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

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There are many reasons why couples get divorced. Infidelity, financial problems, lack of commitment and different priorities are all common reasons why couples choose to get divorced, but they all typically contain one major common theme -- a lack of trust. When you no longer trust the person you are married to, it is difficult to have a successful marriage. During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have assets that they have attempted to hide from the other. While this may seem like a good way to keep your spouse from getting certain things in a divorce, it is illegal. Full disclosure is required in divorces. If you feel like your spouse may be hiding things from you, here are a few ways you can try to uncover hidden assets in your divorce: Look Over Tax Returns A good place to start looking for hidden assets is on your tax returns. Pull your tax returns from the last five years and examine them carefully. You should be looking for any inconsistencies in the returns, such as inconsistencies in income, itemizations of assets, real estate taxes, mortgage interest. Keep an Eye on Your Bank Accounts Take a look at your joint bank accounts. Are there any canceled checks from your checking account? Are there unusual withdrawals or deposits into your checking or savings accounts? If so, you may be dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide money from you. Make sure you get copies of all bank account statements to use in court. Utilize Public Records

Public records can be extremely helpful when you are looking for hidden assets. Some jurisdictions allow you to access certain public records online, but all jurisdictions have public records on hand at the courthouse. When looking through public records, you should focus your attention on:

  • Property deeds;
  • Real estate appraisals;
  • Tax assessments;
  • Loan applications; and
  • Business records.
Team Up With a DuPage County Asset Discovery Attorney

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the asset division process -- especially if you are dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide his or her assets. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we know that dealing with hidden assets is a difficult task. Our skilled Aurora, IL asset discovery lawyers will help you find any assets that your spouse may be hiding from you through teamwork with forensic accountants and other experts. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,There were an estimated 27.9 small businesses in the United States in 2010. Owning a business can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be scary if you get a divorce. Typically in Illinois divorces, the two spouses must split their assets according to Illinois’ equitable division guidelines. This does not necessarily mean that each spouse will get half of the marital assets, but it does mean that the judge will determine what is equitable. The only things that are subject to division are those that are considered marital property. Your business may or may not be considered marital property and figuring that out is your first step in protecting your business from your spouse. Here are a few ways you can protect your business and keep it in your control during your divorce:

Get Your Business Valued

One of the first things you will want to do is to find out how much your business is worth. This can be accomplished by using a court-appointed valuation expert who is required to be unbiased when coming up with a value to assign to your business. It is still a good idea to hire an outside valuation specialist to make sure your result is in line with the court’s result.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce brings with it a plethora of things that you must settle before you can finalize your divorce. Just one of the many things involved in a divorce is property division. When you are married, you and your spouse share almost every aspect of your lives together. Though this makes your life easier while you are together, it can make for a tough time when you get a divorce. Property division can often turn even the most peaceful of divorces into screaming matches. Here are a couple of things that you should know about Illinois property division before you settle your divorce:

Illinois Is an “Equitable Division” State

In the state of Illinois, property division is divvied up in a way that is equitable, rather than equal. This means that all factors will be looked at before determining which spouse gets which property. This also means that property division will not always be 50/50. If the judge feels that one spouse should receive more property than the other, then he can award that spouse more.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have long been considered taboo or unromantic. While it is probably close to one of the most unromantic topics you could discuss, divorce is a possible reality for any married couple. Entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you if you do decide to get a divorce somewhere along the road. Ironically enough, these kinds of agreements can also help you during your marriage, too, which is one of the reasons why they have become more popular.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal documents that can outline certain things in the event that a marriage ends in divorce. Unlike prenuptial agreements, which are signed prior to the marriage, postnuptial agreements are ones that are formed and signed after a couple is already married.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer, attorney fees,Even though the notion of planning for the end of your marriage before you are even married is not the most romantic thought, it is smart decision making. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that dictates how each spouse’s assets are divided if the marriage ends in divorce. There are quite a few things that a prenuptial agreement can--and should--contain. Premarital Assets and Debts You should make a list of your assets and debts that are currently in your name and that you acquired before your marriage. These assets can be anything from savings and brokerage accounts, a car, jewelry or a house. You and your spouse should be upfront with each other about assets that you are bringing into the marriage. You should also discuss how you will handle the division of premarital assets and debts in the event that they become intertwined with marital property. Marital Property In general, marital property is any asset or debt that is acquired during the marriage. The prenuptial agreement should spell out how you handle the assets and income that you gain during the marriage. You could possibly split marital property 50/50, or you could distribute the marital property as equitably as possible, meaning it may not be 50/50. This can save you a lot of time in the future if you do end up getting divorced. Spousal Support Though you are not required to have a section for spousal support in a prenuptial agreement, it can be extremely helpful to have your wishes down if you do get a divorce. Depending on you and your spouse’s assets, living expenses and other things, you may be entitled to spousal support. If your prenuptial agreement contains clauses about spousal support, the courts must follow the agreement’s terms. Get Support from an Aurora Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular and are losing the stigma that they once held. This is due partly because couples are tending to enter into marriage with a lot more assets than they did 40 years ago. If you are engaged and think a prenuptial agreement is right for you, a skilled DuPage County prenuptial agreement attorney can help you draft an agreement that fits your needs. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2012/march_2012/premarital_agreement_issues_checklist.html

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,The division of marital property can be a long and contentious process, as both parties attempt to secure the value of joint assets and obtain full or majority ownership of the property. This can be particularly when a married couple owns a business together, and that business becomes part of the divorce negotiations.

