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1. The Discovery Process
Most divorce cases present issues of support, division of assets and liabilities, and parenting issues. A judge cannot decide nor can the parties settle these issues without accurate information. Often, one party has less knowledge than the other about such matters. To ensure during divorce that both parties have equal access to necessary information, the law provides various means of obtaining information through the “discovery” process.
2. The Financial Affidavit
The Financial Affidavit is a comprehensive form mandated by the Illinois Supreme Court requiring divorcing couples to fully disclose their expenses, assets and debts to the other party at the onset of the divorce proceedings.
Often times clients ask if they can get money back that they feel their spouse has spent on an inappropriate purpose. In Illinois, this legal concept is called “dissipation.”
4. The Hague Convention / Child Abduction
Creating parenting arrangements are oftentimes an emotionally charged process. The challenge becomes even more complex when the parents are from different countries; have resided abroad or have competing international jurisdictions where the decisions about children can be determined.
5. Allocation of Parenting Time & Responsibilities
In 2015, Illinois law on “custody” changed dramatically. Parents are now awarded “decision making authority and responsibilities” consistent with the parents’ past performance and the ability of the parties to make joint decisions about major issues impacting the lives of their children. What does this mean for you as a parent today?
Many changes occur following a divorce, and for some people this includes moving – whether it be to a new home, city, or even state. Moving can be difficult enough, but these decisions are even more nuanced when children of a divorced couple are involved. Unless the parents agree to the relocation and its effects on their parenting plan or allocation judgment, the parent wishing to relocate must obtain the court’s approval prior to moving with the child.
7. Business Valuation
Businesses can be valued by agreement, such as by using the value set by the valuation firm utilized regularly by the business entity, if regular business valuation reporting is already in place.
8. Child Support
State courts calculate child support in a couple of ways. Under the older model (“percentage of net income” model), child support is based on a percentage of the paying parent’s net income. In 2017, Illinois joined 40 other states and territories that use a more nuanced model called the “income shares” model.
Maintenance, or the payment of support for a current or former spouse is many times charged with emotional reactions from both participants.
10. Dividing Retirement Benefits
Deferred compensation comes in many forms. Retirement benefits is one of the great benefits of employer provided or employer supplement assistance to their employees.
11. Executive Compensation
Stock Grants, Restricted Stock Units, Restricted Stock Awards, Stock Options, Valuing Privately Held Stock, and Deferred Stock Compensation.
12. Protecting Inheritance
Generally, inheritance is the sole and separate property of the inheritor so long as proper steps are taken to keep it separate from marital assets and not titled in the spouse’s name.
13. Gray Divorce
A new phenomenon is taking place in America. Couples over 50 are divorcing in greater numbers than ever before, doubling for couples aged 50 to 64, and tripling for couples over 65 years of age, as compared to the rates in 1990. This is resulting in numerous concerns.