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Elgin Family Law Blog

How to tell a marriage may be on shaky ground

Getting a divorce can be a life-changing experience. Therefore, it is important that individuals truly want to end their marriages before they decide to get an attorney or file paperwork. Unfortunately, there is rarely a single sign that tells a person that it's time to get out of a relationship. Instead, there are generally a bunch of subtle indications that a marriage is not likely to work out in the long-term.

For instance, if a couple isn't having sex, or they don't have fun with each other, it could be a sign that they aren't interested in each other. In many cases, a lack of quality time together is caused by resentment or a lack of respect for each other. Talking poorly about a spouse to friends or family members also shows a lack of respect for that person.

Planning for the future after divorce

The period after a divorce can be challenging for many people in Illinois. The end of a long-term romantic relationship can be depressing and isolating, especially for the spouse who did not request the dissolution. People may struggle with depression and other mental health concerns as well as physical health issues. However, people can move forward after a divorce by keeping some key tips in mind. While the post-divorce period can be sad, it can also be an important period of growth and transition into a new future.

The support of family and friends can be important in getting through a divorce. People can confide in those closest to them about issues that may trouble them or even doubts about why their marriage came to an end. Those who feel like they cannot speak about more intimate issues may want to engage professional support by working with a therapist or other counselor to work through their concerns about their divorce and moving forward.

Millennials are using prenups to protect their assets

Millennials in Illinois and other states are increasingly interested in prenuptial agreements before they tie the knot. One study showed that over 60% of divorce attorneys saw an increase in their clients requesting prenuptial agreements. Those who were surveyed reported that over 50% of those who requested prenuptial agreements were millennial clients.

There are several reasons why millennials may be more interested in prenuptial agreements than past generations. One reason is that they want to protect their assets. In comparison to baby boomers and Generation Xers, millennials do not own as many concrete assets, like property, but they have made significant investments in startup businesses and the stock market. One report said that 7 in 10 millennials have participated in some type of investment.

How to help children when going through a divorce

When parents in Illinois get a divorce, the process and transition may be difficult for their children. However, how they behave toward one another and toward their children can make it easier. For example, parents should avoid arguing in front of their children. They should try to remain civil with one another, and if possible, they should take it a step further and try to plan one or two family nights together each month.

Research shows certain basic issues precipitate divorce

It can be difficult to have a successful marriage. For Illinois couples, challenges can sometimes grow so problematic that couples consider ending the marriage and getting a divorce. The reasons for divorce will inevitably vary, but there are certain basic issues that research shows precipitate many divorces. Understanding the warning signs is critical to making the decision to move forward with a divorce.

In a recent study, 2,371 people who had recent divorces were surveyed. On average, they were 45 years old; 44% began divorce proceedings on their own, 40% of their spouses initiated the divorce, and 16% decided jointly to end the marriage. Among participants, 40% did not have significant conflict while 29% said there was a great deal of conflict.

Creating a parenting plan as kids start back to school

As the school year gets underway, you may have new concerns for yourself and your children because of your recent divorce. Now, you will need to create a schedule that not only accommodates your kids' activities but that also stays in line with the child custody agreement you have with the other parent.

Creating a parenting schedule is not always easy, and each family has different details to consider. Though having a plan in place before school starts may seem ideal, you may want to maintain some flexibility because you may not know what your children's after school activities will include until after the school year begins.

How to keep a marital home

An Illinois home may be sold at the time of a divorce or a date that the couple deems to be appropriate. However, there are some instances in which keeping the home is a person's top priority. This may be the case even if an individual doesn't have children and simply wants the home due to its sentimental value. Determining how much the property is actually worth is the first thing that should be done.

Figuring out a home's value may influence whether a spouse wants to be bought out. Ideally, the house will only be sold to a spouse if that person can afford to purchase it at fair market value. Further complicating matters is the fact that a couple may not necessarily want to split the home on a 50/50 basis. It is also important to consider the cost of maintaining the property.

Retirement finances and divorce

The Pew Research Center reports that the divorce rates for people who are at least 50 years old is twice what it was in 1990. Older Illinois residents who decide to get a divorce should be aware of how a divorce can affect their retirement finances.

One type of retirement income that is impacted by divorce is Social Security. Typically, individuals are able to claim the benefits based on the work history of their ex-spouse if they were married for at least a decade, are not presently married and the ex-spouse is at least 62 years old and also able to claim benefits. The benefits of the ex-spouses are not affected when claims are made off of their work history.

Reasons couples may want a prenuptial agreement

Some couples in Illinois might think of prenuptial agreements as tools that are only useful for wealthy people. However, since most divorces involve the division of property, a prenup can also be helpful for couples who do not have enormous incomes. It gives them the opportunity to establish what assets they want to keep separate and how they will divide shared income and handle spousal support in a calm environment.

One stage of the divorce process is full disclosure of all assets and debts. A spouse who had not been part of managing the marital finances up to this point can be at a disadvantage in a divorce. A prenup ensures that this disclosure happens before the marriage since the couple must also disclose assets and debts. However, this conversation can be valuable for couples even if they do not divorce. Understanding the financial situation and the other person's attitude toward money can reduce the likelihood of conflict over money after marriage and may make the relationship stronger.

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.

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Ryan Family Law P.C.
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Elgin, IL 60123

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