110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

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Divorce can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with a high net worth and a spouse who has attempted to hide assets. Though it is difficult to keep financial secrets from your spouse these days, it does not stop people from trying. According to a report by CreditCards.com, nearly 15 million adults have a credit card or bank account that their live-in partner does not know about. Though it can be tempting to hide assets from one’s spouse during a divorce, it is not a good idea - in fact, it is illegal. If you think your spouse may be concealing financial resources during your divorce, here are five ways you can begin looking for hidden assets:

1. Look at Tax Returns

The first place you should begin looking for hidden assets is in your taxes. Income tax returns from at last the past five years are a good place to start. Look at where income has been coming from, whether that be your spouse’s job, interest, dividends, or capital gains or losses. If something seems off on the tax return, talk to your attorney about it.

2. Check Bank Statements

Another place to look could be bank or credit card statements. When examining these statements, you should look for any large transfers or withdrawals, especially patterns such as regular transfers or withdrawals of small amounts of money. Look for any payments made to family members or friends or custodial accounts for children. Also, look for any ATM withdrawals and note the amounts withdrawn - are these normal spending habits, or could they be an indication that your spouse is withdrawing and concealing marital funds?

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NITA, certification, Illinois family lawyerAttorneys have a law degree. We all know that. They have a JD and technically speaking they are doctors of the law. But there are additional certifications and licensure that attorneys can seek following law school and while they are in practice. One of those certifications is from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, also known as NITA.

NITA provides valuable and dynamic teaching methods to attorneys licensed to practice in Illinois and other jurisdictions. NITA employs expert faculty to enrich lawyers in advanced skills and provide them with Continuing Legal Education credits as required for each attorney to maintain their licensure. Attendees at NITA practice advanced skills in all areas of law, from jury selection to expert witness examination to family law (divorce law).

One of the courses taught by the National Institute of Trial Attorneys each year involves a 8-day (yes, 8 days) certificate program in family law advocacy. Divorce cases are a component of family law. This course includes advanced techniques in examining and cross examining expert witnesses, including custody evaluators (604(b) and 604.5 evaluators) and financial experts (CPAs and the like). In addition to daily drills and lectures, each attorney puts on a mock trial at the end of the program to duplicate and show off the skills they learned from the preceding 7 days of drills. That trial involves expert testimony and cross examination.

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child support, support orders, Illinois family lawyerIn Illinois, the current statute that governs child support is 750 ILCS 5/505 which is titled, “Child Support; Contempt; Penalties.” According to the Illinois child support statute, guideline child support is as follows:

The Court shall determine the minimum amount of support by using the following guidelines:

Number of Children

Percent of Supporting Party's Net Income

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uncontested divorce, contested divorce, Illinois Divorce AttorneyDivorces are usually classified as either contested or uncontested. It is important to understand the difference between the two. A contested divorce means that the parties are not able to come to an agreement on disposition of property, finances, and custody of the children. The parties need the court system to decide these matters for them. In these instances, it is always best that you reach out to an attorney who is experienced in filing the appropriate motions and petitions necessary to protect your rights.

Alternatively, an uncontested divorce occurs when the parties have reached an agreement on all issues they may face, including disposition of property, finances, and custody. An uncontested divorce is the preferred way to go, as they will save the parties’ both significant time and litigation costs.

An experienced attorney can review your case for common pitfalls that trip up divorcing couples and advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities.

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