess the marriage itself. 

How to approach the dissolution of the marriage will depend on many factor. Ask yourself:

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naperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple initially gets married, divorce is hopefully far from their minds. However, in the event the spouses do decide to end the marriage, dividing assets can be quite complicated. If you are at all concerned about losing money or property in a divorce, a prenuptial agreement might be a route you need to take. But what exactly are prenuptial agreements, and how do they protect you?

What Are Prenuptial Agreements?

A prenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, refers to an agreement that the two spouses have made prior to their marriage. It must be signed by both parties and helps establish what property belongs to each spouse. They are more common in marriages involving a larger scope of wealth and many assets they could potentially lose in a divorce. 

For an agreement to be effective certain qualifiers must be met:

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naperville property division lawyerAmong the many difficult and uncomfortable hurdles you face during a divorce comes the question of how to divide the property. If you have been married for many years, it can be undeniably challenging to decide who gets what. You want to make sure you have the best case in your favor to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. 

What is Marital Property and What is Non-Marital Property?

The basis of deciding who retains ownership of certain properties is established by first dividing what is considered “marital property” and “non-marital property”. Though it can still be tricky to determine what is considered “marital” and “non-marital” property, the timing of what was purchased prior to or following the marriage is the primary deciding factor. “Marital Property” refers to all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse during the marriage.  

However, there are instances when something purchased before marriage can become marital property.  

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naperville divorce lawyerOne of the most complicated aspects of a divorce is deciding what is best for your children. If you and your spouse have had children together, it can further convolute an already confusing and stressful event. Learning how to navigate custody, deciding upon a fair parenting plan, and understanding child support can be very overwhelming for an individual. Fortunately, the experienced professionals at Hendrix Law firm can help guide you through the process and provide peace of mind.  

How are Custody and Child Support Determined?

After a divorce, the custody of the children will be decided based on a number of factors.  Every case is unique, but many typical cases are based on similar factors including:

  • Education and possible relocation for the children

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