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What Happens in a Divorce Deposition?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyerIn every court case, the parties have the right to discovery, where they can gather evidence that is in the possession of the other party. In addition to document requests, they can also personally question the other party and witnesses in a deposition. This proceeding can be crucial to your case, and it is essential that you are prepared. Your Wheaton divorce attorney would be in the deposition to defend you.

A Deposition Means Answering a Lot of Questions

Opposing counsel have a legal right to ask you questions, and they will pose quite a few of them during the course of the deposition. This proceeding will involve a series of questions, where the other attorney is attempting to gather information. The attorney may show you evidence and ask you questions about it, or they may ask a long series of questions. So long as these questions follow the proper rules (i.e, they are relevant, non-argumentative, non-repetitive, etc), you will need to answer them.

Depositions Are Difficult But Not Dramatic

Depositions are not like the climactic courtroom scenes that you may come to expect from watching television. They will usually happen in a lawyer’s office, and there will only be a handful of people present. You can expect to go through a draining and difficult day, but there will generally not be dramatic “gotcha” moments. The lawyer is trying to gather evidence and get you on the record in case you need to testify at trial.


Wheaton Child Custody LawyerWhen couples enter into a prenuptial agreement, they often want to include provisions related to property division and spousal support. However, some couples may also want child custody and visitation provisions. In Illinois, the state’s family law statutes do not allow couples to include child custody provisions in prenuptial agreements. If you need legal assistance in ensuring your prenuptial agreement is legally binding, contact a family lawyer to ensure you can create an ironclad prenup void of costly errors. 

How Are Child Custody Matters Handled in Illinois? 

Under Illinois law, decisions concerning child custody must be made with the best interests of the child in mind. The court has various considerations when making a custody determination, such as the child’s current relationship with their parents, the parent’s ability to care and provide for the child’s needs, and the age and gender of the child, among other things. While prenuptial agreements are designed to allow couples to make their own decisions about property rights and other financial matters when it comes to anything related to children, the law has determined this is an area that needs to be decided on an individual basis and, according to the child’s needs.

It is also essential to understand that prenuptial agreements are subject to review by the court. If a couple includes a child custody provision in a prenup and later divorces, the court will not be bound by that provision. Instead, the court will use the best interests of the child standard to decide custody, regardless of what the prenup says. 


Wheaton Divorce LawyerThe divorce process in Illinois is both complex and emotional. Understanding the state's divorce requirements is important to navigate it effectively. Separation is a significant requirement, but it is often misinterpreted.

Requirement for Separation

Illinois law mandates that spouses either live apart for six months in separate homes or declare that their marriage has broken down irretrievably; all reconciliation attempts have failed, and any future attempts would not be in the family's best interest. This rule is intended to allow spouses to reconsider and potentially reconcile before proceeding with the divorce. The six-month rule does not mean that the parties must remain apart for six months before filing for divorce. It means that they must have been living separately for six months before the date of filing.

Grounds for Divorce

In January 2016, Illinois introduced a new law that only accepts "irreconcilable differences" as a reason for divorce. Earlier, fault-based divorces were allowed on grounds like adultery. In Illinois, the only grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences, which means that the marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown. The judge will assume irreconcilable differences have been met if the spouses have lived separately for six consecutive months before the divorce judgment.


Wheaton Divorce LawyerHigh-asset divorce cases are divorce cases involving significant wealth. These types of divorces are often much more complicated than a typical divorce. Property division, spousal maintenance, and other financial issues are often a significant source of this complication. However, child-related issues can also be difficult to handle in a high-asset divorce.

Maintaining a Child’s Lifestyle

In high-asset divorces, children often expect a certain standard of living because of the family's financial resources. The child may attend a private school, receive one-on-one tutoring, or participate in expensive extracurricular activities. Illinois courts seek to preserve a child's standard of living and avoid divorce consequences that negatively impact the child. After all, divorce is between the adults, not the child.

Child Support in High-Asset Divorce Cases

Many divorced parents are subject to a child support order. The parent with the lesser share of parenting time is typically required to pay child support to the parent with a greater share of parenting time. In most cases, child support is determined by a calculation involving both parents’ income. However, the typical calculation method may not be appropriate for situations in which parents make especially high incomes. Courts have the discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines and consider additional factors when determining an appropriate child support payment amount in these cases.


