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Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyDuring the divorce process, couples may struggle with how to divide many of their marital assets, including the marital home, investments, and retirement accounts. An equitable distribution will involve give and take and both sides will value certain assets over others. However, many will overlook the marital debts that they have incurred and the importance of distributing them fairly. Both parties must work together to account for all debt before or during the divorce process.

Common Types of Marital Debt

In Illinois, debt incurred by either spouse during a marriage is considered marital debt, unless specified in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This includes debt and loans in both spouses’ names and taken on by just one spouse. Debt that was incurred before the marriage is not typically considered marital debt. Common forms of martial debt are:

  • Home mortgages – This can include mortgages for homes purchased together or a mortgage that was refinanced during the marriage.


Arlington Heights divorce lawyer Divorce is rarely without complications. However, when a divorcing couple shares a family business, the divorce can be especially complex. Married spouses who are also business partners will need to determine how to address ownership of the business and the division of business assets during their divorce.

Dividing Business Assets in Your Divorce

A family business will likely be considered marital property in your divorce. This means that both spouses have a right to an equitable share of business assets. Before a business can be addressed during property division in a divorce, the spouses will need to determine the value of the business. There are many different ways to value a small business, but it is best to have a professional appraiser handle business valuation. This ensures that the valuation is as accurate as possible.

Ownership of the Family Business

Business owners pour their hearts and souls into their businesses. As a business owner, you may be hesitant to walk away from the business entirely. It may be possible for you and your spouse to continue to run the business together even after your divorce. However, if you choose to go this route, make sure a lawyer helps you set up the appropriate legal protections.


Posted on in Divorce

Arlington Heights family law attorneySome divorces follow years of marital turmoil. The marriage is over long before the couple takes steps to officially end the marriage. However, sometimes, being served with divorce papers comes as a complete shock. In some cases, the respondent in a divorce case is not even aware that his or her spouse wants to end the marriage. He or she may still believe the marriage is salvageable or that divorce is not the right solution.

If you were served with a divorce petition and you and not ready to end your marriage, you may wonder if you can simply refuse to respond to the divorce petition.   

Failure to Respond to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Illinois spouses who are served with divorce papers are also served with a summons requiring them to respond to the divorce petition. The respondent is asked to file a written appearance and response within 30 days. The appearance provides official notice to the petitioner and the court that the respondent wishes to be involved in the divorce process. Filing an appearance is the first step in participating in decisions about marital property and debt, child custody, and spousal maintenance.  


Rolling Meadows divorce attorneyMost couples that separate or divorce live in separate homes while the divorce is ongoing. However, some spouses refuse to move out—even if the marriage has become intolerable. If you are seeking a divorce and your spouse refuses to leave your home, you may wonder if you can kick your spouse out or have them evicted. In Illinois, a spouse may be able to seek exclusive possession of the marital home under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more.

Evicting a Spouse Through a Motion for Exclusive Possession of the Marital Residence

Divorce is usually a tense process, but sometimes that tension escalates to a point that is unsafe. Hostility during divorce can damage the mental wellbeing of the spouses and their children.

If living together in the same home as your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has become intolerable and he or she refuses to move out, you may be able to file a motion for exclusive possession of your home. If granted, the order will force your spouse to move out.  However, Illinois courts only grant motions for exclusive possession if there is legitimate danger to either spouse or the children. Mere tension, awkwardness, or stress may not be satisfactory reasons.


Rolling Meadows divorce lawyerOften, the emotional and personal fallout caused by the split gets the lion’s share of attention during divorce. However, divorcing spouses must also consider the financial consequences of the split. Divorce can dramatically impact your personal finances. Furthermore, mistakes during the process can lead to avoidable financial losses and extra stress for both parties. If you are getting divorced, make sure you consider the following financial concerns.

Marital Debt Can Haunt Spouses Long After the Split

When you get divorced, you and your spouse will need to address your shared property as well as your shared debts. Per Illinois’s equitable distribution laws, most debts accumulated by either spouse during the marriage are marital debts for which both parties are responsible. Those financial obligations do not terminate when the couple divorces. Spouses who divide joint debt between each other may still be pursued by creditors if the other spouse fails to make his or her payments on time – even after the divorce is finalized. This is why many financial experts encourage divorcing spouses to pay off debts during the divorce by selling other assets.

Taxes Can Heavily Influence Property Division

Spouses must consider the tax consequences of their financial decisions during divorce. There may be tax-related advantages and disadvantages associated with different property division arrangements. Most property transfers during divorce are non-taxable events, however, this is not always the case. Receiving $20,000 from a checking account during the divorce and receiving $20,000 from a retirement account do not have the same tax consequences. The spouse who received the retirement funds may need to pay income tax on the distributions he or she received. There may also be penalties associated with accessing the retirement funds early.

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