Calabrese Associates, P.C.

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IL divorce lawyerHandling inheritance is often a contentious issue for divorcing couples in Illinois. Although the events that allow for an inheritance to occur can be tragic, the truth is that inheritances often provide much-needed financial security. A couple may have counted on receiving an inheritance during periods of their relationship when they got along and were planning for the future.

But once a couple begins talking about divorce, they may be unsure how an inheritance is handled. Does it belong to one spouse or both spouses? What if the funds from the inheritance were placed in a joint bank account and spent on household expenses? In this article, we will address some common questions about how inheritances are handled in an Illinois divorce.

Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property

During the asset division process, all assets must be analyzed to determine whether they are marital or non-marital. This process can be quite complicated, but generally, assets that either spouse acquired during the marriage are considered part of the marital estate and will be subject to division.

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IL divorce lawyerFor many couples, using mediation during their divorce saves them time, money, and stress. In traditional divorce court litigation, spouses must present their arguments to a judge and then rely on him or her to decide crucial things such as the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and spousal support. In contrast, mediation allows spouses to directly negotiate the terms of their divorce agreement, resulting in an outcome that is far more likely to be mutually satisfying.

Although mediation has its advantages, it is not right for every couple. In this article, we will dispel some common myths about divorce mediation so readers can have a clearer picture of whether mediation is likely to be helpful. Keep in mind that this article is not meant to replace the valuable advice of an Illinois divorce attorney.

Divorce Mediation Myths

Mediation Is Just Like Couples’ Therapy - Although a skilled mediator will try to develop and encourage communication between spouses, he or she will not attempt to reconcile the spouses and save the marriage. The goal of mediation is to negotiate important issues about which spouses disagree. Childcare responsibilities, finances, and asset division can all be part of the mediation process, but airing personal grievances and trying to rectify them is not.

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naperville divorce lawyerA divorce can become even more complicated and stressful if you and your spouse have a high net worth. If you are thinking about getting a divorce and you or your spouse own high-value or complex assets, it is critical to have a skilled Illinois divorce attorney on your side.

Different Ways a High Net Worth Makes Your Illinois Divorce More Difficult

If you and your spouse are wealthy, you can expect your divorce to have more complexities than a traditional divorce. Here are a few ways the process may be more complicated than a typical divorce.

  • Divorce proceedings may last longer. If you and your spouse have more assets than the average married couple, it stands to reason that it will take more time to divide them. 

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naperville property division lawyerDisagreements about financial issues are one common issue that can cause a marriage to break down, and these types of disputes are likely to continue into the divorce process. Matters related to money can be difficult to resolve, but under the law, spouses are entitled to a fair and equitable division of marital property, which includes all assets and debts acquired during a couple’s marriage. Unfortunately, some spouses do not agree with this idea, and they may believe that they are entitled to certain assets or that the other spouse should receive less. In many cases, a person will attempt to hide assets to avoid having to divide them with their spouse. If you are concerned that your spouse is attempting to conceal marital assets, you will want to understand how to uncover these activities and bring them to the court’s attention to ensure that your marital property can be divided fairly.

Methods of Uncovering Hidden Assets

Understanding the intricacies of your family’s finances can often be difficult, especially if your spouse has been primarily responsible for managing money during your marriage. By gathering the right information and looking through financial records, you can make sure you know the full extent of the assets you own. Some steps you can take to find out whether your spouse has attempted to hide assets include:

  • Review tax returns - Looking over the joint tax returns you have filed with your spouse will help you understand the income you have earned and give you an idea of how much savings you should expect to have. This will allow you to identify any discrepancies, as well as foreign bank accounts, real estate holdings, or other investments you may not have known about.

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naperville child custody lawyerWhen parents who have minor children decide to end their marriage through divorce, they will need to address multiple issues related to child custody. As parents work to negotiate a parenting plan, they will decide how parenting time (formerly known as visitation) will be divided. While this will entail creating a schedule that states when children will live in each parent’s home or spend time in the care of a parent, parents will also want to make sure other issues related to parenting time are addressed properly.

Additional Parenting Time Concerns

In addition to providing a complete understanding of when children will stay with each parent, a parenting plan can also address rules and issues that affect parenting time, including:

  • Communication - Both parents will want to maintain communication with their children, and one parent may want to check in on them while they are with the other parent. However, a parent may be concerned that too much communication with the other parent would interfere with their parenting time, or they may not necessarily want to give the other parent a window into their home. Parents can set rules for the appropriate times for calls between parents and children and the methods of communication they may use (such as phone calls, video calls, text messages, or email).

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