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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers
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Hinsdale complex divorce attorney

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that nearly 18 million U.S. adults suffered from a substance abuse disorder in 2017. If you are married to someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, you know just how devastating this type of addiction can be to a family. Of course, substance abuse is not the only type of addiction that can negatively impact a marriage. A gambling addiction, compulsive shopping, sex or pornography addiction, or even food addiction can put a major strain on a relationship. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, and your spouse has addiction issues, there are several things you should keep in mind to protect yourself.

Protecting Your Finances

Many individuals do not realize how serious their spouse’s addiction is until they check their bank account balance. The money needed to fund an addiction can easily reach up to tens of thousands of dollars, if not more in some cases. If you are worried that your spouse may be recklessly spending marital funds, there are several steps you should take immediately, including the following:

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Hinsdale asset and property division attorney

One of the most contentious parts of the divorce process is often the division of marital property. Divorcing couples have the option of dividing property on their own, but couples who cannot reach an agreement will require court intervention. Illinois courts divide marital assets and debts according to “equitable distribution.” Unlike other states that divide the marital estate exactly in half, Illinois instead considers a variety of factors to determine an asset division arrangement that is fair and reasonable for both spouses. If a couple has a high net worth or owns complex assets, the property division process can become especially complicated.

Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property is Not Always Straightforward

Only marital property is divided during an Illinois divorce. Marital property generally includes property obtained by either spouse during the marriage. Separate property typically includes any assets or debts that the spouses acquired before the marriage took place as well as certain gifts and inheritances acquired throughout the union. Differentiating between separate and marital property is not always as easy as it may seem. Assets that are commingled can lose their identity and be transmuted from separate property to marital property. For example, if a spouse receives an inheritance from a relative during the marriage, those funds are typically considered separate property. However, if the spouse uses some of those funds to pay for shared expenses during the marriage, the funds may be transmuted into marital property.  

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Burr Ridge high-asset divorce attorney

The divorce experience is different for everyone. A young couple who does not have children, own a home, or have valuable assets may be able to get a divorce relatively quickly and effortlessly. The more assets you own and the more complex those assets are, the more likely it is that you will have a complicated divorce. If you are planning to end your marriage, and you and your spouse have a high net worth, own complex assets, or have high-value assets, your divorce may involve more negotiations. There is much more at stake in a high asset divorce, so it is crucial for couples in this situation to be informed about the unique issues presented by a high asset or complex asset divorce.

Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Payments Are Usually Much Larger

Illinois child support orders are decided using the “Income Shares” method. This approach involves evaluating each spouse’s income, determining the total amount of support for which the parents are collectively responsible, and then splitting the cost between the spouses in proportion to their incomes. Similar to property division, the spouses’ financial circumstances must be fully understood before a child support order can be entered by the court.

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Cook County high-conflict divorce lawyer

While all divorces involve at least some degree of hostility, a high-conflict divorce is especially contentious. Child psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick calls high-conflict divorces “malignant divorces” because of the stress and emotional burdens these splits can incur. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, and you have a combative relationship with your spouse, you probably worry about how this conflict will affect your child. There is no perfect way to help your child cope through a high-conflict divorce, but experts do have suggestions for how to minimize your child’s emotional trauma during a difficult divorce.  

Have Adult Conversations Away from the Children

Experts agree that children can be deeply disturbed by parental conflict and fighting. The best way to minimize your child’s trauma during divorce is to keep adult conversations away from your child as much as possible. Studies show that when children watch or overhear their parents fighting, they are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. Working with a skilled mediator may be one way to keep divorce-related discussions compartmentalized, but this is not always a possibility during a high-conflict divorce. If possible, take divorce-related phone calls in another room and avoid “bad-mouthing” the other parent in front of your child.

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Western Springs prenuptial agreement attorney

Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, have long been the subject of misinformation and misunderstanding. Outrageous celebrity weddings, television shows, and movies have shown prenuptial agreements in an unfairly negative light. However, signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married can be a responsible and beneficial decision for many couples. Read on to learn how a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement can benefit you and your partner in Illinois.  

A Prenuptial Agreement Protects Your Financial Interests

The main benefit of a prenuptial agreement is that it protects the financial interests of both parties should the marriage end in divorce. In Illinois, a divorcing couple’s marital estate is divided according to equitable distribution laws. Through equitable distribution, property and debts are divided fairly, but not necessarily evenly. If you and your soon-to-be spouse sign a prenuptial agreement, you have the option to make your own property division decisions in advance and override these state laws during a divorce.

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Western Springs child support attorney

If your marriage is coming to an end because your spouse cheated on you, you may wonder how this could affect the divorce process. Illinois is a “pure no-fault” state, which means that there are no fault-based grounds for legally terminating your matrimonial union. If you and your spouse are getting divorced in Illinois, you will simply list “irreconcilable differences” as to the reason that you are seeking a divorce. However, marital infidelity can still affect your divorce proceedings in several important ways.

Assets Wasted During an Affair Can Constitute Dissipation

Illinois law prohibits courts from considering cheating or other types of marital misconduct when making property division, child support, or spousal maintenance decisions. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. According to the Illinois Supreme Court, “dissipation” occurs when a spouse uses marital funds or property “for a purpose unrelated to the marriage” while the marriage is “undergoing an irretrievable breakdown." Dissipated assets can include money spent on gifts or vacations for a secret lover, property which was sold in order to fund the affair, or other assets which were used to benefit the paramour. If you and your legal counsel can prove that your spouse dissipated assets, you may receive a proportionately larger share of the marital property in the divorce.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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