Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Repairing Your Credit Score after a Divorce

March 24th, 2015 at 6:20 pm

credit score, divorce finances, Chicago Family Law AttorneysA divorce can certainly take a toll on a person emotionally, but it can also wreak havoc on a person’s finances. For instance, your household income may be going from two people working to just a single income. It is also often the case, especially in contentious breakups, that one spouse refuses to pay their share of the bills while the divorce is ongoing. This can result not only in your bank account taking a hit, but your credit score may also be greatly affected. Even in a “friendly” divorce, many people find their credit rating has taken a nose dive. Financial advisors say there are steps you can take which will help repair and rebuild your credit after divorce.

When it comes to repairing your credit after a divorce, the first step one should take is finding out exactly where their credit score stands. This can be done by pulling credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. Federal law entitles you to receive a free report every year. Carefully examine the reports to find any and all accounts that are in your name, either solely or jointly. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse to take out credit cards in their spouse’s name without their knowledge – especially in a troubled marriage –  and these accounts can have a negative effect on one’s credit score.

Close out accounts held jointly with your ex-spouse, and open accounts in your name only. The closing of accounts may cause your credit score to dip initially, but it will go back up again once you begin reestablishing credit in your name alone. You should also contact your current credit card companies and let them know you are now divorced. Inquire whether or not they will issue you a new credit card account in your name only. It is also important to have your name removed from accounts where you are listed as an authorized user.

When it comes to paying bills which are in your name alone, as you are trying to rebuild your credit, financial advisors recommend that you prioritize payment of your bills in the following order:

  1. Mortgage, car loans, and other installment loan debts and credit cards;
  2. Rental payments for apartment or house; and
  3. Utilities.

For bills which are still in both your name and your ex-spouse’s name, the priority should be:

  1. Payment for the vehicle you use;
  2. Mortgage or rent for the place where you live;
  3. Utilities; and
  4. Installment loans and credit cards.

During the divorce process, it is important to keep your attorney informed of any issues that surface regarding martial finances as you are going through the divorce. If your spouse is supposed to pay a share of the bills and refuses, your attorney will know what legal options you have – such as requesting a hearing where the court can order your spouse to make the payments.

If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced Chicago divorce attorney to discuss your case.  Anderson & Associates, P.C. has offices in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, Orland Park and downtown Chicago.

Business Valuation in a Divorce

March 11th, 2015 at 4:00 pm

property division, assets, Illinois Divorce AttorneyMany Illinois couples choose to work together to open and operate businesses. In other marriages, one partner operates his or her own business with little to no input from his or her spouse. When a business is a part of a couple’s household income, it must be accounted for during their divorce.

The amount of personal investment each partner has in a business can determine how it is divided during the couple’s divorce. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that divorcing couples’ assets are divided after considering several factors, including each partner’s needs and contribution to the marriage, rather than simply splitting their entire asset network in half.

Valuing a Business during a Divorce

A business, like other marital assets, must be assigned a monetary value to be divided as part of a couple’s divorce judgment. There are a few different methods used to determine a business’ monetary value. The method that is best for an individual business depends on the type of business and the couple’s plans for the business after their divorce.

The market approach values a business by comparing it to similar businesses to determine its viability and future prospects. Issues like the business’ relationship with its clients and its role in the community are considered when making this determination. This option is usually the best choice for couples who choose to sell their businesses.

The income approach looks at a business’ current and projected earnings to determine its value. Potential for growth, as well as any depreciation that can occur, are factored into the income approach. Results from this type of analysis are likely to factored into child support of spousal maintenance considerations.

The asset approach values a business by subtracting its depreciation from the total of its assets. This is a straightforward approach that can sometimes be too narrow for larger or more complicated businesses. If one owned the business prior to the marriage and liquidation was likely, this approach could be used to calculate the amount of marital property, if any, was invested during the marriage.

The correct valuation approach for many businesses may actually be a combination of all three, allowing for a larger number of factors. Financial experts commonly incorporate a number of methods when establishing the value of business, particularly in more complex situations.

