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Madison County Legal Issues Blog

Methods your spouse may use to hide property

If you believe you and your husband or wife are heading toward a divorce, you may have doubts about whether he or she is being honest with you with regard to finances, relationships and related matters. Often, marriages break down when spouses no longer trust one another, and if you are in such a marriage, you may have suspicions about your spouse hiding assets from you in an attempt to get ahead before the divorce.

Regrettably, spouses conceal assets from one another all the time, and particularly in situations where one spouse suspects the end of the marriage is near. Many spouses who do conceal assets choose to utilize similar methods in doing so; however, identifying these methods may help you catch your spouse in the act. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, know that he or she may do so by:

What to do about the family home in a divorce

The largest asset -- and debt -- most Illinois residents own is their house and the mortgage loan that often goes with it. During the marriage, both spouses may work to pay that mortgage and make the house a home. If the marriage ends, dealing with the house could be one of the primary concerns during the divorce process.

In nearly all divorce cases, couples have three choices regarding what to do with the family home. First, if one party wants to keep the home, he or she could refinance the mortgage loan alone, which would free the spouse not keeping the home from any liability for the mortgage loan. However, this is not always an option since it may not be possible to refinance with only one income. Therefore, it may be necessary to move on to options two and three.

What to think about during business formation

One decision that nearly every Illinois entrepreneur makes when starting a new venture is under what type of entity to operate. This may just be one of the most important considerations during the business formation process. The choice of entity that you make sets up the framework for the business from now into the future.

The differences among the four primary types of entities (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and limited liability company) provide you with different benefits. Deciding which benefits would help make your business a success is the trick. For instance, how much liability for the debts and mistakes of the business do you want to retain?

Partnership agreements are safety nets for Illinois businesses

When Illinois partners join forces to start a business, they may feel everything is lining up in their favor. Typically, at the beginning of a business relationship, everything goes smoothly. The partners may have similar goals and follow similar paths to achieve them. However, as the business progresses, there are bound to be disagreements, confusion or challenges that can bring tension to the partnership. To avoid having those challenges result in an irrevocable rift that can signal the end of the business, partners are wise to establish firm and legally binding partnership agreements.

For the most part, a partnership agreement answers questions before they are asked. For example, how will the roles in the business be divided? How will the partners divide potential liabilities, and will the business invite additional people to become partners? Business owners may also want to set boundaries for noncompete and confidentiality agreements. A partnership contract foresees these questions and establishes the answers at a time when heads are cool and stress is low.

What disclosures are required in real estate transactions?

You could have a variety of reasons for selling your home, but you do not need to disclose all of them. However, you will need to make certain disclosures required by Illinois law in all real estate transactions. If you fail to do so, you could end up with larger problems than you would by letting potential buyers know if something significant is wrong with the house.

For instance, failing to disclose a leaky roof could land you in legal trouble, but failing to disclose that you think the house may have a ghost may not be as important. It may be something that some potential buyers may want to know, but it may not be something you really need to tell someone. The same could be said about deaths that may have occurred in the home, whether they occurred through natural causes or homicide.

4 tips for co-parenting on Thanksgiving

When you are divorced, Thanksgiving can be a stressful holiday. The day is centered around spending time with family, so you may be dreading it this year. It is common to feel anxiety, stress and frustration as you think about the beginning of the holiday season.

However, you can make the best of this holiday, whether you have the kids this year or not. Read below for the best tips on achieving success as you co-parent during the holidays. 

Home builder disputes can come from a variety of sources

Whether you are the owner or the Illinois construction company handling the project, you will more than likely need to attend to numerous legal and business issues. With so many moving parts involved in construction projects, the potential for home builder disputes is often high. It may be a good idea to take a look at as many of those parts as possible in order to predict from where the more obvious problems could arise.

One of the first places to look is to the construction contract for the project. Regardless of your role in the project, you will want to make sure that your best interests are represented. This may require skillful negotiation and drafting of the terms. If the contract is already in place, you may want to have it interpreted if a dispute arises to determine whether the it was breached, and if so, how to resolve the issue. The same could be said for the contracts between you and suppliers, subcontractors and anyone else involved in the project.

Buy a house with building defects?

You did it! You saved up and bought your first home. It was an exciting thing until after you moved in and found that the home had building defects that the seller or building failed to disclose. What can you do? According to the state of Illinois, you may have legal recourse.

When you buy a home, whether it is an existing structure or a new build, the seller/builder is required to inform you of any known problems with the property in a disclosure agreement. The key words here are known problems. If a seller or builder is unaware of the issue, or at least claims to be, they may refuse liability.

Concerns about the family home during divorce in Illinois

When facing the end of a marriage, many individuals in Illinois and elsewhere may have concerns about certain aspects of the process. While each person may have different views about what is important during this period, the subject of what to do with the family home might be a concern for many. While at first, it may seem as though keeping the home following divorce is the most favorable option, one might want to consider what that decision might mean for the future.

Whether out of a feeling of sentiment, or one of convenience, many individuals may choose to pursue ownership of the family home during divorce proceedings. However, before deciding upon this path, it makes sense to consider the impact divorce might have on one's finances. Transitioning from a two-person income to one can take some adjusting, and refinancing a mortgage, or obtaining a new one, could be a lot to take on.

Reducing your kids' confusion after a divorce

Ending a marriage takes a toll on everyone involved. Divorce can be a confusing time for Illinois parents and children alike. If you are like most Illinois parents, you want to eliminate as much confusion for your children after the divorce. In order to do so, you and the other parent need to maintain some consistency between households.

Even though you do not have to share the same parenting style, sharing the same schedule can be helpful to the children. They often crave routine, and if they know what to expect next, regardless of whose house they are at, it could help them adjust better to their new circumstances. You and the other parent could make establishing such a schedule a priority as you negotiate your parenting plan.