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Elgin Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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Ryan Family Law P.C.
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Elgin, IL 60123

Phone: 847-586-0161
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