Serving Family Law Clients in and around Kane County
Divorce can be difficult and stressful under the best of circumstances. When you’re facing issues such as a spouse hiding assets, the potential loss of a family business, a significant disparity in income and earning capacity, or contested custody, the challenges are even greater.
The more complex the issues and the more you have at stake, the more important it is that you work with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney. St. Charles attorney Steven N. Peskind and the other attorneys at Peskind Law Firm take the representation of divorce clients to a new level.
Peskind Law Firm Difference
The legal procedure for obtaining a divorce in Kane County is relatively straightforward, and many attorneys in and around St. Charles have the experience to manage the technical legal aspects of a divorce case. However, securing the best outcome for a divorce client requires more than just legal and procedural knowledge.
Peskind Law Firm understands how legal, financial, and emotional issues intersect in family law matters, and our attorneys and legal team have the knowledge and experience to all aspects of your case. In fact, we are one of the few law firms in Illinois to employ an in-house Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to analyze financial issues and prepare reports on behalf of our divorce clients.
Common Issues in St. Charles Divorce Cases
Every divorce case is different, but the issues fall into a small number of general categories, including:
- Division of assets
- Allocation of retirement accounts
- Responsibility for debts
- Spousal support (also known as alimony, or spousal maintenance)
- Allocation of parenting time and decision-making rights (commonly known as custody and visitation)
- Child support
The complexity of resolving these issues will depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- The debts and assets of the marriage
- The ease or difficulty of proving income and identifying and valuing assets, and
- The degree to which the divorcing couple is able to reach an agreement
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about St. Charles Divorce
What factors will the court consider in determining the allocation of parenting time and decision-making rights?
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation, or if the court determines that the parties’ proposed parenting plan is not in the best interest of the children, the court will determine an arrangement that serves the best interest of the children. Factors include:
- The wishes of the parents
- The children’s relationships with parents, siblings, and others
- Past caretaking responsibilities
- The parents’ level of cooperation regarding the children
- Past decision-making responsibilities concerning the children
- The children’s adjustment to the home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of all involved
- History of or potential for violence
- The likelihood that each parent will foster and encourage a positive relationship between the children and the other parent
The court may consider any other factors it deems relevant to determine what arrangement is in the child’s best interest.
How will the court divide debts and assets?
In Illinois, courts employ an equitable distribution model in dividing debts and assets. It’s important to note that “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Though a 50/50 distribution of marital assets is often deemed equitable, the court will consider other factors to determine what is fair in each case. Some of the factors to be considered include:
- Economic and non-economic contributions by each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Dissipation of assets by one party or the other
- The future earning capacity of each spouse
- Any spousal maintenance awarded
- Age, health, needs, and other factors specific to each spouse
- The terms of any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
- The tax consequences of property division
- Custody of and living arrangements for any minor children
What if my spouse is concealing income or assets?
Once a divorce case is filed, your attorney can use the discovery process to obtain information about your spouse’s assets, income, expenditures, and more. In Illinois, a divorce lawyer has a variety of options for obtaining this type of information, including interrogatories (written questions the other party must answer under oath), subpoenaing documents and records, and subpoenaing witnesses. Your attorney may even compel your spouse and other witnesses to appear for a deposition, where he or she will be questioned under oath.
When necessary, our staff accountant Melissa Rister employs her forensic accounting skills to help us prove that your spouse is underreporting income. That’s one of the advantages of working with a law firm that integrates financial expertise with legal skills.
Am I entitled to a share of my spouse’s retirement accounts?
Each spouse is typically entitled to 50% of the amount accrued in a retirement account during the marriage. If your spouse worked for the same company prior to the marriage, the value accrued before you were married is separate property and not subject to division. You may also be entitled to a share of your spouse’s pension benefits, but the specifics vary depending on the type of pension.
Is a pre-nuptial agreement binding?
Generally, yes. However, there are limited circumstances under which a court may set aside a pre-nuptial agreement or deviate from its terms. For instance, if one party can prove that he or she did not enter into the agreement voluntarily, the pre-nuptial agreement may be deemed invalid. Illinois law also allows the court to partially override the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement to provide support for of a spouse who will suffer hardship due to circumstances that were not contemplated at the time the agreement was executed.
Talk to an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Whether you’re considering filing for divorce or have been served with divorce papers, a conversation with a knowledgeable Kane County divorce lawyer should be your next step. The earlier in the process you get information and guidance, the better able you will be to protect your children, your assets, and your peace of mind.
Schedule a consultation with a Peskind Law Firm divorce attorney today. Call (630) 444-0701.
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