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Naperville Divorce AttorneyOnly a few short decades ago, telephones were landlines physically wired to a person’s home. Phones were used for making phone calls and little else. Nowadays, we use smartphones for calls, text messages, social media, searching the internet, shopping, and even paying our bills. Most people’s cell phones contain a shocking amount of personal information. Consequently, many divorcing spouses wonder how and when cell phone information can be used in divorce proceedings.

Gathering Text Message and Call Logs in a Divorce Case

The portion of the divorce in which both parties gather information is called discovery. Discovery often involves depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and other formal requests for information. Accessing evidence like tax documents or bank account statements is usually easier than gathering cell phone records. Unless a spouse willingly hands over cell phone data, which is unlikely in a contentious divorce, the most common way to get cell phone records is through a subpoena.

A subpoena is a request for information that must be followed by law. Some subpoenas require a third party to physically show up in court and present evidence or testimony. Others require a party to provide some type of evidence such as documents, records, or information. Divorce lawyers may issue subpoenas to cellular carrier companies like Verizon or T-Mobile requiring the companies to hand over cell phone data. However, cell phone companies can usually only provide records of when phone calls were made, who the calls were made to, and the duration of the call. The number and frequency of text messages may also be provided by the carrier, but a federal law prohibits cell phone carriers from divulging the actual content of the text messages in most cases.  

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Naperville Divorce LawyerAs high-income individuals getting divorced can attest, having money does not solve all of your problems in life. In fact, affluence can make divorce much more complex – especially if a spouse is not honest about income, assets, and debts. Forensic accounting is a process used in high-asset divorce cases to uncover hidden assets and other forms of fraud.

If you are getting divorced and suspect your spouse is transferring funds, concealing assets, misrepresenting income, or otherwise lying about money, forensic accounting may be useful in your divorce case.

Hidden Assets and Undisclosed Income in a Divorce

Spouses may use many different tactics to falsify financial information in a divorce. For example, a spouse who wants to avoid sharing assets with the other spouse in a divorce may hide money in offshore accounts or transfer funds to a co-conspirator. Some distort the value of the marital estate by undervaluing assets of great worth like antiques or fine art. Business owners may alter business financials to make the business appear less profitable than it actually is or use business investments to hide personal assets. These types of unlawful tactics undermine the divorce process and prevent the other spouse from receiving a fair divorce settlement or award. Financial fraud may reduce the amount of money a spouse receives in child support or spousal maintenance and lead to an inequitable division of marital assets.

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Naperville Divorce AttorneyAs high schools finish up their spring semesters, many young people have their sights set on college. As a parent, the prospect of your child attending university can be both exciting and nerve-racking. College gets more and more expensive with each passing year. Average tuition and fees for public schools currently averages over $10,000 for in-state schools and nearly $23,000 for out-of-state schools. Private schools are even more expensive, with an average annual tuition of approximately $38,000.

If you are divorced and your child is nearing college age, it is important to understand how Illinois law handles the division of college tuition and related expenses between divorced parents.

Divorced Parents May Be Required to Contribute to College Costs

Many divorced parents in Illinois are surprised to learn that the state can require parents to contribute to their child's college education. Illinois is one of the few states with this type of law on the books. While the constitutionality of the law has been called into question several times, the law still stands.

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerIf you were recently married, but you regret it, you may be interested in getting the marriage annulled. Annulment is commonly portrayed in movies and television shows as a quick fix for couples wanting to end their marriage. However, annulment is more complicated than movies would lead you to believe. Annulments are only available in a narrow range of circumstances in Illinois. Couples who do not meet annulment criteria will need to end their marriages through divorce.

Annulment Criteria in Illinois

Many people assume that annulment is the same thing as divorce. However, these are completely different legal actions. An annulment declares a marriage invalid and makes it as if the marriage never happened. Divorce terminates a valid marriage.

Annulment is warranted under the following conditions:

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Wheaton Divorce LawyerFinances are often a key factor in divorce and family law disputes. For the court to make a determination about the division of assets and debts, child support, and other issues, the court needs accurate financial information from both parties. Unfortunately, not everyone is as forthcoming about financial information as they should be. Some people disclose only partial financial information or actively hide assets and income during family law cases to gain an unfair advantage.

If you are involved in a divorce, child support case, or another family law matter and you suspect that another party is lying about income, contact a family law attorney for help. Attorneys have various means of finding undisclosed income and hidden assets so any determination is based on factual financial information.

How People Hide Income in Family Law Cases

The simplest way to hide income in a divorce or family law case is to simply fail to disclose it. Hiding income is much easier for individuals who own businesses or are self-employed. Because there are no payroll stubs showing exactly what they made, they can easily lie about how much money they earn. Some people also get jobs “under the table” that pay cash and do not keep records of payments.

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