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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are going through a divorce in DuPage County, both you and your spouse will be required to complete a financial affidavit that has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court. In the financial affidavit, you will provide detailed information about your assets and debts, including funds in accounts, prepaid debit cards, stocks, bonds, investment accounts, mutual funds, real estate, motor vehicles, business interests, life insurance policies, retirement benefits, income tax refunds, lawsuit recoveries, valuable collectibles, and any other assets. The financial affidavit requires you to provide information about assets and debts — as well as any assets sold or transferred worth more than $1,000 in the last two years — that may be classified either as separate or marital property.

The court will use the financial affidavit and other supporting documentation to determine which assets and debts should be classified as separate property (and thus not distributed in the divorce) and which assets and debts should be classified as marital property and divided according to the terms of equitable distribution. Both parties are required to fill out the financial affidavit fully and accurately. Yet what happens if one spouse intentionally avoids identifying assets and may be trying to conceal property? Our DuPage County divorce lawyers want to provide you with more information.

The Problem of Concealed or Hidden Assets

Before you take action against your spouse when you believe she or he may be attempting to hide assets, it is important to understand what we mean when we talk about hidden or concealed assets. Sometimes a spouse will make an honest mistake and will fail to list a particular asset on the financial affidavit. In other situations, however, one of the spouses might intentionally avoid listing a particular asset in an attempt to hide that property from the court and to avoid having it divided in the divorce.

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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 feeWhen most people think about seeking attorney’s fees in a court case, they are often thinking about civil cases in which they are suing another party for damages. However, attorney’s fees also may be available in DuPage County divorce cases. To be clear, attorney’s fees are not awarded in a divorce case because one of the parties “wins” the case, but rather based on one party’s ability to pay and the other party’s inability to pay. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs the issue of attorney’s fees in divorces, and we want to provide you with more information about this topic.

In the meantime, if you need assistance with your divorce, one of the dedicated DuPage County divorce attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can speak with you today. We regularly provide counsel to members of the DuPage County Muslim community and can discuss your options for moving forward with your divorce.

Interim Attorney’s Fees in a DuPage County Divorce

When one party is seeking interim attorney’s fees in a divorce case in Illinois, that party must file a petition for interim attorney’s fees and costs. In order to be eligible to receive interim attorney’s fees—which means attorney’s fees while the divorce is ongoing—the party seeking the fees must be able to show that relevant factors exist for awarding attorney’s fees. The IMDMA says that the court shall consider all relevant factors. It cites the following, among others:

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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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