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joliet divorce lawyerThe first step that most couples take during the divorce process is to begin negotiations on who will receive what assets and property after the marriage is dissolved. However, it is helpful to understand what property is considered joint property and subject to division, and which is separate and will remain with each individual. Illinois law provides definitions of whether property is marital or separate. Disagreements between divorcing couples over what is joint and separate property is common, so it is essential that you work with an experienced property and asset division lawyer to protect your interests.  

Marital Property and Separate Property in Illinois

Generally, all property that the couple acquired during their marriage is considered joint marital property and subject to equitable division during a divorce. To be considered separate individual property owned by just one spouse and not subject to division, the property must fall into one of these categories:

  • Property that was acquired by one spouse before the marriage

  • Property that one spouse acquired as a gift or through an inheritance

  • Any property that was acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or through a gift or inheritance

  • Property that the couple agreed to specifically exclude from the marital estate in an agreement signed by both of the parties, typically a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

  • Property that one spouse acquired after the couple had legally separated

  • Any judgment or property obtained by judgment that one spouse received in an award from the other

Any increase in value by any of the properties listed above is also considered separate property unless that increase can be attributed to the work of the other spouse. In that case, the other spouse may receive reimbursement for their contribution to the increase.

If property or proceeds from the sale of property that was separate are mixed with marital assets, for example, they were deposited into a joint checking account, the property or assets are considered commingled and become marital property and subject to equitable division.

Contact a Joliet Martial Asset Property Lawyer

For legal help during your divorce, including the division of marital property, contact the Will County divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our office at 815-666-1285 today. Receiving your fair share of marital property and assets is incredibly important. We can provide you with the guidance to reach a solution on property and asset division during negotiation or mediation, but are prepared to fight for your interests in court if necessary.


joliet divorce lawyerAs children get older, jobs are found and lost, and living situations change, the original agreements that you reached after your divorce may need to be changed too. The settlement that you and your spouse agreed to can be legally amended through mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Based on the reasons for the change, there may be changes to payments for child support or spousal support, or changes to child custody and visitation arrangements. We can work with you to determine whether pursuing a modification is the appropriate action and how best to pursue the action. 

Common Reasons for Post-Decree Modification

Here are seven common reasons why modifications are needed after a divorce:

  • Changing financial situation due to a new job, loss of job, or other factors - This can be triggered by a change in one or both spouses' financial situations. Based on the initial agreement, payments of child support or spousal support can be increased or decreased. For example, if the parent making payments receives a higher paying job, the parent receiving the payments may seek more in support. However, the loss of a job may result in the parent making payments to request that they are responsible for lower payments. 

  • Relocation of one parent - This change may lead to new child custody and visitation arrangements and could be related to a changing financial situation as well.

  • Education needs of the child changed - This can include the need for new tutoring or special education services. 

  • Medical needs of the child changed - If a new or worsening medical condition impacts a child, it can lead to a modification that takes the financial needs and living arrangements into account.

  • Remarriage of one former spouse - With the remarriage of a spouse, their new financial situation and living situation would be taken into consideration during a modification process.

  • Changing parental preference of the child - As children mature, they may have different relationships with each parent. They may want to spend more time with both, or may have grown close to one and want to spend more time with them.

  • Allegations of neglect or abuse - In this serious situation, all prior arrangements may be up for modification. 

Contact a Will County Modification Lawyer 

If you or your spouse is seeking a post-divorce modification to spousal support payments, child support payments, or child custody and visitation, the Joliet Family Law Attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help. We have experience dealing with changing post-divorce situations and can fight for you to meet your goals under a new agreement. Call 815-666-1285 for a free initial consultation today. 





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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1031134915.jpgThroughout a marriage, couples wind up sharing many important assets. Joint assets in marriage can range from physical things such as cars and homes to retirement plans and accumulated debt. Dividing up marital property can be tricky, especially when it comes to each spouses’ financial health. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to help divide the debt between the spouses in a way that ensures both spouses maintain a secure financial position. 


Understanding Shared Debt

Both partners are responsible for the debt accumulated during the marriage unless it is explicitly specified that only one spouse was responsible for a certain payment through a prenuptial agreement or other agreement. If the debt owed was created prior to the marriage, then that payment is typically the sole responsibility of that individual. However, there are special situations that deviate from these general rules.

Examples of shared marital debt may include:

  • Outstanding mortgage payments

  • Shared credit card debt

  • Shared car loan payments 

  • Medical payments 

Examples of individual debt may include:

  • Student loan payments prior to marriage

  • Outstanding medical bills prior to marriage

  • Individual loans

How Will Debt Be Divided?

