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Vernon Hills Illinois Family Law Blog

Co-parenting benefits adults and children after divorce

Shared custody that grants both parents time to raise their children after a divorce has the potential to produce many psychological and emotional benefits. Parents going through the process of divorce in Illinois will need to work out a custody agreement and co-parenting plan. Although coming to terms might be difficult for splitting spouses, the benefits to the family after the divorce are worth the effort.

Children naturally feel upset when their parents split up. A co-parenting plan that allows the children to divide time between parental households helps to overcome fear and insecurity. As children learn that both parents have remained engaged and present in their lives, their sense of security returns. The sustained bond with both parents enabled by co-parenting could also promote prosocial behavior in children as they mature. Children lacking a bond with one parent face a greater risk of negative behavior.

Parents likely to get more child support in some states

Child support is often a major part of a divorced parent's income. Although losing the second salary in the home after divorce might make it challenging to juggle all of the expenses a couple was able to manage, child support helps ensure the children have what they need. The amount of child support that is awarded to a parent varies by location. Custodial parents in Illinois may have to budget more income for their children's expenses than those in Nevada or Washington.

Women have been in the workforce for decades but some states still don't include the mother's income when they compute the amount a father has to pay in child support. In states where this is the rule, fathers pay about $100 more per month on average. The others states consider the income of both parents but many don't align with the cost of living in the region.

How job loss may affect divorce negotiations

The already complex process of divorce can be further complicated for people in Illinois if one of them loses a job. This can have implications for child and spousal support payments whether it is the lower- or the higher-earning spouse who loses a job.

In the former case, the higher-earning spouse might need to pay more in support until the lower-earning spouse finds a new job. In the latter case, the support-paying spouse may be permitted to pay less until they find a new job. However, there are a few caveats around this. If the person loses the job because of misconduct, the court may be less sympathetic. It might also raise suspicion if the support-paying spouse is laid off from a job with a family or friend's business since this could actually be an effort to avoid paying more in support. Another consideration may be whether or not there is a severance package.

How a divorced parent should request a relocation

Separating from a spouse may be a stressful process, but it does open up numerous opportunities for you. You no longer have to worry about living in the same house as your ex or organizing your entire schedule around them. You can get a new job that they may have held you back from acquiring in the first place. You don’t even have to live in the same state as them anymore if you want.

However, those opportunities become slightly complicated if there is a child involved. Illinois requires parents that are moving more than 25 miles from their current residence with their child to acquire the other parent’s approval in doing so. However, the other spouse could use this as an opportunity to acquire more custody time and try to convince the court to keep the child in the state. It is important to know how this process works and what advantages you may need if you want you and your kid to move out of the state.

Divorce can affect children's higher education plans

For many Illinois families, divorce brings about a wide range of changes, including emotional, social and behavioral changes. However, one change that might not be so obvious during the process, is how divorce will affect the children's higher education plans. A study has found that for white children in particular, divorce is factor in whether they attend college or not.

According to the study published in Sociological Science, after divorce, income can decrease and there might be financial instability. For white children, who tend to be part of more financially well-off families, the decrease in income might deter them from going to college. The study found that the impact on non-white children was not as significant. However, divorce can bring similar financial challenges to all families, so all parents need to be aware of this negative effect on higher education plans and to consider that during the divorce process.

Buying out a spouse's share of the home in a divorce

When Illinois couples who own a home get a divorce, one may want to buy out the other. However, the person should first find out the answer to several important questions. One is how much equity is in the home. This can be determined in several different ways. A full appraisal is the most accurate, but it can be expensive and time-consuming, so some couples opt for quicker methods.

Next, it is necessary to determine how much one spouse owes the other for the house. Since Illinois is an equitable distribution state, it might not be 50 percent although if both spouses contributed equally to the mortgage and upkeep, it might be. People will also need to determine what kind of mortgage they will need. This can vary depending on whether there are other assets the person can put toward the buyout or if the person will take cash out from the property.

Quantifying the value of a caregiver

For the most part, both men and women in Illinois agree that parents who act as caregivers to their children play an important role in a marriage. However, men and women tend to disagree over how much a stay-at-home parent should receive in a divorce settlement. A study involving roughly 3,000 people asked participants to read a scenario about a couple who divorced after having three children. Both the husband and wife worked until the couple's first child was born.

At that point, the husband continued to work while the wife stayed home to care for the children. The husband filed for divorce after 17 years of marriage. Participants were given six different scenarios in which the husband and wife had various occupations and levels of education. For the most part, female participants gave the wife the same share of marital property regardless of her education level.

Tasks to complete after a divorce

Filing the last of the divorce paperwork can be a big relief for couples in Illinois who are splitting up, but there is usually still more work to be done after the divorce. For example, a spouse may need to be removed from a health insurance policy, and one spouse may need to find another source for medical insurance.

Vehicles and other assets may need to be retitled. It might be necessary to refinance a mortgage if one spouse gets the home. Joint accounts, including bank and credit card accounts, may need to be closed and individual accounts opened in their place. Some people may want to make a name change. If there is a non-IRA retirement account that the couple is dividing in the divorce, a document called a qualified domestic relations order may need to be approved by the plan's custodian. Assets from retirement accounts that are split during divorce may need to be rolled into a new IRA.

Three ways a divorce damages your health

We are always told to prioritize our health. Whether it’s our mental health or our physical body, we need to take care of ourselves first. However, our priorities tend to skew when we are going through challenging circumstances, such as divorce.

It’s critical to take a step back and recognize how a divorce could damage your health and makes you feel worse during a difficult period. Once you know what to look out for, you can treat it before it becomes a problem.

How to coparent after a divorce

Most parents in Illinois who are getting a divorce must learn to co-parent. By following some guidelines, parents can make the process of co-parenting run more smoothly.

First, parents should make the best interests of the childparamount. This includes understanding that except in cases where the child might be unsafe, such as abuse, the child should have access to both parents. Parents should avoid speaking negatively about one another, blaming the other parent for the divorce or putting the child in the middle by having the child carry even the simplest messages back and forth. While it is not uncommon for divorced parents to disagree on specific parenting rules, they should try to be consistent in terms of general household expectations.

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Gauthier Family Law

Gauthier Family Law
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Vernon Hills, IL 60061

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