What happens during a divorce regarding money?
There main financial issues involve how to divide property, child support and spousal support (maintenance). Understanding the financial issues involved and your rights under Illinois law will help you navigate your divorce.
Is it cheaper to live together during the divorce process?
Yes. After the divorce, there will be two residences to maintain–so two rents or two mortgage payments.
The lion’s share of the assets…
I am a wife who brought no income into the marriage. I didn’t work outside of the home after the birth of our first child. My husband claims he should get the lion’s share of the assets since he was the only income producer? Is this right?
No. Illinois law gives you credit in the property distribution for your services as a homemaker. Generally, the courts consider the homemaker contribution as equal to the husband’s paycheck contribution. You should usually receive at least 50 percent of the marital assets.
What to do when there is a budget shortfall?
Throughout the marriage I have been a homemaker and have raised our children. I have no specific income-generating skills. Even if I receive close to 50 percent of my husband’s income, it will leave a budget shortfall. What do I do?
A divorce may mean that both parents of school-age children may need to be employed outside the home. Illinois child support law provides that if either parent is “voluntarily unemployed or underemployed,” the court can base child support potential income”
A determination of potential income shall be made by determining employment potential and probable earnings level based on the obligor’s work history, occupational qualifications, prevailing job opportunities, the ownership by a parent of a substantial non-income producing asset, and earnings levels in the community…
My husband, during the marriage, honed his income generating skills while I took care of the home and family. Will the law compensate me for this?
Yes. This is where spousal support (alimony) comes into play.
Exceptions where Divorce is financially advantages…
You said that with few exceptions a divorce does not financially advantage either party. What is an example of an exception where a party is financially advantaged by a divorce?
Assume you have non-marital property (premaritally owned or acquired by gift or inheritance and held in your own name) that produces a significant amount of income. Also assume this income has been used for family purposes. This non-marital property will be declared to be exclusively yours. You will be money ahead. But if you are obligated to pay child support or maintenance, your income from non-marital sources can be considered.
Consider another instance. One spouse has been making lavish expenditures (not in keeping with the cash flow of the couple). Often the spouse not engaged in these expenditures will come out financially ahead–even shortly after the divorce.
If I am ordered to pay child support (and maintenance), will I have any other obligations to the family, such as also paying the mortgage?
Not usually. Your sole obligation after the divorce is generally to pay child support (and maintenance in appropriate cases). Add to this certain add-on expenses for the children:
- The non-residential parent often must maintain health insurance for the children;
- Non-covered health care expenses are generally divided between the parents;
- Daycare expenses are usually allocated between the parents;
- Extra-curricular expenses and are also divided.
In addition, your children go on to receive post-high school education (college or trade school). Each parent generally contributes based on his or her ability to pay, while considering other factors. See: http://gitlinlawfirm.com/illinois-requires-post-high-school-support/