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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 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 Muslim families in DuPage County struggle with the decision about whether a divorce is appropriate. Although two spouses might be having significant problems in their marriage, the prospect of going through a divorce can be unappealing for religious and cultural reasons. Yet for many Muslims, there is a need to move forward with a separation that involves the court making decisions about marital property and child custody. In some situations, there are allegations of family or domestic violence, and one of the spouses might not feel safe remaining in the relationship or in the same household. In other situations, the animosity between the spouses might have reached a level that requires a change.

For Muslim spouses in DuPage County who do not feel comfortable getting divorced, a legal separation might be an option. Although many states in the country do not have specific provisions for a legal separation, the state of Illinois does specifically consider legal separation in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Our experienced Oakbrook Terrace family lawyers want to help you gain more information about legal separation.

Support and Maintenance Can Be Ordered in a Legal Separation

One of the first and most important issues to know about legal separation in Illinois is that the IMDMA allows the court to order support and maintenance in a legal separation. The statute expressly states that any individual living separate and apart from his or her spouse may have a remedy for reasonable support while they live apart.

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IL family lawyerIf you are in the process of filing for divorce in DuPage County, or you are planning to file for divorce, you may have questions about child support and college expenses after the divorce. In particular, if you and your spouse have one or more children who are nearing the age where they will attend college, the matter of paying for college expenses can become contentious, especially if you had college expenses plans in place that will be difficult to maintain after a divorce. You might want to know: can the court order one or both of the parents to pay for college expenses under Illinois law?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), in a divorce, educational expenses for a non-minor child can be awarded. The following information can help you to learn more about how this works. If you have additional questions or need assistance, you should reach out to an Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer. The advocates at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to serving the Muslim community and can begin working with you on your case today.

What Are Educational Expenses for a Non-Minor Child?

Under the IMDMA, educational expenses for a non-minor child are essentially college expenses. In a divorce case, the court can award money out of the income or property of either spouse for the educational expenses of any child. The court can also require either or both parties to do or pay the following:

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are having difficulties in your marriage, you might be considering divorce. At the same time, there are many reasons that you may be thinking about potential alternatives to divorce. To be sure, we work with many Muslim families in DuPage County who want to avoid divorce for religious and cultural reasons. For those families, a legal separation can provide some of the same benefits of divorce without the religious and cultural implications. There are also many financial reasons that legal separation may be preferable to getting divorced. To be clear, a legal separation does not legally end the marriage, but it allows the parties to have some of the benefits that come with a divorce. A divorce, differently, results in a legal end to the marriage.

When you have questions about legal separation versus divorce, you should get in touch with a DuPage County family law attorney who can help with your situation.

What Is a Legal Separation?

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), two people who are married can opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Not all states have laws for legal separation, but Illinois is a state that does allow for legal separation. The IMDMA clarifies that “any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse may have a remedy for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart.” Under the statute (750 ILCS 5/402), the court is also permitted to enter a judgment for legal separation, which can include a property settlement agreement between the parties that the court approves and enters as part of the judgment.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are thinking about filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, or if you know that your spouse has plans to file for divorce, you are probably already thinking about the complications of property division. While the distribution of marital property will vary in complexity from case to case depending upon the amount and type of assets and debts involved, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) requires that Illinois courts divide all marital property according to the theory of equitable distribution.

Although the court will determine who marital property is divided until the parties can negotiate a property division agreement or property settlement, it may still be possible for one of the parties to make clear that she or he wants to retain particular property for which she or he is willing to give up other property. In a lot of cases, one of the parties wants to keep the marital home.

Why Would One of the Parties Want to Stay in the Marital Home After a Divorce?

There are a variety of reasons that someone may want to stay in the home after the divorce, from a sentimental attachment to the property to issues like raising your child and wanting to keep kids in the same school district.

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IL divorce attorneyWhen you are in the process of getting divorced in Oakbrook Terrace or elsewhere in DuPage County, it is important to understand how the process of property division works and when the spouses can play a role in determining how property gets divided. As you may know, Illinois courts divide marital property based on a theory of equitable distribution. This means that property is divided in a way that the court determines to be fair and equitable to both parties. In deciding what is fair and equitable, the court takes into account many different factors that are listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Of course, when there is an enforceable premarital agreement or postnuptial agreement that specifies how property will be distributed, courts will use the terms in those agreements.

