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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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DuPage County divorce lawyersIn a divorce, parties may face numerous obstacles and challenges. If not handled thoughtfully, any one of them could result in negative consequences. There is one mistake that trumps all others, however. Learn what it is and how to avoid it in today’s post. 

The Biggest (and Most Common) Divorce Mistake

After months, perhaps even years of fighting and arguing, most divorcing parties want to quickly and peacefully end their marriage. Unfortunately, if you are too agreeable, you could place your own future at risk. As an example, consider this all too familiar scenario: 

Your spouse files paperwork. You look it over, but the jargon is confusing. Still, you trust that your ex has the same goal as you—to end things peaceably and get on with your lives. You sign the paperwork and discover, far too late, that your spouse has done something underhanded. 

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Illinois divorce attorneysMost couples aim for an amicable divorce or separation, but some situations seem to breed conflict (i.e. domestic violence, vengeful spouse, child-related issues, etc.). In these scenarios, a peaceful end to your marriage may feel impossible, yet it is still possible to mitigate the issues. Learn how by checking out today’s tips on navigating a high conflict divorce.

1. Minimize Contact (Especially When the Kids Are Around)

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to reduce conflict in your divorce is to minimize contact with your spouse. First, eliminate any unnecessary contact. Do not meet in person if a phone conversation will suffice. Choose not to accept their call if you are busy, hurried, or stressed. Avoid conversations with them around the children. Opt to communicate through email instead of over the phone. Really, just find what works best for you and your situation. Above all, remember that how you speak to (and about) your spouse can either help or harm your children. 

2. Set Firm but Loving Boundaries for the Kids

Children and their feelings are often forgotten in the high conflict divorce. Too much focus and attention go into dealing with the issues. However, kids often feel off-center, angry, confused, or sad when their parents split up. If not given the chance to talk about these emotions, they may start to act out. Children may also struggle to follow the rules of two separate households. Choose to do things in a healthy, healing way in your home. Set firm but loving boundaries, and stick to them. Be there for your child, strive to understand why they are struggling, but do not let bad behavior go unnoticed or neglected.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysBetween the pandemic, record job losses, riots, and economic downturn, the future of America might seem grim. Thankfully, the economy will eventually recover. What may not survive is your marriage. 

Some couples drew closer under the imposed stay-at-home orders, banding together to withstand and prevail in these uncertain times, but others came to realize that their marriage is unsalvageable. Too much time together agitated unresolved marital issues, bringing them to the surface. Financial problems, job losses, and illnesses only added further stress. 

If your marriage crumbled under the stress of recent events, rest assured that you can still move forward with the divorce process. More than that, you can (and are encouraged to) cope with the end of your relationship in a healthy and productive way, as doing so can improve the long-term outcome for yourself and any children. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen it comes to protecting wealth, affluent families typically focus on matters pertaining to tax and estate laws. Unfortunately, there is another major (but often overlooked) threat to any large estate: the divorce.

Almost half of all U.S. marriages end this way, yet only a fraction of the affluent have an existing prenuptial agreement in place. In lieu of one, the estate is valued and then divided equitably among the divorcing parties. 

Unfortunately, the untangling of a marital estate can be a complex and difficult process. Foreign held assets pose even bigger challenges and greater consequences. Learn how to overcome them, and how a seasoned Illinois divorce lawyer can improve the outcome in your case. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneyIn an ideal world, divorcing parties would have all the financial aspects of their lives in order before they file. Of course, few things in life go as planned. Such is often the case when an indebted business is a part of the marital estate. Learn how a seasoned divorce lawyer can help you protect your financial interests, even if your business is currently in debt. 

Understanding the Potential Challenges

Indebted businesses pose a number of challenges in divorce. First, if your spouse denies having any knowledge of your company’s debt, they could be excused from any financial consequences. As a result, you may be ordered to pay alimony or a larger settlement amount, which could compromise your ability to pay back the company’s debt. 

Using marital assets to keep an indebted business afloat could also make it more difficult to untangle assets. Hiring a forensic accountant can help, but even still, you could face challenges when trying to determine the value of both the business and your marital estate. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhile every divorce is unique and specific to the parties and their situation, there are some common threads. Likewise, there are some commonly made mistakes in divorce. Fall victim to any one of them and you could jeopardize your settlement, your time or rights to your children, and even your financial well-being. Educate yourself on what these mistakes are, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton divorce lawyers can help you avoid them.

