Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Oak Park Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, issues related to the division of marital property can often be some of the most important concerns to address. All of the money and property owned by a couple must be divided in a manner that is fair to both parties. However, there are some situations where the ability to divide assets equitably may be difficult due to actions taken by one spouse. To avoid dividing certain assets, spouses may sometimes attempt to hide money or property. This can be a significant concern in cases where a couple owns a family business that is primarily managed by one spouse. To ensure that marital property can be divided fairly, it is important to be aware of the methods that could be used to hide marital assets through a business.

Ways Business Owners May Conceal Money or Property

Issues related to a family business can complicate the property division process. In many cases, a spouse who is a business owner will want to make sure they will be able to continue owning the business after the couple's marriage is dissolved. This will require them to buy out the other spouse's share of the business, which is usually done by distributing other marital assets of an equivalent value to their spouse. However, the business owner may attempt to improperly benefit themselves and retain a larger portion of marital assets by taking actions such as:

  • Devaluing the business - The business owner may misreport the value of business assets during the discovery phase of the divorce. They may falsely state that certain business assets have depreciated in value, or they may use other methods to attempt to demonstrate that the total value of the business is lower than its actual value. They may do so in an attempt to minimize the amount that will be required to buy out the other spouse's share of the business;


Oak Park Family Law AttorneyEnding a marriage can be challenging for anyone, but the divorce process can be particularly tough for stay-at-home parents. If you have been out of the workforce for some time, you may be unsure about your financial stability, and whether you will have enough money to cover your ongoing expenses. If your spouse has been the one to handle your family's finances, you may be uncertain about the amount of income that is coming in or the extent of the assets you own. You may also be concerned about whether you will be able to continue staying at home to care for your children, or whether you will need to find a job. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and safeguard yourself and your children.

1. Gather Financial Documentation

During your divorce, it is essential to have an understanding of your family's finances. You will want to determine how much income is being earned from all sources, and you will also need to understand the assets you and your spouse own, and the debts you owe. As you prepare for your divorce, you can obtain relevant financial documents and information, including bank statements, tax returns, investment statements, credit card bills, and documentation related to assets such as your home and vehicles. This information can be crucial when addressing issues related to property division and financial support. Make sure to keep documents in a safe and secure place where they will not be lost or destroyed.

2. Consider Your Employment Prospects

If you have been out of the workforce for a while, it may be challenging to re-enter the job market after your divorce. You may qualify for spousal support during and after your divorce, which will require your spouse to make ongoing payments to help ensure that you can maintain your standard of living and meet your ongoing needs. However, you may also want to look at what opportunities may be available, and whether returning to work on a part-time or full-time basis may be necessary. Spousal support may also allow you to pursue education or training that will allow you to improve your income-earning capacity and ensure that you will be able to fully support yourself in the future.


Oak Park Divorce LawyerGetting a divorce can be a tough process, including emotionally and financially. Even after the  divorce is finalized, sometimes certain financial issues can linger for years if they were not addressed properly during the divorce process. One aspect of the financial side of a divorce which spouses in Illinois should be aware of is called a QDRO, which many times is used to divide retirement benefits. By understanding when a QDRO may be used and how it can affect your financial future, you can make sure you are taking the correct steps to protect your interests, and avoid potential complications down the line.

What Is a QDRO?

A QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is a court order that allows for the division of certain types of marital property. These types of orders will typically be used when dividing retirement benefits, including certain types of retirement savings accounts and pension benefits  which a person is eligible to receive after their retirement. Without a QDRO, a division of retirement benefits might result in unnecessary taxes, penalties, or other complications.

When Are QDROs Used?

A QDRO may be used if a spouse has participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and the funds in that retirement account will be divided between the spouses as part of the divorce settlement. 401(k) accounts and other types of tax-deferred retirement accounts oftentimes may be divided between spouses in a divorce, and when a QDRO is provided to the administrator of a retirement plan, funds may be withdrawn from an existing account and transferred to an alternate payee, the spouse. It should be noted that QDROs may not be used for certain types of accounts, including individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Funds in an IRA may instead be withdrawn using a "transfer incident to divorce," which will be similar to, but not the same as, a QDRO.


Hillside Divorce LawyerIf you have decided to get a divorce, the process will go more smoothly if you and your spouse can both agree on the terms of the divorce and sign the necessary paperwork. However, there may be situations in which your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, or participate in the divorce process. There could be a number of reasons for this refusal, such as:

  • They are hoping you will change your mind about getting a divorce;

  • They want to delay the process and cause more difficulty for you;


Hillside Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, one can expect their life to change in many ways. As you end your legal relationship with your spouse, you will need to make adjustments to your spending to ensure that you will be able to cover all of your expenses, and your daily routines will most likely change as well. However, you will usually want to make these changes on your own terms, and you may be looking to ease into your new life gradually. This may be difficult if you will be required to find new living arrangements, and you may be concerned that you could be forced to move out of your home while you are still in the midst of the divorce process. By understanding the divorce laws in Illinois, and the ways Illinois courts handle these situations, you can protect yourself against the unexpected, and make plans for how matters will be handled as you dissolve your marriage.

Equitable Distribution Laws

Illinois law states that marital property should be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, between you and your spouse during your divorce, and this could include your home and other assets of significant value. As you negotiate a property division settlement with your spouse, you can address who will retain ownership of the home post-divorce. Depending on the overall circumstances, the financial resources available to each party, and each party’s ongoing needs, either spouse may be awarded sole ownership of the home, while the other party may receive other assets that have a similar value to the equity in your home. Alternatively, the parties may decide to sell the home during the divorce process, which will require both spouses to find new living arrangements. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on their own, then the judge in your case may decide who will own the home, or whether it should be sold.

In some cases, one party may be allowed to remain in the home for a certain amount of time before being required to move out, because the house is being sold, or because the other spouse will now be becoming the sole owner. If you and your spouse have children, making agreements that allow for gradual changes to your lives can help minimize disruption during the transition period your family is going through.

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