Barrington Divorce Attorneys Ready to Help You
Few Barrington, Illinois adults take the decision to seek a divorce lightly; in some cases, it can be difficult to know whether you and your spouse are simply going through a rough time, or whether it is time to consider divorce. Even when both parties are in agreement that divorce is the best course of action, it can still be a very emotional time, requiring you to make many decisions that can affect the remainder of your life.
Having an advocate by your side who can help you make those decisions is an invaluable resource. The Barrington, Illinois divorce attorneys at Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek can help ensure you have the best outcome possible to your divorce. We have extensive experience dealing with virtually every issue related to an Illinois divorce. Not only are we highly skilled in dealing with these issues, we are also compassionate to your current situation. In Crystal Lake? Learn about the divorce process here.
How Do I Choose the Best Barrington, Illinois Divorce Attorney for My Situation?
You may feel lost when it’s time to find a Barrington, Illinois divorce attorney. You want a person you can trust during this difficult time, as well as a person who returns your phone calls, answers your questions, and is equally comfortable negotiating or litigating. You and your divorce attorney will be working closely together, and he or she may end up knowing more about your personal life than you would like virtually anyone to know. Because you are sharing such personal details of your life with your divorce attorney, you must feel comfortable with the person you choose.
Unfortunately, by the time many people reach the point of divorce they are exhausted and emotionally battered. Their primary goal may be just to get the entire thing over with. Although this is understandable, acting on those feelings could leave you without your fair share of the marital assets, struggling later on just to get by. While you may not feel like having one more argument or making one more decision, your attorney can and will fight these battles on your behalf.
You may ask friends, family members, or co-workers for the name of an attorney they used, or you might want to check out professional organizations such as The American Bar Association. Read through a few pages of your local Barrington, Illinois divorce attorneys to see what stands out for you. Narrow down your list and set up initial consultations with each. It is likely after meeting those on your list and discussing your situation, you will be able to choose the best Barrington, Illinois attorney for your specific set of circumstances.
Can a Barrington, Illinois Divorce Attorney Subpoena My Spouse’s Phone and Text Records?
According to Family Lawyer Magazine, as many as 80 percent of today’s divorce lawyers will use social media, texts, and emails during divorce proceedings. Text messaging is the most common form of divorce evidence—and can be a source of embarrassment when a spouse keeps texts sent during times of anger or frustration. Texts sent to friends, family members, or children can also help show a mental state that contradicts the one presented. Most of us send texts in a context of immediacy and spontaneity, which can be construed to show they are a reflection of real thoughts and intentions.
Your attorney can request that the entire chain of texts between spouses be printed in order to review them. Spouses may also ask their cell phone provider for a list of all numbers texted or called. Commonly called numbers can be checked through a reverse number site. E-mails and social media pages can be a minefield or a goldmine—depending on which side of the aisle you’re on.
If you have legal access to your spouse’s email account, then they can be used as evidence in court. Be sure to discuss the issue with your Barrington, Illinois divorce attorney so you can avoid violating any federal or state laws or privacy expectations. If an account is password-protected, using keyloggers and spyware is illegal, absent a subpoena, so always ask your Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek attorney before you attempt any investigating on your own.
Can a Divorce Lawyer Find My Spouse’s Undisclosed Bank Accounts or Other Hidden Assets?
Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst traits in many people, and a significant number of spouses attempt to conceal assets, income, or other crucial financial information during a divorce. A spouse’s vindictiveness can result in attempts to devalue or flat-out hide marital assets as a means of letting go of the least amount possible. Finding these hidden assets could be crucial to your future. The Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek attorneys have dealt with spouses who attempt to hide assets and understand how to deal with these attempts. If you are unsure whether your spouse is concealing assets, discuss the issue with your attorney, with the following in mind:
- Does your spouse have separate bank accounts in his or her name only?
- Does your spouse have a close friend or family member he or she might transfer funds to until the divorce is over?
- Is your spouse in charge of filing your joint tax returns?
- Do you think your spouse could be getting cash back each time he or she uses a marital debit card?
- Could your spouse ask his or her employer to delay a potential bonus, promotion, or raise until the divorce is finalized?
- If your spouse has a business could he or she be delaying sending invoices until the divorce is final?
- Could your spouse have been buying expensive items, then stashing them with friends or family to decrease the amount of available cash to divide?
- Could your spouse be selling marital assets without your knowledge?
Hiding assets is never ethical; during your Barrington, Illinois divorce both you and your spouse are legally required to fully disclose all marital income, assets, and debts. Deliberate non-disclosure can be punishable under Illinois law. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, speak to your Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek attorney about the issue in order to decide how to proceed. The only way your marital assets can be fairly divided is to have everything out in the open—a judge cannot divide what he or she doesn’t know exists.
How is Spousal Support/Alimony Calculated in a Barrington, Illinois Divorce?
