How Can a Lifestyle Analysis Benefit Me During My Illinois Divorce?
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.
In addition, a lifestyle analysis may be beneficial in helping you, your attorney, or a forensic accountant identify any discrepancies between the analysis and the financial information that your spouse provided. A lifestyle analysis may help you determine if your spouse is hiding certain assets, underreporting their income, has other sources of income, or has debts that they may not have disclosed.
Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Property Division Attorney
Getting divorced can be a stressful experience, especially if you are uncertain about your financial future. At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we know how important the asset division process is for your current and future financial needs. If you are currently going through a divorce, or if you are contemplating ending your marriage, you should speak to a skilled Hoffman Estates property division lawyer. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847.873.6741.