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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Hillside Divorce LawyerWhen a married couple decides to divorce, they will need to make decisions about multiple types of financial issues. In many cases, couples will be able to negotiate a divorce settlement that details how they will divide their marital property. However, there may be some situations where a couple will be unable to reach an agreement on these issues, and if their case proceeds to litigation, a judge will make the final decisions about how their assets will be divided. While couples can usually benefit by working together to reach a settlement and avoiding litigation, there are times when a trial may be necessary, including in cases where one party has committed asset dissipation.

What Is Asset Dissipation?

When a couple is married, they may both be involved in managing their family’s financial affairs, and they may both make purchases or use money or property in a way that benefits the family. However, there are some situations where a spouse may use marital funds or other property that is jointly owned by the spouses for their own benefit and for non-marital purposes. If a person can show that their spouse dissipated assets during their marriage or during the divorce process, they may ask that the court require the other spouse to repay the marital estate for the dissipated assets. If this will not be possible, other marital property may be divided in a way that addresses the dissipation, such as by granting the non-dissipating spouse a larger share of the marital estate.

Asset dissipation can involve multiple uses of marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse. For example, a spouse may engage in an extramarital affair, and they may use marital funds to buy gifts for a paramour, take vacations with that person, or stay in hotel rooms. A person may also dissipate assets by spending money on a gambling or drug addiction, or they may intentionally destroy property or waste money in order to cause financial harm to the other spouse.

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oak park child support lawyerWhen parents get a divorce, under the law both parties will be expected to contribute toward the financial costs involved in raising their children, and child support will usually be ordered. These payments will usually last until a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, the parents may still have financial obligations after a child reaches legal adulthood - they may be required to pay non-minor support that will provide their children with financial assistance as they attend college and seek an education. To ensure that this issue is addressed correctly, divorcing parents will want to understand the types of non-minor support that may apply in their situation, the amount they will need to pay, and how long these payments will last.

Parents’ Contributions to Children’s College Expenses

Parents may agree on the amounts that they will each contribute toward the costs of their children’s college education, or a parent may petition the court to ask that the other parent be required to provide financial assistance. When determining an appropriate amount that a parent may be required to pay, the court will look at the income and financial resources of both parents, as well as the resources available to the child, such as college savings or scholarships.

Parents may be required to make contributions to expenses related to their child’s college education or other forms of professional or vocational training, and these expenses may include:

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Oak Park divorce attorneyIf you are going through a divorce, you may be concerned about your ability to provide for yourself financially once your marriage has been legally dissolved. If you have relied on your spouse during the marriage to earn the majority of the income needed to meet your family’s needs, you may be able to receive financial support (known as spousal maintenance) following your divorce. On the other hand, if you earn more than your spouse, you may be concerned about your ability to cover your own expenses if you are also required to pay spousal support. By understanding how spousal maintenance is calculated, you can determine the amount you may pay or receive, allowing you to plan for how you will meet your financial needs once your divorce is complete.

Guidelines for Calculating Spousal Maintenance

Illinois law provides a formula for calculating spousal support obligations based on the income earned by divorcing spouses. Under this formula, 25 percent of the recipient’s gross annual income is subtracted from 33⅓ percent of the paying spouse’s gross annual income. The result will be the amount that will be paid on an annual basis, although this amount will usually be divided into 12 monthly installments. However, when the amount of maintenance is added to the recipient’s income, the total cannot be more than 40 percent of the spouses’ combined gross annual income.

To understand how these calculations will be performed, consider a situation in which Spouse A earns a gross income of $200,000 per year, and Spouse B earns a gross income of $75,000. Using the formula described above, $18,750 ($75,000 x .25) would be subtracted from $66,667 ($200,000 x .333...), resulting in $47,917. However, when this amount is added to Spouse B’s gross income, the result is $122,917. The couple earns a combined gross income of $275,000, and 40% of this amount is $110,000. This means that the amount of maintenance that Spouse B would receive would be reduced to $35,000 per year, or $2,917 per month.

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Hillside IL divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse have not been happy for a long time, getting a divorce may be able to give you the relief you need. However, getting a divorce is not a walk in the park. Resolving matters like the division of marital property can be complicated, and if your spouse is reluctant to provide you information about his or her finances, you may need to take advantage of the discovery process to get the information you need to make well-informed decisions.

What Is the Discovery Process?

The discovery process allows divorcing couples to gather important information and documents, usually related to each other’s finances, after the filing of the initial divorce petition. Sometimes, spouses willingly share such information, but it is often necessary to use a more formal legal process to better ensure all relevant information is exchanged. Through discovery, each spouse gets access to the same information when coming to decisions regarding their divorce. If you and your divorce attorney gather this information, you may have an easier time reaching a fair agreement.

What Are the Different Types of Discovery Tools?

Divorce attorneys use several discovery tools to help them gather important information. For example, interrogatories are written questions that each spouse can submit, often concerning the other spouse’s income, debts, assets, work history and educational background. Spouses must answer these questions within 28 days of receiving them. Similarly, requests for admissions of facts allow one spouse to ask the other to either confirm or deny certain facts. Admissions of facts can be particularly helpful when trying to verify the validity of documents and to discover hidden assets.

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Oak Park IL divorce lawyerIf one were to ask, say, 10 married couples if they have ever hidden any type of financial information from each other, how many do you think would say that they have? Chances are, there would be a good number of them that answer, “yes.” According to a new survey from CreditCards.com, around 40 percent of respondents of all ages who are currently in serious relationships admitted that they were actively hiding a credit card, checking or savings account from their partner. Financial infidelity is common in marriages, but it can come back to haunt the guilty party during their divorce. A partner who commits financial infidelity during a marriage is also likely to affect the financial aspects of the divorce.

What is Financial Infidelity?

There are various definitions of “financial infidelity,” but most commonly it refers to any type of lying or deception about money matters between romantic partners who have combined finances. Many actions and behaviors can qualify as financial infidelity, and all of them can have a significant impact on their partner’s financial situation. Examples of actions that can be considered financial infidelity include:

  • Hiding debts that you currently owe

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