Wheaton Family Law AttorneyDivorcing parents have many different options for raising their children as divorced co-parents. For some divorcing spouses, it makes sense for one parent to take most or all the parenting responsibilities and parenting time. For example, if one parent works in another state, frequently travels outside the country, is incarcerated, or cannot provide a safe home for the children, sole custody may be in the child’s best interests.

In other cases, parents want to share responsibility for their child and ensure they both spend enough time with the child. Illinois law used to refer to this type of arrangement as joint custody. However, the language used in Illinois child custody laws has since been updated. A custody arrangement in which both parents have a relatively equal amount of parenting time is called shared parenting time.

How Does a Shared Parenting Arrangement Work?

When parents get divorced in Illinois, they fill out a document called a parenting plan. This plan will address multiple crucial issues, including how the parents will make significant decisions about their child, such as where the child will go to school. The parenting plan while also describe the parenting time schedule, which is the schedule for when the child will live with each parent. In a shared parenting arrangement, the child spends at least 146 days a year with each parent.


Wheaton Divorce LawyerVacation homes are more than just a piece of real estate. Countless joyful memories were likely made in your vacation home, and the property has just as much sentimental value as it has financial value.

Understandably, disputes can arise when addressing ownership of a vacation home in an Illinois divorce. In this blog, we will discuss how vacation homes are handled during the divorce process and what you can do to receive personalized advice regarding property division issues and other divorce concerns.

Who Owns a Vacation Home if You Get Divorced?

Per Illinois law, marital property includes assets that either spouse purchased or otherwise obtained during the marriage. Property that was owned by a spouse before the marriage is usually non-marital property, but there are several exceptions.


Wheaton Divorce LawyerIn Illinois, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Maintenance payments relieve some of the financial burden created by divorce. The money may be used for housing, everyday expenses, or educational costs for a spouse who requires additional training or education to become financially self-sufficient after a divorce.

If you earn significantly less income than your spouse, you may wonder if you will be able to get alimony in your divorce. You may have been out of the workforce because you were a stay-at-home parent, homemaker, or simply relied on your spouse to provide the financial support you needed.

This blog will explain the main legal avenues through which a spouse can receive spousal maintenance, how spousal maintenance awards are calculated, and what the next steps are for anybody who wishes to pursue spousal maintenance during their Illinois divorce.


DuPage County High Net Worth Divorce LawyerMany people move to the Chicago area to fulfill their dreams as creators. Actors, authors, musicians, artists, inventors, designers, and entrepreneurs flock to the Windy City and the surrounding regions, hoping to make a living from their unique creations.

Unsurprisingly, disputes regarding intellectual property are not uncommon in Illinois divorce cases - especially cases involving high-net-worth individuals.

If you are planning to divorce and you or your spouse have copyrights, patents, trademarks, contractual rights, royalties, or other intellectual property rights, make sure you understand how intellectual property is valued and distributed during divorce.


st. charles divorce lawyerHigh-asset divorce cases often involve significant financial intricacies not present in typical divorce cases. Financial issues can be relatively straightforward to sort out when both spouses are open and forthcoming about financial information. However, when a spouse undervalues their property, fails to disclose all sources of income, or otherwise withholds financial information, the case gets much more complicated.

Forensic accounting is a process during which financial information is analyzed to identify, appraise, and locate assets. If you or your spouse own high-value real estate, investments, business interests, or other complex assets and you plan to divorce, forensic accounting can be a useful tool during your divorce process.

Identifying Marital and Non-Marital Assets with Forensic Accounting

Marital assets are assets that were accumulated during the marriage. Non-marital assets include gifts, inheritances, and assets accumulated before the marriage.


DuPage County Family Law AttorneyThe division of marital property is a crucial aspect of the divorce process. Most of the assets acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage are considered marital property. This can include bank accounts, retirement funds, real estate, investment income, and household items such as clothes and furniture.

Most divorcing couples negotiate a property division settlement. However, if the spouses are unable to determine a property division arrangement they can both agree to, the court makes a decision based on Illinois equitable distribution laws.

The dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse destroys, wastes, or misuses assets immediately prior to or during a divorce. A dissipation of assets claim may be used to recover reimbursement for assets that are squandered by the other spouse.


DuPage County Divorce LawyerIf you are planning to divorce and you or your spouse has significant financial assets, it is important to know how this wealth can influence the divorce process. Not only are financial issues such as property division more complicated, wealth can also influence child support calculations

In Illinois, child support is typically based on a standard formula. However, Illinois courts may deviate from the typical formula and use other means of calculating child support in high-income divorce cases.

