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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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Oak Park, IL family law attorney gray divorce

A “gray divorce” is a term used when referring to a couple that gets divorced later in life, typically when they are over the age of 50. Perhaps they were waiting until their children were grown and out of the house, or an extramarital affair caused the split. Regardless of the reasons for the marriage ending, these older spouses will have to make some important decisions regarding their divorce settlement in order to move forward into the next chapter of their lives. One of the major issues with a “gray divorce” is that there can be more assets, and larger assets, to divide, which can cause conflict between spouses. Certain high-value assets can be more problematic when trying to determine which of these assets are marital property and subject to division. Also, often there is the emotional aspect of becoming single again after perhaps decades of marriage to deal with. 

Important Issues to Consider

Every marriage is different, and therefore every divorce is likely to have its own unique issues. Even if spouses are amicable and mutually agree to legally end their marriage, they may find the legal process quite challenging. In many “gray divorce” cases, it can be difficult for one party to think about starting over, moving into a new house, and/or finding employment after years of raising children and not working outside of the home. Here are some of the main elements that typically need to be addressed in a “gray divorce”: 

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Oak Park, IL divorce attorney property division

It can sometimes take a long time for a couple to come to the realization that their marriage should end. Regardless of the reasons for the relationship breakdown, sometimes it is for the best. The legal process of ending a matrimonial union involves many steps and decisions regarding various issues. Divorce laws vary by state, but in Illinois, the division of property follows the equitable distribution method. This means that marital property and assets are divided in a fair way, but not necessarily 50/50. Any property that is acquired during the marriage is subject to division. However, if your ex-spouse did not disclose all of his or her financial information, the divorce settlement is likely unfair. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you may request a modification of the property division orders.  

Hiding or Dissipating Assets

It is possible that your former spouse hid or dissipated assets toward the end of your marriage in order to gain a financial advantage in the final proceedings. For example, if there is less money in a bank account, there is less to split. There are several ways that someone can engage in these deceitful behaviors. Spending or wasting funds after the relationship has irretrievably broken down is considered dissipation of assets. Hiding property by putting it in another party’s name or assigning it a lower value are examples of ways that a spouse can be untruthful during the divorce process. 

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Oak Park divorce attorney asset division

Every step of the divorce process is difficult. First, you make the decision to get a divorce that will forever alter your life, and then you must watch your life be divided up by two legal teams and your former spouse. Typically, children and finances are the subjects that bring up the most deliberation between soon-to-be exes. It can be difficult to watch everything in your life become a number to be split, but unfortunately, this is inevitable for those filing for divorce. Some couples may keep separate bank accounts throughout their marriage for their own sense of security and to be prepared for divorce if the relationship does not last. This decision is often made without consulting legal professionals or having a proper understanding of Illinois’ property division laws. Before you and your spouse decide to stay financially separate, you should recognize how this will affect your divorce.

Why Have Different Accounts?

Studies have shown that financial difficulties are one of the main reasons for divorce. This may mean that couples argue over their income disparities, their levels of control over accounts, or even their spending habits. Some couples look to avoid these arguments by keeping their accounts separate. This can promote autonomy in their relationship and avoid disputes regarding their spending since they are using the money that they earned themselves. Having a stronger relationship is not the only reason for separate bank accounts. In a similar way to prenuptial agreements, some couples may try to protect their earnings in the event they decide to legally terminate their marriage. 

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Illinois divorce lawyerInfertility is a serious and common issue in marriage, which is why many couples turn to in vitro fertilization to conceive. What happens, though, if the couple then divorces? Who gets custody of the embryos? Does anyone? Furthermore, who gets to make the decision? The following information explores the subject of frozen embryos in a divorce, including how they are dealt with and how you can attempt to protect them with help from an experienced legal professional.

The Difficult Truth

Embryos, though typically comprised of both parents’ DNA, are not considered humans by most courts. Illinois law continues to treat them as marital assets. The unfortunate part about this approach is that these assets – unlike homes and cars – have no monetary value. Further, they can become a financial liability for the other parent, should the “custodial” party decide to use the embryos to conceive a child. As such, courts often decide that embryos must be destroyed. Alternatively, they may rule that the embryos can continue to be stored, but no one is permitted access unless they have obtained permission from the other party.

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