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IL divorce lawyerThe cultural stereotype of asset division in divorce is that all marital debts and assets are split 50/50, but the reality is more complicated. While some states do have “community property” where marital assets are divided equally, Illinois is not one of those states.

In Illinois, divorce law requires something called “equitable division.” Equitable division is exactly what it sounds like: Marital assets and debts are divided according to what is fair, rather than right down the middle. Here, we will look at what factors judges can use when determining equity, and other issues that might contribute to the division of marital assets.

What Factors Into Equitability?

Because Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state, spouses do not have to give a reason for divorce besides irreconcilable differences. Even if one spouse committed an act of infidelity that led to the end of the relationship, spouses cannot “fault” each other in divorce proceedings and courts will not award more marital assets to the spouse who was cheated on.


IL divorce lawyerIf you are considering divorce and feel concerned that it may be a high-conflict divorce, you may want to speak with a divorce attorney without letting your spouse know. The reasons for this are varied: Perhaps you still live with your spouse and fear retaliation or abuse, or you yourself are unsure of how serious you are about pursuing a divorce. You may want to give yourself the upper hand in preparing for the divorce and serving the papers.

Regardless of the reason, it is perfectly legal to meet with a divorce attorney without telling your spouse. You can even file for divorce without telling your spouse – they do not have to know that you are considering divorce until they are served divorce papers. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you seek a confidential meeting with a divorce attorney.

Speak with More than One Attorney

Although it may feel risky to meet with a divorce attorney without your spouse’s knowledge, you need an attorney who is going to represent your interests in a way that feels comfortable and secure. Even though every attorney-client relationship is legally protected, you may not be a good match with the first attorney you meet. Take time to find a firm that listens to your needs and is willing to advocate aggressively on your behalf. Meet in a safe, discrete manner


IL divorce lawyerFinding out that your spouse has gone behind your back and had an affair is one of the most upsetting experiences a person can have. You may feel as though your world has turned upside down and that you now doubt many of the things you previously assumed to be true. Complicating your personal experience is the ensuing divorce. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that regardless of the reason for your divorce you will simply file citing “irreconcilable differences.” Nevertheless, marital infidelity can still affect the outcome of your divorce.

Child Custody

Typically, infidelity will not impact parental responsibilities and parenting time. Your spouse will generally still be able to advocate for their right to see your child and spend time with them. However, if your spouse’s new partner presents a credible threat to your child, courts will take this into account when parental responsibilities are allocated.

For example, if your spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend is a registered sex offender, or if they have a criminal history of child or domestic abuse, the court will take this into consideration and may limit your spouse’s parenting time.


IL divorce lawyerAlthough circumstances can vary when building towards a high asset divorce, common contributing factors are spouses who are high earners and have had a long marriage. When spouses commonly hold many assets that are valuable and complicated, a complex divorce is inevitable.

If you are considering divorce and have high-value assets or high net worth, you will need an experienced, assertive attorney who will advocate for your best interests. In addition to having an outstanding legal team, here are other things to consider when beginning a high asset divorce.

Hire a Forensic Accountant

Complex assets include things like stock options, overseas investments, trusts, pensions, retirement plans, and private art or vehicle collections. Assets such as these can make divorce very complicated.


Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerStatistically, about 40% of first marriages end in divorce. That jumps to around 60% for second marriages, and all the way up to 70% for second or third marriages with children. In addition to these statistics, fewer people are getting married before they have children, resulting in large numbers of blended marriages later in life. Of course, some of these marriages end in divorce.

Blended families – where both parents have children from previous relationships – face special complications during divorce. Here, we look at some of those factors affecting parents who are getting divorced for the second or third time.

Custody Arrangements

Figuring out a custody plan is complicated, especially when parents seek visitation with their step-children. If you did not adopt the children from your spouse’s previous marriage, visitation is not guaranteed.

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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