Hacking Spouse’s Email

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Hacking Spouse’s Email

 

In the highly emotional time of a divorce, it can become tempting for people to cross lines that should not be crossed. Hacking into your spouse’s email account or computer to try and find some damning evidence against them is that step too far. Recently a husband sued his wife for reading the private emails he was sending to other women. The wife had set up her husband’s email to automatically forward any emails sent by him to her. This case eventually reached the U.S. Appellate Court where under the existing Federal Wiretap Act the court found that the wife had violated the law by accessing her husband’s computer without his consent. The wife’s actions were found to be illegal despite the fact that she had uncovered her husband’s adultery. Although not often prosecuted, adultery remains an illegal act in Illinois. One Judge expressed his concern that this law protects the husband’s illegal act by allowing his dishonesty and deception. However, as the law stands you must always get consent before accessing your spouse’s personal email account. Hacking your spouse’s email on a non-shared computer violates the Wiretapping Law. This criminal offense carries a possibility of prison time if convicted and the illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in Court.

 

Recognizing Unreasonable Divorce Demands

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Recognizing Unreasonable Divorce Demands

 

As an Illinois couple considers a divorce, financial issues and child rearing can be some of the most contentious matters under the scrutiny of both parties, their lawyers, and the court system. In trying to avoid litigation, an individual might suggest negotiating an agreement without legal help in order to save money on fees. Alternative methods such as collaboration or mediation could also simplify the process, but an individual might want to proceed with caution if the other party seems to be making unreasonable demands.

 

It can be helpful to have an understanding of divorce laws related to property division and child custody. For example, funds that were received by one spouse as a gift might not be considered marital property. However, the use of such gifted funds to purchase a family home might be viewed as commingling, which could leave an inheritance or gift vulnerable to being split. Retirement benefits might be viewed as marital assets, but there is not a responsibility to split future retirement savings. A court order to split such benefits can typically be processed by the administrator overseeing the retirement fund in question, which will allow each party’s share to be managed independently.

 

In dealing with a marital home, one spouse might insist on remaining at the property in spite of joint ownership. In such a case, an agreement that no other adult moves in for at least two years from the time of the split is appropriate. In a contentious case, it might be helpful to request the appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the needs of the children.

 

In a high asset divorce case, spouses could spend a huge amount of money in fees as they bicker over minor matters. A divorce lawyer could be helpful in streamlining the matter to ensure that a fair settlement is proposed. In reviewing a settlement offered by the other party, a lawyer might bring inappropriate demands to the client’s attention.

 

Millionaire Ex-spouses Have Been in Court for 7 Years

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Millionaire Ex-spouses Have Been in Court for 7 Years

By: Feinberg Sharma / October 6, 2016

 

 

A divorced couple in Illinois has failed to reach a final divorce settlement after seven years of litigation. In April, Cancer Treatment Centers of America founder Richard Stephenson and his former wife Alicia Stephenson formally dissolved their 18-year marriage. However, the couple still has not been able to reach a final agreement about property division.

 

Though there is no argument that Richard is a multi-millionaire; however, Richard’s attorneys have disputed Alicia’s attorney’s assessment of his wealth. According to Alicia’s attorneys, Stephenson owns assets with a total value exceeding $1 billion. There is a prenuptial agreement in place, but Alicia’s attorneys have argued that Alicia has been denied ownership rights to several businesses that are in her name. The ex-couple has not been able to reach a final agreement about spousal support.

 

Richard and Alicia’s attorneys have butted heads many times during the seven-year divorce proceedings. An attorney for Alicia claims that he has never seen a court allow a divorcing spouse to withhold financial documents the way that Richard has. Richard’s attorneys have denied allegations that they are hiding financial information and argued that Alicia’s attorneys have inflated the value of the marital estate. Soon after the divorce paperwork was filed, a judge awarded Alicia temporary alimony payments of $65,800 per month.

 

When divorce proceedings are prolonged, the divorce process can end up costing both spouses a lot more money than it is worth. An attorney may be able to represent a divorcing spouse during property division hearings and work toward an efficient settlement. If a spouse is concerned that they will lose certain assets, an attorney may be able to help them to assert their property rights.

 

Source: Chicago Tribune, “With millions at stake, trial looms in cancer center founder divorce,” Robert McCoppin, Sept. 22, 2016

Safeguarding a Child’s College Savings During Divorce

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Safeguarding a Child’s College Savings During Divorce

By: Feinberg Sharma / September 20, 2016

 

 

An Illinois parent who is going through a divorce might worry about the future, especially with regard to finances. Even those who have saved carefully can see their resources decimated in contentious situations, especially if litigation is focused on minor issues. The best interests of one’s children might be the goal of all parties involved, but expensive settlements could leave options for paying legal bills and settlement costs limited. In such a case, some types of college savings plans might be diverted.

 

Those involved in high asset divorce situations may have saved a significant amount of money to assure their children of the best possible post-secondary education. A custodial 529 savings plan is one of the safest in terms of how the funds can be used. The beneficiary must remain constant for the life of the plan. A traditional 529 plan, however, could be changed for the use of another beneficiary in paying for college. A new spouse or child could become the recipient of these benefits in some instances. ESAs are similarly flexible in terms of possible beneficiary changes.

 

To head off the potential diversion of college funds, a concerned parent could request that details related to the accounts and their intended use be specified in the divorce settlement. It is also wise for a concerned party to request that they be listed on the account as an interested person, which can help in obtaining duplicate statements. This provides a method of oversight and accountability.

 

Because high asset divorces can be complicated, it may be sensible to discuss the situation with a divorce lawyer as early as possible. There may be a need to enlist accounting professionals to evaluate the values of family businesses, investigate possible hidden assets, and determine which assets are subject to property division rules. Not all high asset divorces have to be contentious, and in some cases, a collaborative approach could be considered.

 

Gaining Financial Skills Important When Preparing for Divorce

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Gaining Financial Skills Important When Preparing for Divorce

By: Feinberg Sharma / June 29, 2016

 

 

Most married people in Illinois don’t want to think about the possibility of divorce. Since a large percentage of marriages will eventually end, however, it may be wise for spouses to develop good financial skills.

 

Individuals should think ahead to their retirement, and both spouses should increase their individual contributions to their plans if they are able to do so. As people get older and their incomes increase, they should continue contributing more to their retirement accounts. This may help to ensure that a person will be able to retire on time even if the marriage ends in divorce.

 

It is also important for both spouses to develop other financial skills. These include the ability to balance a checkbook, budget money and pay bills. In many divorces, one spouse will be much more financially prepared than the other. People who take the time to learn and implement good financial decisions may be better prepared to deal with the financial impact that a divorce can bring.

 

If a couple has been married for a number of years, they may have finances that are intermingled. Over time, they may also have accumulated numerous assets, including real property, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds or businesses. The property division of a high-asset divorce can be very complicated. When a person is considering filing for divorce, they may want to get assistance from a family law attorney. A lawyer might be able to locate assets that the other spouse is attempting to hide. The attorney may also be able to work out a property settlement agreement that protects a client.