palatine divorce lawyerFor many, divorce marks the beginning of a new adventure. Unhappy spouses who finally decide to end their marriages may be excited and anxious to start their new post-divorce lives. If you are like many people getting divorced, you may wonder, “When is it a good time to start dating?” You may worry that dating before the divorce is final could count as adultery or negatively impact your divorce case. While the decision to date during divorce is completely up to you, you must consider how dating before the divorce is finalized may influence the divorce’s outcome.

Dating Before Finances are Separated Could Lead to Dissipation of Assets

There is no rule that says you cannot date before your divorce is completed. However, you should know that Illinois law allows spouses to file “dissipation of assets” claims if their spouse wastes or misuses marital funds prior to the divorce. One way to ensure that you do not accidentally commit dissipation of assets is to separate your finances and file for divorce before you spend any money on a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Your New Partner Could Impact Child-Related Issues

Who you choose to date is your own business. Generally, dating does not affect child custody issues. However, if your new love interest has a criminal record – especially one involving sex crimes or child abuse charges, this could impact child custody. Even if your new partner poses no threat to your children’s safety, experts suggest waiting until the divorce is complete to introduce children to him or her.

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palatine divorce lawyerMany people assume that having money makes everything easier. However, owning high-value assets can actually make your divorce case much more complicated. If you or your spouse have a high income or own substantial assets, you must understand how this wealth will impact your divorce case. The division of property and debts, child support, spousal support, and other divorce issues are largely determined by the parties’ financial circumstances. Consequently, it is important for high-net-worth spouses to work with a divorce lawyer familiar with the types of challenges commonly encountered in high net worth divorce cases.

You Will Need to Properly Value Assets

In Illinois, both spouses are entitled to a portion of property held by the marital estate. However, before spouses can negotiate a property division settlement, they must value the property. Determining the value of property like stocks, stock options, investments, digital currency, real estate, business interests, and professional practices is complex and typically requires input from a professional appraiser.

The Consequences of Hiding Assets Are Greater

The greater degree of wealth a spouse owns, the greater the opportunity for financial deception. Often, the consequences of financial deception are also magnified in a high net worth divorce. Spouses may underreport income or business revenue, hide funds in overseas accounts, or fail to disclose hidden financial resources. If you suspect that your spouse will lie about finances during your divorce, you should work with a seasoned divorce lawyer.  

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palatine divorce lawyerDigital currency or “cryptocurrency” has skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, and Tether rely on cryptography to secure and verify transactions. The currency is not regulated by the government or tied to any bank. Unfortunately, these features make cryptocurrency a popular choice for spouses who wish to hide assets in a divorce.

Financial Fraud in an Illinois Divorce

Nearly every part of a divorce case is affected by finances – especially in a high net worth divorce. Even if spouses reach an out-of-court property division settlement, the agreement they come to is dependent on each spouse’s income, assets, and liabilities. Child support and spousal support are also calculated using each spouse’s financial circumstances. A spouse who wishes to sway the divorce outcome in his or her favor may underreport assets or “hide” assets by transferring the assets to another party. Because cryptocurrency does not show up on a bank statement, it is increasingly used to conceal wealth in divorce cases.

Signs that Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Any divorce settlement or judgment should be based on accurate financial information. If you suspect that your spouse will lie about finances in your divorce, contact a skilled divorce lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help you find clues of financial deception and reveal hidden assets.

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palatine divorce lawyer Divorce cases vary dramatically in complexity. A couple who rents their home, owns few assets, and does not have children can typically expect a relatively simple, straightforward divorce. The more high-value assets a couple owns, the more complicated the divorce process becomes. If you or your spouse have a high net worth, own a business or professional practice, or have substantial investments, you should know that your financial success will likely complicate your divorce. The good news is that there are several different ways to get divorced in Illinois. For many high-net-worth couples, a collaborative divorce is the right approach.

Working Together to Resolve Divorce Issues

If you are like many divorcing spouses, you may want the divorce to be as non-adversarial as possible. Fortunately, as the name implies, collaborative divorce is designed to be collaborative. The spouses and their attorneys are focused on reaching solutions that both parties walk away from feeling good about. Attorneys trained in collaborative law understand that it is possible to protect their clients’ rights and advocate on their behalf without hostility or contention.  

Collaborative Divorce is Confidential

Court proceedings are a matter of public record. Divorce is no exception. The information presented during divorce litigation may be accessed by others unless the information is sealed by the court. In a collaborative divorce, all of the participants sign an agreement in which they pledge confidentiality.  If you are concerned about protecting your privacy during divorce, collaborative law may be a better option than litigation.

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palatine divorce lawyerGetting divorced is as much a legal and financial process as it is an emotional process. Undoing the financial entanglement characteristic of a marriage relationship can be confusing, complicated, and often, exhausting. Spouses’ financial circumstances play a massive role in the division of marital property and debt, child support, and spousal maintenance determinations.

So, what happens if a spouse lies about his or her assets and income during divorce?  If the other spouse does nothing to assert his or her rights, the answer may be that the deceptive spouse gains an unfair financial advantage during the divorce. This is why it is important for divorcing spouses to be vigilant for signs of financial deception.

Hiding Assets to Shield Them from Division During Divorce

Illinois law states that each spouse is entitled to an equitable, or fair, share of the marital estate during divorce. However, some spouses try to stop the other spouse from getting his or her fair share by hiding assets.

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