Like all other shared marital assets, debt is divided between both parties in a way that is equal and reflects both spouses' financial abilities, not necessarily in a 50/50 manner. This means that when crafting the divorce decree that specifies all of the legal responsibilities that each partner will have following the divorce, the judge will consider many circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • Which partner has more individual debt

  • Which partner makes more money 

  • Which partner is receiving more of the shared savings

  • Which partner is paying the most for childcare needs 

  • Which partner is most responsible for the debt

When preparing for a divorce, it is in both partners' interests to document all of the shared finances prior to legal hearings. This will allow for time to pay off debts, prepare all of the paperwork necessary when filing for a divorce and open the dialogue with your partner. It is a great idea to discuss how marital property will be divided prior to filing for divorce to avoid a contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when one or both spouses do not agree on an element of the divorce process. Contested divorces are time-consuming and much more expensive. Divorce attorneys can then help create a divorce agreement that allows both partners to feel comfortable with the amount of debt they will incur as a single individual. 

Speak To a Will County Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our highly skilled divorce lawyers are prepared to help you through any stage of your divorce process. We understand the importance of having a lawyer that you can trust through this difficult time. Our attorneys have years of experience representing their clients and ensuring their best interests are considered when completing a divorce agreement. For a free consultation with our office, call today at 815-666-1285




Will County Divorce LawyerIn Illinois, both spouses have a right to a fair share of any property considered marital property. In most cases, the marital home is considered marital property. It can be difficult to know what to do with your house or condo during divorce. Should you fight to keep the home in order to retain some sense of normalcy? Should you sell the home and use the proceeds to benefit your post-divorce life? Should one spouse buy out the other spouse’s share of the home? If you are unsure of what to do with the marital home during your divorce, ask yourself the following questions.

What is My Home Worth?

If you are getting divorced and you are unsure of how to address the marital home, the first step is to get the home professionally appraised. You cannot make a sound decision about what to do until you know what the home is worth.

Can I Afford to Keep the Home?

Once you know what your home is worth, you can start to consider what it would cost to maintain the home. Can you afford to maintain the house and yard? What about the property taxes, HOA fees, and insurance? Does the home have roof damage or other problems that will need to be repaired in the next several years?

Do We Have Substantial Debts?

Many debts are considered marital debts jointly held by both spouses. Dividing debt during a divorce can be tricky because creditors do not necessarily stop pursuing payment just because a person gets divorced. Many people find that it is better to sell assets such as the marital home during divorce and use the proceeds to pay off debt than try to divide the debt between the spouses.

What is Best for the Children?

If you have kids, you will need to consider how ownership of the marital home will affect them, too. If you are planning to have the majority of the parenting time, you may want to keep the home so your children will not have to change schools or adjust to a new neighborhood.

Do I Want a Fresh Start or Familiarity?  

Some people can afford to keep the marital home but decide not to for personal reasons. It can be hard to live alone in a house you used to share with your ex-spouse. Only you can know whether a fresh start in a new home would be in your best interests.

Contact a Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, the Plainfield, IL divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help. Our skilled team can help you evaluate the pros and cons of keeping the marital home and explore your options. Call us today at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.



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plainfield divorce attorney for hidden assets

Financial disclosure is a crucial aspect of any divorce. Spouses cannot address the division of property, child support, or other financial concerns unless they are on the same page financially. Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses are more transparent than others when it comes to finances. If your spouse is trying to hide money from you or otherwise lie about finances during divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for help. Your spouse’s deceptive behavior can have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce.

Signs of Financial Fraud in a Joliet Divorce Case

Hiding assets can take many different forms. Some spouses literally hide cash or valuables in order to shield them from division during divorce. They may use a safety deposit box, secret bank account, or transfer assets to a friend or family member. Business owners may manipulate their business’s financial records to hide money through the business.

Some signs that a spouse is hiding assets in a divorce include:

  • Secretive behavior regarding finances -  Spouses may hide tax documents and other financial records or change the passwords on financial software or banking apps. They may refuse to discuss anything related to finances or get angry when the other spouse tries to bring up finances.

  • Unexplained transfers – Large transfers of money from one account to the other are a huge red flag during a divorce.

  • Sudden debts or increased expenses – Spouses sometimes try to hide money by creating fake expenses or debts. They pretend to owe a party money, but the debt is just a front for financial manipulation.

  • Large cash withdrawals – Some spouses hide money by withdrawing funds and placing the funds elsewhere. Something as simple as getting cash back on a grocery store purchase can be an effective way to take money out of an account and hide it.  

What You Can Do If Your Spouse Hides or Destroys Assets

If you think your spouse is hiding money or property during your divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for help. Spouses’ financial circumstances affect nearly every aspect of the divorce process. You deserve a divorce outcome that is based on accurate financial information. Your attorney may work with a forensic accountant to uncover financial fraud. He or she may also use discovery tools such as formal requests for documents, subpoenas, and depositions to reveal hidden assets.

Contact a Joliet Divorce Lawyer

The Plainfield divorce attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you with forensic accounting, property distribution negotiations, divorce discovery, and more. Call 815-666-1285 today for a free consultation.


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