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chicago divorce lawyerOnce you know you are going to get divorced, planning for the future is only natural. Scheduling activities with your kids, deciding how to divide your personal belongings, and finding a new residence can all begin happening well before an Illinois divorce is finalized. But what happens if one parent moves out of the marital home and does not want to rent? Is it possible to purchase a home before a divorce is finalized so you can make the transition to life after divorce as easy as possible? Read on to find out. 

Is it Legal to Buy a New House Before Divorce? 

There is no law against buying a second home under your own name while you are still married. However, there are several reasons why doing so may not be a good idea. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Dissipation claims - Using marital funds for reasons that do not benefit the marriage can expose you to asset dissipation claims. Even if such a claim is untrue, it can be expensive and time-consuming to argue that you did not dissipate marital assets when buying your home. 


arlington heights divorce lawyerMost people choose a person to marry in the belief that they will remain partners for life. But as we grow, we realize things about ourselves we did not know when we got married, which can make someone who was a good fit when we were younger far less of a good fit as time goes on. In addition, people and circumstances change, and many married people somewhat unexpectedly find themselves in another, much happier relationship before their Illinois divorce is finalized or even initiated. 

While only you can decide the right course for your life, both in terms of whether seeking a new partner or a divorce is right for you, it is important to know that having a new partner can potentially impact the divorce process. If you are anticipating divorce and already have a new partner, read on to learn three things you should be aware of. 

You May Not Receive Alimony

Alimony, known in Illinois as “spousal maintenance,” is only available to divorced spouses who need time to get on their feet financially after the marriage ends. If a divorcee moves in with a new partner right away, alimony payments are terminated or may never even be a possibility. 


arlington heights divorce lawyerOne of the hardest parts of getting divorced in Illinois is dividing marital property. Because Illinois divorce law requires marital assets to be divided fairly, rather than equally, there can be some question about what a fair division looks like. This is especially true when one or both spouses are high earners and share a high net worth. To avoid heavy financial losses in a divorce, some spouses try to hide assets to protect them from division. 

There are many ways to hide assets and, once hidden, they can be very difficult to track down. In addition to hiding assets, spouses may also try to lay claim to private property by saying it is marital property. If you are getting divorced and are concerned that your spouse is hiding or manipulating assets, get help from an experienced divorce attorney who can recommend financial professionals who may be able to help. 

How Does Asset Tracing Work? 

When a spouse hides money or valuables, they usually leave a trail of some kind, whether electronically, on paper, or by verbal agreement. In this case, a financial professional such as an asset tracer may be helpful. Asset tracing is a process in which the history of an asset is explored and documented so the asset can be located and its value properly assigned. 


chicago divorce lawyerWhen you decide to hire a mediator to help you negotiate your Illinois divorce, there are many things you should look for. Experience, education and training, reasonable rates, and professional development are all important. But equally important is the ability to trust that your mediator is truly neutral and invested in helping you negotiate a fair divorce decree. You will discuss sensitive personal issues with your mediator and spend many hours with them, so it is important to choose someone trustworthy.

However, even after the most careful selection process, it may become apparent that your mediator has a conflict of interest that prevents him or her from being truly neutral in your case. If you are worried that your divorce mediator may have a conflict of interest, read on. 

What Counts as a Conflict of Interest? 

Mediators are the party primarily responsible for determining whether there is a conflict of interest that would prevent them from mediating a given case. But spouses, as well as their attorneys, need to be aware and on the lookout for conflicts as well. Potential conflicts of interest include anything that could limit the ability of a mediator to be completely impartial, including but not limited to: 


arlington heights divorce lawyerOne of the reasons Illinois couples in unhappy marriages often put off getting divorced is because of the fear of a high-conflict courtroom trial. While divorce trials have rightfully earned a reputation for being expensive, unpleasant, and dramatic, the truth is that very few divorces actually end up in trial anymore. Instead, couples are encouraged or sometimes even mandated to pursue mediation and work out their differences through conversation and compromise with the help of a neutral third party. However, mediation is not always successful and sometimes other factors, such as domestic abuse, can make a trial necessary. 

Divorce Trials in Illinois Family Court

Trials are hard on divorcing spouses, but they are particularly difficult for children. They also take up important time and resources from county courthouses that are often overworked and have long waiting times for trial dates. For these reasons, judges usually want to see couples exhaust other options before bringing a divorce case to trial. 

But in cases involving domestic abuse, extreme hostilities, mental illness, or dishonesty about finances, a trial may be necessary to fact-find, make decisions about marital property, and even to determine whether one parent is fit to have parental rights. Some divorcing couples only need one or two issues determined in a trial; other couples have their entire divorce decree decided by a judge. 

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