Category Archives: Divorce

Tips for finding the right Divorce Attorney to handle your case

Finding an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney can be a difficult task, and that’s as true for Illinois divorce as it is anywhere else. The issue is often compounded by a lack of knowledge regarding how to locate lawyers and what kinds of factors you should keep in mind while doing so. Let’s take a look at some tips to remember when you’re searching for a quality divorce lawyer to help with your case.

Finding Potential Attorneys

There are a few different ways to go about this process. You could always use the “yellow pages” of your phone book(if you still have one), for example, and just look up “Illinois divorce attorneys.” But while this will likely get you someone with a license to practice, it is unlikely to land you the best option for your specific needs. Instead, you might consider asking for referrals instead. These can be from friends or family if you feel comfortable asking them. If you go this route, ask the person offering the referral why they’d recommend the firm and how their case went. You’re looking for someone who went through an experience similar to yours and found the lawyer in question knowledgeable and helpful.
Another good option to consider might be to speak with an attorney you trust. This doesn’t have to be a divorce attorney, of course – it can be any type of attorney. Ask them if they have time for a consultation and talk to them about what you’re experiencing and the kind of representation you’re seeking. They might be able to refer you to a divorce lawyer that can fulfill your requirements.
If you aren’t comfortable with either of the above options, that’s okay! You can also take a look at online attorney directories. These directories are designed to provide potential clients with as much information about qualified attorneys as possible. Some of them, like Super Lawyers, are comprised from peer-ranked lists that can help you find reliable options.

Refine for List

After following the steps above and finding potential divorce attorneys for your case, it’s a good idea to whittle that down to a few attorneys which whom you’d like to meet. You can do this by raising your expectations a bit and looking for specific information. You’ll want to ensure that the individuals on your list are registered with the Illinois Bar Association and are in good standing. You might also look at who endorses the lawyers in question. You can often find this information by visiting their websites, which is something you should do anyway to take a look at their education, professional credentials, and accolades.

Meeting in Person

Finally, it’s time to schedule appointments and start meeting attorneys. Note how quickly they respond to your request for a consultation as well as how easy (or difficult) it was to contact them. You’ll want an attorney who is there for you and able to devote time to your case. Talk to them frankly about your specific situation, your goals, and your concerns. Gauge their reaction and experience as well as their personality. Do you like working with them? Remember that you’ll be spending a decent amount of time communicating with them and choose accordingly.

Are you looking for an experienced divorce attorney who can help you with your case? The experts at Abear Law Offices can help! Contact us today for more information.

Business Valuation and Divorce

Divorce is an overwhelming time even when the process is as simple and straightforward as possible. When one of the spouses in question owns a business, divorce can become an incredibly complicated affair. Remember that marital property is split during divorce proceedings, and your business might be considered an asset that belongs to the marriage – and, as a result, divided along with everything else. Business valuation, then, is often an important part of the separation process.

The real question, of course, is how exactly a business’s worth is determined. There a few different things to keep in mind when it comes to this particular process.

Structure Matters
What structure is your business? There are a variety of different options, and each operates in a slightly different way:
• LLC: Also known as a Limited Liability Company, this kind of business is owned by members that can include corporations, individuals, foreign entities, and even other LLCs.
• Sole Proprietorship: This kind of business is owned by a single individual and is not incorporated.
• Partnership: A partnership refers to a business owned by multiple individuals who all dedicate their labor, skill, property, or money to the business and expect a portion of its losses and profits as a result.
• Corporation: This kind of business is owned by shareholders and its profit is distributed to these shareholders.

Determining the type of business you own is the first step in estimating its value. An experienced attorney can be incredibly helpful when it comes to this process, and might be able to help you ensure a fair and painless valuation.

Selling the Business
Once you understand the type of business in question, you can begin to figure out its value. One of the easiest ways to do this is by selling the business and then dividing the profits. This is a good option for individuals who are hoping to completely sever financial ties with their ex. It is most likely not a good option for individuals who want the divorce process to be a quick one, however, as selling a business can take quite a bit of time.

If you are hoping to avoid selling the business, as an aside, you can also opt to dissolve the business or buy out your spouse. The first option is another way to cut financial ties like credit or debt that is attached to the business. The second is, of course, the option to go for if you are hoping to keep the business.

Track Down Assets
Another important step in valuing your business is ensuring that you have located all of the relevant assets. This is a particularly difficult step, especially if you believe that some of those assets might be hidden. It is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney who has the skills necessary to carefully analyze your business holdings and determine likely “hiding” spots.

If you are contemplating a divorce and need help valuing your business, reach out to the professional team at Abear Law Offices! Our passionate team is ready to assess your case and start building a winning legal strategy today.

Divorce and Taxes: What You Should Know

Divorce is not an easy process to undertake. It’s one that impacts nearly every facet of your life, in fact, and that is perhaps most true when it comes to finances. In any divorce case there tend to be significant financial issues that can arise. These might take a variety of forms, including disputes regarding things like spousal support to the division of your marital property. As the dissolution of your marriage continues forward, then, it should come as no surprise that you might encounter significant financial struggles. Some of the most common of these are related to taxes and how you should file them as a result of your divorce.

Thanks to a new tax law set to go into effect on December 31st, 2018, divorcing couples could see some dramatic changes to the way they file taxes as well as spousal maintenance in the coming year. Let’s look at the change and how it stands to impact you.

