Archive for the ‘divorce attorney’ tag

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.

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage

September 25th, 2013 at 10:43 am

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage IMAGEFewer Americans are opting to remarry after a divorce, according to a recent analysis by Bowling Green State University and reported upon in the Huffington Post. “The findings,” reports the Huffington Post, “showed that a mere 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans remarried in 2011. Back in 1990, 50 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans had married again.” Concurrent with this is the fact that the percentage of recent marriages in which one or both people is remarrying has been steadily declining in recent years. According to a 2006 Census Bureau publication, in 1996, 43.4 percent of all marriages within the past year involved a person who was remarrying. In 2001, that percentage had dropped to 37.8; in 2004, it had dropped to 35.9 percent.

One reason for this decline could simply be a skewing of demographics: with a substantial increase in the population of the elderly due to the ageing of the Baby Boomer generation, there are likely to be more widows who are old enough that they don’t remarry. Because women live longer, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they are more likely to be widowed than men—three times as likely, in fact. According to Census Bureau statistics, 48 percent of elderly women are widowed, as opposed to 14 percent of elderly men. There are not statistics available as to how many elderly widows are remarrying.

And yet sociologist Susan Brown told the Huffington Post that “the rising number of couples opting for cohabitation could be the reason” as well. According to 2012 Census data and reported by the Huffington Post, “the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled since the 1990s, from 2.9 million in 1996 to 7.8 million in 2012.” This is due in part to a shift in cultural attitude toward unmarried couples living together—what used to be considered “living in sin” is now more often thought of as a viable and financially-sound alternative to marriage. According to the USA Today and data from the Census Bureau, 7.8 million unmarried couples were living together in 2012. “Between 1990 and 2012,” reports USA Today, “the percentage of unmarried couples living together more than doubled, from 5.1 percent to 11.3 percent.”

Unmarried people looking to cohabit can still establish legally binding ground rules for living together and can spell out their respective financial obligations for covering rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other day-to-day living expenses by entering into a written cohabitation agreement prepared by an attorney experienced in family law matters.

If you or someone you know is considering cohabitation, divorce, or remarriage, it could be worth sitting down with a qualified professional. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area family law attorney today.


Divorce Linked to Doing Housework?

May 30th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Divorce Linked to Doing Housework? IMAGEA recent Norwegian study finds that while not directly correlated, there is a relationship between divorce and sharing household duties, as reported in the Huffington Post. The study found that “the divorce rate among couples who share household chores was about 50 percent higher than for those in which the woman takes care of the housework,” according to the Huffington Post.

Yet it’s not so cut and dry: households in which men help out with the housework are apt to be more modern relationships, in which “women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially.” It’s not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. And yet still, married couples who definitively see their role in the marriage, whether it be as breadwinner or house-parent or somewhere in between—couples that didn’t divvy up small duties in the day to day—had a lower divorce rate. “Clearly defined responsibilities between partners,” according to the Huffington Post, “prevented one spouse from stepping on the other’s toes.”

And yet “traditional” marriages don’t necessarily correspond with social conservativeness, at least according to the numbers. A couple years ago the U.S. Census Bureau reported that they were actually lower rates of divorce in the supposedly liberal Northeast than in the more socially conservative South and West. This could have as much to do with the age of first marriage as it does with mindsets—the median age for a first marriage was higher in the Northeast than in either the South or West. Generally if a person waits to marry, he’s less likely to get divorced.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce or interested in learning more about your options, don’t go through it alone. The most important first step is to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today.


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Divorcees End Up Dating Other Divorcees

May 12th, 2013 at 9:04 am

The high divorce rates in the U.S. make it pretty likely that if you’re divorced and dating, your date is probably divorced as well. According to the Chicago Tribune, “relationship experts don’t necessarily see problems with dating someone who has been divorced more than once, but it depends on the circumstances.” Casually dating someone who has had multiple marriages likely means that there’s no issue, psychologist Holly Parker told the Tribune, “but if you want to progress to a committed relationship, there’s more to think about, she says.” Parker notes that the if the person has been married three or four times, it’s important to question whether he or she has taken responsibility for his or her part in the marriage’s failure. Divorcees End Up Dating Other Divorcees IMAGE

Research does suggest, according to the Tribune, “that people who marry multiple times are more likely (than people who do not marry multiple times) to have personality traits and issues with emotional health that make it difficult to maintain satisfying, long-term relationships.” Even if you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, oftentimes a person who has been married several times might not be the most fun person to pass your time with, according to Parker.

