The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Aurora divorce attorney property division

There are two things that people are usually the most concerned about when they get divorced: their money and their kids. If you or your spouse has filed for divorce, a lot of time and effort may be spent worrying about finances during your divorce proceedings -- but that does not stop mistakes from happening. The money decisions you make throughout the legal process of ending your marriage not only affect the outcome of the divorce, but they can also affect the rest of your life. Here are a few common financial mistakes that are easy to make during your divorce and how you can avoid them:

Not Understanding the Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property

One of the first things you must do in your divorce is to determine what assets are and are not subject to division. In the state of Illinois, certain property is considered to be non-marital property, which is typically not divided in a divorce. These can be items or assets that you or your spouse each bought or received as gifts before your wedding. 

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Aurora divorce attorney finances

As much as marriage is an emotional and cultural bond, it is also very much a legal and financial partnership. When you are married, as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, what is yours is also your spouse’s, and vice versa. Although keeping finances completely separate is not impossible during a marriage, it is somewhat rare. When you get a divorce, untangling your finances can be a huge headache for both you and your spouse. For some people, divorce can even be the beginning of financial downfall -- but it does not have to be. Below are a few tips you can follow to help yourself maintain a sense of financial stability during and after your Illinois divorce.

Create a Post-Divorce Budget and Manage Your Expenses

One of the first things you should do is create a rudimentary budget to use after your divorce. If you are still early in the divorce process, you may not know exactly what all of your expenses or income will be after your divorce, but you do know that you should expect some changes. Keep in mind that you will have to budget for one income only, and you will probably have to determine new living expenses. This is also a good time to look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Getting a divorce turns your entire life upside down. The asset division process can prove to be especially cumbersome for some couples, as it requires you to take every single asset and debt into consideration when making decisions. Most couples argue over the house, bank accounts, and vehicles. While these high-value assets are important, it is also important not to overlook one of your most important assets -- retirement funds. It is easy to forget about retirement when it is 15 or 20 years away, but planning for it now can save you a big headache in the future. When it comes to retirement plans, one of the most important tools in your toolbox is a QDRO, which is a commonly used acronym for a qualified domestic relations order. QDROs can be extremely beneficial when divvying up retirement plans during a divorce and can take some of the uncertainty out of your future. What Is a QDRO? In the state of Illinois, all pension benefits, including individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) and defined contribution plans and accounts, are presumed to be marital property and must be divided in “just proportions.” This is where a QDRO comes in. A QDRO is a legal document that designates an alternate payee’s right to receive all or a portion of the benefits held in certain types of retirement accounts. What Is Included in a QDRO?

QDRO’s are just as legally enforceable as an order for alimony or child support and must be approved by the court. Basically, a QDRO will allow both payees to draw from the retirement plan when the time comes. Most of the time, the named payees will be both spouses, but in certain situations, the alternate payee can be a child or another dependant. For a QDRO to be valid, it must contain:

  • The plan owner’s name and mailing address;
  • The alternate payee’s name and mailing address;
  • The percentage of the plan that will be going to the alternate payee;
  • How that percentage will be determined;
  • The number of payments included in the order; and
  • How those payments will be made to each payee.

Consult with a Kendall County Asset Division Attorney Today

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Estate planning is not something that the typical American tends to think about very often. This is especially true if you are going through a big change in your life, such as divorce.  During a divorce, you have so many things constantly on your mind, estate planning is probably at the very bottom of your list. While updating your estate planning documents does not have to be your number one priority, it should definitely still be on your list somewhere. Here are a few estate planning documents that you should have in the back of your mind to update after your divorce is finalized: Wills If you are filing for a divorce, it is best that you draft an entirely different will, if possible -- this is the easiest way to ensure your estate is not given to your ex-spouse upon your death. In the state of Illinois, a will can be revoked by physically destroying it or by having a new will drawn up stating that the prior will has been revoked. If you do not change your will, but you finalize your divorce, Illinois treats the will as if your spouse died before you did. This means you do not necessarily have to change your will, but it is a good idea to make changes as necessary. Trusts Under Illinois law, trusts are handled similarly to wills when it comes to divorce. If you named your spouse in a revocable trust or living trust, the sections containing your spouse will become invalid upon the finalization of your divorce. If you have an irrevocable trust, however, the contents of the trust will not change and are unable to be modified. Power of Attorney Finally, you will want to make sure you revoke your power of attorney as soon as possible if you named your spouse to act in your place if you are unable to do so. If you do not change your power of attorney and become unable to manage your affairs, your spouse may gain access to your assets. You will also want to be sure that you remove your spouse from your healthcare proxy if you get a divorce. Not doing so can allow your spouse to make healthcare-related decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney for Help

Whether you are in the middle of a divorce or just starting the process, estate planning is something you should keep in mind. The last thing you would want is to forget about your estate planning documents and then have an accident happen that benefitted your spouse. Aurora divorce lawyer Matthew M. Williams has worked on more than 1,000 divorce cases in court and has the knowledge to ensure you have a successful divorce. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you make sure all your loose ends are tied before all is said and done. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Most people have a long list of questions when they make the decision to get a divorce. By far, one of the most common questions people have before they begin the divorce process is, “How much will my divorce cost?” The answer to that question is not a simple one -- there are so many factors that can affect the price tag on your divorce. Some sources report that the cost of divorce can be as low as a couple of hundred dollars, while other sources state a divorce will cost more along the lines of tens of thousands of dollars. Here are a couple of different factors that can affect the cost of your divorce: The Type of Divorce You Choose Not surprisingly, the type of divorce you choose can determine how much you ultimately end up paying for your divorce. A do-it-yourself divorce can range from $600 to $1,800, depending on the type of service you use and where you live. Typically, the only costs associated with a DIY divorce are those that come from the service you use and the filing fees. A litigated divorce can range in cost from $15,000 for a straightforward divorce to $200,000 for a divorce that ends up going to trial. Your Divorce Attorney’s Hourly Rate and Retainer Fee If you choose to have an attorney help you with your divorce, costs between lawyers may differ. The average attorney’s fees can range from $200 to $500 per hour and most attorneys also require you to pay for a retainer before you begin. The average retainer fee ranges from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of your case. Court Costs and Filing Fees For the most part, in Illinois, filing fees tend not to differ very much between counties. To file for a dissolution of marriage in DuPage County, it costs $290, though that is not the only filing fee or cost you will have to deal with. Whether or Not You and Your Spouse are Willing to Work Together Couples who are more argumentative tend to pay more for their divorces. This is rather obvious because you will be paying more money if you are spending more time coming to an agreement on issues. For example, a couple who has to have five to six negotiation sessions will be paying their lawyer more than a couple who settles the same issue in only two sessions.

A Kane County Divorce Lawyer Can Help Keep Your Divorce Costs Down

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, there are a couple of different decisions you must make that can affect the cost of your divorce. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you discuss your divorce options and determine what your best course of action will be. Our knowledgeable St. Charles divorce lawyer will help you make sure your divorce covers everything you need it to, but also that it remains within your budget. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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