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Livas Law Group

Naperville divorce lawyersFinancial issues can be not only a major point of contention during the divorce process, they can also be a reason for the marriage failing in the first place. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that 31 percent of people in a marriage or romantic relationship claim that finances are a significant source of conflict. However, it is possible for a married couple to healthily address finances and work through challenges that arise, which may save your marriage and help you avoid resorting to divorce.

Tips for Addressing Finances With Your Spouse

The following suggestions can help you and your spouse prevent destructive conflict over finances both before and during your marriage:

  • Be honest with each other. Before getting married, you and your partner should have an open conversation about your financial situation, including your existing assets and debts, so that there are no surprises later on. During your marriage, avoid hiding purchases from your spouse that can damage trust and your family’s financial situation.
  • Create a budget together. A thorough conversation about your income, expenses, and spending goals can be helpful early in your marriage to ensure that both partners have input in decisions and a shared understanding of how you will manage your finances.
  • Try to avoid excessive debts. Each partner may enter the marriage with existing debts, and you may acquire more as a couple, from mortgages, to vehicle loans, to credit cards. Excessive debt can create immense stress on a relationship, so you should make a plan to avoid incurring debt that you cannot handle, and to pay down debts that are creating a burden.
  • Discuss your plan for your kids. If you and your spouse plan to have kids together, you should be aware of the financial cost and plan accordingly. You will need to ensure that you can provide for their basic needs and interests at least until they reach the age of 18, and you may want to plan for higher education expenses as well.
  • Consider a prenuptial agreement. You may find it helpful to legally formalize your agreement over finances in the form of a prenuptial agreement that clarifies each partner's ownership of assets and plans for the division of property and spousal support in the event of a divorce. 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At Davi Law Group, we provide advice and representation for any legal matters affecting finances in your marriage. We can help you draft a valid prenuptial agreement, and we are always available if you do decide to pursue a divorce. Contact a Naperville family law attorney today to schedule a free consultation at 630-824-3474.

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What to Expect If You Are Divorcing While UnemployedIn an ideal situation, a couple would choose to get a divorce when both spouses are financially stable and able to maintain their accustomed lifestyle independently. However, this is not always possible, and it may be especially difficult at a time when so many people are struggling to find or maintain steady employment. Whether you are voluntarily unemployed in order to be a stay-at-home parent or you have recently lost your job due to COVID-19, there are a few things to consider regarding how your unemployment can affect the divorce process.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Unemployment

If you have been fired, laid off, or furloughed due to COVID-19 or for most other reasons, and you are actively seeking employment, your unemployment will likely be considered involuntary. This means that your financial obligations related to the divorce will usually take your actual current income into consideration. However, if you are voluntarily unemployed, the court may instead consider your earning capacity when determining your ability to make financial contributions. Note that there may be an exception if you are voluntarily unemployed so that you can contribute to the marriage in some other way, such as being a stay-at-home parent to care for your children while your spouse works.

Unemployment and Child Support in Illinois

In Illinois, each parent’s child support obligation is calculated based on an equitable proportion of the parents’ combined incomes. If both parents are regularly employed, this calculation can be relatively straightforward, but if one of you is unemployed, it can become more complicated. If the paying spouse is involuntarily unemployed, his or her child support obligation will often be lower than it would be in the case of regular employment. If the receiving spouse is unemployed, he or she may expect to see the other parent pay for a majority of the child support obligation.

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Parenting Teen Children During Your Illinois Divorce   Divorce is a difficult experience for parents and children alike, filled with sadness, anger, fear, uncertainty, and a range of other strong emotions. While it is a challenging time for children of all ages, teens may find it especially hard to deal with their parents’ divorce at a time in their life that may already be marked by major transitions and heightened emotions. As a parent, you should be prepared for the impact your divorce will have on your teenagers and do your best to help them cope with the changes that come.