Child Support Guidelines and Deviations

Each state handles child support slightly differently. Until a few years ago, Illinois determined child support solely using the paying parent’s income. The amount a parent paid in child support was based on a simple percentage of his or her net income. In order to create a more equitable situation for both parents, child support is now based on both parents’ income.


Wheaton Divorce LawyerIt is hard to know when a marriage is truly over. Many couples go through rough times but are able to reconcile and work out their differences. For other couples, the differences are too great to overcome. Determining when reconciliation is possible and when it is time to end the marriage is not easy. In some divorce cases, the court may require the couple to attend a conciliation conference. The purpose of this meeting is to determine whether it is possible to salvage the marriage or whether it is better to continue with the divorce.

Determining Whether the Marriage Can Be Saved

Divorce is final so it is crucial that the couple is certain of the decision before proceeding. If there is a question as to whether the couple truly wants a divorce, a conciliation conference may be needed.

Conciliation conferences are often used when one spouse believes that the marriage can be revived. Either spouse may petition the court for a conciliation conference or the court may require the couple to attend a conciliation conference. The conference is essentially one last chance to save the marriage.


DuPage County Divorce LawyerFor business owners, the last few years have been some of the most challenging they have ever faced. COVID-19 lockdowns, supply chain interruptions, record-high inflation, and worker shortages have all had a ripple effect on small businesses.

Divorce is not just hard on couples, but also on the business they own together. When two married business owners decide to get divorced, deciding what to do with the family business is often a top concern. Many divorcing spouses wonder whether they can continue to run the business together after their divorce.

Legal, Financial, and Emotional Implications of Co-Owning a Business with an Ex-Spouse

Business owners have the right to enter into a business partnership with anyone they choose. The question of whether ex-spouses can co-own a business is not the primary question in a situation like this. The main question is whether the spouses should co-run a business.


What is Divorce by Publication?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyerDivorce is never easy. However, some people experience significant challenges when initiating a divorce. For some spouses, simply finding their spouse and serving the divorce petition is the hardest aspect of the split. If your spouse has gone missing or you do not know their whereabouts, how do you get divorced? In this blog, we will discuss divorce by publication and when you may be granted a divorce without your spouse’s participation.

Ending Your Marriage When You Cannot Locate Your Spouse

The spouse who initiates a divorce is called the petitioner. Typically, the petitioner “serves” or delivers the divorce petition to the other spouse, called the respondent. The petitioner may also hire a sheriff or special process server to serve notice of the divorce to their spouse. However, if the spouse cannot be located the situation becomes more complicated.

In extreme cases, a spouse may need to serve the divorce petition to the spouse through the newspaper. This is called divorce by publication. The petitioner will file a notice in the newspaper stating the name of their spouse, the fact that they have filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the city and county in which the case is filed, and the date of default.


DuPage County Family Law AttorneyFor art lovers, an art collection is much more than an assemblage of art. It is an emotional connection, a source of pride and joy, and a representation of their investment in the world of art. Fine art may also be one of the most valuable assets a person owns. If you or your spouse have an expensive art collection and you plan to divorce, it is important that you understand how the artwork will be handled during the property division phase of the divorce process.

Classification and Ownership of Fine Art in a Divorce

Fine art may be classified as marital property or non-marital property in a divorce. If a spouse owned a piece of art before getting married, the artwork is typically non-marital property. Art may also be classified as non-marital property if it is excluded from the marital estate through a prenuptial agreement. If a spouse purchased or received a piece of art during the marriage, it may be classified as marital property in an Illinois divorce. If artwork is a marital asset, both spouses have an ownership interest in it, and the spouses will need to divide the value of the asset between themselves during the divorce.

An Accurate Appraisal is Crucial

Before any artwork can be divided between the spouses, it is important that the art is properly valued. Art appraisals should be performed by a professional and should consider factors like size, age, condition, artist’s reputation, and overall market demand. Any appraisal used in an Illinois divorce should reflect the current fair market value of the art.


DuPage County Divorce LawyerDivorce cases vary significantly in complexity. When spouses own few assets and are willing to cooperate with each other and comply with the divorce process, the marriage can be dissolved with relative ease. However, high-asset divorce cases and high-conflict divorce cases are rarely this straightforward.

Divorce lawyers have many different legal tools at their disposal during a divorce case. One such tool is a subpoena. Subpoenas are court orders requiring individuals to appear in court and provide testimony or documents related to the case. In a divorce setting, they can be used to compel a spouse to turn over financial records, produce emails and text messages, or give statements about their marital assets.

