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Business Valuation for an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on May 20, 2023 in Property Division

IL divorce lawyerWhen a business is part of the marital estate in an Illinois divorce, it is essential to value that business as accurately as possible in order to divide the assets fairly between the spouses. However, business valuation can be a tremendously complex process, requiring the input of a team of professionals with knowledge in accounting, finance, and management. Today, we will discuss what you can expect during a business valuation as part of asset division during an Illinois divorce.

Necessary Steps During a Business Valuation

The first step in a business valuation is to identify all of the assets and liabilities associated with the business. This includes tangible assets, such as equipment, inventory, and property, as well as intangible assets, such as goodwill, customer relationships, and intellectual property. It may also include liabilities such as outstanding debt and unpaid taxes.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods in Illinois Divorce Cases

 Posted on April 10, 2023 in Divorce

geneva divorce lawyerEnding a marriage can be a major legal undertaking. Divorcing spouses may need to address the division of marital debts and property, including retirement accounts, investments, real estate, and other property. If they share children, they will need to address the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time and create a parenting plan. Child support and spousal support may also be crucial issues in an Illinois divorce. 

Fortunately, there are several alternative dispute resolution methods available for divorcing spouses in Illinois. These methods may help you reach a resolution without a contentious courtoom trial. 

Mediation 

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution for legal issues that involves parties coming together to discuss their issues and try to reach a resolution on their own without court input. Discussions will be facilitated by neutral, third-party mediators whose roles are to help parties negotiate a workable settlement.

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Knowing the Signs of Domestic Abuse

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Domestic Violence

geneva domestic violence lawyerAbuse is defined under 750 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 60/103(1), as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation. Although many people think that domestic violence or abuse only involves physical harm, other non-physical harms are also classified as abuse under Illinois law. 

Domestic violence is not limited to married couples as it is always possible that an unmarried couple could also be dealing with domestic violence. The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates represents individuals who are both the victims of domestic violence as well as alleged offenders in these cases, and we have more than three decades of experience handling these types of cases.

Common Kinds of Domestic Violence

Some of the most common signs of domestic violence can include:

  • Physical Aggression — The Illinois Attorney General specifically states that any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member breaks the state domestic violence law.

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Understanding Discovery in a Divorce

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Divorce

kane county divorce lawyerDiscovery is the legal process in which both parties to a legal action exchange information about the witnesses and evidence they intend to introduce during a divorce case. This process can lead to the disclosure of incredibly sensitive and important information, such as tax returns and other financial documents, medical records, or child-related information. Discovery can help both sides in a divorce get a clearer view of the other side’s current status and know what assets and debts may be applicable in the case. 

Types of Discovery Issues

Discovery is typically informal or formal. Informal discovery involves the voluntary release of information by the parties. Formal discovery usually occurs in court and may involve interrogatories, notices to produce documents, depositions, or subpoenas. Interrogatories involve questions one party asks another. The Illinois Supreme Court approved a series of standard interrogatories specifically for divorce cases. 

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How Are Child Custody Decisions Made in an Illinois Divorce? 

 Posted on January 13, 2023 in Child Custody and Support

kane county divorce lawyerWhen two parents are divorcing and have a child or children, it can be incredibly difficult for the spouses to try and determine a workable child custody agreement. Illinois recently changed the language used to describe child custody. “Parental responsibilities” refers to a parent’s ability to make important decisions in a child’s life, such as where they will attend school and what religion they will practice. “Parenting time” relates to the physical care and supervision of a child. 

If you are getting divorced in Illinois and you share children with your spouse, you will be asked to create a parenting plan that describes the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. If you and your spouse cannot agree on these matters, the court may need to intervene. 

Disagreements Regarding the Parenting Plan May Necessitate Court Intervention 

Parents divorcing in Illinois use a parenting agreement or parenting plan to describe how the children will be cared for. It can be difficult for many parents to reach a mutually agreeable parenting plan. Sometimes, the court orders the parents to attend mediation, where they work with a neutral third party to develop a parenting plan. 

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Understanding Parental Relocation in Illinois

 Posted on December 21, 2022 in Parental Relocation

geneva child custody lawyerThe Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act underwent significant modifications in 2016 that changed the rules regarding parental relocations. Whereas parents were once allowed to move anywhere within Illinois without getting approval from a court or the other parent, parents must now comply with a new set of guidelines.

