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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Valuing a business: the role of an experienced attorney

16561251_S.jpgOne strong segment of our Illinois and Missouri law firm's divorce practice is the valuation of a professional business or practice, as well as focus on marital dissolutions where the division of property is a major financial concern to all parties involved.

A relevant page on our website refers to the "complex and sophisticated assets" that feature centrally in select divorces, with such assets encompassing a broad universe of possibilities.

One area of concern to some divorcing parties is intellectual property. We are reminded of that by a recent story concerning a federal lawsuit filed by the ex-wife of a man who obtained a number of patent rights on technology aimed at turning traditional board games into video format for the casino industry. The woman claims she worked together with her former spouse to develop the concept and has a right of equal ownership.

Seeking an option to a court-overseen divorce? We can help

Thumbnail image for 12336544_S.jpgIn our immediately preceding blog post, we alluded to a so-called alternative dispute resolution process in family law called collaborative law.

When collaborative law -- which also encompasses mediation -- is referred to as an alternative, it is being compared to the litigation process.

In family law, and especially regarding divorce, litigation is centrally deemed as being adversarial, with divorcing spouses dealing with substantive dissolution issues -- for example, property distribution, spousal and child maintenance/support, visitation and child custody and so forth -- under the watchful eye of a judge. The court sets the relevant timetable for bringing issues and raising objections, with the judge ultimately pronouncing legal judgment concerning material divorce matters.

Emotion is natural during divorce, but it needs to be curbed

29034584_S.jpgThere is a reason why so many media articles on the subject of divorce touch on emotion and even sentimentality.

We're human.

And thus anyone visiting a family law-centered section of a newspaper or other publication will invariably -- and routinely -- see stories about grief, anger, fear and other emotions that attach to what is unquestionably a signal event in life.

Divorce is indeed a big deal, in virtually every case. As we noted in an article on our website entitled "Divorce Does Not Need To Be An Emotional Rollercoaster," even an ex-spouse now looking at a flatly bad marriage in the rear-view mirror "will grieve the possibility that it could have been better."

Older-couple divorce: A bit of planning goes a long way

9790074_S.jpgThe phenomenon of baby-boomer divorce has been often noted and expounded upon in recent years by family law commentators, with this salient fact often being pointed out: Whereas the divorce rate across the country seems to generally be in decline these days, it has spiked sharply for the boomer crowd.

In fact, boomer couples in Illinois and across the country -- that is, married couples 50 and over -- reportedly account for about one of every four divorce partings in the country currently. If boomer divorce was deemed a disease, says one professor and family commentator, "it would be an epidemic."

Why such a high split rate for older couples?

The intersection of tax and divorce: Be sure to think about it

12150231_S.jpgTaxes always seem to rear their head, and they're certainly not shy about making an appearance during the divorce process, when negotiating parties unquestionably have a lot of other things on their minds.

Unsurprisingly, tax implications can come strongly to the fore in the area of property division, and paying close attention to such matters can quite literally pay off for a divorcing spouse -- or, conversely, cost that person plenty in the event that he or she is not paying adequate attention to what the IRS is focused upon.

Hamm divorce case: seminal property division outcome on horizon?

13732625_S.jpgThe Hamms are back in the news, and in a typically front-and-center fashion.

We first visited the couple in our March 31, 2014, blog post, noting therein the "outsized" nature of virtually every aspect of their marriage and divorce.

As might be reasonably expected in divorce negotiations involving a high-profile tycoon who struck it rich -- very rich -- and his wife/business partner, property division considerations loom large in the dissolution proceeding that is currently playing out in an Oklahoma courtroom.

Protecting children: at the heart of many family law outcomes

9967830_S.jpgThere is an overriding and oft-used mantra that permeates many family law concerns in Illinois and Missouri, as well as throughout the rest of the country, and it is this: "the best interests of the child."

That standard is what centrally guides judges in their divorce-related and other family concerns where children are involved.

The guideline is at once understandable and appreciated, given the singular innocence and vulnerabilities of children in any process that is bringing about material change in their lives.

Divorce: short-term interests and the bigger picture

Who wins in divorce?

Some couples unquestionably view the divorce process as a theater of war pursuant to which there must be a clear winner and an obvious loser. Those marriage decouplings are comparatively likely to be defined by hard-ball litigation that proceeds down the traditional adversarial path.

That means a judge and, often, successive battles over one issue after the other. In the most extreme cases, compromise is not just unlikely -- it's flatly off the table.

Illinois family law: Is that marital or nonmarital property?

22764244_S.jpgIs it yours? Is it your spouse's? Alternatively, does it belong to both of you? And, if so, in undivided fashion or to some differentiated degree?

When it comes to property division in an Illinois divorce, those are all centrally relevant questions that must be answered before any distribution of assets can be realized.

You might want to get an experienced divorce attorney with strong knowledge concerning asset division matters on board early to help sort out those questions, because doing so has direct implications for how a resulting property division will unfold.

Keep future financial security in mind when going through divorce

14309971_S.jpgDivorce is a difficult process. From navigating through the emotional turmoil of an ending relationship to attempting to split finances, divorce can be overwhelming. Whether a divorce is contentious or not, it can be easy for couples to fall into the "money grab" trap. Although coming out of the divorce with the larger chunk of money in the present may feel like a win, it could lead to financial insecurity in the future.

The issue was recently addressed in an article by The Wall Street Journal. In the piece, the author notes that one of the most common financial pitfalls in a divorce can be the family home. It is tempting to fight to keep this piece of property, particularly if children are present. The desire to offer children some sense of stability can be overwhelming and may overshadow the negative financial impact this decision could have. Before fighting for the home, carefully consider the implications. Can you afford monthly mortgage payments on one income? Can you afford the taxes along with maintenance and upkeep? What about unforeseeable expenses, like a broken furnace or leaky roof?

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