If spousal support is awarded in a Barrington, Illinois divorce, the length of that support will be determined in large part by the length of the marriage. For marriages that last twenty years or more, the spouse seeking support may be awarded permanent support or maintenance. Be aware, however, that the final amount of spousal support will depend on many different factors, including:
- The income and assets of each spouse;
- The needs of each spouse;
- The current and future earning capacity of each spouse;
- Any impairments (mental or physical) that would keep a spouse from earning a living;
- How long it will reasonably take the spouse seeking support to secure job training or education necessary for employment;
- The length of the marriage;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The health, employability, job skills, income, and age of each spouse;
- All sources of income;
- The tax consequences of the property division;
- Whether one spouse contributed to the earning power of the other by foregoing his or her own educational or career opportunities;
- Any pre or post-nuptial agreements, and
- Any other factors the court considers to be just and equitable.
What is Dissipation of Marital Assets?
Dissipation of marital assets is generally a result of a spouse having an extramarital affair, or a result of an addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or shopping. What these addictions have in common is that they are almost always based on lies and secrets—a bad combination for a marriage.
If you unexpectedly discover your spouse has been cheating on you, spending money on an adulterous relationship, or has been spending money on an addiction, that discovery may actually be what prompted you to seek a divorce. Even if you were a spouse who “looked the other way” during your marriage when confronted with your spouse’s affair or addiction, you may be much less inclined to do so during your divorce.
Whatever your particular situation, your spouse squandered money that legally belonged to both of you, and Illinois courts do not take such flagrant misuse of marital assets lightly. Your Illinois divorce attorney at Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek can assist you in determining whether your spouse’s expenditures can be considered dissipation of marital assets. If you are able to successfully prove to the court’s satisfaction that your spouse engaged in dissipation of marital assets without your knowledge, then it is likely the judge will offset the dissipation by awarding you a larger share of the remainder of the marital assets.
What are the Worst Mistakes You Can Make Before and During Your Barrington, Illinois Divorce?
Divorce is typically such an emotional time in your life that serious mistakes can occur, some of them potentially hard to recover from. If you are aware of the pitfalls when you go into the divorce, you stand a better chance of walking away a bit less scarred. A bit of pre-planning can go a long way in ensuring a smoother divorce—many people file for divorce out of anger, failing to fully prepare for the inevitable bumps and detours which will likely occur. Don’t go into a divorce unprepared. The following are some of the “typical” mistakes made by those going through a divorce:
- Insisting on your day in court, when a divorce trial might not be in your best interests;
- Neglecting to fully disclose all assets and debts;
- Involving your children in issues that should stay between spouses;
- Sharing too much private information about the divorce on social media, or even through phone calls and texts to friends and family members;
- Quitting your job and leaving town while you are in an emotional state;
- Settling your case in a way that does not benefit you, simply to have it over with, and
- Focusing on your spouse’s new love interest instead of your own future.
How Different Is a Barrington, Illinois High Net Worth Divorce?
The majority of divorces are neither easy nor simple, yet some divorces can take the issues of asset division, spousal support, and child custody to an entirely new level. If your divorce involves substantial marital assets or debts or any other complex issues, it is that much more important that you have a highly experienced Illinois divorce lawyer by your side from start to finish. No matter what your complex divorce issue is, it requires a skilled negotiator and litigator as well as someone who is not afraid to fight aggressively on your behalf.
Some of the more common issues which are considered particularly complex include:
- Real estate investments, particularly when purchased with non-marital assets;
- IRAs, retirement funds and other pension funds;
- Business interests, particularly when others are involved;
- Employee stock options or other employee benefits;
- Significant amounts of marital debt, including IRS debt, credit card debt, or money owed to relatives;
- A family business that involves not only the two of you and other family members as well;
- High-end assets including expensive artwork, jewelry, homes, RVs or boats;
- Stock options—particularly if those stocks have significantly increased or decreased in value during your marriage;
- An inheritance received during your marriage which is entangled in other marital assets, and
- Complicated child custody disputes.
If you believe your divorce will contain disputed or complex facts, you need the best legal knowledge and practical courtroom skills available from Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek in order to ensure your case is properly developed and presented.
How Barrington, Illinois Attorneys from Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek Can Help
Divorce is hard on virtually everyone involved. During an extremely emotional time, you must also deal with the division of marital assets, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and maybe even a new home and new job at the same time. Even if your divorce is the right long-term decision, it can be an extremely challenging time in your life. If you are like most people, you are also uncertain about the legal system and just how you will actually go about getting divorced. In fact, the tasks you are faced after deciding to divorce can seem insurmountable.
A divorce that begins as an uncontested divorce can rapidly escalate into an extremely contested divorce, and issues you had not even considered will be constantly cropping up. The best way to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible is to speak to an attorney from Vaclavek Hartman Vaclavek. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the entire range of family law matters and you need a skilled legal professional who will advocate strongly for your family and your financial interests, protecting your rights every step of the way. Contact us right now to see how we can help.