Law Offices of Jonathan Merel P.C.

Tag Archives: marital property

Dissipation: How to trace assets in a divorce.


Dissipation in Illinois.

Dissipation in a legal context refers to one spouse’s use of marital funds for their sole purpose or gain and not to the benefit of the marriage. Dissipation is limited to the timeframe in which the marriage began to experience irretrievable breakdown resulting inevitably in divorce. Dissipation is commonly linked to extramarital affairs but is not inextricably associated with it. Any type of money transfer, purchase or spending spree that devalues the marital property can be constituted as dissipation if found to be done without consent or deliberately hidden from one’s spouse. read more

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Who gets the Wedding Ring in a Divorce?

who gets the wedding ring in a divorce

It’s a familiar scene:  a man gets down on one knee, opens a small box containing a very expensive piece of jewelry, and proposes to the woman of his dreams. She graciously accepts, he puts the ring on her finger; they kiss and live happily ever after…well, at least that’s how it happens in the movies. Unfortunately, in the real world, not everyone lives this “fairy tale.”  When things go awry, especially after a short term marriage, people often wonder, “who gets the wedding ring in a divorce?” read more

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Grounds for Divorce in Illinois

grounds for divorce

When a husband or wife makes the decision to file for divorce, there are several protocols they must follow. One of the initial steps an individual must take in order to file for divorce in Illinois is to file a Petition for the Dissolution for Marriage. In this document, the petitioner must outline the grounds for divorce. There are two primary categories to establish grounds for divorceirreconcilable differences and fault grounds.

Grounds for divorce

Irreconcilable differences have become somewhat synonymous with Hollywood nuptials. You may often hear the term on the news and in media outlets when discussing celebrity divorces (at least those that are more amicable). Irreconcilable differences are essentially “no fault” divorce cases where both parties agree that all resources have been exhausted in their attempts to amend the marriage but to no avail. The union cannot be reconciled and it is impractical and not in the best interest of the family unit to continue the relationship. read more

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What’s Mine is Yours: Non-Marital vs Marital Property

marital property

Unlike other states where property between divorcing spouses is divided equally (community property states), Illinois is an “equitable division” state, meaning that property is divided “equitably,” opposed to equally. The disposition of property is governed by Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under Illinois law, all property acquired by either spouse during a marriage is presumed to be marital proprty. This is true regardless of whose name the property is titled in or whose money was used to purchase the property. Non-marital property is any property acquired before the marriage or property acquired during the marriage by one spouse by way of gift, legacy, or descent. Under Section 503, the court will consider the following relevant factors when dividing marital property: read more

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