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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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DuPage County divorce attorney

Divorce is already difficult enough. Adding the stress of being in the public eye can make the divorce process even more daunting. If you or your spouse is well-known or you simply value your privacy, you may have concerns about confidentiality during a divorce. One legal tool for protecting your privacy during your Illinois divorce is a confidentiality agreement. A confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract that prohibits parties from sharing certain information. If a party breaches the contract, the non-breaching party may be entitled to damages. Confidentiality agreements are often a crucial component in protecting privacy during a high-profile divorce.

When Should A Divorcing Couple Utilize a Confidentiality Agreement?

If you are ending your marriage, you will likely be divulging financial data and other sensitive information during the divorce process. You may even participate in a psychological evaluation, medical evaluation, or home study for child custody-related purposes. Details about marital misconduct such as an affair may also come up during the divorce. If you are a business owner, you may be divulging information like business financials, practices, client information, or other proprietary information. Understandably, you may be worried about this type of information falling into the wrong hands. Information you share with your attorney is already protected under attorney-client privilege. However, any information you share with third parties such as accountants is not automatically protected. A confidentiality agreement can be used to keep confidential information from being shared with the media or other parties.

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Cook County divorce attorney asset division

If you are like most married people, the property you owned and the property owned by your spouse merged when you got married. According to Illinois law, only marital property, or property held by the marital estate must be split during a divorce. However, telling the difference between marital property and nonmarital property is often much more difficult than it seems. Commingled assets, or assets that contain marital property and non-marital property, can change identity, making asset division much more complex. Property that was once considered marital property may be classified as non-marital property. Likewise, property classified as nonmarital property may become marital property.  

Division of Marital Assets and Debts

One of the most consequential aspects of many divorce cases is the division of assets and debts. This is often especially true in high-income divorces. If you and your spouse do not have a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement describing how to classify and divide assets, you have several options. You and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement about how to divide assets with help from your respective attorneys or through an alternative resolution method like mediation or collaborative law. If you cannot reach a decision outside of court, your case will go to trial and the court will make a decision about how to divide marital property.

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Western Springs divorce attorney collaborative law

Collaborative divorce is a process during which divorcing spouses, their attorneys, and other relevant professionals work together to reach an agreement about unresolved divorce issues. When spouses use collaborative law to settle the terms of their divorce, they avoid stressful courtroom litigation while still benefiting from their lawyers’ legal guidance and protection. Collaborative divorce may be right for you if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye regarding the terms of your divorce but you are willing to negotiate these issues amicably and cooperatively. The collaborative law process may help you and your spouse reach an agreement about the division of marital assets, child custody, spousal maintenance, and more.

What Happens During a Collaborative Law Divorce?

If you choose to use collaborative law to settle your divorce, you and your spouse will each hire your own attorney. Before you meet as a group, you and your lawyer will meet to discuss what you would like to achieve in the settlement as well as any concerns you may have. Next, the spouses and their respective lawyers will sign a “Participation Agreement” in which they agree to freely exchange information, negotiate in good faith, and cooperate in the collaborative divorce process. The spouses and attorneys will then hold a series of meetings aimed at reaching a resolution. Other professionals such as financial advisors, accountants, and child specialists may also participate in the collaborative divorce process.

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Western Springs divorce attorney business valuation

Illinois is an equitable distribution state when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce. This means that marital assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on the spouse’s financial circumstances, employability, health, and more. Whether a couple is determining their own asset and property division arrangement or the court is issuing a property division judgment, a complete and accurate inventory of the couple's assets must be taken. If a spouse owns complex assets such as a business, the value of those assets must be determined before the property can be equitably distributed.

A Forensic Accountant Is Often Necessary

If you and your spouse agree to do so, you have the option to figure out the business’s value on your own. However, most people do not have the skills needed to accurately value a business. Mistakes made during the valuation of your business can lead to arguments between you and your spouse, an unfair divorce settlement, and unnecessary headaches during an already stressful time. Hiring a business valuator may be the best way to ensure that the estimated value of your business is as accurate as possible. If a more in-depth analysis of the business’s finances is necessary, you may want to hire a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant has special investigative and auditing skills, which he or she can use to thoroughly examine the business. The forensic accountant, if he or she is not also qualified to conduct business valuations, will provide vital information to the valuation professional. If you suspect that your spouse may be lying about business revenue or assets, a forensic accountant is essential to make sure you receive your fair share of the marital estate.

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Oak Brook divorce attorney division of assets

You may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate for adults over 50 has more than doubled in the last several decades. Called “gray divorce,” divorce involving older adults often presents unique challenges. One of these challenges involves the division of retirement funds. If you have been out of the workforce for many years, you may be worried about making ends meet without your spouse’s retirement benefits. If you were the main income earner during the marriage, you may have concerns about how much of your hard-earned retirement funds will be awarded to your spouse. Read on to learn about how retirement accounts are divided in an Illinois divorce and how you can obtain the legal support that you need.

Marital Assets Versus Non-Marital Assets

Only marital assets are divided in an Illinois divorce. Non-marital assets, including assets acquired by the spouses before getting married, are not divided. Before a retirement account can be divided, a determination must be made about the account’s identity. Retirement accounts are different from other types of assets because they can be classified as both marital and non-marital. Typically, the portion of the retirement account that a spouse earned before getting married is considered non-marital. The non-marital portion of the account is assigned to the original owner. However, the portion of the retirement account that was earned while the spouses were married is part of the marital estate and therefore subject to division.

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Hinsdale asset division attorney

The term “dissipation” refers to assets that are wasted, destroyed, or used recklessly near the end of a marriage. When a spouse uses assets for a purpose not related to the marriage while the marriage is undergoing a breakdown, the other spouse may have a valid dissipation claim. Illinois law describes what type of spending constitutes dissipation and when the spending must occur in order to qualify as dissipation. If you are planning to get a divorce, and you have reason to believe that your spouse has squandered assets, a divorce lawyer experienced in handling dissipation claims can help protect your rights during the division of marital property.

What Type of Spending Is Considered Dissipative?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as “the use of use of the marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time that the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” Spending money on groceries, utility bills, or other legitimate needs is not considered dissipative. However, spending that is wasteful or reckless in nature may be considered dissipation. In previous Illinois divorce cases, the following types of spending have been deemed as dissipation:

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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