While all divorces are as unique as you and your spouse, one thing you can count on when it comes to divorce is that you are very likely to face complicated financial issues. After all, divorce breaks down into both financial and parental matters, and both have implications for your future financial health. Protect your financial rights by consulting with an experienced Oak Brook divorce attorney early in the divorce process.
The primary financial issue of divorce is the division of your marital property, which includes all those assets that you and your spouse accumulated throughout your marriage. It doesn’t matter who purchased the item in question, whose name is on the title or other document, or who made use of the asset. If you acquired the item while you were married, it belongs to both of you, and your total marital assets must be distributed between the two of you equitably (or fairly when a host of factors are taken into consideration) upon divorce. The only two exceptions to this rule are any inheritances or gifts that either of you received in your name alone during your marriage.
Any separate property that either of you owned prior to marriage and brought into the marriage with you will remain separate property – if you ensured that it didn’t become entangled with your marital property over the years, which is a high bar. For example, if you owned a separate property but used marital funds for its upkeep or improvement over the years, its separate nature may be lost. Further, any increase in value of separate property is marital property. In other words, the fair division of your marital property can be exceptionally complicated.
While it’s true that child support in Illinois is determined according to a state calculation methodology, plenty of room for complications remains. The two primary factors that determine child support are the number of overnights that each parent receives and each parent’s income. Determining a parent’s income can be a straightforward process, or can become complex, such as when a parent is self-employed, when or parent owns a business with fluctuating income, or when a parent is temporarily unemployed. Child support can deviate from the state guidelines if the judge involved determines that following the guidelines would be unjust or inequitable in the situation at hand. For example, if the child in question has a disability that requires more extensive care.
Because child support is calculated in accordance with the best interests of the child or children involved, the following factors play a role:
Alimony or spousal maintenance in an Illinois divorce is never a certainty, but it is awarded in those situations in which one divorcing spouse has a financial need, and the other has the income to help. Spousal maintenance is generally a temporary matter that is designed to allow the recipient the time he or she needs to gain the education or training necessary to become more financially independent. However, in longer marriages, maintenance awards can be indefinite (having no per-determined end) or permanent. Unless specifically non-modifiable, most maintenance awards can later be modified. Whether you are paying or receiving maintenance payments, you will want to make sure that it is handled properly so your rights are protected.
Divorce involves a number of complex financial issues that most couples have given little thought to prior to embarking on the divorce process. Having a skilled and knowledgeable divorce lawyer on your side can give you the peace of mind you need to make sure your financial rights are protected. Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm is a seasoned Oak Brook divorce attorney who is prepared to help. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us today.
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