IL divorce lawyerIf you are considering divorce in DuPage County, it is important to understand how property division works under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and to understand how property can become commingled. When property is commingled, it can be difficult to classify, and the court ultimately may need to classify it as marital property that is divisible even if it has some traces of separate or non-marital property. We will say more about property division in order to explain the complications of commingled property. If you have questions, a DuPage County divorce attorney can assist you.

Classifying Marital and Non-Marital (or Separate) Property

The first step in dividing marital property in a DuPage County divorce is for the court to classify all property as marital or nonmarital (or separate) property. Generally speaking, all property acquired prior to the date of the marriage will be classified as separate property and will not be subject to division, while most property acquired after the date of marriage will be classified as marital property and will be subject to division. However, there are some exceptions to the classification of marital property. For example, even though the following types of property may have been acquired after the date of marriage, the court likely will classify these types of property as separate property and will not divide them:

  • Inheritances to only one of the spouses
  • Gifts made to only one of the spouses
  • Property acquired through the use of separate property
  • Property specifically designated as separate property in a premarital agreement

Property Division in Illinois and the Theory of Equitable Distribution

When two married people in Illinois get divorced, the court will divide all marital property according to a theory of equitable distribution. This might include, for example:

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IL divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce is difficult under any circumstances, but the prospect of property division can be particularly complex when there is a business that is either partially or entirely marital property. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), marital property includes both assets and debts from the marriage, and it is distributed to the spouses according to the theory of equitable distribution. Classifying property can be one of the more complicated aspects of property distribution, but valuation can also be extremely complex. If you own a business with your spouse, or if your spouse alone owns a business or is in business with other people, it is likely that at least part of the business will be classified as marital property.

When a business is classified as marital property, it must be valued. While valuation should be straightforward, different people can have different ideas about the value of a business. The experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys at our firm regularly assist members of the Muslim community with complex asset division issues, including business valuation. We can assist you with your case, and in the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about business valuation during divorce.

Determining Whether the Business Is Marital Property

The first step in business valuation during divorce actually does not have anything to do with assigning a value to the business. Instead, the court will need to determine what portion, if any, of the business should be classified as marital property and thus will be divisible during the divorce. Generally speaking, any business assets or liabilities acquired during the marriage are likely to be marital property unless there is a premarital agreement that says otherwise.

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IL divorce lawyerWhether you are in the early stages of considering divorce or already have filed, it may be time to consider working with a forensic accountant who can assist with asset division. Financial issues often are among the most contentious ones in any DuPage County divorce case, and financial matters can be especially complicated and controversial in high net worth divorces where there are complex assets that will need to be identified, classified, and potentially distributed between the spouses. In some of the most difficult cases, one of the spouses is the primary breadwinner and goes to great lengths to hide marital assets in order to prevent them from being divided in the divorce.

No matter what your financial situation, a forensic accountant may be able to work with your DuPage County divorce lawyer to help with your case.

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?

If you have never worked with a forensic accountant before and do not usually handle complex financial matters, thinking about hiring a forensic accountant can feel puzzling. You might be asking yourself: what does a forensic accountant do, and do I really need to hire one? According to a publication from the American Bar Association (ABA), more people should work with forensic accountants in their divorces given the benefits.

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IL divorce lawyerMany DuPage County residents realize that their marriages are not working out and that it may be time to separate from a spouse. For most people, this results in a decision to file for divorce. Yet we also speak with many people who want to know what the difference is between divorce and annulment, and whether they may be eligible for an annulment instead of a divorce. To be sure, there is a common misconception that annulment can be an alternative to divorce and that it can be quicker and easier.

It is important to understand that annulment and divorce simply are not interchangeable. In the most basic terms, a divorce is the only way to dissolve a legal marriage, while an annulment is how two parties would officially dissolve a marriage that was never legal in the first place. We will say more about how these distinctions work.

Annulment: When a Marriage Is Invalid

Annulment is a process that is only possible when a marriage is invalid. While the law in Illinois concerning annulment falls under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), it cannot be used when a couple is legally married.

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Illinois family lawyerThere are many situations in which a wife wants to file for divorce, but the husband controls all of the money thereby making it difficult for the wife to afford an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer to help with the case. For wives in DuPage County who want to file for divorce but have been stay-at-home parents throughout the marriage, or for another reason the husband controls the marital assets, it is important to know that there may be options to obtain attorney fees from the husband.

The dedicated family law advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to providing counsel for members of the Muslim community throughout DuPage County, and we can speak with you today about paying for your divorce when your husband controls the family’s finances.

Temporary Relief and Petition for Attorney Fees

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