According to a 2011 report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, 55 percent of people 15 and older had been married once, and 15 percent had married more than once. That included 12 percent who had married twice, and 3 percent who had married three or four times. Only 1 percent of currently married couples “consisted of a husband and wife who had both been married three or more times.”

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, don’t go through it alone. A qualified divorce lawyer can help you in all stages of the complicated process. Contact a dedicated Chicago area family law attorney today.

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Divorce May Be Preferable to Marriage Counseling

May 2nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Divorce May Be Preferable to marriage counseling IMAGEMany couples turn to couples counseling in an effort to stave off divorce, according to the Chicago Tribune, but according to therapist Pat Love, couples counseling can be like “assembling an airplane in flight.” It’s not always easy, can be highly stressful, and has the potential to be explosive. Therapy isn’t always the answer to solving the problems in a strained marriage—sometimes counselors can “even do more harm than good,” according to the Tribune. When you consider the cost of therapy and the emotional rollercoaster that it can put a couple through, especially a couple already under the duress of an unhappy relationship, seeking the guidance of a qualified divorce attorney may be the better option.

This isn’t to say, of course, that couples therapy doesn’t work, and that there aren’t counseling professionals who do it well. It’s just that, according to the Tribune, many times the people who end up doing couples therapy are “social workers and psychologists” who haven’t necessarily “had much experience with it,” or haven’t necessarily “gone through the specialized course work required of licensed marriage and family therapists.” Love, an Austin-Texas based author of relationship books, said that marriage counselors are often trained to “treat the system, not the symptom.” This can lead to a further split in the relationship because one member of the couple may feel “betrayed, left out, reactive, and not want to come back to therapy.”

According to, “marriage counseling fees and rates usually fall somewhere between $75 on the low side of the spectrum and $200 on the high side—and these fees are per hour.” This is a costly expense, especially if one reason for dissent in the marriage to begin with is money, as it often is. Unless you’re absolutely sure that there’s something to salvage in the relationship, therapy could be a waste of time and money, and divorce could be the better road to take.

If you or someone you know is considering marriage counseling or divorce, be sure to speak with a qualified divorce lawyer at the beginning of your deliberation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago-area family law attorney today.


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Childhood Disease Not Necessarily Linked to Parents’ Divorce

April 28th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Conventional wisdom says that in a marriage in which there are children with childhood disease, divorce is more prevalent, but a new study from Denmark, according to US News and World Report, debunks this. “Even though a child’s illness can cause severe stress,” reports US News and World Report, “the marriages and partnerships of parents of kids with cancer aren’t more likely to fall apart.” Childhood cancer isn’t common, though according to the National Cancer Institute it’s the “leading disease-related cause of death in kids under 15.” child custody   Childhood Disease Not Necessarily Linked to Parents’ Divorce IMAGE

The study took into consideration the parents of nearly 2,500 children under the age of 20 who were diagnosed with cancer between 1980 and 1997. Their relationships were compared with nearly 45,000 parents of healthy children who were followed for up to 20 years.

The impact of a parents’ split on children is a theme all-too common in studies and reports about divorce, but according to the Huffington Post, “what we rarely hear about is how children impact their parents’ marriage.” Not only can severe diseases, like cancer, have an impact on a marriage, so can less-threatening diagnoses, according to the Huffington Post. “Autism, Asperger’s, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder… there are any number of things that can challenge a parent’s idea of what raising a child will be like,” according to the Huffington Post.

Just because the Danish study reports that parents of sick children aren’t more likely to get divorced because of the disease it doesn’t mean that the stress of a severely sick child can’t be a factor in divorce. Determining child custody and caring for a child who is ill can be much more difficult than with healthy children.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce because of the stress of raising a sick child, the most important first step is to seek counsel with an experienced family law attorney. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area divorce lawyer today.


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