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Peoria Illinois Family Law Blog

Owning a business can make divorce complicated

No matter what brings divorce knocking at your door, the effects are often devastating if you do not approach the process with a clear understanding of your priorities. A strong legal strategy can help you protect these priorities, but only if you take the time and effort to build it before you are too far into the process.

This principle proves true for nearly all divorcing spouses, but it is particularly crucial for individuals who own businesses to consider these risks as soon as they believe they are headed toward divorce. In most instances, divorce negotiations are about difficult compromise. It is very difficult to keep a business together while a marriage comes apart, especially when the business may qualify as marital property.

Why sentimental value can be a trap in family law

It is important for those who are going through a divorce or legal separation, or even some sort of non-marital breakup, to be aware of the difference between market value and sentimental value.

The reason is that knowing the difference, and knowing how to recognize each, can be key to getting a fair property division that, at the end of the day, will meet a Peoria resident's long-term goals.

How does a QDRO work?

Many Peoria residents have 401(k)s or comparable tax-favored retirement plans for their workplaces. These investment accounts can be very helpful for families and individuals who are trying to build up enough wealth to retire comfortably.

However, when a couple decides to divorce or undergo a permanent legal separation, 401(k)s can present a special challenge when it comes to divvying up marital property.

Overview of parental relocation in Illinois

Even people who grew up in the Peoria area and have their family here may find that, for whatever reason, they need to move elsewhere.

Whether it is for a new job, to take care of a sick loved one or to explore a new opportunity for one's child, sometimes it becomes obvious to a parent that they need to leave Peoria or even Illinois. Still, even if it is the right thing to do, moving involves a lot of legwork, including a bunch of legal and financial steps.

Can I do anything if my ex could earn more?

As this blog has mentioned before, child support orders in Illinois are largely determined by how much income each parent makes.

In fact, based on this state's income shares model, the very idea of child support is that each parent contributes a proportionate share of his or her income to the support of the children.

Do you have a valid surrogacy contract?

If you and your spouse or partner are using a surrogate to bear your child, you want to be certain that your surrogacy contract is ironclad and without wiggle room.

All surrogacy contracts are not the same, and yours should reflect your and your partner's needs, concerns and wishes. Also, the surrogate should retain her own legal counsel so that no issues can be later introduced regarding conflict of interest.

How do I put a value on our family business?

Many families in Peoria, Illinois rely on a family business, sometimes a business they have been involved in since their own childhoods, for their income and livelihood.

Oftentimes, these businesses are successful enough to the point where the family has a great deal of net worth tied up in it and is therefore able to live quite comfortably.

How a person going through divorce can avoid honest mistakes

Many residents of Peoria have probably heard about some Illinois residents who have behaved poorly during a divorce or separation. Some have let their emotions get so out of control that they commit an act of domestic violence or other criminal behavior.

Others may get caught trying to hide assets or intentionally squandering them, while still others may get embarrassed by an ill-advised text or social media post.

How are parental responsibilities in Illinois decided?

When parents in Illinois divorce, important decisions will need to be made regarding the child. One of these decisions is who will have decision-making responsibilities for the child. This decision could affect both the parents and the child for years to come.

Under Illinois Statute 602.5, when it comes to the allocation of parental decision-making responsibilities, the standard the court will use is the "best interests of the child." While parents are still permitted to negotiate their own agreement, if they are unable to do so the court will determine which parent, or both, will have the right to make significant decisions affecting the child. These decisions include issues of long-term importance such as: where the child will go to school; health care decisions; what religion the child will practice with certain conditions; and extracurricular activities, among others.

Post-divorce financial fights among parents

It is not uncommon for financial arguments and divorce to go together. Stress coming from disagreements over money is among the things that can put a couple on the path to divorce. Also, financial issues, like spousal support and property division, can be some of the more contentious ones in divorces.

What about after a divorce? Once a divorce is final, you don’t have to worry about getting into fights over finances with your ex anymore, right? Unfortunately, for many, this proves not to be the case. There can still be plenty of potential battlegrounds over money issues for divorced couples. This can especially be the case for divorced couples with kids.

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