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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IL divorce lawyerMany DuPage County residents who are served with divorce papers already know that their spouse was planning to file for divorce, but some people are surprised. Regardless of whether you were expecting to be served with divorce papers or news of your spouse’s filing has come as a shock, it is critical to think about your next steps. Do you need to respond, and how quickly do you need to do so? Have you hired a divorce lawyer yet to work on your case? And what type of planning do you need to be doing in advance of a court hearing or family mediation? These are all important questions, and it is essential to discuss them with an Oakbrook Terrace family lawyer. Although the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs all divorces in the state, everyone will have a divorce case with its own set of facts. Accordingly, it will be important to make a plan that fits your needs.

In the meantime, the advocates at Farooqi & Husain want to provide you with some information about the general steps you should take after you have been served with divorce papers in Illinois.

Hire an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The first thing you should do after receiving divorce papers is to hire a DuPage County divorce lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases in your area and who has experience representing clients in cases with issues similar to your own. If you know, for example, that issues are likely to come up concerning the religious upbringing of your children when the court is making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities, you should seek advice from an attorney who regularly handles such cases. Similarly, if you have questions or concerns about the relationship between Islamic law and Illinois law in divorce cases, you should get in touch with an Islamic divorce attorney in DuPage County.

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IL divorce lawyerMany married couples in DuPage County opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a legal separation can allow spouses to live separate and apart without actually going through the legal process of divorce while still asking the court to determine issues like support and the allocation of parental responsibilities. There are many different reasons that spouses opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. For many Muslim families, legal separation is preferable to divorce for religious reasons, but you may also have other motivations for seeking a legal separation instead of divorce. For instance, one of the spouses may need to rely on the other spouse’s health insurance for major treatment or care, or the spouses may be thinking about tax considerations.

Regardless of your initial reason for seeking a legal separation instead of a divorce, you might now be considering a divorce and you may be unsure about the steps you need to take to move forward. It is important to discuss the particular facts of your situation with a DuPage County family lawyer, but in the meantime, we can provide you with general information about moving from a legal separation to a divorce.

You Can File for Divorce After a Legal Separation

The IMDMA is clear that you can file for divorce even if you have a legal separation—you do not need to choose between a legal separation or a divorce with the understanding that the two are mutually exclusive. The IMDMA expressly states:

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IL divorce lawyerWe often work with families in the DuPage County Muslim community who have questions about the ways in which Islamic laws are both in conversation with and distinct from Illinois state laws concerning divorce, child custody, and related matters. One issue that often arises in general conversations about Islamic law and divorce is the options that are available to women who want to file for divorce. A recent study of Muslim women and Islamic divorce traditions discusses some of the assumptions that people make about women and Islam, and the various options that may be available to women who are religious and also want to get divorced.

If you are considering your options for divorce but have concerns about divorce in the Islamic tradition versus divorce under state law, one of our experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys can speak with you today. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we are committed to serving the Muslim community in DuPage County and can discuss options with you.

Dilemmas of Religious Versus Secular Divorce

According to Anisa Buckley, the author of the study cited above, the Islamic tradition recognizes that both Muslim men and women are allowed to divorce. Yet in some community traditions, Islamic laws are interpreted in ways that allow men to divorce their wives unilaterally, while women must secure their husband’s consent. As such, in some situations, a Muslim woman could find herself fully able to obtain a secular divorce according to state law, but unable to obtain an Islamic divorce because her husband will not agree. In this way, Islamic divorce and secular divorce under state law run parallel to one another and largely do not impact one another.

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