Keeping the Doors Open

It is not uncommon for a small, family business to close its doors forever as a result of a divorce. In addition to the stress and resentment this causes, a business closing also negatively impacts the employees who lose their jobs and even the community that relies on its services. Here are few tips to consider when taking steps to protect your business prior to or during a divorce.
  • Keep accurate financial records, and do not allow business finances to mix with family finances.
  • Speaking of records, make sure all relevant documents are stored safely and easily accessible.
  • If you are intent on keeping the business after the divorce it may require that you sacrifice other assets or property.
  • Obtain a fair and accurate appraisal of the business using the services of a neutral, court-appointed professional.
  • Placing the business in a trust prevents it from being counted among marital assets, and protects the value of a company’s growth.
  • Obtaining a strong, prenuptial agreement also has the power to protect your business in the event of a divorce.
  • Consider different buyout scenarios; even going as far as to establish a payment schedule.
  • If you know a divorce is on the horizon, consider easing your spouse out of any job within the business or severely reducing their responsibilities prior to filing.
One silver lining to all this is that it is unusual for a business to be sold in order to satisfy a divorce settlement.

An Experienced Aurora Divorce Attorney Can Help Save Your Business

As any experienced divorce attorney will tell you, no two cases are exactly alike. Add the complexities of a family business to the mix and the stress can increase exponentially. However, when you rely on the counsel of a knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer who understands the delicate nature of asset division, and the laws that guide such matters, the end result can be satisfying. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. uses a number of legal resources and specific knowledge gained from years of experience to help clients achieve a fair and equitable divorce. To schedule a consultation, contact our offices at 630-409-8184 and learn how this experience will benefit you.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,When a married couple decides to divorce everything they have obtained, amassed and created together suddenly becomes a desired possession by one party or the other, but very frequently property and assets are sought by both adults. The matter of property division is one that tends to increase the level of stress and cause prolonged court battles.

Understanding the Process

Along with the help of a knowledgeable divorce attorney with experience in matters of property division, it may be helpful to have a basic understanding of the guidelines Illinois judges refer to when faced with these matters. Consider the following information as a reference.
  • It happened that a couple owned two season tickets for the home games of a local professional sports team, but neither enjoyed the thought of continuing to attend games with the other once divorced. The wife even went so far as to file an emergency petition to obtain custody of the tickets. Eventually, the judge awarded the tickets to the husband but ordered him to purchase equal value seats for the wife.
  • Furthermore, Illinois law states specific measures that can be taken to protect property until such time a final plan for its division is finalized. One, for example, may file for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to prevent the transfer, encumbrance or concealment of any property. Exceptions are allowed, however, if those transactions are a part of the normal course of business or required to sustain one’s life.
  • You should know that filing for a restraining order or injunction does not give that party more of a right to final ownership to the property, as all assets and property are considered equally in the court’s final adjudication and decision of property division.
In any divorce, the ultimate goal of the court is to consider both sides and come up with a plan for property division that is fair and equitable.

Rely on a Knowledgeable Illinois Property Division Attorney to Represent You

Every divorce has unique aspects that may create uncertainty and anxiety. Division of marital assets and property is a complex matter, but if you work with an experienced DuPage County divorce and property division divorce lawyer it can help ease the transition. The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. uses a variety of resources and years of experience to divide marital property in an equitable manner. Contact our offices at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation. During this meeting, you can learn more about the divorce process and get answers to all your questions.

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Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,The divorce process is fraught with questions and uncertainty. It also results in heightened anxiety and feelings of depression, anger, relief and a variety of other emotions. However, that uncertainty and swirl of emotions can reach a new level if one spouse unexpectedly dies prior to a final divorce decree.

From Almost Ex-Spouses to Widow (or Widower)

In addition to the legal issues under review as part of the divorce, the surviving spouse often must deal with questions pertaining to how to grieve and handling expressions of condolence from others. While the legal path to resolve matters may be more clear, both it and the emotional side of things can present challenges.

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marital home, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhen most people get married, they do so with the intention of sharing a life together. This usually means joint ownership of all assets and property, as well as shared responsibilities for incurred debts. During a divorce, as most people understand, the property that constitutes the marital estate must be divided equitably between the spouses. In some cases, though, determining whether a particular asset is part of the marital estate can be a little more challenging than in others. High-value assets like your marital home can be especially confusing if it was titled in the name of only one spouse. Is such a home considered marital property?

The Name on the Title

Determining if your home is marital property depends on several, fairly straightforward factors. Surprisingly to some, the name on the title means almost nothing in most cases. You and your spouse could have agreed to put just one name on the mortgage or title to obtain financial advantages. Such practices are fine and understandable, but have little bearing on the home’s status as marital or non-marital property.

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prenuptial agreement, Illinois family lawyerAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it may difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

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equitable distribution, Illinois law, DuPage County family law attorneyEveryone knows that when you get divorced, your ex-spouse gets half of everything—unless you have a prenuptial agreement. That is just the way it works, right? Well, not exactly. Not in Illinois anyway, along with about 40 other states. The idea of an equal 50-50 split applies only to the nine states that maintain a standard known as community property in divorce. The remaining states, including Illinois, use what is called an equitable distribution standard, which may vary slightly from state to state, but generally requires a more in-depth consideration of a divorcing couple’s property and circumstances.

Determining and Valuing the Marital Estate

The equitable distribution guidelines in Illinois are contained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The process begins with establishing which assets belong to the couple and which belong to each individual spouse. Those that belong to the couple include all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage with limited exceptions for gifts, inheritances, and judgments. Assets owned by either spouse prior to the marriage, along with the exceptions to marital property, are non-marital property and not subject to division. The value of the marital estate must also be determined, which may require the assistance of various experts, including real estate appraisers, financial advisors, and other professionals.

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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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