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Chicago divorce attorneyDivorce statistics can vary from source to source, but most sources estimate the divorce rate for first marriages to be between 40 and 50 percent. For second marriages, the divorce rate is closer to 70 percent. If you are getting divorced for the second time, you are not alone. While you may assume that you know what to expect in this divorce since you have been through it before, each case is different and there are often additional issues to consider in a second or third divorce. To ensure that you make the best decisions possible and avoid mistakes during your divorce case, work with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Property Division and Other Financial Concerns

Just as you did in your first divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your shared assets and debts. You may have bought a home, made investments, taken out a loan, or made other financial decisions during your second marriage that you will need to address in your divorce case. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement or other marital agreement in place dictating property division, you and your spouse will need to either reach an out-of-court settlement or take the case to trial to divide your assets and debts.  An experienced divorce lawyer can help you explore your property division options and choose the option that makes the most sense given your particular situation.

Child-Related Matters in a Second Divorce

If you and your second spouse had children together, you will need to address the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Sometimes, spouses who were previously married have children from their previous marriages. You may have stepchildren that you have grown close to over the years. Unfortunately, stepparents do not have a right to parenting time with their stepchildren unless they have formally adopted the children.

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Chicago divorce lawyerFinancial issues are just one part of the marital relationship. However, financial concerns often eclipse other matters in a divorce case. A spouse’s income, debts, assets, and expenses influence almost every aspect of the divorce case. Child support, spousal support, and property division are all influenced by finances. This is why it is so crucial for divorcing spouses to ensure that financial disclosure is accurate and complete.

Some spouses try to manipulate the outcome of the divorce by lying about how much money they make or other financial information. If you are divorcing and believe that your spouse has fabricated financial information or soon will, take action now. You deserve a divorce outcome that is based on accurate financial information. A divorce lawyer experienced in complex financial concerns during divorce can protect your rights and help you take the next step.

Methods for Hiding Assets in Divorce

One of the most common ways that spouses try to gain an advantages by lying about finances is by hiding assets. A spouse may simply fail to list all the accounts and assets he or she has. Cryptocurrency, offshore accounts, or businesses may be vehicles for hiding assets. Divorcing spouses may also hide assets by transferring the property to a friend or colleague. For example, a husband may transfer $10,000 to a friend under the guise of paying back a personal loan. This shields the money from division during divorce. After the divorce, the husband simply gets the money back from the friend. Spouses may also underreport the value of certain items. Antiques, fine art, jewelry, or collectables may be worth much more than the spouse claims the assets are worth. Businesses and professional practices may also be vulnerable to undervaluation during divorce.  Some spouses go so far as to physically hide property or cash to prevent the property from being divided during divorce.

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Chicago divorce attorneyA divorce ends one chapter in life but offers the opportunity for a new chapter as well. If you are getting divorced, you may feel a mix of emotions. On one hand, you may be grieving the end of your marriage, but on the other hand, you may be excited about the prospect of dating again.

Many people going through a divorce wonder if it is okay to date other people while they are still technically married. While adults have the right to date whoever they want, dating during divorce can have unintended consequences.

What If I Meet Someone While I Am Still Technically Married?

In many cases, spouses lead separate lives long before they are officially separated or divorced. If you are like many people seeking divorce, you may have felt like your marriage ended months or even years ago. Consequently, you may be ready to start looking for a new romantic partner.

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Chicago divorce attorneyThere is no getting around the fact that a divorce will likely have a significant impact on the spouses’ finances. For some divorcing spouses, divorce represents the loss of their only source of income or financial support. Fortunately, divorcing spouses in Illinois may qualify for alimony, or as it is called in Illinois law, spousal maintenance. Read on to learn about Illinois spousal maintenance laws and what you should do if you want to request spousal maintenance during your divorce.

Avenues for Collecting Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance or spousal support can provide much-needed financial aid to divorced spouses. However, spousal maintenance is not a guarantee. There are three main avenues through which spouses can get spousal maintenance in an Illinois divorce:

  1. Prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement – If the spouses had made spousal maintenance arrangements in a prenup or other marital contract, those arrangements will most likely be upheld during the divorce. The main exception to this is if the prenuptial agreement or other agreement is invalid. For example, a prenuptial agreement may be invalid and unenforceable if a spouse entered into the agreement through fraud, coercion, or force.
  2. A settlement or agreement during the divorce proceedings – Spouses have the right to determine their own arrangement regarding spousal maintenance. They may be able to reach an agreement through mediation or negotiations led by their respective attorneys.
  3. A petition for spousal maintenance – You can petition or request spousal maintenance during your divorce. However, you will need to demonstrate solid reasons for your request. Illinois courts consider the spouses’ financial circumstances, health, and employability, the length of the marriage and standard of living during the marriage, and other factors when deciding whether to award spousal maintenance.

How Much Are Spousal Maintenance Payments and How Long Do They Last?

Often, spousal maintenance is intended to be rehabilitative. The financial support gives the recipient time to get back on his or her feet after a divorce. Permanent spousal maintenance is rare, but it may be available if the marriage lasted 20 years or longer. The duration of maintenance payments is usually based on the duration of the marriage. The dollar amount of spousal maintenance payments is usually determined by a formula that uses both spouses’ net incomes.

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Chicago business valuation lawyerOne of the most difficult issues to resolve in divorce is small business ownership. For many people, growing their small business has involved an enormous amount of time and personal sacrifice, and the thought of losing the business and shuttering its doors can be devastating. Yet, because the value of many businesses increases during a marriage, the fact is that the increase in value is likely part of your marital property - meaning it is subject to division in divorce. 

Business owners who hope to retain total ownership of their business after divorce will want to learn as much as they can about business valuation methods and how they impact the way a business is treated during divorce. If you are in this situation, read on. 

The Most Common Valuation Methods

There are several ways a business’s value can be determined, and a trained business evaluator can help you choose one based on the type of business you have. The three primary methods of small business valuations are: 

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