Fighting for the Rights of DuPage County Divorce Clients
When you’re facing the end of your marriage, it may be difficult to know what to do first, or where to turn to help. The legal team at the Peskind Law Firm understands that there’s much more in play than the legal process, and that our divorce clients often need more comprehensive assistance to plan for the future and move into the next phase of their lives.
A Different Divorce Law Firm Experience
Our attorneys have extensive experience in managing all aspects of complex divorce cases, including contested custody (technically called allocation of parenting time and decision-making rights in Illinois), financial reconstruction, contesting pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and more. But, that’s only one facet of our service.
We also know that many people facing this significant life transition need help in planning and goal-setting, so we employ a Certified Divorce Coach. And, we know that not every divorcing spouse is entirely honest in the process, so we are prepared to investigate income and assets. Our staff CPA, Melissa Rister, provides forensic analysis to help establish actual income to ensure that you receive a fair division of assets and support.
Protect Yourself in a Hinsdale Divorce Case
Whether you’re considering filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed and you’ve been served with a petition for dissolution of marriage, your first step should be to consult with an experienced DuPage county divorce lawyer. It’s common for laypeople caught up in the emotional and practical aspects of divorce to make serious legal errors—errors that may ultimately impact custody, property division, or other important aspects of the case.
The sooner you connect with a qualified local attorney, the better protected you’ll be against innocent mistakes that could come back to haunt you.
DuPage County Divorce Basics
Just as every family and every relationship is different, every divorce case is different. Different people have different goals, priorities, needs, financial holdings, relationships with children, and so on. The best way to get answers to your specific questions about the divorce process and how the issues in your case are likely to resolve is to talk to a Hinsdale divorce lawyer.
However, there is some basic information that is of concern to most Illinois divorce clients. The FAQs below provide a brief overview of how some key issues, such as child custody and property division, are decided in DuPage county courts.
How are debts and assets divided in a DuPage county divorce case?
Illinois law provides for an equitable distribution of debts and assets. In plain English, equitable distribution simply means that assets will be divided and responsibility for debts allocated in a manner that is fair to both parties. In some cases, this results in an even split of debts and assets, but not always.
In determining what constitutes equitable distribution in a particular case, the court will consider a variety of factors, such as:
- How much each spouse has contributed to the marriage (not limited to financial contributions)
- How long the parties have been married
- Whether one party or the other has dissipated assets
- Whether either party will be receiving spousal maintenance (“alimony”) from the other
- Each spouse’s future earning capacity
- Considerations such as health, age, and special needs
- The impact of property division on tax obligations
- The terms of any enforceable pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
Are retirement accounts subject to equitable distribution?
Retirement accounts are allocated differently from other property. Each spouse can generally expect to receive 50% of retirement benefits accrued during the marriage. When one or both spouses had a retirement account prior to the marriage, any sums accrued before the marriage will be excluded from the calculation.
How will I know if my spouse is providing accurate financial information?
The Illinois divorce process provides means for each spouse to obtain financial data and other important information in the course of the divorce. The discovery process allows each party to make requests for documents and other information, which must be submitted under oath.
In some cases, a party may lie under oath, or conceal records that would demonstrate that he or she has more income or assets than revealed. When that happens, or you have reason to believe that is happening, the Peskind Law Firm has the knowledge and resources necessary to investigate finances and reconstruct information to give the court a more accurate view of your spouse’s finances.
Can I get more than my pre-nuptial agreement allows for?
In most cases, a DuPage county court will be bound by the terms of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. However, there are two sets of circumstances under which the terms of the agreement may not be binding.
First, only a valid pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement is enforceable. Thus, if the agreement doesn’t meet the legal requirements for a valid contract, or one spouse can show that he or she did not sign voluntarily, the agreement may be entirely unenforceable.
Even when the agreement is valid, a court may deviate from the terms if circumstances have arisen that were not foreseen at the time of execution, and because of those circumstances one spouse would suffer hardship if the agreement were strictly followed.
The best way to determine whether your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement is valid and enforceable is to speak with a local divorce lawyer who has experience in challenging such contracts.
How will the court determine allocation of parenting time and decision-making rights?
Allocation of parenting time and decision-making authority, generally described as “custody and visitation” is determined based on what the court deems to be in the best interests of the children. Illinois law sets forth several considerations to help the court reach this determination, including:
- The relationship of the child with each parent, siblings, and others involved
- The wishes of each parent with regard to custody and visitation
- The capacity of the parents to cooperate in the best interests of the children
- The likelihood that each will encourage and facilitate the children’s relationship with the other parent
- Past parental involvement in caretaking and decision-making
- Any psychological or physical medical issues
- The children’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
This list is not comprehensive, and the court may in its discretion consider any issue that impacts the best interests of the children.
Get Specific Guidance from a Hinsdale Divorce Lawyer
For more detailed information about what you can expect in the divorce process and how you can best protect your interests and your children’s interests, schedule a consultation right now. Just call 630-444-0701.
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