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Divorce Involving False Allegations of Spousal Abuse

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you are getting divorced and your spouse has accused you of domestic violence or abuse, you may not know where to start. Most people getting divorced have little experience in the court system, and they are not sure what to expect or how to handle this challenging situation.

One of the first things you need to do if your spouse accused you of abusing him or her is to secure reliable legal counsel. Your lawyer will be able to provide customized advice specific to your case and ensure that you address these allegations in a way that does not aggravate the situation.

How Accusations of Abuse Can Affect Your Case

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, so the accusations of abuse will not be listed as grounds for divorce in the divorce petition. Furthermore, Illinois law states that court decisions regarding spousal support or property division will be made without regard to “marital misconduct” such as abuse or infidelity.

Kane County High-Asset Divorce LawyerMany people are under the assumption that financial wealth will greatly reduce if not eliminate most problems in life. In reality, people with substantial income and assets often face a greater number of complex challenges – especially during divorce. If you are entering into a high-asset divorce, make sure you understand what to expect and how to prepare for these challenges. Because the stakes are so high in a case like this, working with a skilled high-asset divorce attorney is recommended.

Asset Valuation is the First Step

Before you and your spouse can begin to address property division, you must know the full financial picture. Accurate, professional asset valuation is crucial in a high-asset divorce case. Make sure you understand the current value of your stocks, stock options, retirement accounts, real estate, and investments. Do not forget to get appraisals for difficult-to-value assets such as fine art, jewelry, or collectibles.

Consider the Tax Implications of Your Options

Asset division, spousal maintenance, and other financial issues in divorce can have major tax consequences. Do your research and look for any possible deductions or credits that minimize your tax obligations. Ensure that asset transfers or sales during divorce do not incur capital gains taxes or other unexpected financial liabilities. Consider the tax consequences of your decisions both now and in the future.

Kane County Divorce LawyerIf one thing is certain in life, it is change. People change jobs, get divorced, remarry, and move to new residences. As life events unfold, the circumstances that gave rise to certain court orders may also change. Consequently, some individuals find themselves in need of changes to their divorce decree. When it comes to making modifications after a divorce, modifications are possible in many situations—but not all.

Modifying Child Custody After a Divorce

Your parenting plan outlines each parent's rights and responsibilities regarding the care of your children. When it comes to changing a parenting plan after a divorce, Illinois law allows modifications if it is in the best interests of the child. However, Illinois courts do not want parents changing the parenting plan frequently because this can be hard for children to adjust to. If it has been less than two years since you got divorced or last modified the allocation of parental responsibilities, you can only modify parental responsibilities if the child is in serious risk of harm.

Parenting time or visitation can be changed more easily. Parents seeking a modification will only need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification and that the change is in the child's best interests.

IL divorce lawyerSome of the major benefits of marriage are the federal tax benefits that come along with being able to file married jointly. When a married couple shares children, the tax credits and exemptions they can claim are usually even higher and are often enough to make a significant difference in a couple’s financial situation in any given year. When a couple gets divorced, however, several questions about taxes and children arise. Unlike most questions about taxes, getting the answers to these questions is not always a simple matter of consulting an accountant because certain issues require making decisions in advance and with the approval of a court.

Which Parent Can Claim a Child as a Dependent?

Only one parent can claim a child as a tax dependent in any given year and wrongfully claiming a child as a dependent can land a parent in serious trouble with the IRS. This means it is important to proactively make an agreement with your ex during the divorce process and it is equally important to stick to the agreement, even if you dislike it. Parents may decide to switch off years during which one parent can claim all children as dependents, divide the children between themselves so each parent claims a child or two every year, or simply have one parent claim all the children every year.

Because parents are now encouraged to resolve issues involved in their divorce either together or with the help of a mediator, judges are usually less involved in deciding these questions than they have been in the past. Judges may even order feuding parents to attend sessions with a court-appointed mediator to work out differences in addressing questions of child-related taxes after divorce. Whatever agreement they come to, parents are more likely to come up with a comprehensive financial agreement they both find satisfactory if they work together, rather than relying on a judge to make the decisions for them.

IL divorce lawyerFor most parents in Illinois, paying child support is an obligation that ends once a child turns 18 or graduates from high school. However, for other parents, child support can continue for several years or even indefinitely. It is important to know when child support can be ordered after a child reaches legal adulthood so you can financially prepare yourself for any obligations you may have, as well as ensure that your child’s needs are met throughout their life.

Child Support for an Adult Child in College

Illinois is one of the few states that allows judges to order divorced parents to help their children pay for college or trade school. Married parents cannot be ordered to do this, but divorced parents can because of the idea that a child should continue to enjoy the standard of living she would have expected had her parents stayed married. For some families, this includes assistance with college tuition, although judges are not obligated to order parents to pay their child’s educational expenses.

The financial assistance a child gets for college cannot exceed the cost of in-state tuition at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, although the limit does take into consideration expenses like books, living expenses, and health insurance. Parents paying for their child’s university expenses are entitled to access to the child’s educational records, and the child is obligated to keep up a C-grade average. A parent’s educational support obligation ends once the child turns 23, gets married, earns a bachelor’s degree or skills certificate, or falls below a C-grade average.

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