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Geneva Illinois Law Blog

Marital property: What all is included?

When you file for divorce, there are a myriad of issues you are forced to tackle before your divorce settlement can be finalized. One of the most daunting tasks is separating marital property and assets that have been accumulated throughout your years of marriage. You may have grown attached to your property and it can be difficult to determine who is entitled to receive what pieces after the marriage ceases. It is important that you understand what constitutes marital property so that you can be sure to get everything you are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

When you think about marital property, you may think of furniture, the family home, vehicles and the contents of your bank accounts. However, the concept of marital property stretches much further. Marital property also includes the following:

What is included in the definition of domestic violence?

A charge or accusation of domestic violence in Illinois may be confusing to you if you have never reacted physically against a member of your household. Your confusion is understandable, as the general term includes a wider range of behaviors than a strict interpretation would suggest. 

According to FindLaw, the definition of domestic violence includes physical forms of abuse, such as punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, biting, etc. However, the definition also extends to include abusive patterns of behavior that are nevertheless nonviolent, which can involve the following:

  • Emotional abuse: Diminishing the victim's self-worth through insults and criticism
  • Economic abuse: Preventing the victim from earning money and/or restricting access to household funds
  • Sexual abuse: Coercing the victim into sexual activity without his or her consent

Options for dealing with the house in a divorce

Part of divorcing is deciding who gets what and how to deal with certain property. For example, you will have to decide everything from who gets the living room furniture to which of you is keeping the dog. For some property, it is easy to make these kinds of decisions, but for certain high value assets things can become incredibly complicated. In fact, deciding what to do with the house is one of the most major decisions a divorcing couple faces.

Now that you have decided to divorce, have you taken the time to consider what will happen to the family home in Geneva? Or, have you simply assumed that it will be included in your share of the marital property? Here are various options for the house that you should consider.

What can you do if your Illinois driver’s license is revoked?

We all make mistakes, and our mistakes often come with unwanted consequences. What’s important is how we learn and recover. We don’t want to make the same mistakes again, and we want to get ourselves back on our feet as fast as possible, especially if our mistakes lead to the suspension of our driver’s licenses and make the commute that much harder.

In Illinois, there are two ways you can lose your right to drive: you can have your license either suspended or revoked. If your license is suspended, you’ll need to wait a specified amount of time to get it back. If your license is revoked, you’ll need to take extra steps to get it back. Both penalties leave you looking for new ways to get to work.

The right to defend yourself and others

The concept of self defense seems relatively simple to understand. If you are attacked, you have the right to use a degree of force to protect yourself from injury.

However, a behavior may only fall under the classification of self defense in certain situations. Here are a few of the basics you should know.

Family law and the consequences of stress

From an emotional point of view, family law matters can be very difficult. Whether someone is struggling with the outcome of a dispute over child custody or they are worried about child support payments, alimony, property division or some other issue, family law can be tough for people in various situations. For some people, the idea of bringing a marriage to an end after many years can cause a lot of anxiety. Moreover, these difficulties can lead to very high levels of stress, which can be detrimental in all sorts of ways. It is imperative for those who are suffering from high levels of stress to do what they can to reduce these feelings both during and after divorce.

Stress can adversely impact one’s life (as well as any family law issues they are dealing with) in many ways. For example, a parent who is stressed out may not be able to sleep, which could affect their custody case. Or, someone who is overly stressed out about alimony or child support could have more difficulty in the workplace, which could lead to job-related problems that result in even more financial strain.

What happens to your pet when you divorce?

If your pet is a beloved member of your family and you and your spouse will soon get an Illinois divorce, which of you gets custody of the pet? Believe it or not, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot agree on which of you the pet will live with after your divorce, the two of you can litigate this issue much like you would litigate a child custody issue.

The Chicago Tribune reported last year that under the new Illinois divorce law that took effect on the first day of January, 2018, your pet achieved the status of a very special kind of personal property.

Do you need a forensic accountant on your divorce team?

As someone navigating your way through a divorce in Illinois, you may be trying to figure out the value of certain assets so you can determine how to divide them accordingly. Depending on the specifics of your situation and the relationship between you and your soon-to-be-ex, you may also be trying to figure out exactly how much your spouse earns or has at his or her disposal. He or she may, in turn, be trying to prevent you from doing so, and both of the above scenarios may warrant the hiring of a forensic accountant.

Forensic accountants, per Forbes, are finance and accounting professionals who may be able to assist you as you work through a variety of finance-related matters pertaining to your divorce. The forensic accountant works as a financial “detective” of sorts in many divorce cases, and many people going through divorces rely on these professionals when they feel their spouses are being untruthful about how much they make or have tucked away.

Social media activity and custody disputes

There are a number of factors which can influence the outcome of a custody case, such as the income of each parent and a track record of domestic violence. Some people may not realize, however, that there are other issues which may impact a custody decision. For example, in the digital era, many people regularly post to social media. These posts may consist of relatively mundane information regarding daily life, or they may involve personal information, such as details related to a divorce or child care. If you are in the midst of a custody dispute, it is crucial to be very careful with regard to the information you share online.

Some people may provide certain details on their social media profiles without realizing that this information could be used against them by the other parent of their child during a custody dispute. For example, someone who posts descriptions and images of regular partying, or gives reason to believe that they are mentally unstable or struggling with a drug or alcohol problem may hinder their ability to secure custody of the child. On the other hand, if you notice that your former partner is sharing details about their life that leaves you concerned, it may be necessary to bring this up in the courtroom.

How to deliver divorce papers

Getting divorced is a long and complex process. To start, you may be wondering whether you’ll need to sit down with your ex right away to discuss the terms of the divorce.

If not, how will your ex receive news of the divorce? There are actually a few different ways you can go about this process.

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