When and How Are Subpoenas Used in a Divorce?

Subpoenas can be used in cases when a spouse is uncooperative or refuses to divulge truthful, complete information. For example, a spouse who refuses to provide financial documentation showing his or her income may be served with a subpoena. Subpoenas may be served to individuals or businesses, such as banks or cell phone companies.


DuPage County High Net Worth Divorce LawyerMost people have bank accounts in the country in which they primarily reside. However, it is not uncommon for high-income individuals to have “offshore accounts” in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Belize, or other countries. Although we often hear the term “offshore account” in conjunction with illegal activity in news stories, having bank accounts in other countries is perfectly legal. However, overseas accounts are sometimes used to hide assets during a divorce case.

Overseas Bank Accounts in Your Illinois Divorce Case

An offshore bank account may be used to reduce an individual's tax burden or make international business transactions easier. However, offshore accounts are also sometimes used to hide money from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similarly, some divorcing spouses hide money in an offshore account to avoid dividing the funds during a divorce.

Financial Disclosure During Divorce  

One of the key elements in any divorce case is the disclosure of assets and debts, but financial disclosure is even more important in a high-asset divorce. Spouses are expected to provide a full accounting of what they own, what they owe, and what they earn in income. However, some spouses fail to disclose money in offshore accounts to sway property division in their favor or reduce their support obligations.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce is a complicated and emotionally fraught process, but for couples with a high net worth or who have high-value assets to divide, the divorce process can be even more complex. Careful planning is often necessary to ensure that both partners have access to relevant financial information so that an equitable asset division can be arranged. Furthermore, even issues that are not related to asset division, such as child support, can be affected by exceptionally high incomes. If you are in the beginning stages of divorce and are looking for help from a great team of highly experienced high net worth divorce attorneys, read this blog for a brief overview and then contact Goostree Law Group.

High Net Worth Asset Division

Illinois law requires assets to be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Because the question of what constitutes a “fair” asset division is highly subjective, couples should try to create a financial agreement of their own before approaching a judge for help. A fair division will consider each party’s contributions to the marital estate, including non-monetary contributions like child-rearing and housekeeping.

High net worth couples often have prenuptial agreements protecting certain assets from the asset division process, but this does not necessarily guarantee that there will be no disagreement over whether, for example, a piece of property owned by one partner but lived in by both during the marriage is marital or private property. All premarital agreements should be checked for validity and fairness.


How Can I Protect My Privacy During Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDespite the sense that everyone today lives primarily on their phones and shares every detail of their lives through social media, many people still prefer to take a quiet, less public approach. Furthermore, certain people - such as local and national political representatives, celebrities, and leaders in major companies - have a vested interest in maintaining privacy as much as possible.

Divorce can pose a challenge to those who prefer to maintain privacy, especially if the divorce is acrimonious or the couple’s relationship has been subject to public scrutiny. However, there are ways to protect the privacy of individuals getting divorced, as well as the privacy of their children. Read on and then contact an Illinois high profile divorce attorney for help.

Strategies for Keeping Divorce Private

One of the best strategies for people going through a divorce and hoping to keep it private is to stay off social media. Even if you think you have your profile on the most restrictive settings, it is easy for someone to see and share information that you thought would stay among family and close friends. Instead, experts suggest that divorcing spouses refrain from sharing anything on social media at all, including seemingly harmless photos of themselves out on vacation, shopping, or at dinner. If the divorce gets hostile enough, just about anything can be used as an evidentiary weapon.


IL divorce lawyerBefore filing for divorce in Illinois, many people suspect for years that something might be “off” without having hard evidence to prove it. Maybe you find yourself wondering if your spouse is cheating on you; maybe your shared bank account seems to be missing money and your spouse is defensive about where it is going. Whatever the reason, if your spouse is hiding something from you that could be serious enough to make you consider a permanent solution like divorce, you will want to be sure. Read on to find out how a private investigator may be able to help you get the information you need to make an informed decision.

What Can a Private Investigator Do?

Private investigators are individuals who specialize in finding information, but they are not typically police officers or detectives (and when they are, they are not working in their capacity as a law enforcement officer when sidelining as a PI), and they cannot break the law. This often leads to the question - what exactly can a PI do?

Private investigators often work with organizations to do background checks, which can yield valuable information. They can interview people like friends and family, verify the information you provide to them, and conduct surveillance on public property. They can also do credit checks and spend time looking through years of documents, such as cell phone logs and credit card statements, that have been provided to them legally.

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