The old law was viewed as problematic because a parent living in the Chicago area could move almost 400 miles south to Cairo without notification, while a 30 mile drive to Gary, Indiana would require approval. Under changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, moves over a certain distance require approval. The phrase “child removal” has also been replaced with relocation.

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When Modifications to a Divorce Decree Become Necessary

 Posted on November 17, 2022 in Modification & Removal

kane county divorce lawyerMany people want to believe that after they go through the long process of seeking and finalizing a divorce they can just put everything behind them and never think about any agreement again. However, many agreements may need to be revisited. 

Terms of a divorce decree cannot be changed individually by either spouse, so a party will have to seek a modification through the court when they need some kind of major corrective change made to their original divorce decree. You may be able to simplify your case by working in agreement with your former spouse for any modification.

How Modifications Work

Modifications most commonly relate to child custody, parental responsibilities, child support, spousal support, and property division. You have two ways to seek modifications:

  • Modifications by Agreement - Assuming that divorcing spouses can come to an agreement on a modification, then this is perhaps the easiest way to seek a modification. You simply submit the agreed-upon request to the court for approval. It is important to remember, however, that any proposed adjustments to child support payments still need to comply with Illinois Child Support Guidelines. An attorney can assist you in negotiating with your former spouse to get an agreed modification proposal to submit to the court.

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What Illinois Spouses Should Know About Legal Separation

 Posted on October 19, 2022 in Family Law

Geneva, IL legal separation lawyerLegal separation is an alternative to divorce that allows spouses to formally separate without terminating the marriage entirely. Spouses who are granted a legal separation are still married, but may have certain orders or agreements in place that are reminiscent of a divorce decree. For example, separated spouses may be entitled to “reasonable support and maintenance” during the separation. Legally separating has certain advantages over divorce. It is easier to undo the effects of a legal separation. Spouses who divorce would be required to remarry should they reconcile and wish to begin living as a married couple again, while those who have legally separated may have significantly easier options should they restart their relationship. If you are considering divorce or legal separation, work with an experienced Illinois lawyer who can guide you through the process. 

Could I Get Support From My Spouse After Separating?

It is possible for some spouses who are legally separating or have legally separated to receive financial support from their spouse. The Illinois statute that provides for legal separation authorizes separated spouses to pursue support payments so a spouse who has not worked for pay during the marriage can pursue separation more easily. The manner in which support payments are addressed and decided in legal separation is similar to the method by which this issue would be settled in divorce. 

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When is Collaborative Divorce or Mediation Not Recommended?

 Posted on September 30, 2022 in Divorce

geneva divorce lawyerIf you have been browsing divorce topics, you have likely seen countless articles urging you to consider divorce mediation or attorney-facilitated negotiation as a means of resolving your divorce out of court. Collaborative divorce is another common alternative resolution method during divorce. Collaborative divorce requires both parties to actively participate, and to do so in good faith. A mutual willingness to compromise is a necessity. Either spouse, unfortunately, has the power to delay or frustrate the process. If no agreement can be reached after substantial efforts have been made, you will be left with no option but to resort to divorce litigation. In some cases where it is abundantly clear that mediation or negotiations are likely to fail, it may be more prudent to make litigation your plan from the outset. An experienced attorney can assess your situation and help you decide whether yours is a divorce that cannot be settled out of court. 

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Can I Get An Annulment in Illinois?

 Posted on August 29, 2022 in Divorce

geneva famly law attorneyIn Illinois, if you want to get your marriage annulled, you can petition the court for a Declaration of Invalidity. Many people assume they can easily get their marriage annulled. However, it is more difficult to receive an annulment than a divorce, contrary to the commonly held belief that divorce is more difficult to achieve. 

A Declaration of Invalidity of Marraige deems a marriage invalid. Divorce ends a marriage. Annulment, on the other hand, states that a marriage was never valid to begin with. 

To get a marriage annulled in Illinois, there must be proof of impotence, bigamy, or proof that one party was unable to consent at the time of the marriage. This may be due to coercion, force, or the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an individual was underage at the time of marriage commencement, that is also proof of invalidity of marriage. Though these examples may seem simple enough to prove, it is often difficult to provide sufficient evidence. This is demonstrated in the court’s seldom practice of granting Declarations of Invalidity outside of the circumstance in which one spouse was under the age of consent. 

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