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The Foray Firm

Should I Hire a Private Investigator for My Divorce?Some couples are lucky enough to experience an amicable divorce — the asset division may be mutually agreed upon, spousal maintenance costs may not bring up arguments, and determining how to share parental responsibilities may be a breeze. However, this is not the common divorce experience shared by most couples. Some couples may disagree on certain areas of the divorce while others may not be able to agree on a single portion throughout the process. For those who are on bad terms with their former spouse, they may seek out assistance from a third-party: a private investigator.

What Can a PI Do For Me?

Private investigators are professionals whose job involves researching and verifying information on any subject that their client needs them to. In the case of divorce, PIs will place their focus on their client’s spouse to help garner any information that may be useful throughout the divorce proceedings. Divorce investigations will typically focus on infidelity, hidden assets, and domestic violence.

  1. Infidelity: The state of Illinois does not require couples to provide grounds for their divorce aside from showing irreconcilable differences. Having a private investigator prove that your spouse is cheating on you may not be required to file for divorce, but it may help you in the asset division process. It is common for those having an affair to spend money on their new significant other. With proof that your spouse has been dissipating marital assets, you may be able to receive a higher amount as compensation when dividing your assets.
  2. Hidden Assets: In highly contentious divorces, it is not uncommon for someone to attempt to conceal their assets and keep them from their spouse. This may include keeping a secret bank account or giving friends a large sum of money in the form of a “gift” to be given back upon the finalization of your divorce. A PI can research into the financial history of your spouse to see if any asset concealment is occurring. Not only will this keep you from losing out on your own money, but it may also warrant you a larger division to make up for the unethical actions of your spouse.
  3. Domestic Violence: Unfortunately, domestic violence is all too common in homes across the U.S. Because most of this abuse occurs behind closed doors, it can be difficult to prove in a court of law. Many victims keep the abuse a secret out of fear of backlash or misbelief by the court. Hiring a private investigator to collect proof of the abuse is a constructive way of providing the court with proof while also avoiding possible violent backlash. This proof can help you obtain an order of protection and assist you in any conversations about parenting plans.

Call a Joliet Divorce Lawyer for Help

In order to be prepared for your divorce, it is important to go into the proceedings with support from an experienced legal team. Not all divorces can be as clean-cut as we wish them to be, and oftentimes you may need a private investigator’s help in addition to your attorney. The Foray Firm has worked with couples throughout Illinois for the past 10 years and has provided its clients with information about private investigators if their situation warrants additional help. We work tirelessly to help all of our clients move forward with their lives by putting their best foot forward. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact our Will County divorce attorneys at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation.

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Should I Get a Home Appraisal Before Filing for Divorce?Deciding what to do with your family’s home after your divorce can be an emotional decision to make. You likely have a number of happy memories over the past years that are tied to your home. Oftentimes, one party will keep the home while the other will move out and find a new place to live. Deciding who will remain in the home may not be a hard choice, but divvying up your other assets and properties in a fair manner may prove difficult. A couple’s house is likely the most valuable asset that they have, both personally and financially, so the person who remains in the home is receiving the largest asset in the divorce. Since Illinois is an equitable division state when it comes to asset and property division, the other spouse must receive assets of similar value in return.

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is a financial estimate of your home from a licensed professional. Appraisers will determine the fair market value of your home by looking at sales of similar properties in your area over the past few months. Typically, they will look at the selling price of three recently sold properties and the asking price of three properties currently on the market. The appraiser will average the costs, make adjustments based on characteristics of your home, and determine a fair market value for your property. 

Why Do I Need One?

Appraisals can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, and the price tag can often stray people away from getting their home financially evaluated. What many do not realize is that a home appraisal can save them thousands of dollars at the end of the day. It is important to know the true value of your home for equitable distribution during the property division process. Some couples may do their own property estimate by looking at the prices of properties nearby, but they fail to take into account the various other factors that can affect their home’s value. In contentious divorces, both spouses may consider getting their own appraisal done to ensure the accuracy of the presented value. If two appraisals are done, a judge will typically look at both numbers, see if they are different, and average the two.

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Homewood gray divorce attorney

When you think of divorce, you may imagine a recently married couple quickly realizing that they were not ready for marriage — or maybe you picture an ugly custody battle between two parents with young children. This may be a common depiction of divorce on TV or in movies; however, getting divorced at an older age is becoming more and more common. This is known as “gray divorce.” Given the false assumption that older people have life “all figured out,” many people are surprised to hear that older couples are getting divorced more frequently as each year passes.

Common Reasons for Gray Divorces

It may seem counterintuitive to get divorced at an older age — you and your spouse have already lived an entire life together, how could you end it now? Yet many people forget that a long marriage does not necessarily mean it was a good marriage. Every relationship is unique but there are a few commonalities that have been found relating to gray divorce.

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What Factors are Considered When Calculating Spousal Maintenance in Illinois?After deciding to cut ties with your spouse, it can be difficult to imagine a life without them. You may know that divorce is the best decision for you both; however, that does not always mean that the transition is seamless. You experience being truly on your own for the first time since getting married, both emotionally and financially. While the emotional transition can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, adjusting to a single income can be the most difficult change of all. Maybe you were a one-income household with one parent staying home, or perhaps you both had a steady income. Regardless, getting used to living off one paycheck, while working on the emotional distress that comes with divorce, can be enough to send someone into a spiral. Fortunately, spousal maintenance can supplement your finances if your former spouse has a greater income than you.

What Does the Court Look At?

To help divorcing couples adjust and survive, the court will often require one spouse to pay their ex a particular amount each month. While they may use an equation of sorts, there are a variety of other factors that play into a judge’s decision for these payments. Spousal maintenance requirements vary in amount, frequency, and lifespan. In other words, every divorce agreement is unique, including the amount of money that will be given by one former spouse to the other. According to Illinois statutes regarding spousal maintenance, the following factors are considered while making decisions regarding these payments:

  • The property and income of each party, including any assets that are assigned in the property division process
  • The possible present and future earning capacity of each party
  • Time devoted to domestic work throughout their marriage and decisions made to defer education or employment opportunities as a result of the marriage
  • The time it will take the deserved party to acquire proper training, education, and employment and how well this job position would allow them to support themselves
  • The duration of the marriage and their standard of living at the time of divorce
  • All sources of income that each party has access to, including retirement and disability income

When the court comes to an agreement on the spousal maintenance amounts, they must provide the two parties with the reasoning behind their choices. The findings report will include information regarding why the court did or did not require spousal maintenance payments to be made and an explanation of what factors contributed to their decision.

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Will County child custody attorney

Many people do not realize the number of steps included in the divorce process, and this number only increases when children are involved. While many may think dividing your belongings is the most difficult portion, formulating a parenting plan can often create the most conflict between divorcing couples. Learning to “share” your child with your ex when you do not live together is difficult for every parent. From the outside, it may seem obvious how you should divide the parenting time; however, this can change during the divorce proceedings. Understanding what is included in a parenting plan and what the various options are is a good idea before stepping into your legal meetings.

 

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