Yet many spouses have questions about “property settlements,” and whether they are able to play a role in deciding how their property gets divided even if there is no premarital or postnuptial agreement. In other words, can the parties work out a system for dividing marital property without the court doing it for them? In short, the answer is yes. The IMDMA has a specific section on “agreement” between the parties, and we want to be clear about how it can allow for a property division agreement. In the meantime, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer at our firm can help with any questions you have.

Coming to an Agreement About Property Under the IMDMA

If you and your spouse want to negotiate a property settlement, the IMDMA allows you to do so. Whenever you are negotiating about the division of marital property, it is important to have an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to advocate for your rights and needs. In the agreement, the parties are permitted to create provisions for the disposition of any and all marital property. However, there are some requirements and limitations under the IMDMA:

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IL divorce lawyerSpousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is not awarded in every divorce case. However, there are numerous divorces in the Oakbrook Terrace area in which one of the spouses will be awarded spousal maintenance. We often work with clients in the DuPage County Muslim community who have questions about spousal support and how it works. The following are five things to know about spousal maintenance in DuPage County. If you have additional questions or concerns, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer at Farooqi & Husain Law Office can assist you.

1. The Spouse Who Wants Maintenance Must Request It

In a divorce case, courts do not automatically consider whether one spouse should be receiving maintenance and whether the other spouse should be responsible for paying it. Rather, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the spouse who wants to obtain spousal maintenance must first request it. To ensure that the court considers awarding spousal maintenance, the party seeking it should work with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer.

2. Court Decides Whether Maintenance Is Appropriate Before Considering Amount or Duration

When one of the spouses in a divorce case seeks spousal maintenance, the court goes through a series of steps in the process of awarding maintenance or support. The IMDMA requires that the court first consider whether maintenance is even appropriate before it makes any considerations about the amount and duration of the award. The IMDMA outlines a wide variety of factors that the court may consider in deciding whether support is appropriate in a particular divorce case.

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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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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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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

IL divorce lawyerMaking the decision to get divorced is never easy no matter what the circumstances might be. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, the divorce process can take months before property division occurs and the court can issue an allocation judgment concerning parental responsibilities. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may be asking yourself: should I file for divorce first? Keep in mind that, regardless of whether you are the one who files the petition for divorce, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) will govern the process for your divorce.

While the outcome may be similar whether you are the petitioner (the spouse filing for divorce) or the respondent (the spouse being served divorce papers after the other spouse files first) in an Illinois divorce, there may be some advantages to being the petitioner. In other words, the spouse who files for divorce first may see some benefits over the spouse who is ultimately served with divorce papers.

How Being the Petitioner in a Divorce Case Can Give You the Benefit of Planning Ahead

Being the petitioner in a divorce, or the spouse who files for divorce first may have some financial benefits. For example, that spouse often can spend more time seeking out the best divorce attorney for his or her case and may have the luxury of interviewing multiple lawyers before making a decision about who to hire. As such, the spouse who files for divorce first often can work with the best divorce lawyer for his or her case from the beginning stages of the divorce.

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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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IL family lawyerAs you may know, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—better known as Trump tax reform—will change the way in which spousal maintenance affects taxes. In short, after the new year, the spouse making alimony payments will have to pay more money in taxes, while the spouse receiving alimony payments will have to pay less in taxes. However, a new Illinois law considers these federal tax law changes and makes it so that the spouse making payments is not as adversely affected as she or he otherwise might have been. We will say more about how spousal maintenance is taxed, and then we will talk about the calculations for spousal maintenance after 2019 when both laws (federal and state) will take effect.

How Spousal Maintenance and Taxation Currently Works

Currently, under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/504), here is how taxation works when it comes to spousal maintenance: the spouse who makes alimony payments (the payor) can deduct the spousal maintenance payments from his or her income prior to paying taxes, while the spouse who receives alimony payments (the payee) must pay taxes on the spousal maintenance payments in the same way that the spouse would pay taxes on other types of “income.”

