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Wheaton Family Law Blog

Divorce tips can help offset financial costs

People expect the emotional sting of a breakup, the heartbreak, the loss of the dream from happily ever after, but what they don't always expect is the financial toll. A divorce can bring fees and unexpected costs as a person moves through it and toward a life on his or her own. People in Illinois may be inspired by reading this list of common recommendations for individuals going through a divorce to help ease the financial cost. 

Some experts have estimated the average cost of terminating a marriage to be approximately $15,000. Of course, costs vary widely and will depend on the specific circumstances of each individual. Part of the cost will be court fees and attorney fees, but some of the other costs can include mental health treatment, new housing costs, financial advising and more. 

Failure to pay child support comes with consequences in Illinois

Each parent has a duty to his or her child to help the child thrive and live a healthy lifestyle. When parents divorce, often there is a non-custodial parent -- the parent who has the children less than half of the time. In many cases, that non-custodial parent will be ordered by the court to pay child support in order for the child to have the financial means to live a healthy life. Unfortunately, sometimes, the non-custodial parent fails to pay the support payments. In Illinois, failure to pay child support results in consequences.

One of the consequences in many states is the loss of driving privileges. States typically maintain that driving is a privilege and not a right, and so the states keep the ability to revoke driving privileges for offenses that do not relate directly to driving. Illinois is one of the states that can revoke a person's driver's license for failure to make child support payments. 

Property division: Will divorcees hide in cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is grabbing headlines all across the world as people grapple with trying to understand the new form of currency. Some individuals have pointed out that cryptocurrency is difficult to track and trace, making it a potential stash spot for people trying to hide money from their soon-to-be ex-spouses during the property division portion of a divorce. In Illinois, people who suspect that their ex is trying to hide cash may have to look even more closely to ensure they are getting a fair shake. 

The new currency comes with a perceived privacy and anonymity that makes it attractive for any person trying to hide the true value of property. Although the records of cryptocurrency are trickier to find, it is not impossible. Individuals going through a divorce must reveal all financial information, and if they try to hide in digital funds, they may find themselves in hot water.

A parenting agreement can provide peace of mind

When going through the divorce process, you never want to lose sight of the well-being of your child or children.

If you're dealing with a custody dispute and hoping to find a resolution through mediation, it won't be long before you turn your attention to the creation of a parenting agreement.

Sharing child custody can be an unexpected blessing

Some people dread the thought of the two-house Christmas. Any holiday can give a divorced parent a feeling of apprehension, knowing that they will have to share the day with their co-parent, but sharing child custody actually has its perks. Co-parents in Illinois can open their minds to the unexpected benefits of sharing the kids over the holidays and actually reap the rewards of sharing the workload.

Some families find that shared child custody works best for their situation. Some people choose to live near one another, and send the kids back and forth, with the children spending three days at one house, and then four days at  the other. An arrangement like this allows both parents to have time with the child, and it provides a predictable stability for the family. For important holidays and celebrations, a family could choose to alternate where the child wakes up and with whom the time is spent. 

Family law changes may come with new tax bill

Some individuals who pay alimony may be affected by changes in the new Internal Revenue Code, which appears primed for passage. Originally, the spousal support payments (alimony) were deductible from the payer's income, and the payee was responsible to claim the funds as income. The new legislation changes this, and it could affect family law decisions for divorcing couples in Illinois. 

The news of the proposed change first indicated that the new rules would go into affect for any divorce or separation agreement made after Dec. 31, 2017. The new version says that the policy will affect new agreements made after Dec. 31, 2018, giving people one year to adjust and make informed divorce decisions should the legislation be enacted into law. Some experts have interpreted the legislation and have said that it seems to allow renegotiation of settlements after 2018 to include language that would let them opt out of the new tax treatment. As more leaders read and interpret the law, more details will become clear. 

A divorce checklist can work for some

At the time when one decides to end a marriage, there are practical steps to take along with all the emotional processing. Some individuals have found it helpful to collect a list of divorce tips they have found helpful. Individuals considering divorce in Illinois may wish to apply some of the relevant suggestions as they undergo the process of marital dissolution. 

Financial considerations feature heavily in the list of tips. Once one has decided it is time to separate, one will likely need to separate any financial accounts. It can also be helpful to establish an independent credit card as well. Since the transition is also likely to have costs associated with it, a person may wish to start saving a little bit of extra money to cover any expenses that pop up. If one's health insurance depends on the spouse, it is time to research the options for getting independent health insurance. 

Tips for family law, divorce from those with experience

A recent article takes a look at the lives of individuals who separated from their partner after the age of 50. Current trends show that divorces in this age group are increasing, which means that more people in this age bracket in Illinois find themselves in need of family law advice. Some individuals, having gone through the process, look back and share their take on what they wish they had known in advance, and what they would tell themselves for encouragement. 

Divorce can be a challenge for all -- it can be emotionally painful, financially draining and the changes can ripple out to other relationships. All the challenges can lead to growth and a mature perspective. One person shared that she did not anticipate that the divorce would affect the older children as mush as it did. She remarked that the younger child actually had an easier time of adjusting. A common belief is that one should hold on for the sake of children, but this person's experience shows that there can be a benefit to making the break earlier because a resilient child can adjust more easily. 

Divorce: Facing the financial realities

Whether an individual sees the end of a marriage as a bitter end or a new chance to start over will depend on the exact circumstances surrounding the situation. Either way, at the end of a marriage, a person will likely come face to face with the current financial reality and questions of how to best move forward. Illinois residents who are considering divorce may find some helpful tips from a recent news article about post-marital finances. 

Failing to plan means planning to fail, or so the old saying goes. Many experts agree that continuing to take an active part in financial planning, both before and during the marriage, will ensure greater success overall. By taking responsibility in one's own financial stability, a person can be better prepared for any unexpected changes that come up as part of the life cycle. 

Planning to divorce? Keep these tips in mind

Whether you have been married for thirty years or three years, divorce is hard. You have to make decisions regarding what you want to fight for, what you can let go of and even how best to tell the kids. Unfortunately, it is easy to make some costly mistakes when you make these important decisions. However, there are multiple tools available to help you get through the process while mitigating potential losses.

When looking at the divorce process, it is important to take an organized and almost business-like approach. The following divorce tips can help you stay on track.

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