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Vernon Hills Illinois Family Law Blog

Keeping a marital home after divorce

Many people in Illinois who get divorced must decide if they want to keep the marital home. One of the first things to consider is whether or not the home has much equity. If a home was recently purchased, there may be little or no equity. Usually, the spouse who keeps the home buys the other one out by paying them a one-half equity share.

Another thing to consider is whether the home will be likely to need repairs in the next few years. Many people who can barely afford to pay the mortgage on one income will find that unexpected home repairs are too costly. Having a home inspection before the divorced is finalized is a good idea.

Kids can bounce back from parental divorce

When Illinois parents decide to divorce, it is often a step taken after extensive thought and deliberation. Foremost in the mind of many parents is a concern about the emotional and psychological well-being of their kids following a parental divorce. The period surrounding a divorce can be confusing and upsetting for kids, but many children are emotionally resilient. Parents' actions and attitude can make all the difference in achieving a successful outcome for their children during and after a divorce.

Of course, divorce can be a time of significant change and upheaval. Children may move out of the family home, and they may move back and forth between their parents' new residences. They might face changes in their standard of living or access to finances. However, parents can act to bolster children's feelings of security even during a difficult time. Both parents can agree on major parenting issues so that children are treated equally no matter which parent they are with at any given time. Some of these matters include rules about chores or academic goals. Absent abuse or other inappropriate behavior, parents should strive to support each other as well as their children's sense of stability.

The relationship between finances and divorce

Financial issues are one of the main reasons people in Illinois might experience marital discord. A survey by SunTrust Bank found that more than one-third of respondents said money is their main source of conflict in their relationship.

People with higher credit scores and more financial stability are more likely to stay in long-term relationships. Couples who have a large disparity in their credit scores are more vulnerable to divorce than those without this disparity. However, wealth does not necessarily mean that a marriage is more stable. According to one attorney, some wealthy couples may have both a higher income and higher expenditures with very little in savings. In addition, one person may have a high income while the other has a much lower one or might not work outside the home at all. This income discrepancy can create stress in the marriage. Furthermore, the job of a high-earning spouse might require long work hours and travel, and this can strain a relationship. Different types of problems arise when people are in two-income families. Often, men still handle most financial matters, and this could create problems.

Avoid big buys during a divorce

Thousands of personal finance books hit the shelves every year. Almost all of them will advise you, at some point in time, to reduce spending. Often, these are sensible statements, even borderline generic. But what if you have been investing and saving, and you’re ready to make a big purchase? If you’re in the middle of a divorce, there are a few good reasons to wait.

Study examines role of workplace in divorce

People in Illinois who are in opposite-sex marriages and who work in a field that is dominated by the opposite sex may be at a higher risk of divorce than those who work in fields that are more mixed or dominated by their own sex. This was the conclusion of a study that appeared in the journal "Biology Letters" on Sept. 25.

Researchers found a stronger relationship between potential partners in the workplace and divorce for men than they did for women. They also identified two fields where the risk was greatest, the hotel and restaurant industries, as well as two professions with the lowest divorce rate, farming and librarianship.

The growing trend of divorce among older adults

Older adults in Illinois may be more likely to divorce than the same age group was in 1990, and the risk may be even higher if the marriage is not the first or if it has not lasted very long. Compared to that year, the nationwide divorce rate for people who are 50 or older is now twice as high, and it is three times as high for those who are at least 65 years of age.

Researchers have wondered if life transitions at this stage, such as retiring or children leaving home, may contribute stress to marriages and lead to divorce, but studies refute this. In fact, there appears to be no correlation between these life events and divorce at an older age. For older adults, the main impetus seems to be unhappiness with the marriage just as it is for other age groups.

Homeownership and property division during a divorce

People who divorce in Illinois may wonder about the financial effects of the end of their marriage, especially women. One study found that women who divorce see their income go down by over 20 percent, even while divorced men's income tends to rise by around 33 percent. However, another study from the Center for Retirement Research indicates that some divorced women may fare better than never-married single women if they are homeowners after the split.

Divorced women often fare better than never-married single women in terms of assets saved for retirement. There are a number of reasons for this, including access to shared resources during the period of a marriage while single women need to rely on themselves alone to accumulate assets or obtain a mortgage. One of the most significant factors, according to the study, was if a divorced woman was a homeowner. Some experts urged caution in interpreting the results of the study. Divorce lawyers cited cases in which women fought to walk away from the marriage with the home but did not have sufficient income or resources to refinance the mortgage, pay the bills and taxes or keep up the property. These women wound up in a worse financial position due to their insistence on keeping the marital home.

Divorces affected by changes to tax laws

When people in Illinois think about divorce, they may not consider the tax implications. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed into law in December 2017, has several significant effects on how taxes are handled for divorced people. One of the most important changes concerns the taxation of spousal support payments. Currently, and for the past 80 years, the person who pays alimony to a former spouse is able to deduct the amount from his or her annual tax return. The recipient, on the other hand, pays taxes on the income in his or her tax bracket.

This tax system has been beneficial to both sides, especially when wealthy couples with high-asset divorces are involved. The tax benefit of the deduction can be significant for a payer in a high tax bracket. On the other hand, the recipient receives larger payments and is also able to invest that money in IRAs and other accounts designed to receive taxable income. Because of this mutual benefit, a number of divorce negotiations have concluded successfully. However, as 2019 dawns, this system will be reversed.

What pregnant divorcing mothers should know

Future mothers that become pregnant during divorce proceedings have a lot to think about. On top of dealing with all of the stress that comes from separating from their spouses, now they have to worry about taking care of a child without a partner in a couple of months. The unborn baby also makes dividing assets much more complicated.

If you find yourself in these circumstances, it is important that you know what the laws of Illinois state about divorces during pregnancy and how mothers should approach the proceedings.

Dividing 401(k) plans and pensions during a divorce

Illinois couples who decide to get a divorce later in life may find that their priorities are different than couples who are going through a divorce at a younger age. In many cases, the children have already grown up, meaning that former couples will not have to make decisions about child custody and child support. On the other hand, they'll have to determine how retirement plans and other assets will be dealt with.

A gray divorce occurs between former couples who are 50 years or older. In many cases, those who decide to have a gray divorce are often on the cusp of retirement, meaning any mistakes could have a major impact on a person's ability to afford housing, food and other daily expenses.

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Gauthier Family Law

Gauthier Family Law
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Vernon Hills, IL 60061

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