DuPage County divorce lawyersOne of the most confusing and complex issues in divorce is the separation of marital property from non-marital assets. Much of the complexity stems from the difficulty in proving the origins of an individual asset. However, many other factors play into this common issue as well. Learn more about how the courts distinguish marital assets from non-marital ones, and how an attorney can help you navigate through the process.

Yours, Mine, or Ours?

During the marriage, many couples share their assets. They do not see it as belonging to one party or the other. Instead, they consider their assets “joint” assets. Divorce often changes that view. Unfortunately, the process of untangling what belongs to whom can lead to bitter arguments and contention. Sometimes, the answer is simple. For example, an asset brought into the marriage by either party is generally considered a non-marital asset (provided it was never co-mingled with marital assets). Other times, though, it is far more difficult to distinguish if the asset is marital property or non-marital property. As an example, an inheritance that gifted to just one party during the marriage might have been excluded from the marital estate, but using it as a down payment for the family home is likely to make it a marital asset.

Titling of an Asset May Be Irrelevant

One of the biggest misconceptions in divorce is that assets titled to one party belong to that individual. This is not always the case. If marital assets were used to finance the item, then it is generally a joint asset. On the other hand, if the item was purchased or financed using assets that are strictly non-marital assets, the courts might consider it to be non-marital property. Unfortunately, proving that this is the case can be difficult; if you have property or assets that you believe should be excluded from the marital estate, it is important to seek help from an experienced attorney.

Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Can Help

Separating marital assets from non-marital ones can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Get experienced assistance sorting through your marital estate. Contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for assistance. Our dedicated DuPage County divorce lawyers will examine your situation and inform you of your options. Every step of the way, we protect your rights and strive for the most favorable outcome. Schedule your personalized consultation today. Call our offices at 630-665-2500 today.



Posted in DIvision of Property | Tagged , , , , |

DuPage County divorce attorneysThe internet is full of do-it-yourself divorce options, and you may even have a friend or family member that knows someone who has tried one of them. Unfortunately, it is only these so-called positive stories that seem to gain attention; no one talks about the horrible mistakes that can occur, or how a DIY divorce can leave parties especially vulnerable to financial devastation. Learn more about why a lawyer should be utilized, even in an amicable divorce, and how a DIY divorce might cost you far more than what it is worth.

Ways a DIY Divorce Can Cost You

Do-it-yourself divorces come with a broad range of potential pitfalls. First, there is the risk that your spouse may hide assets from you; it is rather easy to do in a DIY divorce. If it happens to you, you could find yourself suffering from a serious loss in your divorce settlement, and in some cases, it could be severe enough to cause financial devastation.

Another problematic issue is the risk of making mistakes. While most DIY divorce options claim to be tailored to your state’s laws, this is not always the case. Failure to consider state-specific information can, again, leave you with costly mistakes. What is worse, some of these errors cannot be undone. Of course, even if the error is fixable, having to go back and repair it could cost you more than doing it right the first time. Extra attorney hours, more time in court and other potential issues can all add up quickly.

Lastly, the DIY option can leave you unprepared if the winds of divorce change suddenly, and your spouse unexpectedly becomes contentious. Think such a thing is impossible? Think again! Even some of the seemingly most amicable splits can turn contentious when discussing matters involving money, assets, or children. Be prepared and ensure you have an advocate on your side, right from the start.

Why an Attorney is Important in Divorce

Divorce lawyers do not just fill out paperwork and submit it to the courts; they have spent years learning the ins and outs of divorce laws. They can assist you in strategizing your approach, should you experience a hiccup in the divorce process. An attorney can also aggressively protect your rights, should your spouse suddenly turn on you in the middle of negotiations. Further, your lawyer can free you up to handle the emotional and more detailed aspects of ending your marriage, such as separating credit cards, finding a new home, and going to therapy. All of this and more can improve the overall outcome of your divorce.

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we understand the sensitive nature of divorce, which is why we provide highly personalized services to each of our clients. Seasoned and compassionate, we will strive for the separation strategy that best suits your needs. To learn more about how we can assist with your case, call 630-665-2500 and schedule your consultation with our DuPage County divorce lawyers today.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |

Illinois divorce lawyersAlthough alimony is not awarded quite as often as it used to be, it is still a factor in some divorces. On one hand, alimony may balance out the financial struggle that a disadvantaged spouse faces after divorce. Yet, on the other, there are tax implications that could present a potential issue. Learn more about alimony and taxes with help from the following.

Taxes are Governed by the IRS

Some spouses believe they can mitigate the tax implications of alimony payments by speaking to the court. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Taxes are governed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not the courts. As such, spouses should discuss any concerns they have over the tax implications of alimony with their financial advisor, and their attorney.

Requirement to Report Alimony

As a receiver of alimony, you have to report the earnings to the IRS. This is generally done when you file your tax return. One must also understand that any failure to accurately report alimony money could result in a tax audit from the IRS. This can carry serious implications, including additional tax and/or criminal penalties.

Consider Alternative Options

Monthly alimony payments are not your only option. In fact, if you decide that the tax implications of monthly payments will be too great, you can speak to your attorney about pursuing a lump sum, which would be received by you once the divorce is complete. Generally, such a payment would not be considered a part of your income. Instead, it would be considered a part of your divorce settlement in the division of assets.

It is important that you consider this alternative option carefully before deciding to move forward. Receiving a lump sum can place you at risk for financial issues if you do not manage the money wisely. Again, a financial advisor can help guide you in determining how to budget, manage, and perhaps even invest your portion of the divorce settlement.

How Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Can Help

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, we understand that each situation is unique, and we will provide you with the personalized representation you deserve. We can work with you to decide which settlement option may be most appropriate for your situation. Whatever you decide, we will fight to ensure you get the divorce settlement you deserve. Learn more about how our DuPage County divorce lawyers can assist with your case. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your consultation today.




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