However, under the TCJA, the new federal tax law, any divorce that is finalized on or after January 1, 2019 will see a major change when it comes to taxing spousal maintenance. For these divorces, the payor spouse will be required to pay taxes on spousal maintenance payments while the payee spouse no longer will have to pay taxes on spousal maintenance payments received. What is the effect of this? In brief, the payor spouse ends up paying more in the long run, while the payee spouse retains more money and pays less in taxes in the long run. Since the payor spouse earns more money than the payee spouse, the payor spouse’s income typically is taxed at a higher rate. As such, taxing the spousal maintenance payments on the payor’s end in most cases will mean that the taxes are higher and the federal government receives more from that payment in taxes.

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IL divorce attorneyWhen spouses decide to get divorced in DuPage County, they will have one of two types of divorce: a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs nearly all divorce issues in the state, including those related to both contested and uncontested divorce. What is the difference between the two types of divorce? In short, a contested divorce is one in which the couple cannot agree to all (or any) terms of the divorce, from financial matters to issues concerning parental responsibilities and parenting time. Differently, an uncontested divorce is one in which both parties not only agree to the divorce itself but also to all of the terms.

An uncontested divorce can be preferable to spouses for many reasons. We will go over some of the benefits of uncontested divorce with you. As we do, keep in mind that even in situations where couples agree to the terms of the divorce, it is still extremely important to have an experienced Oakbrook Terrace divorce lawyer on your side throughout your divorce.

What Do Lawyers Mean When They Talk about Uncontested Divorces?

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Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce is complicated, and many Muslim couples who make the decision to file for divorce in DuPage County wonder if they have really come to the right conclusion. In some cases, divorce seems like the best solution to the marital problems a couple is experiencing, but later on, that couple might decide that it makes sense to try to make the marriage work. Or, other extenuating circumstances might arise that could lead you to want to cancel your divorce proceedings once they have started. Can you cancel a divorce once it starts? And is there a specific point in the divorce process at which the proceedings cannot be stopped?

The short answer is that you can cancel your divorce once you begin divorce proceedings. Yet you should always work with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer on your case because Illinois divorce law is extremely complicated, and there may be implications that you have not yet considered.

Your Divorce Petition, Fees, and Other Costs

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Illinois divorce lawyerWhen you are filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, it can be frustrating to think about property division and to have concerns about your spouse receiving a majority of the assets or money in a divorce. Many husbands want to know more specifically if their wives will be able to get all of their money in a divorce. In almost all divorce situations in Illinois, property is divided in a way that is fair to both parties. Keep in mind that “fair” does not mean “equal.” As such, one of the parties might end up getting more of the marital assets than the other based on factors in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

We will explain more about how money and other assets in the divorce are divided, and how a wife could seek additional money from the marriage by asking for spousal maintenance.

Concept of Marital Property and Equitable Distribution

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce attorneyWhen physicians and other healthcare professionals who own medical practices decide to file for divorce, it is important to work with a DuPage County divorce lawyer who has experience handling similar cases. In some ways, divorces involving physicians are no different than divorces involving individuals within other professions. At the same time, however, divorces involving physicians also frequently involve complicated property distribution processes and property settlements — especially when the physician owns his or her practice — as well as potentially complicated plans involving the allocation of parental responsibilities.

Property Division for Physicians

One complicating feature of divorces involving physicians is determining how to distribute a medical practice in which one or both of the parties is an owner. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs property distribution. In Illinois, property is divided under a theory of equitable distribution, meaning that the property is distributed in a manner that is fair to both parties.

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Posted on in Business Law

Illinois divorce lawyerWhat is alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and how can it help in DuPage County business law matters and family law cases? According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII), alternative dispute resolution is defined as “any method of resolving disputes without litigation.” In other words, alternative dispute resolution allows for grievances, complaints, and disputes to be handled outside of the courtroom. There are numerous types of ADR, but the two most common forms are arbitration and mediation. How do these ADR processes work, and why should businesses use them?

Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution Under Illinois Law

Chapter 70 of the Illinois Statutes governs alternative dispute resolution in the state. Examples that are often relevant to small business in DuPage County include but are not limited to:

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