oakbrook terrace divorce lawyerCouples who choose to get divorced will need to address multiple legal and financial issues, including making decisions about the division of marital property. While addressing property ownership will be an important aspect of every divorce, it can become more complicated in high net worth divorce cases, including those where a spouse is a business owner. Family businesses can be an especially complex issue in an Islamic divorce, since the close relationships between family members and business associates may be affected by the end of a couple’s marriage. Spouses will need to be sure their rights and financial interests are protected in the decisions made. Business owners will want to determine how they can protect a family business and ensure that it can continue operating smoothly and successfully during and after their divorce.

Options for Protecting a Family Business

Ideally, business owners will want to take steps to protect their business either before they get married or during their marriage and before divorce becomes a possibility. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can protect a business by stating that one spouse will maintain full ownership of the business in the case of divorce, or these agreements can make decisions about how ownership of business interests and other assets will be handled if the couple’s marriage ends.

Those who do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may need to determine how to divide business interests during their divorce. If the business is a marital asset because it was founded or acquired while a couple was married, the value of the business will need to be divided along with other marital property. A business owned by one spouse before the marriage will usually not be considered marital property, but some business assets may be included in the marital estate if the business increased in value after the couple was married, or a business owner may be required to reimburse their spouse for the contributions they made to a family business.

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Oakbrook Terrace Muslim divorce lawyer for marriage contractsMarriages and divorces in the United States are handled according to the laws in the state where a couple resides. However, Muslim couples also abide by Shariah, or Islamic law, and this may introduce a variety of complex issues into an Islamic divorce. In some cases, this can lead to disagreements about how the mahr provisions of a marriage contract will be interpreted in U.S. courts. 

Marriage Contracts and Mahr Provisions

When a Muslim couple agrees to a marriage contract, the mahr provisions state that the husband or a member of his family will give certain property to the wife. Typically, there are two parts to the mahr: an advanced mahr, which is given at the time of marriage, and a postponed mahr, which is given when the marriage ends either through death or divorce. In some cases, the advanced mahr is a token item such as a single coin, while the postponed mahr is a more substantial gift of money, jewelry, land, or other property.

Depending on the interpretation of Islamic law, a wife may be able to receive the postponed mahr in some divorce cases, while in others, the right to mahr may be forfeited. A husband has the right to dissolve his marriage through the talaq process, and in these circumstances, the wife will usually receive the postponed mahr. If the marriage is dissolved through a mutual agreement between the husband and wife, or khula, the wife will often forfeit the postponed mahr. If the wife seeks a divorce through the tafriq process based on grounds such as abuse or abandonment, she may forfeit her right to receive the postponed mahr.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are going through a divorce and you share minor children with your spouse, your divorce case will include the allocation of parental responsibilities and a child support determination. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts use an “income shares” model to determine the child support obligation. Under this method, both parents are responsible for paying a portion of the child support obligation based on their individual income and other factors such as the total number of overnights for which they provide caretaking functions for the child. With the income shares model, the court combines both parents’ incomes and uses that figure to determine the total child support obligation based on the Illinois guidelines. Then, each parent is responsible for paying a percentage of that total obligation.

Many different situations can arise that can result in a parent being unable to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation, but it is critical to understand that failure to pay child support can have serious consequences. Whenever you have questions or concerns about child support, you should seek advice from a DuPage County family lawyer to ensure that you are not subject to penalties under Illinois law.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

The IMDMA clarifies that there are serious penalties if either parent fails to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation. The first step, according to the IMDMA, is to hold the non-paying parent in contempt. Once the court finds the non-paying parent to be guilty of contempt, the court can also impose the following penalties:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are in the process of getting divorced, or you are planning to file for divorce (or know that your spouse intends to file), you need to be careful about the money you spend and the assets you give away. Why is spending or gifting money or assets a potential problem leading up to your divorce? In short, these actions might be construed as an attempt to hide or conceal assets so that you are able to obtain more of the marital property than you would otherwise receive under the terms of equitable distribution.

As you may know, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property is identified and divided between the spouses based on an arrangement that the court determines is equitable to both spouses. If you try to disrupt that equitable distribution of marital property, you can face significant penalties. Before you spend marital assets or gift property, you should seek advice from one of our Oakbrook Terrace property division lawyers. We have been representing members of the Muslim community in DuPage County for years, and we can work with you to ensure that your divorce case goes as smoothly as possible.

Disclosing and Classifying Marital Property

When your divorce case gets underway, you will be required to provide property disclosures that list all of your assets and debts — including those that you believe to be separate property as well as those that you believe to be marital property. The court will determine which of the assets and debts should be classified as separate property (meaning that they will not be divided) and which of those assets and debts should be classified as marital property (meaning that they will be divided according to the rule of equitable distribution). You must give the court information about all property, and you may be required to provide detailed information about large assets that you recently spent or gifted to another party. Spending or gifting assets that would be classified as marital property can present a problem.

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IL divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces, or high net worth divorces, in DuPage County often come with their own complications and issues that make them distinct from more traditional or straightforward divorce cases. Whether you are currently in a marriage in which one of the spouses was the primary earner, or both spouses together have been high earners during the marriage, it is critical to learn more about the particularities of high net worth divorces in Oakbrook Terrace and throughout DuPage County.

At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we know how important it is to have an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side who understands your situation. Our firm has been representing members of the DuPage County Muslim community for years, and our Oakbrook Terrace family law attorneys are here to assist you with your case. In the meantime, the following are some of the common issues that you might anticipate in a high asset divorce in Illinois.

Complex Property Division

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), divorces in the state require that all property owned by the spouses be classified as either separate property or marital property. When it comes to dividing property in the divorce, only marital property is divisible, and it is divided according to the theory of equitable distribution.

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