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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyer for finances and employmentConcerns over the coronavirus have caused some businesses to close their doors. Unfortunately, this means that many people are now out of work. Some of these individuals are only temporarily laid off, while others may need to find new employment. Whether it is due to a layoff or termination, losing your job has the potential to dramatically influence divorce proceedings. Although divorce is typically thought of as the end of a romantic relationship, it is also the end of a financial relationship. Losing your main source of income will likely impact issues such as property division, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and other aspects of your divorce.

The Reason for the Job Loss Matters

When deciding on financial matters in a divorce case, a judge will consider both spouses’ financial circumstances. This includes the spouses’ income, assets, employability, and other factors. If either spouse has recently lost his or her job, the judge will want to know about the circumstances that led to the job loss. A judge is much more likely to be sympathetic when the job loss was the result of widespread layoffs or a person was otherwise not at fault for losing his or her job. However, if a spouse has lost his or her job because he or she quit or was fired for misconduct, the judge will be much less sympathetic.

Financial Consequences During Divorce Proceedings

In Illinois, a higher-earning spouse may be required to pay child support and/or spousal maintenance. If you have lost your job, but the loss was not your fault, it is possible that you will qualify for a reduced child support or spousal maintenance obligation. Most likely, if you show that you are sincerely working at becoming employed, you will be granted reduced payments until you can regain employment. However, if the job loss was your fault, you may be held to the same level of financial responsibility as you would be if you still had your job. Divorcing spouses who are negotiating a special financial agreement due to an unexpected job loss may find that mediation or collaborative law allows them to work out an arrangement without the need for court litigation.

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Wheaton divorce attorney for child custody and property divisionThere is no doubt that social media can have a huge impact on divorce proceedings and family law matters. Although you may not realize it, the things you post on social media can be admissible as evidence in court. If you are getting divorced, you should know that the messages, photographs, and other information you are sharing online may be scrutinized and potentially used against you.

Proceed With Caution When Using Social Media During Child Custody Disputes

If you and your spouse disagree about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, you should be especially cautious about what you post on social media. When Illinois courts are considering what type of parenting arrangement is in a child’s best interests, they will consider a wide range of factors listed in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, including the child’s relationship with his or her parents, the parents’ physical and mental health, and more. One factor that often gets overlooked is “the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.” If you make disparaging comments about your spouse, it could be construed as an unwillingness to encourage a good relationship between your child and his or her other parent.

Social Media May Provide Clues About Financial Fraud

Courts can only make appropriate decisions about spousal maintenance, child support, and asset distribution when both parties are honest about their financial circumstances. If you suspect that your spouse may be lying about finances in order to manipulate the divorce settlement in his or her favor, social media may contain clues about this deception. For example, if you are pursuing spousal maintenance, your spouse may underreport his or her income in an attempt to avoid paying his or her fair share of alimony. However, if he or she posts pictures of expensive purchases and luxury vacations on Facebook, the court may have reason to look more closely into his or her true financial circumstances. If you have reason to suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, contact an experienced divorce attorney right away.

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DuPage County spousal support attorneySpousal maintenance, also called alimony or spousal support, refers to payments that an individual makes to their former spouse after a divorce. Spousal support is only ordered in certain divorce cases, and it is meant to ensure that a divorced person can maintain the lifestyle they were used to during their marriage. In some cases, maintenance payments will be ordered when a lesser-earning spouse needs financial support for a period of time until he or she can obtain the skills or education necessary for suitable employment. However, some spouses may not ever be able to become financially independent after a divorce. In these cases, permanent spousal maintenance may be ordered.

When Is Spousal Maintenance Ordered?

There are two ways that spousal support will typically be awarded in Illinois. The spouses may have decided upon a spousal maintenance arrangement through a prenuptial agreement or another type of marital agreement, or spousal support can be ordered by a judge. During a divorce or legal separation, the judge will decide whether to award maintenance based on the circumstances of the case. In order to determine whether a person is eligible to receive spousal maintenance, the judge will consider factors including but not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s income, present and future earning capacity, and overall financial circumstances

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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney emotional issuesAccording to the Holmes Rahe Stress Inventory, divorce is the second most stressful life event a person can experience. Only the death of a spouse is considered more emotionally traumatic than the end of a marriage. If you are going through a divorce, you may feel depressed, confused, enraged, or even completely numb. While there is no way to completely eliminate the emotional pain associated with divorce, mental health experts do have some advice for how to cope with divorce in a healthy, effective way.   

Do Not Judge Yourself for Your Feelings

Divorce is different for everyone who goes through it. It is very likely that you will not experience divorce in the same way as your friends or family members. Because of this, it is important not to judge yourself for your reaction to the divorce. You may be consumed with anger and resentment toward your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, or you may miss them terribly. You may feel relieved about the end of the marriage, or you may be devastated that your attempts at reconciliation have failed. You may be emotionally numb and feel almost nothing at all. Whatever your response to the trauma of divorce, know that your feelings are normal and that the emotional pain will decrease with time.

Reach Out to Others for Help

Research has consistently shown that people are better able to cope with divorce if they have support from others. You may wish to share your thoughts and feelings with friends and family, or you may choose to confide in a mental health professional. Participating in a divorce support group or religious organization may also help you cope with the end of your marriage. Although you may want to isolate yourself during this turbulent time, this can actually make you feel more alone and upset. Connecting with others can help you work through the emotional difficulties you are experiencing.

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DuPage County spousal support lawyer

If you are getting divorced and earn a lower income than your spouse, you probably have many concerns about finances. Making ends meet on a single income can be a daunting prospect. This is especially true if you have been out of the workforce for many years because you were raising your children. Spousal support, also called maintenance or alimony, may offer the financial relief you desperately need. However, only individuals meeting certain criteria will be eligible for spousal support in Illinois.

When Is Alimony Awarded in Illinois?

Not every person who gets divorced will qualify for spousal maintenance. The courts typically only award a spouse maintenance if it is “reasonable and necessary.” There are many factors considered by Illinois courts when deciding whether or not maintenance is appropriate. These include but are not limited to:

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