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.


Oak Park Child Custody LawyerWhen parents get a divorce, it can sometimes be difficult for them to remember that their children’s best interests should be their top priority. Parents can become focused on their own desires, and they may even attempt to use their children against each other. In some cases, one parent may attempt to manipulate their children into taking their side in disputes, or even cutting off contact with the other parent. This is known as “parental alienation”, and it can have damaging psychological effects on a child. If you believe that your ex is engaging in “parental alienation”, you will want to make sure you address this issue appropriately during legal proceedings related to child custody.

Understanding “Parental Alienation”

“Parental alienation”  is defined as attempts by one parent to cause their children to feel negatively about the other parent, or other forms of interference in their parent/child relationship. This may involve a variety of different actions, including speaking negatively about the other parent in the children's presence, asking children to monitor the other parent's activities or relationships, encouraging children to take sides in disputes, claiming that the other parent does not love the children or want to spend time with them, or refusing to allow the children to see or communicate with the other parent. This kind of behavior can be very harmful, because it creates an environment where the child feels that they must choose between their parents. The result is often increased stress for all parties involved, and long-lasting emotional damage for the child.

When trying to assess whether “parental alienation” is occurring, there are a few indicators you can look out for. If there is a sudden change in your child’s attitude towards you, or if they actively avoid spending time with you even after numerous attempts at communication, then there may be cause for concern. If your child's beliefs about you seem irrational, or if they use language that seems to come from your ex, those are signs that your ex may be attempting to alienate them against you, and you will need to determine how to respond.


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;

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