Income Tax Returns

One of the main tax concerns that arises because of divorce is filing income tax. Married couples who file jointly are often eligible for tax deductions and breaks that are simply not available to single individuals. That means that, just as you must adjust to filing your tax return as an unmarried individual once more, you should also look at what deductions or tax breaks you have been receiving while married that you can no longer count upon now that you are divorced. Some of these might include:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Mortgage Write-Offs

Spousal Maintenance and the New Tax Law

In addition to the issues described above with income tax returns, the new tax law will also impact the way in which spousal payments can be deducted. Before the change, it was possible for the spouse paying support to deduct the amount from their income on their tax return while the individual receiving the support had to include the money they received as income on their own tax return. Under the new tax law set to go into effect on December 31st, 2018, however, this process changes. Spouses paying support will no longer be able to count the payments as deductions and the individuals receiving them will no longer have to count them as income.

 

As you can see, the new tax law stands to significantly impact many individuals currently making and receiving spousal support payments. Some might find this change to be beneficial, however many individuals will find themselves confused and put out by the news.

 

At Abear Law Offices, we understand how you feel. We can work with you to help ensure you not only file your taxes correctly under this new law, but also that you are treated fairly throughout the divorce process itself. For more information, contact us today and speak to one of our experienced staff members!

Dangerous Divorces: Digital Threats Could Impact Your Safety

Even in the best of cases – the situations where both parties in a marriage are on agreeable terms and are in agreement regarding the important decisions to be made – divorce can be a rough situation. Unfortunately, sometimes it is far worse than that. While stalking is not necessarily present in all divorces, it is a distressingly common issue in relationships that have some element of abuse to them. And thanks to new technology and the rise of digital devices, it is now easier than ever to keep tabs on someone.

If you are in the middle of a divorce or are attempting to leave a dangerous or abusive marriage, then you should be aware of the threat that technology could pose to your safety. An experienced attorney can help keep you safe in these situations.

GPS Technology

GPS is a form of technology that tracks your location. It is particularly prevalent in smartphones and other smart devices, but there is also a plethora of small, standalone devices that can be used without your knowledge. If these are slipped into your purse, your jacket, or your car, just to give a few examples, then someone could keep tabs on your location even without access to your computer or smartphone.

You should know that the use of trackers is, in large part, illegal. That means that there are very few situations in which it is legally justifiable to use them, and if your spouse is attempting to use them to track your location, you might be able to pursue charges. It should be noted, however, that in certain situations, your spouse might be within their rights to use such a device. A vehicle that is co-owned might be an exception as your spouse is also an owner of the car and might be entitled to track the vehicle’s whereabouts. To avoid this, it is advisable to avoid using anything that your spouse might be legally able to track.

An attorney can help you determine which items these may be and how you can keep your location safe.

Spy/Monitoring Applications

In addition to GPS technology, an increasing number of individuals are turning to applications that “spy”, or monitor, another’s actions. Some of these can monitor your private text messages, your social media activity, and even your emails and spending. These applications can be installed on smartphones, computers, and tablets.

If you think that your spouse is employing the use of these applications, stop using the devices immediately and reach out to your attorney. They will be able to guide you through the next steps, whether that means giving the devices in question to law enforcement to look for evidence of the monitoring applications or something else entirely.

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Illinois

If you are in need of a divorce attorney, reach out to Abear Law Offices today! Our experienced attorneys can help. Use our contact form for more information!

Specific Types of Debt in Illinois Divorce

Many couples generally understand that when they divorce both their assets and their debts are divided equitably between them. Equity is not the same as equality; it is more related to fairness, which means that you may be asked to pay a debt that your spouse is not able to, because it will cause you less hardship. However, there are certain types of debt that must be handled in more specific ways, and it is important to understand what those may be.

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The Race to the Courthouse: Does Filing First Matter in Divorce?

Once you have reached the decision to end your marriage, the real work must begin. You and your spouse will need to decide how to divide your property, how to make arrangement for your children, and how to adjust to your new post-divorce lives. Before you can get there, however, one of you will need to start the legal process of divorce by filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage at the county courthouse. Many clients approach us with questions about this, often wondering how important it is to be the one who file for divorce and whether it makes any difference at all.

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Young Adults and Divorcing Parents

There is a common misconception that children over the age of 18 are emotionally stable enough to handle the divorce of their parents. Even though young adults can process thoughts more rationally than younger children, the divorce process can still take a negative toll on a young adult’s life.

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Millennials’ Perspective on Marriage and Divorce

Marriage has always been considered a rite of passage for many people. However, over the past 15 years, marriage rates have drastically decreased.

In Illinois, 49 percent of the whole population is married, with a breakdown of 50 percent of Illinois males being married and 47 percent of females.

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Change of Marriage Statistics in the 2010’s

Marriage has been considered a monumental rite of passage for many decades. Yet despite couples marrying each year, no matter the age, the number of marriages in general has declined.

Some people are breaking away from social norms and opt to cohabit, while others have not yet met “the one” and are focused on their careers. In theory, there are a lot of differing opinions on the idea of marriage and its effect on others.

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High Asset Divorce Also Has Its Issues

There are times when divorce is a necessary step couples must take in order to promote a better life between both parties. However, if a couple’s divorce includes high assets or no assets at all, the process can be financially and emotionally straining.

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