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Vernon Hills Illinois Family Law Blog

Negotiating a parenting plan

When parents in Illinois divorce, both spouses are usually committed to maintaining a strong relationship with their children. This is why discussions about custody and parenting time can often trigger conflict in what might otherwise be an amicable divorce.

A custody battle can intensify the stress and unhappiness that accompanies a divorce. To avoid or at least minimize tensions, parents should be willing to work together to develop a custody arrangement and visitation schedule that works for everyone.

Why gray divorces are on the rise

In Illinois and across the country, an increasing number of Americans over the age of 50 are considering divorce. While the divorce rate for people of all ages has stabilized or even dropped since the mid-1990s, the opposite has been the case for people over 50. Unlike other demographic groups, Americans over 50 have doubled their rate of divorce since the 1990s, and approximately one-fourth of all divorces take place within the Baby Boomer generation.

The term "gray divorce" is used to describe the end of a marriage after the age of 50. It can apply equally to people who choose to divorce after decades of partnership and shared children or to people with shorter second or third marriages later in life. There are a number of reasons why the number and the rate of divorces later in life are on the rise. First, there are many more Americans over age 50 than there were in the past. In addition, life expectancy and health have continued to increase. Both men and women's average life expectancy has increased approximately 10 years in the period between 1950 and 2016.

Tips for ensuring financial security after divorce

Divorcing couples in Illinois might want to consider taking a collaborative approach to the process that focuses on leaving them both financially stable after the divorce is final. This is a growing trend among couples, and it often starts with hiring a financial planner.

The financial planner may be one part of a person's divorce team that also includes an attorney and family for emotional support. With this team, the person may feel more prepared to move into negotiations. It is important to remember that this stage is not just about dealing with assets such as a home and vehicles. A number of other matters will need to be addressed such as what to do about the car insurance and which parent will pay for a child's medical insurance. Rushing into a settlement may not be good for a person both emotionally and financially, so it is best to take adequate time to explore options.

Prenuptial agreements gain popularity among Millennials

New generations bring new ideas. Old ideas don’t go away, but they change with the times.

Prenuptial agreements are not new. In fact, their roots go back at least as far as the ninth century, according to The New York Times. They’ve garnered attention in recent years and, according to industry studies, are on the rise in most age groups. One surprising change is that they’re popular among the millennial generation, ages 18 to 34.

Study finds that change in marriage roles could lead to divorce

A married Illinois couple who shares household duties and income earning from the beginning may be less likely to get divorced. On the other hand, a couple that begins with more "traditional" roles before transitioning toward the woman being the main breadwinner is more likely to experience marital problems. This is all according to a recent study by Swedish researchers.

Often, women delay their careers so that they can raise children and support their husbands in their careers. When wives reach a point when they are able to focus on their own careers, husbands often do not step in to make up the difference.

Financial challenges for older people in divorce

Some married women in Illinois might be less likely than married men to have extensive knowledge about investment. According to a study published by UBS Global Wealth Management, 56 percent of married women do not participate in major financial planning and investment decision-making in their families. The report found that this was true of 54 percent of baby boomers and 61 percent of millennials.

According to the report, men also tended to describe themselves as knowledgeable about investing in much greater numbers than women. Fewer than 40 percent of women were breadwinners who took the lead in making financial decisions over the long term compared to more than 60 percent of men.

Financial steps to take during divorce preparation

Spouses in Illinois who are considering separation might want to get their finances in order before signing any divorce papers. The first step is getting copies of important documents together and putting them somewhere safe.

A soon-to-be ex should also get a copy of their credit report. They can begin correcting any errors before the divorce is underway, and they may also be able to see if there are joint accounts that are being abused. A spouse should set up their own individual account and, if possible, create a line of credit in their own name. This might be more difficult for a person who has not worked outside the home. However, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 does allow one to apply for credit based on household income.

In Illinois, what happens to your property in a divorce?

If you’ve decided to get divorced, you may be wondering what will happen to your property. Today we answer some fundamental questions surrounding property ownership and division in Illinois:

Can I sell my property?

The problem of financial infidelity

There are many reasons why marriages struggle – and most of those aren’t the dramatic plot twists of soap operas. Marital infidelity is a real and serious problem, but another often-overlooked concern is when couples hide money from one another.

Known as financial infidelity, partners may hold secret bank accounts, hide assets or purchases, or don’t adequately discuss investments, spending or other financial matters with each. By law, marital property belongs to both partners. Financial infidelity like accumulating debt or irresponsible spending will hurt the other partner regardless of whose name is on the receipt. Similarly, hidden assets with value belong to both partners, regardless of which partner signed the check.

New Illinois Child Support Income Shares Charts Are Released

Beginning July 1, 2017 Illinois will use the income shares model for determining child support. This change is a dramatic shift from the simple former model which used a percentage of the payors net income to determine guideline child support and was largely blind to the recipient's income. The problems with the former model are well-told, however I believe the largest problem was that it failed to properly account for the recipient's income and the contributions both parties made to the child or children prior to breakdown of the marriage. The income shares model does just that. While it still fails to take into account the wildly different costs of living in various cities throughout Illinois, as well as the wildly different spending habits of families, the income shares model attempts to treat the payor of support more fairly while at the same time at least attempting to continue to provide the same support for the child or children that existed prior to the breakdown of the marriage. To do this, a simple percentage share of net income is inadequate. Instead, now the Courts will look at the combined income of both parents, determine the total contribution to be made to the child from both parents based upon that combined amount, and set the payor's support payment based upon a percentage determined by their income compared to the recipient's income. It sounds far more complex than it really is, but it is still without question more laborious than the former model. To compute support using the income shares model, the State of Illinois is releasing charts which set the combined support amount based upon the number of children (1-6) and net income, as well as a conversion chart which translates net income from gross. The charts were made available late last week and are still marked as drafts, however as July 1st quickly approaches it is likely that these charts either become the final model or closely resemble the final model. Click below to view these charts directly from the Illinois.gov website.

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Gauthier Family Law

Gauthier Family Law
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