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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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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWhen you are served with divorce papers in DuPage County, you are likely to have many questions about the next stages of the Illinois divorce process and how they will impact you. Whenever you are going through a divorce, it is extremely important to have an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney on your side. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have years of experience helping members of the Muslim community in Oakbrook Terrace and surrounding areas, and we can speak with you about your case today.

In the meantime, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of the steps that will follow after you have been served with divorce papers in Illinois.

Filing a Written Response to the Petition for Divorce

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_property-division.jpgWhen you are thinking about filing for divorce in Oakbrook Terrace or another area of DuPage County, you are likely to have many questions about property division. For many members of the Muslim community, issues surrounding property division can be complicated and frustrating given that property division involves more than just financial assets. To be sure, your home, and even valuable family heirlooms, can be subject to division in a divorce proceeding in Illinois.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/), abbreviated as the IMDMA, governs property distribution in our state following a divorce.

Classifying Separate Property and Marital Property

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Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerLast year, Illinois family law changed in a number of ways, and it is important to understand how these changes might impact you and your family in the event of divorce. Divorce is difficult for Muslim families in DuPage County under any circumstances, but understanding how our state’s laws function during divorce proceedings can help you to be prepared for the weeks and months ahead.

No Fault Divorce in Illinois

We mentioned above that Illinois family law has recently undergone some changes. All of those alterations are reflected in the current Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). One of the first major changes concerns grounds for divorce. Until just recently in Illinois, divorcing spouses could cite grounds for divorce such as adultery, impotence, mental anguish, and habitual drunkenness. However, those terms are different now.

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