Options for Divorcing Business Owners

There are some situations in which neither partner wants to leave the business. A couple with a fairly amicable relationship may choose to continue operating the business together after their divorce. In such cases, each partner’s interest in the company must be evaluated and written into a new contract reflecting their stakes as individual assets rather than a marital asset. Other options include selling the business or one partner choosing to continue to operate the business alone after the divorce.

All entrepreneurs are encouraged to draft prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that include their plans for their businesses in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can make it much easier to protect one’s interests during the divorce process, especially if these interests were obtained before the marriage and remained largely within the individual’s sole control during the marriage.

Chicago Divorce Attorneys

If you are a business owner currently going through a divorce, call 312-345-9999 to schedule your free legal consultation with Anderson & Associates, P.C. at one of our five convenient locations in the Chicago area. With offices in Wheaton, Orland Park, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and downtown Chicago, we work with our clients to determine the best course of action for their divorces. Do not wait to start working with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney – give us a call today to learn more about your options and obligations as a business owner.

Child Support in Cases of Split Custody

May 27th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

In Illinois divorces, there is a difference between physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody deals with the ability of each parent to make important decisions for the children, such as which school to attend and decisions about major medical procedures. Physical custody deals with living arrangements, i.e. which home will be the children’s primary home.

Rigers 5.13.2013Sometimes, parents agree to joint legal custody, but with only one parent having sole physical custody and the other only having visitation rights. In other cases, parents agree to have both joint legal and physical custody, in which case the child(ren) would spend nearly equal amount of time with each parent. In order to reach this type of arrangement, an attorney would file a Joint Parent Agreement detailing the custody schedule.

In addition to both parents being equally a part of the child(ren)’s life, another important benefit is that joint custody allows for deviations from the Illinois statutory child support guidelines. Currently in Illinois, a court will usually order the non-custodial parent, the parent who only has visitation rights, to pay child support to the custodial parent. 750 ILCS 5/505 (2013). The Illinois child support statute contains specific guidelines for child support payments. The support obligation is tied to the number of children born or adopted during the marriage. For example, for a family with one child, the parent who owes child support must pay 20% of the net income. For a family with two children, the support obligation goes up to 28%, incrementally increasing up to 50% of the net income in cases when there are 5 children. 70 ILCS 5/505(a)(1)

The Illinois child support statute, however, allows for deviations from the guidelines. 70 IL CS 5/505(a).In cases of joint physical custody, an experienced attorney may be able to convince a judge to allow lower payments because both parents are equally responsible for the day to daily expenses.

Both custody and child support determinations are fact-intensive and an experienced family law attorney should handle them. For additional information and answers, please contact Anderson & Associates, with offices in Orland Park, Chicago, Wheaton, Schaumburg and Northbrook.

Educational Involvement and Custody

April 24th, 2013 at 9:21 am

Going through a divorce can be a traumatic experience in itself. There is a disruption in the home structure and even the life plan of the adults involved. The children can be impacted even more because of the emotions and the disruption that they feel. Child custody is a hot button topic in many divorce situations. According to the Huffington Post, the level of involvement in the child’s education can have a great impact on the way that the court decides when it comes to primary custody.

TheresaOne of the people who may be called to testify regarding the question of custody is your child’s teacher. The teacher will be able to tell the court which parent is more involved with the child and his or her education. This can be a very heavily weighted factor. The court may ask the teacher who is called when the child is sick or acting out in class, who attends the parent-teacher conferences and who drives the child to and from school.

This can be a factor that seems to be unfair, especially if one parent is the bread winner while the other parent may not work, so they have the  time to do these things. Inside of the marriage, parenting is thought of as a partnership. This ideology is not always upheld after a separation when it is almost more important that raising children is a cooperative arrangement.

The time that the children spend with their parents is definitely beneficial to the bond that is built between child and parent. Both parents should make steps to spend time and participate in important things with the children. While it may seem unfair that something like this would be considered in family court, it is. An educated and compassionate Illinois divorce attorney can assist you with your questions regarding child custody.