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Lombard divorce attorneysEven if you have never experienced it, you probably realize that a divorce can take a tremendous emotional toll on a person. You may also be familiar with the basic idea of dividing marital property. What may not be as obvious from the outside, however, is the potentially devastating effects a divorce can have on the personal financial situation of each spouse, which can be long-lasting and can even result in bankruptcy.

If divorce has become a strong possibility for you and your spouse, there are a few areas of concern that you can address along the way to prevent major financial problems down the road.

Consider the Type of Assets

The division of marital assets is an often contentious part of the divorce process. Although Illinois is equitable distribution state, meaning each spouse’s allocation should be fair, not necessarily equal, you and your spouse will probably try to reach a fairly even agreement. You should keep in mind, though, that certain assets are not as easily converted to cash in the event of unforeseen expenses. For example, if you got to keep the family home while your spouse was allocated an investment account with similar value, you may struggle to sell the home if you were to ever need to do so.

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce attorneysThere are many reasons why a couple’s marriage may break down. In some cases, the two spouses simply got married before they were ready for the commitment. Other times, one of the spouses is unfaithful and causes hardship in the marriage through his or her infidelity. However, one of the biggest causes of marital stress is money. Couples argue about whether to spend or save money, what to spend it one, or how their money should be managed.

Financial Stress Causes Friction in Relationships

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that about 75 percent of Americans are experiencing financial stress at least some of the time. Furthermore, almost a quarter of U.S residents are experiencing extreme financial stress. Couples do not have to be living paycheck to paycheck to experience this stress. Many financially-secure couples also experience the stress of not knowing which money decisions are right for them and their family.

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sharing expenses, Lombard family law attorneysAs technology continues to impact more and more aspects of daily living, it is hardly surprising that digital connectivity can now help facilitate financial discussions and even transactions between divorced parents. A new smartphone app called SupportPay is trying to the change the way that co-parents communicate about child support and sharing expenses, and developers hope that those use it can reduce uncertainty and prevent unnecessary hostility.

Basic Child Support

The law in Illinois typically requires a supporting parent to pay a percentage of his or her income to the other parent to assist with the child’s most basic needs. While many parents make child support payments via payroll deduction, others make monthly or biweekly payments on their own. SupportPay allows parents to make and manage their required payments through PayPal.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, taxes, Illinois family lawyersFinancial concerns, including taxes, and issues of family law are known for causing frustration and confusion. When you combine the two of them, it can really cause trouble. A married couple may be used to claiming their children as dependents on their taxes and enjoying the dependency exemption they get. Subsequent to a divorce, however, only one of them can claim the children on his or her taxes.

The Default Rule

The IRS has a set of rules and regulations to deal with claiming dependents after divorce. The default rule is the custodial parent gets to claim the children on the taxes. While, Illinois may no longer use the terms "child custody" or "custodial parent", the IRS still does. The IRS considers the parent that lives with the children most of the time to be the custodial parent.

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postnuptial agreement, finances, Lombard Family LawyerDespite the immeasurable amounts of research and advice available to married couples, financial issues continue to be among the leading causes for divorce in the United States. In fact, some experts estimate that nearly half of all American divorces are directly related to financial priorities and disagreements. Many couples looking to be proactive about money matters may decide to negotiate a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. Others, however, may not realize the need for such arrangements until well after their wedding day. For these situations, a postnuptial agreement may be the solution.

Recognizing the Need

Postnuptial agreements are often initiated by couples who are beginning to see signs of financial concerns but are dedicated to salvaging their relationship. Such concerns may be triggered by the success of failure of a business venture, health-related issues, or the advancement in age of both spouses, among many other factors. While being objective about family matters and the future may be difficult, doing so jointly and effectively can help unite a couple in their efforts to strengthen their marriage.

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engaged couple money topicsThere are many issues that an engaged couple should discuss before they actually get married. Often, a couple gets so caught up in the romance of the event that they forget about the practical and important financial issues that should be decided before the actual walk down the aisle happens. And since money is one of the most common reasons why married couples argue, there are certain topics that should be discussed to avoid major problems between the couple in the future.

Both partners should share with each other how they see their shared future. They should both have a clear understanding of whether or not they both want children and how many. They also both need to have a clear understanding about where they would like to raise that family, such as in the city, suburbs or in the country. Both partners also need to be aware of any future career goals their future spouse may have and how those goals could impact their life together.

