Spouse May Be Hiding Income in Own BusinessOne challenge in negotiating a financial settlement in a divorce can be trying to figure out your spouse’s true worth, as compared to what he or she claims. Understating your income and assets gives you an unfair advantage when determining the division of marital property, child support payments and spousal maintenance. In particular, people who are self-employed or own a business are capable of artificially deflating their personal worth. Spouses may think they are savvy when they find ways to understate the value of their businesses or themselves. However, the other spouse would see it as dishonest and manipulative. You must be aware of the ways people can take advantage of their self-employment during a divorce.

Manipulating Finances

When people are self-employed or run a business, their personal and professional assets and expenses often mix. As their own boss, they have the ability to:

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Choose Your Words Carefully When Explaining Divorce to KidsThere is not an easy way to tell your children that you are getting a divorce. Younger children may have difficulty understanding what a divorce is and what it means for them. Older children may be angry because they think they know what the divorce means. Either way, your children are likely to be upset about your divorce. As parents, you must be sensitive to their feelings when breaking the news. Handling it in the wrong way can cause your children to become more upset than they need to be.


Though it may be difficult, you must be honest with your children about your divorce. Avoiding their questions or lying about the consequences of your divorce may temporarily spare their feelings. However, they will eventually learn the truth and feel betrayed because you lied to them. Children do not need to know every aspect of your divorce but should understand the parts that affect them. You should make it clear to your children that:

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Receiving Your Spousal Support in a Lump SumWhen negotiating the financial aspects of a divorce settlement, each party must consider how to support him or herself in the present and future. The division of marital properties may have the greatest current value to a spouse, but spousal support payments can help create prolonged financial security. However, parties can waive regular spousal support payments in exchange for a lump sum payment, given as either one payment or in installments. The recipient spouse reaps an immediate monetary reward, but the paying spouse often benefits more. A spouse may ultimately receive more money through continued spousal support payments than from the lump sum payment. Though lump sum spousal support agreements seem short-sighted, the recipient spouse may have a valid reason to seek immediate compensation.


Some spouses agree to receiving a lump sum spousal support payment because they are enticed by the big payout. Others are motivated by financial or emotional factors that make sense in their situations:

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How Illinois Courts Treat Mental Disability When Determining Parental FitnessA recent Illinois Supreme Court case dealt with what consideration the state should have given to a man’s mental disability before seeking to terminate his parental rights. In order to terminate a parent’s rights, the state must independently prove that the parent is unfit and that terminating his or her rights would be in the child’s best interest. In People of the State of Illinois v. J.B., the state petitioned to remove the defendant’s parental rights. The state cited two subsections of Illinois’ Adoption Act that say a parent is unfit if he or she:

  • Fails to show interest in or concern for the child; or
  • Does not make reasonable progress towards reuniting with the child.

An Illinois juvenile court ruled in favor of the state, but an appellate court overturned that ruling. The appellate court’s majority decision said that: 

  • The defendant could not reasonably comply with state’s expectations for parental fitness because of his mental disability; and 
  • The state did not do enough to accommodate the defendant’s limitations.

The Supreme Court sided with the juvenile court’s decision to terminate the defendant’s parental rights.

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Friendly Texting Can Lead to Affairs, DivorceTexting is a common starting point for emotional and physical affairs during a marriage. A spouse may believe that intimate conversations via text are innocent and confidential. However, the affair can create a deeper disconnect in a marriage, sometimes ending in divorce. As a no-fault divorce state, Illinois will not officially punish a spouse for infidelity. Still, having an affair can negatively impact a spouse during the divorce process:

  • The divorce may be more combative due to feelings of betrayal;
  • The court may count purchases made during the affair against the cheating spouse when dividing marital property; and
  • The spouse’s actions during the affair may reflect poorly on his or her fitness as a parent.

Infidelity may be a symptom of larger marital problems, but the act can make your divorce more difficult. It is important to understand how texting may tempt you to be unfaithful and ways to combat those temptations.

Ubiquitous Tool

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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