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IL domestic violence attorneyIn most divorce cases today, the courts urge the couple to attempt to work together to come to an agreement on the issues pertaining to the divorce before they take the issues to trial. While there are many reasons for this, the biggest reason is that giving both parties negotiating power also means they are more likely to follow certain orders after the divorce is finalized. For many couples, no court intervention is needed because they are able to negotiate a divorce agreement with the help of their attorneys or a mediator. However, some cases have circumstances in which you may need the help of the court to complete your divorce.

One of those circumstances is the presence of domestic violence in the home. Domestic violence is one of the most complicated social and societal issues that exists throughout the United States. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million men and women experience some form of domestic violence each year. Most people think of domestic violence as simply being an act of violence, but for most perpetrators, it is more about holding power over the victim. Domestic violence is a serious issue and it can also have an extremely negative effect on your divorce.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence or abuse is a term that encompasses a variety of harmful and hurtful behaviors and can be found in families from many different racial, educational, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many people tend to focus on the violent aspect of domestic abuse, but the main and most important component of domestic violence and domestic abuse is control. A person does not just commit acts of domestic violence or abuse every once in a while because they just “lose their temper” sometimes. A person commits acts of domestic violence and abuse to attempt to gain control over the victim through acts of guilt, shame, fear, and intimidation.

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IL divorce lawyerFinances play a huge role in any divorce. Most married couples have combined their financial lives in such a way that undoing this financial entanglement is often quite an undertaking. Division of assets is especially complicated when the couple owns complex assets such as a family business, real estate, investments, trust accounts, or stocks. High net worth and complex assets such as these also make it easier for a spouse to underreport assets and income. If you believe that your spouse may try to hide assets or lie about finances during divorce, reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer right away.

Methods of Hiding Assets and Underreporting Income

In order for a married couple to fairly divide their marital property and resolve other divorce issues, each spouse must be truthful regarding his or her finances. Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses attempt to manipulate property division, spousal support, and child support in their favor by lying about their income and assets. There are almost countless ways that a spouse may falsify his or her financial information to sway the divorce settlement in his or her favor. He or she may transfer assets from joint accounts to accounts that the other spouse does not know about or even transfer assets to friends or colleagues. Some spouses intentionally overpay the IRS in an effort to shelter funds from being divided during divorce. Business owners may delay invoicing clients, fabricate fake expenses, or significantly underreport business revenue.

Red Flags of Financial Deceit During Divorce

Hidden assets, unreported income, and exaggerated expenses can substantially change the divorce settlement that a spouse receives. Divorcing individuals who have allowed their spouses to handle all of the financial decisions and money management are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of in this way. It is possible that your spouse may be hiding assets if he or she:

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IL divorce lawyerHaving a child puts everything into perspective. Instead of focusing on yourself, your goal is to make sure your children are happy, healthy, and grow up to be successful, well-adjusted adults. Many people falsely believe that the best situation for children is having two parents who are in a relationship with one another, but staying together for the kids can actually do more harm than getting a divorce.

Studies have shown that children who are subject to constant stress and conflict have more issues with anxiety, depression, anger, and social difficulties. However, there are also studies that show children whose parents divorced are actually well-adjusted and successful, suggesting there is a way you can help your children through divorce.

Helping Your Children Through the Process

If you are getting a divorce, you should be proactive about how you deal with the situation if you have children. Here are a few ways you can minimize the impact your divorce has on your children:

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Posted on in Mediation

IL divorce attorneyOnce you have come to the decision that you and your spouse are getting a divorce, your next task is to determine how you will go about getting the divorce. Though it may be surprising, there is more than one way you can get a divorce. Your default choice when you make your decision should be some form of a collaborative process. You can use a collaborative process, litigation, or mediation. The process you use to get divorced entirely depends on your unique situation and what would work best. An Illinois divorce attorney can help you determine the right course of action.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows you and your spouse to work with a third-party mediator to complete your divorce. Mediation, unlike most other forms of divorce, does not assign an attorney to each spouse. Instead of attorneys, the mediator is present to keep the couple on track about which issues they must address and helps to settle arguments if they arise. As such, the mediator is not allowed to give legal advice and is not permitted to pick sides or sympathize more with one spouse.

Mediate or Not?

Divorce mediation can be enticing to many couples because it often reduces court costs and completes the divorce as quickly as the couple pleases. There are also other benefits of divorce mediation, such as the ability to make your own decisions for your family, being able to have a more peaceful divorce and keeping stress to a minimum. In some cases, however, a mediated divorce would not be in the best interests of the family. You may want to consider a different method of divorce if:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,Sweeping tax reform legislation was passed by the United States Congress in December 2017, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act representing the largest change to the federal tax code in the past three decades. The changes implemented in this bill will have an impact on people across the country in a wide variety of ways, and both individuals and organizations are still working to determine how they will be affected. One area of this bill that divorcing spouses should be aware of is a major change to how spousal support (alimony) will be taxed.

Taxes on Spousal Maintenance

When spouses divorce, one spouse may be required to pay maintenance to the other spouse, allowing them to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they enjoyed when they were married. This is usually the case when one spouse earns a higher income or when a spouse has chosen to devote their time and energy to the family rather than to further their career. Prior to the tax reform bill, the spouse paying maintenance would deduct the amount of these payments from their taxable income, and the spouse receiving maintenance would pay taxes on these payments.

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