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Elgin Family Law Blog

Options for paying for the costs of a divorce

When the possibility of divorce becomes a reality, Illinois residents in this situation might be concerned about how to pay for the divorce. With legal fees averaging about $15,000, financing a divorce can be the first challenge to overcome. However, there are a variety of ways residents can pay for their divorce process.

Because divorce also entails the negotiation for the division of assets and debts, paying for the costs associated with divorce cannot always be done through joint savings as these will be part of the litigation. However, if the person has additional savings that they can access, this might be one way to pay for the costs. A downside, of course, is that they would be using money they might need to set up their new life. Another way to pay is to borrow money from relatives. However, relatives might also feel entitled to weigh in on the decisions made during the process.

Why parents need to be vigilant with their teenagers

Being a parent or teenager can be tough enough without the added stress of a divorce. The teenage years are already a time when a child is transitioning into an adult, and they may not always want to do what their parents ask of them. Furthermore, divorced parents in Illinois may have to contend with a lack of communication with the child's other parent. Therefore, it can be easy to make mistakes raising a child.

For example, parents may communicate less because they feel like their teens can handle some problems on their own. However, they still need support and guidance, and that can only happen if a parent knows what a son or daughter is going through. Teens may also take advantage of the fact that they have more freedom as they get older and receive less parental supervision.

How does an Illinois judge approach property division?

When you decided to end your marriage, you probably went through many emotions, including panic and fear. You want to know how you will get on financially after the divorce.

Whether you face a courtroom battle or come to an agreement without the help of a judge, it would help to understand the factors that Illinois judges consider when dividing marital property. The first thing to know is that Illinois is an equitable property state, which means that you will receive a fair and equitable portion of the marital property that may not constitute an equal split.

Imbalanced income between spouses may increase divorce risk

According to data maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's becoming increasingly common for wives in Illinois and throughout the U.S. to earn more money than their husbands. Roughly 38% of wives are bringing home more income than their husbands, and that dynamic can cause problems in a marriage. Some research indicates that the risk of divorce increases and the likelihood of marriage decreases when the woman earns more than the man.

At the same time, some have advanced the opinion that couples are more likely to stay together if they cannot afford to maintain separate residences. Men in the U.S. tend to be more comfortable when they earn more money in the relationship. According to a study that examined more than 6,300 married couples, the risk of divorce is almost 33% higher when the husband doesn't have a full-time job.

Jointly held loans can be a thorny divorce problem

Ending a marriage is rarely easy, and the desire to get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible sometimes leads divorcing spouses in Illinois to make financial decisions that haunt them for years to come. Many of these poor decisions are made during property division negotiations when assets such as real estate or automobiles are discussed. This is because these assets are often financed with loans that both of the spouses involved have signed.

While the spouses who receive these assets may vow to keep making the payments on time, the spouses who cede ownership of them will remain legally responsible if they do not. This is because lenders are not bound by, and will generally not recognize, the provisions of divorce settlements. When jointly held loans fall into arrears, lenders will pursue all of the individuals who signed the original documents regardless of the decisions made during property division talks.

What to do after receiving a divorce decree

Once a couple in Illinois decides to divorce, the next step is for them to fill out legal documents and file them at the courthouse. During this process, each spouse must decide how to divide his or her assets and money, including jewelry and financial holdings. While it is simple to split up books, DVDs and similar belongings, it is difficult to divide monies and properties.

Consequently, couples thinking about divorce need to consider several important things, including who is going to live in their current home. Plus, they must decide how to divide the holdings belonging to their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). When each person in a marriage has his or her own IRA, he or she must divide his or her holdings and monies during a divorce. One exception is if the couple writes and signs a marital settlement agreement describing how they wish to divide their monetary assets.

Assumable mortgage misconceptions related to a divorce

One of the most common assets sought after during an Illinois divorce is the family home. If a decision is made that one former spouse will retain the home, the next step is to determine how to handle the mortgage. Possibilities include retaining the original joint mortgage, refinancing the mortgage and loan assumption.

The mortgage loan assumption process tends to resort in the most confusion for divorcing couples. By assuming a mortgage, the partner who's keeping the home will take on the payment responsibilities without the need to refinance. Meanwhile, the other spouse is removed from the loan. If loan terms are favorable, assumption fees may end up being less than costs associated with refinancing. However, not all home loans have an assumable option.

Cryptocurrencies present a challenge during divorce proceedings

Family law attorneys working in Illinois may be familiar with the processes involved in dividing assets in a divorce. Cryptocurrency assets are throwing a wrinkle in the equation, making it challenging for attorneys to advise their clients on the best ways to divide assets.

One of the reasons why dividing cryptocurrency assets during a divorce can be a challenge is that the value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates drastically. While a cryptocurrency may have a value of $80,000 in November of one year, it could skyrocket into the millions a few months later. A few months after that, the value could drop back to where originally it was or lower. This rapid fluctuation in value is a real challenge when it comes to valuations. As a result, it may be necessary for cryptocurrency valuations to be carried out multiple times during the divorce proceedings.

How social media helps parents, children after divorce

Children in Illinois whose parents are divorced may benefit from staying in touch with their parents using social media. According to a study that appeared in the "Journal of Family Issues," a child's relationship with his or her parents after the divorce is a better predictor of him or her adjusting well to the divorce than the relationship between the parents.

The study looked at data on 400 parents and children who were 10 to 18 years of age. Researchers placed coparenting into three different categories that were identified as conflicted, moderately engaged and cooperative. They also identified such elements of the relationship between parents and child as inconsistent discipline, what parents knew about their child and how much closeness there was between them. Researchers found that the relationship between the parents did not make much difference, but children who had more contact with their parents also had a better relationship with them.

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.

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Ryan Family Law P.C.
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