The property division process can be one of the most important aspects of a divorce for many people. Many of the decisions you make while dividing your assets can affect your life for years to come. This is why it is so important for you to have an accurate understanding of your financial situation. Before you start dividing your property, your attorney will typically conduct discovery, which means he or she will request any and all financial information from your spouse. However, this does not mean that your spouse will comply or be truthful about their assets and debts. One of the things you can do to ensure that you receive a fair share of the marital assets is to create a lifestyle analysis.
Understanding a Lifestyle Analysis
When you and your spouse begin your divorce, you will both be asked to fill out a financial affidavit, which contains information about your finances, such as your income and expenses. However, many people simply use estimates on these forms, which does not really give a person an accurate picture of their financial situation. A lifestyle analysis helps to paint that picture. The analysis will contain extensive information about your income, expenditures, tax obligations, and other financial information. A divorce financial analyst will use the lifestyle analysis to build a monthly budget for you that takes all relevant factors into consideration.
Benefits of Using a Lifestyle Analysis
Most of the time, a lifestyle analysis is used to establish the standard of living that a couple had during their marriage. The lifestyle analysis can be the basis for decisions about spousal maintenance, child support, or property division. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), one of the factors that judges may consider in a contested divorce is the type of lifestyle the couple enjoyed during their marriage. For example, if one spouse did not work during the marriage and asks for spousal maintenance, the judge may look at the lifestyle analysis to help determine what an appropriate amount of spousal maintenance might be....
When you get a divorce, it can feel like your life is falling apart. Even the small things you knew and were used to can change, like picking the kids up from school or what you have for dinner. Even more important things can change, including your financial situation and how you pay your bills. After you initiate a divorce, you will likely have two separate households that you must deal with until the divorce is final. But how do you know that everything for your own household is being taken care of in the midst of all of the chaos? In many cases, temporary orders can help you ensure financial support during the divorce process.
What to Include in Temporary Orders
Some people may not be aware that temporary orders exist, but they can be extremely helpful to couples who are going through a contentious divorce. When you file for divorce, you can petition the court and ask for any of the following issues to be addressed in a temporary order:
- Temporary spousal maintenance and/or child support - If your spouse moves out when you file for divorce, you can ask the court to have him or her pay maintenance and/or child support payments for the duration of the divorce until more permanent orders can be put into place.
- Awarding sole possession of the marital home - In some cases, a spouse may refuse to leave the marital home or demand that you leave. If this is the case, you can ask the court to award you exclusive possession of your home until you can determine what you will do with it during the divorce process.
- Paying household bills - You can also petition the court to require the other spouse to continue to help with household bills and expenses while the divorce is ongoing.
- Temporary parenting time schedules - If you and your spouse disagree on parenting time, you can ask the court to create a rudimentary schedule that you can follow during the course of the divorce.
If you have decided to file for divorce, you may be nervous about going to Court and battling with your spouse. However, if you opt for mediation, you may not have to go through all of that stress. During mediation, you and your spouse will attempt to resolve major issues in your divorce with the help of a mediator. The process can help you save money, time and heartache.
Things You May Not Know About Mediation
Although mediation has long been an available option for divorcing couples, there are still many misconceptions about it. Here are several facts about mediation you might not know about.
- Mediation does not require couples to get along. A big misconception about mediation is that it is only intended for divorcing couples on good terms. Although it would be ideal if both partners got along well, it is not required. During the process, the mediator will focus on helping you and your spouse make compromises rather than argue about every little thing. As long as the spouses can work toward a resolution, mediation can be effective.
- Mediation can be beneficial for all couples of all income brackets. Unlike popular belief, mediation is not just beneficial for divorcing couples of modest means. The process can also be useful for high-net-worth couples. Many divorcing couples with substantial income and assets also want to settle their divorce as quickly and affordably as possible. However, if a couple owns high-value or complex assets, mediation alone may be insufficient. In this case, mediation may be combined with legal support from a skilled divorce lawyer.
- The mediator will not make decisions for you. One of the biggest advantages to mediation is that you and your spouse will have more control over the outcome of your divorce. Instead of making decisions for you, a mediator will facilitate a productive conversation between you and your spouse.
- It is wise to hire a divorce lawyer. Mediation may help you avoid a trial, but it is still in your best interest to have an experienced Illinois divorce attorney on your side. A lawyer can provide you with sound legal advice and prevent you from making mistakes that could hurt your case.
Contact a Palatine, IL Divorce Attorney
If you need assistance with the mediation process, you should consult a Barrington, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we understand what a difficult time you are going through and want to offer our help. We are here to address all of your questions and concerns. Contact us at 847.873.6741 to schedule a free consultation....
Much of what people know about the divorce process stems from movies, TV shows, and what they have seen in the media. While this can provide a general idea about divorce, these on-screen divorces are usually much more dramatic than is necessary. In many cases, there is some sort of disagreement or tension between the couple, but this is not always the case. Some couples agree on getting a divorce long before they ever begin to seek legal help. Contested divorces can be stressful for everyone, especially when they drag on for months or years. Couples who agree on all issues may have the option to file a joint simplified divorce in Illinois, which could help make the divorce process a little easier.
While a joint simplified dissolution of marriage can be much more favorable to some couples, not all couples will qualify for this type of divorce. Before a couple can file a joint simplified dissolution, they must ensure that they meet all requirements for this process. A couple can only use the simplified dissolution procedure if:
- Neither spouse relies on the other for financial support;
- Both spouses waive their right to spousal support;
- At least one spouse has been a resident of Illinois for at least six months;
- The couple has provided proof of irreconcilable differences;
- The couple has no children, and the wife is not currently pregnant;
- The marriage did not last for more than eight years;
- Neither spouse has retirement accounts, or if they do, the account is in their name only and has less than $10,000 in it;
- Neither spouse has a gross annual income of more than $30,000;
- The combined gross annual income of both spouses is less than $60,000;
- The total value of all marital property is less than $50,000;
- The couple has signed a written agreement that distributes any marital property or debt that is valued at more than $100 while also addressing any companion animals owned by either spouse; and
- Both spouses have fully disclosed all property and financial information.
Speak With Our Barrington, IL Simplified Marriage Dissolution Lawyer Today
If you are considering a simplified dissolution procedure to end your marriage, you are not required to have an attorney, but hiring a skilled Inverness, IL divorce lawyer can be extremely beneficial. At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we will help you determine if a simplified dissolution procedure is the right choice for your situation. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 847.873.6741....
When a couple is married, they often share many things, including property and assets. However, if their union sours and they decide to divorce, they will have to decide how to divide all of these items. Marital property consists of anything that is acquired during the marriage. Nonmarital property is anything that one spouse obtained prior to the marriage. According to Illinois law, any debt that spouses accumulated together falls under marital debt, so it is, therefore, subject to division. Determining who is required to pay off certain debts can be challenging to say the least.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets and Debts
Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, debt is divided “fairly” rather than equally. This method can apply to different types of debt, from cars to home improvements to educational loans. In addition, if a couple owns and runs a company together, that family business must be valued to determine how to divide its assets. If one spouse owned a business before the marriage, but the other spouse helped manage its day-to-day operations, then he or she may be entitled to a portion of its value or worth....