There also should be an honest discussion about each other’s current financial obligations. For example, if either partner has children from previous relationships, the other party has the right to know what the financial obligation is for those children, including how much child support is paid out or how much child support is received. It is not only current financial obligations that are important to share, but also future ones, such as elderly parents that may require financial assistance or any medical issues.

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financially threatened spouseWhen a couple is going through the divorce process, emotions are usually more intense for both the husband and wife. Even the slightest remark or action by one spouse can seem amplified to the other, causing a strong reaction.

Often, anger becomes the driving force and all kinds of threats are made. This can be especially true if one spouse was the predominant breadwinner in the family and feels they have the upper hand in divorce negotiations. Threats of taking away the children or leaving the other spouse broke and homeless are common themes in acrimonious divorces. And whether or not the spouse making the threats could actually follow through with them does not always matter. Threats like these can leave the other spouse feeling stressed out and intimidated, or even frightened.

There are steps that a financially threatened spouse should take to ensure that they are protected emotionally and financially. These steps include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Infidelity doesn’t only pertain to an act of physical cheating. Emotional affairs have long been a major factor in divorce rates across the country, in which one or both partners embark on an intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex outside of the marriage, but in which no actual physical infidelity occurs. According to InfidelityFacts.com, 41 percent of people in American marriages admit to having either a physical or emotional affair. Considering that statistics citing physical infidelity are much lower, one can conclude that emotional or non-physical affairs are a component of thousands of American marriages.

According to US News and World Report, however, there’s another type of infidelity: financial infidelity. One of the most important foundations in a marriage, according to US News and World Report, is trust. A significant amount of trust needs to come from both sides in a marriage, especially when it comes to shared finances. Marriages are built around shared goals, and usually married couples have jointly made budgetary decisions. "When you discover that your partner has been making financial moves that undermine that hard work and those goals," reports the US News and World Report, "it can be an incredibly bitter pill to swallow."Financial Infidelity Can Lead To Divorce

Financial infidelity can refer to a number of offenses: that one partner is making financial moves of which the other is unaware; that one partner is far outspending the other on personal items such as clothing or recreation; that one partner is not keeping up his or her end of the budgeting bargain, such as a failure to pay bills on time.

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Most people are aware that going through a divorce will have some sort of effect on your finances, but many are not aware of what those specific effects will be.  A recent article published by The Seattle Times has identified five major ways divorce can affect your finances, some of which you may not have expected. Legal expenses will be one of the most expensive aspects of your divorce.  It is not uncommon for people to spend thousands of dollars on legal expenses, even if the divorce isn’t particularly messy.  If the divorce is contested, you should be prepared to spend much, much more. Child-care expenses are another financial toll most parents going through divorce do not expect to take.  There is usually only one parent remaining in a household after a divorce, which means that child-care expenses will probably increase. Taxes are another area that can be affected.  Your taxes will increase significantly after switching your filing to single status. Retirement planning expenses can also increase after going through a divorce.  It’s important to consider that pension, IRA, and 401 (k) distributions will most likely be substantially lower as well.  In many cases, it is helpful to set up a retirement plan with a professional before finalizing your divorce. An area that many people do not consider when filing for divorce is their insurance.  After your divorce has been finalized, it could be important for people to purchase different insurance policies. Many people do not fully realize just how much a divorce can affect their finances.  They often think about salaries and incomes instead of looking at the bigger picture.  If you or somebody you know is entering the divorce process, be sure to contact an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer to answer any questions you may have pertaining to your financial status, as well as any other questions about the process you may have.

Image courtesy of adamr/Freedigitalphotos

ChristineMarriage is a collection of years and memories that represent two lives connected. When it happens to dissipate, you cannot take back those years nor the memories; however, the property(s) you have jointly accumulated can be. In some fashion or another.

Hearing "prenuptial agreement" prior to the wedding day makes some shudder, some even loudly explaining how they do not need it at all because their marriage will be perfect and will work. However, with today’s statistics not playing in anyone’s favor, it might be a good idea to look into a pre-nup to ensure what you came into the marriage with leaves with you.

During the process, there are some other things to consider. If both spouses live on the same property, it is important that all the assets have been listed, what their value is and organized by if the property is joint or separate ownership. The taxes of said assets need to be determined.

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