Arlington Heights High Asset Divorce LawyerWhen spouses need to divide their marital property as part of the divorce process, certain types of assets are more difficult to distribute than others. Cash held in checking and savings accounts is usually the most simple, as it has a clear value and can be easily accessed. On the other hand, businesses, homes, and other real estate property can be some of the most difficult, due to the importance of determining fair market value and finding a buyer or somehow allocating the property between the two spouses. Investment accounts tend to lie somewhere in between, and there are important considerations that both spouses should keep in mind in order to minimize losses.

Considerations for Dividing Investment Accounts

Investments are an important means of wealth preservation and growth for many couples, and the division of these assets can have major implications for both spouses’ short-term and long-term financial goals. In order to protect your finances as much as possible in your divorce, you may need to consider all of the following:

  • Uncovering hidden investments – All investment accounts containing marital assets must be included in the division of marital property, but in some cases, one spouse may have made investments that the other is unaware of. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, hiring a forensic accountant and taking advantage of the discovery period in the divorce process can help you find them and prevent you from leaving the divorce at a disadvantage.

  • Addressing fluctuating values – Some kinds of investment accounts, like money market and mutual funds, may remain relatively stable over time, but even minor fluctuations can have a significant impact on the equitable distribution of the marital estate. Higher risk accounts like those containing stock investments may be even more volatile, and in the case of employee stock options, it can be very difficult to determine the present value. Rather than attempting to divide investments based on their financial value, it may be possible to work with your account manager to divide the number of shares equitably between you and your spouse. This may also help you avoid having to sell shares at a loss during a market downturn.

  • Minimizing capital gains taxes – Equitably dividing shares rather than selling them can also help you avoid incurring capital gains taxes. If your divorce agreement does require you to liquidate investments that have increased in value after you have held them for more than a year, you may need to plan for the expense of capital gains taxes according to the tax bracket you fall within.

Contact an Arlington Heights High-Asset Divorce Attorney

Dividing investments of any kind in a divorce may lead to unexpected complications, but with a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows property division lawyer on your side, you can develop an effective strategy to protect your interests. For a free consultation, contact Cosley Law Office today at 847-253-3100.



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Arlington Heights parenting time lawyerAfter a divorce, maintaining a consistent parenting time schedule is important both for the sake of the children’s routine and in order to be fair to both parents. However, as time goes on, the schedule established during the divorce process may become outdated and no longer serve your family’s needs. It is often a good idea to periodically reconsider the parenting time schedule and determine whether any modifications would be beneficial.

What is the Legal Process for Modifying Parenting Time?

Depending on the situation, parenting time can be one of the simpler elements of a divorce resolution to modify. Illinois courts will consider a petition from either parent for minor parenting time modifications at any time after the divorce, or more significant modifications after there has been a change of circumstances. If you and your former spouse agree to a modification, the process can be even more streamlined, as you can work together to create and file a petition. As long as the court finds that the modifications are in your children’s best interests, they will likely be approved.

Reasons to Make a Change

Although parenting time modifications may be possible at any time, it is still important to carefully consider whether it is the right time to make a change. Modifications may be sensible under a variety of circumstances, including:

  • A change in the children’s school and activity schedules. If, for example, the original schedule was established when your children were quite young, you may find that it needs updating after they begin spending more time at school and start getting involved in different extracurricular activities.

  • A change in the parents’ work schedules. When a parent’s work schedule shifts to interfere with parenting time, it may be necessary to adjust the parenting schedule to allow them to maintain a strong relationship with the children. Alternatively, if a parent’s schedule becomes more flexible, it could be a good idea to increase their share of parenting time.

  • A change in the children’s preferences. As children get older, they may be more vocal and opinionated when it comes to how they want to divide their time between their parents’ homes, whether because of the living environment, their relationship with each parent, proximity to friends and social activities, or other reasons.

  • A parent’s move to a new location. Any time a parent moves, it is important to consider how the children will adjust to the new home, as well as how it will impact their travel between homes, to school and to other activities. Moves within a close distance may only require minor changes to the schedule, whereas more distant or out-of-state relocations may require a complete overhaul.

Of course, if you learn that your child is in danger while spending time with the other parent, it is important to pursue a modification as soon as possible, potentially including restrictions on that parent’s time. In such a case, you will likely need to prepare for a contested court case and gather strong evidence to support the need for change.

Contact an Arlington Heights Parenting Time Attorney

If you need to update your parenting time schedule for any reason, a Rolling Meadows post-divorce modification lawyer can help you follow the correct process. At the Cosley Law Office, we will work to ensure that your agreement meets the needs of you and your children. Contact us at 847-253-3100 to request a free consultation today.



Posted in Child Custody, Divorce and Children, divorce order modifications, Illinois Family Law Attorney, Orders of Protection, Parental Responsibilities, parenting plan, Parenting Plan Modifications, Parenting Time, Rolling Meadows Family Lawyer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rolling Meadows Divorce Mediation AttorneyMany divorcing couples are concerned about the stress, conflict, and costs that a divorce trial can bring, and in order to avoid it, they may attempt to handle the divorce on their own. However, this option can have just as many pitfalls, including possible misunderstandings of the legal process and a resolution that may not adequately protect each spouse’s rights and interests. Fortunately, there is another divorce resolution option known as mediation, and it is worth considering whether it may be the best approach in your case.

Why Pursue Divorce Mediation?

There are a number of reasons why mediation could be a good choice for a divorcing couple, some of which include:

  1. You want to have guidance when communicating with your spouse. A neutral third party can be beneficial even for couples who want to work together on a divorce resolution. The mediator can ensure that both spouses are heard, identify common ground, and help to prevent discussions from devolving into conflict or opening emotional wounds.

  2. You want to end your marriage amicably. A divorce trial is inherently adversarial, and it may exacerbate or further entrench conflicts and disagreements that already exist. Instead of fighting with your spouse, mediation allows you to work together on a resolution that serves both of your interests.

  3. You want to maintain control and privacy. In a trial, the final decision on all aspects of the divorce resolution is left in the hands of the court, which may result in an outcome that neither spouse is satisfied with. Additionally, a divorce trial is a matter of public record, so private family issues may come before the public eye. Mediation allows you to work through your differences behind closed doors, and it also allows you and your spouse to maintain greater control over the terms of your agreement.

  4. You want to protect your children. Disagreements over parental responsibilities and parenting time are often some of the most contentious parts of a divorce trial, and the stress can spill over into your home life with your children. Through mediation, however, you and your spouse can cooperate to create a parenting plan that protects the best interests of your children.

  5. You want to save time and money. While there is no guarantee that mediation will be more time- and cost-effective than litigation, couples who choose mediation are often able to reach a resolution more efficiently and avoid many of the court costs that may come with divorce.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Mediation Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, we can help you decide on the best method for resolving your divorce, and we also offer mediation services if you choose to pursue that approach. With our guidance, you can better protect your interests throughout any kind of divorce proceedings. For a free consultation, contact an Arlington Heights family lawyer at 847-253-3100.



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