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Elgin Family Law Blog

Not every marriage can be fixed

It is natural to feel a sense of loss when your marriage ends. You may reflect fondly on your wedding day or feel that you were naïve to believe it could last forever. Hopefully, you have some positive memories to take with you into your new life, and you may even have hope that you will find love again in the future.

Even though divorce is a common occurrence in Illinois and elsewhere, you may wonder where things went wrong in your marriage. Every relationship is different, and every divorce has its own deciding factors. However, it may help you to understand some of the more common causes of marital breakups since each of these may greatly affect the process or outcome of your divorce.

Planning for a divorce in Illinois

There are three stages to a divorce. The first is filing. The next is discovery, which involves both spouses sharing all financial information. Finally, the last is disposition, which may involve mediation or going to court. People in Illinois may be able to make this process less stressful by preparing ahead of time.

The most important preparation may be making sure that divorce is the best solution. Research into state divorce law may help with this decision. Once a person has decided, the next step should be getting important paperwork together. This should include ordering credit reports as well as getting copies of tax returns, mortgage information and any other relevant financial records. With this information, a person can create a post-divorce budget. Having a budget and thinking about goals after the divorce can help a person determine how to approach negotiations. People should also close any accounts shared with a spouse.

Survey looks at main reasons for divorce

There are obviously many reasons why marriages in Illinois and around the country might end, but some of them might be because of a lack of commitment, infidelity or too much conflict. These were the top three reasons cited in a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

There were 21 men and 31 women involved in the study, and all had participated in a program called PREP. This was a program designed to improve couples' communication and help with conflict resolution prior to getting married. The study focused on couples who had divorced 14 years later. Couples were permitted to select more than one reason.

Best interests of child determines custody in Illinois

In determining who should have custody of a child after a divorce in Illinois, judges generally base their decision on the best interests of the child. Many factors are relevant in determining a child's best interests, and there are no hard-and-fast rules. In general, courts look at which parent is better able to provide consistency and limit the amount of disruption in the child's life.

The child's age is often relevant in determining custody. Younger children require more hands-on care, so the children's primary caregiver is often favored in custody disputes. Courts may also consider the child's wishes in determining custody, particularly if the child is older. Safety is a critical factor in determining child custody. If one parent is abusive or lacks the physical or mental capacity to act in the child's interests, then courts usually will favor the parent who is able to meet all of the child's needs.

Physically mismatched couples may be more likely to split

Most people in Illinois are aware of what kind of partner they're likely able to attract. Therefore, they may seek relationships with people on par with themselves when it comes to physical attractiveness. Still, there are some people who prefer to seek more attractive partners. Should relationships like this result in marriage, however, the odds of a long-term success may not be so good. This a conclusion based on research from various sources indicating that physically mismatched couples may be more likely to untie the knot.

One study suggests a reason for the increased divorce risk is because women with less attractive partners report being less committed to their marriages and more likely to be flirtatious. Other researchers concluded that jealously on the part of a less attractive spouse, even when lack of commitment isn't an issue, could be one of the reasons for shorter-than-expected marriages among couples with physical appearance discrepancies.

Dividing the marital home during a divorce

Dealing with the family home can be a difficult topic when Illinois couples decide to divorce. Unlike a bank account or a retirement fund, it is far more difficult to divide property. In addition, property division that involves real estate can carry an emotional cost that goes beyond the significant financial expenses involved in a divorce. People may feel emotionally connected to the family home, especially if they are parents who have raised their children there. Because of the complications of handling the home in divorce negotiations, many couples decide to sell their home as part of the settlement.

In many cases, this can ease the financial aspects of the divorce. Any remaining mortgage can be paid off with the proceeds from the home sale and the proceeds divided between the two partners to use toward their respective new accommodations. At the same time, however, those emotional bonds may lead many divorcing spouses to seek to keep the family home. There are some challenges that must be considered in order to prevent further difficulties from arising.

The effectiveness of birdnesting after divorce

Divorce can be a very difficult for children, so parents are constantly looking for ways to make separation as easy as possible. One of the solutions growing in popularity recently for divorcing couples in Illinois has been birdnesting. This is when parents keep the original family home and rotate living there with the kids. While some parents maintain separate residences while away from the children, many will share to save money.

The main purpose of nesting is to keep the children's lives as stable and routine as possible during an otherwise traumatic time. According to some family law experts, this solution is best when used on a short-term basis. The longer this living situation continues, the more anxiety children can experience regarding the uncertainty of their future. A three-month period of nesting carefully balances stability with transition toward a future living situation.

Benefits of hiring a divorce coach

Illinois residents and others who are ending their marriages may benefit from having a divorce coach. The divorce coach helps an individual gather information or get ready to meet with an attorney. A coach may also help a person face a divorce with confidence or greater self-esteem. In some cases, working with such a person will allow a divorcing individual to identify and prioritize issues that will be present in their case.

Another possible advantage of working with a coach is that it can make the divorce less expensive. This is because it generally takes less time to end a marriage when an individual is organized. Divorce coaches may also act as a support system for those overwhelmed by the prospect of their marriage coming to an end. While friends and family members may try to offer good advice, a coach may provide information that can be used in a specific matter.

Making shared custody a positive experience

Whether you and your former spouse cooperated to reach a balance of parental responsibility during your divorce or a court recently issued a joint child custody order, you may not have felt the burden of this arrangement more painfully than now as the holidays approach. However, even during the ordinary days of the year, sharing parenting time can be stressful and frustrating as you and your parenting partner adjust to the changes in your life.

You may be able to take comfort in the studies that show how much children of divorced parents benefit when they have as much access to both parents as possible. To make the most of those benefits, you may have to work hard to see past your own emotions and build a respectful working relationship with your former spouse.

Home ownership during a divorce

When a married couple decides to divorce, there is often a difficult choice on whether or not to sell their home. A variety of factors will determine what the right course of action. These include the amount of equity in the home, each person's income and credit, and even market conditions. Retaining ownership can have a wide range of long-term consequences, so it's important to carefully consider this decision.

When a property is held in both spouses names, it is common for one of the parties to sign a quit claim deed and simply be done with the matter. A quitclaim removes the spouse from the deed of the property, but it does not absolve them of responsibility for paying off the loan. This can become a problem in the future if the spouse who still owns the home has trouble paying the mortgage.

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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.
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Elgin, IL 60123

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