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Elgin Family Law Blog

The top reasons to consider a prenup

For many Illinois residents planning to tie the knot, it can be uncomfortable to think about a potential divorce. But in a world where lots of marriages end sooner than expected, it may be a good idea for soon-to-be-spouses to have some protection in the form of a prenuptial agreement. The purpose of this type of document is to clearly determine what each party would get or agree to give up in the event that the knot is legally untied at some point.

Without a prenup, property and asset division after a divorce will be determined by the state. While some individuals may hesitate to present an intended life partner with a prenuptial agreement because it suggests a lack of trust, such a document can provide important protections for each party. It's generally advised that couples consider a prenup if one party has more assets than the other.

What Divorcing Couples Need to Know About Custody Proceedings

Couples with children who separate need to be aware of custody issues that can arise during divorce proceedings. Divorce in Illinois is a straightforward process; however, custody disputes can make the process take longer. While parents may initially agree on custody arrangements, sometimes they may find that as the divorce proceeds, they change their minds.

There are different types of child custody that need to be considered during any divorce. One parent may have sole physical custody of a child; however, the parents may be ordered to share legal custody of the child. This means that even the non-custodial parent will have a say in how the child is raised, including where they go to school and what religion they are raised in.

Working well with your ex for the sake of the children

Like many parents in Illinois, if you and your spouse are planning to divorce, your primary concern is making the transition as easy as possible for your children. You may be surprised to learn that, despite your differences, it is possible for you and your spouse to work together successfully as you continue to parent your children.

Often, the way parents behave toward each other can make a difference in the stability children feel following a divorce and the positive adjustment they make in the years afterward. You may not be able to control many things during this emotional time, but you can control the way you interact with your child's other parent, and this can potentially produce a healthier atmosphere that is relatively conflict free.

Financial concerns and divorce

Divorcing couples in Illinois may experience significant stress when they consider how their finances will fare because of a divorce. They can retain control of their lives and lower their stress levels by focusing on their financial situations, specifically by getting a clear picture of their income, liabilities, expenses and assets.

Certificates of deposits, stocks, savings bonds, checking accounts, mutual funds, cash, real estate investment trusts, savings accounts and money-market accounts are all considered financial assets. For spouses who do not work or who earn a very low income, these assets can be particularly helpful in paying for living expenses.

Divorce for older couples can be more complex

When older couples in Illinois decide to get divorced, their concerns are different from younger individuals going through the same process. While many younger couples focus on custody and support issues, most older couples focus on upcoming retirement and financial security. Additionally, many older couples have more assets that they need to divide, and the way they can divide these assets is not always clear cut.

With gray divorces increasing, it is important for couples who have decided to follow this path to understand what property division at this stage of their lives entails. The first thing older couples must accept is that their financial status will change since they are going from one household to two using the same amount of income. This also means that both partners will have to give up some things to gain others. Couples must accept that some of the assets that must be divided are their retirement accounts, which is not always done in a 50/50 split as there are laws that regulate some of the splits.

Top reasons millennials pursue prenuptial agreements

Marriage changes the financial lives of people in Illinois, and the prenuptial agreement has become a way for partners to disclose assets and debts and establish the terms for a divorce should one happen. Young people entering their first marriages have been choosing to create these premarital contracts in increasing numbers. A majority of attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that more people between the ages of 18 and 34 have wanted prenuptial agreements than ever before.

Concerns about personal assets and student loan debts have been motivating them. Compared to previous generations, young people today are getting married later in life. Men are 29 and women are 27 on average before they tie the knot. At this point in their lives, they have likely started a career, funded a retirement account and perhaps purchased real estate.

Tax issues can be important in property division

Taxes are something people may not like to think about. This can particularly be the case at a stressful time like a divorce. The reality though is that taxes can have significant impacts on important divorce issues. One such issue is property division.

There are all kinds of assets that could end up being up for division in divorces. Types of property vary greatly in the kinds of tax implications they can have. What particular tax ramifications a given piece of property has the potential for can greatly impact what overall financial effects getting the asset in a divorce would have for an individual. So, tax matters can have impacts on how desirable, or undesirable, a given asset would be when it comes to property division.

Establishing paternity could be important to you as a father

Family law matters are complex, especially those that pertain to your relationship with your children. As an Illinois father, it is beneficial to understand how to protect your role, and it may be beneficial to understand how establishing paternity can help you do this.

Paternity is the legal establishment of a child's father. Simply because your name is on your child's birth certificate does not mean that you will have no trouble gaining access to your children. Depending on the nature of your individual situation, it might be necessary for you to understand the various ways you can legally establish paternity. 

A custody option that may help your children cope with divorce

Just as no two marriages are exactly the same, neither are any two divorces. Children in different families may have various reactions when learning of their parents' plans to divorce. In fact, individual children within your own family may respond differently from one another as well. One of your kids may become a bit more reclusive than usual. Another may be quite vocal regarding how he or she feels about the situation.

Like most good parents in Illinois, you want to provide the love and support your children need to move on in life in as healthy a manner as possible. You also want to protect your rights as a parent and do what you believe is best for your children. When it comes to your new parenting plan, however, the court will have the final say. There's a lot you can do ahead of time to map out an agreement, such as discussing possible custody options with your soon-to-be former spouse.

Want to divorce without conflict? Consider an uncontested divorce

Have you and your spouse made the decision to end your marriage? Are you both already in agreement regarding the terms of a final divorce order and settlement details? If you are ready to move forward with a divorce and believe you can do so without contention or conflict, you may consider filing for an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce is not the right option for every Illinois couple, but it could be the most beneficial choice for you. If there are no remaining disagreements between you and your spouse and you wish to avoid litigation altogether, this might be the optimal choice for your unique situation. Before you make any major divorce-related decisions that could have significant impact on your future, you would be wise to carefully review all of the options available to you.

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The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

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Ryan Family Law P.C.
2250 Point Blvd. Suite 107
Elgin, IL 60123

Phone: 847-586-0161
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