Common Responses to Divorce For Teen Children

Many teens struggle with their parents’ divorce and react in ways that may have a negative impact on their lives. Some of the most common effects of divorce on teens include:

  • Academic Performance Issues: During a divorce, increased stress, lack of sleep, and difficulty focusing may all cause your teen’s grades and enjoyment of school to suffer.
  • Behavioral Issues: You may find that during and after your divorce, your teen lashes out at both parents more often or rebels against your rules and requests in ways that they had not before.
  • Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Some teens turn to substance abuse in response to their parents’ divorce, and they may also be more likely to engage in early, unsafe sexual activity.
  • Difficulty in Relationships: Divorce can put a strain on teens’ relationships not only with their parents but also with their friends and peers. They may also find it difficult to form and maintain romantic relationships after seeing their parents’ marriage fail.
  • Mental Health Issues: Divorce can contribute to a teen’s depression or suicidal thoughts and cause actions that require immediate attention and care.

Helping Your Teen Child Adjust to Divorce

It can be difficult to focus on the emotional needs of your children when you are struggling yourself, but the more you can be there for your teen children, the better you can help them work through their feelings and prevent some of their more dangerous and unhealthy reactions. Devoting time to talk to your children and listen to their concerns can make a big difference, as can continuing to support them in their interests. Asking for their input in your parenting plan can also help to ensure the arrangement works for everyone in the family. Most importantly, always be on the lookout for behavior that may indicate depression or other mental health issues that require help from a professional.

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How to Prepare for Remarriage After an Illinois DivorceIn the months and years following a divorce, many people find new partners with whom they want to spend their lives and decide to get married again. Remarriage can be a happy occasion and a time for celebration, but if you are planning for a second marriage, you should be sure to consider the changes it will bring for you and your family, as well as the legal matters you may need to address.

Addressing the Changes That Remarriage Brings

First and foremost, if you want to remarry, you must ensure that your divorce has been finalized and that your previous marriage has legally ended. If this is the case, then there are some additional factors for you to think through, including: 

  1. Combining Households and Families: You and your new partner will need to decide where you will live after your remarriage and if this means buying a new home together. If you have children, you should think through the best way to introduce them to your new partner and any potential step-siblings. You also may need to seek a modification to your parenting plan to accommodate your new living situation.
  2. Changes to Spousal and Child Support: In Illinois, a person who remarries is no longer able to receive spousal maintenance from the previous spouse. However, the paying spouse may still be required to pay spousal support after remarrying. When children are involved, both parents will still need to contribute to child support, but a modification may be in order if the remarrying parent experiences a significant increase in income as a result of the marriage.
  3. Pursuing a Prenuptial Agreement: Second marriages often happen at a point in life when both partners have significant financial assets, so you may find it important to develop a prenuptial agreement that specifies which of you has the right to certain properties if you get divorced in the future.
  4. Modifying Your Estate Plan: You may need to adjust your will and any trusts to include your new spouse as a beneficiary. It is also important to consider how your spouse’s inheritance will impact that of your children and other dependents from before the remarriage.

Contact a Naperville Family Law Attorney Today

An experienced family lawyer can help you not only during your divorce but also in the years following. At Davi Law Group, we can give you the legal advice you need to help your remarriage go smoothly, allowing you to focus on the positives and the strengthening of your relationships with your new family. Contact a Wheaton divorce lawyer for a free consultation at 630-504-0176.

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Illinois divorce attorneysPreparation is the key to a smoother, less tumultuous divorce. How you go about it—the steps you take and the methods you use to prepare—is important as well. Give yourself the best possible chance at a positive outcome by preparing for your Illinois divorce in the following five ways. 

1. Focus on Your Finances

In a divorce, spouses must value and then divide their marital estate in an equitable manner. For most, this means a significant reduction in assets, which may be combined with an overall decrease in each household’s income (i.e. one income instead of two). Parties are strongly encouraged to create a budget and a financial plan to help them prepare for this shift. It is also advised that parties gather any and all documentation on marital assets to increase their chances of receiving a fair settlement in the divorce.

2. Protect the Children

How you protect your children in a divorce will depend greatly on the situation. Some may need to seek orders of protection and specialized help (i.e. a Guardian Ad Litem) to ensure the safety of their children. However, most children simply need support as their parents separate. They may need room to express their feelings, a chance to ask questions, and perhaps a little extra love and attention as they come to terms with the divorce. Therapy and support groups may also be necessary to help a child through the process.

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