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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

DuPage County family law attorneysEvery year, more than 2 million American couples decide to tie the knot. While weddings are a beautiful celebration of love, they can cost a lot of money. Couples throughout the United States spend a collective $72 billion on weddings on an annual basis. Still, while a wedding can cost you a hefty sum of money on the night of your marriage (the average wedding budget is approximately $20,000), that money pales in comparison to the potential financial impact of a costly divorce. Developing a postnuptial agreement, after your marriage can be critically important to ensuring that you remain financially stable in the event of a divorce.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Explaining to your fiance that you may have resources that you want to protect in the event of a divorce can be a difficult conversation to have. Yet, in many cases, the time to talk about protecting your financial future is after the wedding. A postnuptial agreement is a written agreement that the parties establish sometime after the marriage has been finalized. It is meant to settle the couple’s assets and affairs if they separate in the future. A postnuptial agreement can ensure that you and your family will have a stable financial future if you and your spouse ever decide to separate.

How to Develop a Postnuptial Agreement

The notion of a postnuptial agreement is a fairly new concept within American law. Postnuptial agreements finally became a common practice in the early 1970s, as more American couples began to separate. A postnuptial agreement can only be finalized if the agreement is in written form. It is also important to note that all postnuptial agreements must be voluntary. If a judge believes that a postnuptial agreement was forced onto one of the spouses, the postnuptial agreement will be considered null and void. A postnuptial agreement will only be finalized if all parties have disclosed the full extent of their assets. A spouse cannot hide significant assets from another spouse and still develop a valid postnuptial agreement.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersWhen preparing for a divorce, many people do not want to think about the logistical side of the separation process. A divorce represents a monumental change in a couple’s life, as the two parties will likely face a much different living situation, daily routine, and lifestyle. While the divorce process can be emotional and difficult to process, it is also complicated. As you prepare for your divorce, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that you and your family will be financially comfortable, moving forward.

Find a Divorce Attorney You Can Trust: Once you have made the decision to pursue a divorce, it is time to move forward and begin thinking about all the logistics that come with a separation. The best place to start is by hiring a quality divorce attorney. Choosing an attorney quickly can give you time to prepare for potential court hearings and litigation. When looking for a divorce attorney, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions: How much experience does this firm have? Does my personality work with the prospective attorney? Can I trust them?  

Communicate Your Priorities: Once you have answered the questions above and have chosen an attorney, it is time to get to work. The first step that you can take in working with your attorney is to communicate what assets are most important to you as your divorce case moves forward. Do you own a house that has been in your family for generations? Is a sole-custody parenting plan your number one priority? Communication is key in developing the best working relationship with your attorney.

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Wheaton child custody lawyersWhen raising children, parents make a conscious decision to put the needs of their child before their own. Raising children can be nerve-wracking, stressful, and challenging, so it can be helpful to have a solid parenting team. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a divorce, the parenting unit of father and mother is severely altered. When deciding how to approach your child custody case, it is important to know the benefits of various types of parenting plans. If you believe that sole-custody parenting is the best option for you and your family, you should fully understand the benefits and potential drawbacks.

The Benefits of Sole-Custody Parenting

A sole-custody parenting plan is, in some cases, the best option for a parent and their children. Sole-custody parenting can enable a child to maintain a certain level of consistency in their academic schedule, extra-curricular activities, and living situation. If you and your former spouse no longer have a relationship that can work as a functioning parenting team, it is likely the best option for one parent to be awarded sole custody. In cases of domestic abuse, a sole-custody parenting plan is almost always the best option.

The Potential Negatives of Sole-Custody Parenting

As mentioned above, sole-custody parenting can be the right option for a number of reasons, but a parenting plan that only involves one parent can come with some negatives. Children only living with one parent are more likely to fall below the poverty line, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. These financial concerns are, in large part, due to the fact that only approximately 50% of custodial mothers have child support plans established in court. Out of those established plans, 25% of mothers expecting to receive child support never do. A sole-custody parenting plan can also be difficult for children to cope with emotionally. Sole-custody means that the child will likely have a less significant (or even non-existent) relationship with the other parent.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOver 80% percent of Americans use one social media platform or another. In all, an estimated 264 million people in the U.S. are active on social media at any given moment. Most people are well aware of the potential ramifications of irresponsible social media posts from an employment perspective, but few understand how social media could negatively impact a divorce case. Sadly, one of the most common mistakes a person can make during a divorce is posting on social media. If you are contemplating a divorce, it is wise to take a step back from all of your social media platforms, especially when dealing with any of the following Illinois divorce issues. 

Social Media and Child Custody

Social media platforms can be a fantastic opportunity to update old friends on your life and establish new relationships. Yet, it is important to understand how a social media post could impact your child custody case. If you post false information about your marital status or familial situation during your divorce, it could severely impact a child custody case.

Additionally, posting pictures of you and your friends out drinking could be used against you in a custodial case, as your former spouse's attorneys could claim that you have a substance abuse issue. Thinking before you post is a good first step. Avoiding social media altogether is an even better option.

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DuPage County mediation lawyersIn many divorce cases, one spouse elects to pursue a divorce based on the poor decisions of the other spouse. Some of the most common reasons for divorce include one spouse having an affair, one spouse recklessly spending money, or one spouse no longer carrying their weight as a parent. Still, in some divorces, both parties believe that separation is the best option for all parties involved. In these cases, a settlement may not be necessary, and a mediation may be the right choice for you and your former spouse.

What is a Mediation?

Mediation is the process in which you and your former-spouse meet with a neutral third-party and work to resolve the biggest issues holding up the finalization of the divorce process. Those most commonly discussed during a mediation include custodial responsibilities, child support payments, allocation of retirement finances, and distribution of property. A mediation is conducted outside the standard court process. When a divorce case is taken to court, in many cases, neither party walks away with what they wanted. A mediation represents a process in which neither party needs to agree until they absolutely want to.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Mediation

After you have decided to pursue a divorce, it is important to know the benefits of the strategies you could take during the divorce process. The benefits of a mediation can make a huge difference for you and your family. A mediation represents the opportunity to save money, expedite the divorce process, and work with your former-spouse on developing future agreements that work for all parties involved.

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