1. Failure to Gain Access to or Provide All Financial Information

Like it or not, divorce is mostly a financial transaction. It requires you to provide any and all financial information to your attorney or the courts so that the marital estate can be accurately valued and divided. Unfortunately, if you miss something, it can have a negative impact on your case. You could short-sell yourself in the settlement, or you could be accused of trying to hide assets from your spouse. In either case, this mistake should be carefully avoided.

2. Putting Too Much Focus on the Past

Couples do not typically seek a divorce because they are happy and fulfilled. Instead, there are usually moments and issues that have brought the couple to their decision. However, it is important to remember that these matters are now in the past. Lashing out at your spouse, trying to get even, or simply squabbling over issues that no longer hold relevance do not help your situation. Instead, they can jeopardize your ability to think rationally about the things that do matter, like the well-being of your children or your financial health.

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Illinois divorce attorneysIn a divorce, marital assets are valued and equitably divided between the parties. Businesses, owned jointly or independently, may also be considered a part of the marital estate. The determination of its value is called the business valuation process. Learn more about this process, and how it could impact the outcome of your Illinois divorce. 

What is Business Valuation?

Business valuations are used to determine the overall health and net worth of a company. Each facet of the company is objectively and independently evaluated, including the company’s assets, expenses, revenue, cash flow, debt levels, and projected future earnings. 

Business Valuation Methods

The process for determining a company’s value will vary, depending on the industry, business type, and customer base. One of four methods may be used. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersDebt is a serious issue for most Americans. According to a recent study from Northwestern Mutual, the average U.S. citizen has about $38,000 in personal debt - and that excludes their mortgage. If one were to double that for a married couple (almost $80,000 in debt), the importance of understanding how debt is divided in a divorce becomes clear. 

Equitable Distribution of Debt in Divorce

In most cases, marital debt is divided in a divorce in the same way as assets: equitably. Essentially, this means debts are allocated according to the income and expense of each party. Keep in mind that this rule usually only applies to joint, marital debts that were acquired during the union. Separate debts that parties acquired prior to the marriage, as well as sole-owned debts, may not be divided in the same manner. 

Legal Liability for Debt in Divorce

Regardless of who the debt is assigned to in the divorce, parties can still be held legally responsible for a debt if their name is on the account. Keep this in mind when a portion of marital debt is assigned to your spouse, and have a plan in place for handling a default on the account, should your spouse forget or fail to pay. Otherwise, you may rack up late fees or interest on your account, leaving you with unnecessary added expenses. 

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Illinois parenting time lawyersThe entire country is being advised to practice social distancing and quarantine procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Parents who share children but live in separate households are both concerned and unnerved about what this could mean for their families. Check out these options for divorced, legally separated, and non-wed families parenting in separate households. 

Keeping Visitation Schedules the Same 

Many of the families that have not been affected by the virus are opting to keep their visitation schedule the same for now. Their children continue to transition between homes. As long as nothing changes, and each household practices social distancing or in-home quarantine, this should not be an issue, so long as no one becomes infected. Parents who continue visitation their schedules as they are may want to also develop a plan for handling a positive COVID-19 case within the family. Some things to consider include:

  • Where the child will stay if one or both parents become infected,
  • Who will care for the child if they end up contracting COVID-19, and
  • How the family can still bond if forced to quarantine in separate households. 

Changing Visitation Schedules Under Quarantine

Families under full quarantine (mostly in high-risk areas) may want to consider changing their visitation schedule to reduce the chances of sending the virus to both homes. Incubation for COVID-19 is anywhere from seven to 11 days, so the most prudent schedule would likely be a two-week exchange. Parents can verbally make such an agreement verbally, but it is better to have a legal document in place, just to be safe. Your family law attorney can help. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysMost parents are aware that divorce could negatively impact their child; it is why so many are hesitant to call it quits on their marriage. Still, studies show that a tumultuous home environment is more damaging to a child. As such, parents are encouraged to understand how and why a divorce might cause issues for their child. It also helps to have a plan in place.

Understanding the How and Why

Although divorce can negatively affect all children, the biggest risk seems to apply to those who are “well off” prior to the split. More specifically, adolescents whose mothers have a college education were found to be most impacted by parental divorce in a recent study conducted by Sondre Aasan Nilsen of the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) and the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues. On average, their GPAs were 0.3 points lower than peers with intact families from the same socioeconomic class. Previous research has also indicated that well-off children are less likely to attend college after a parental divorce.

Perhaps children from lower socioeconomic classes show less impact, simply because they are already less likely to excel in school or attend college, or maybe well-off children are ill-prepared for divorce because they have not suffered as much disappointment and heartache as children from lower socioeconomic classes. Whatever the cause, it is middle-class parents (and above) who most need a plan for minimizing the risk of poor academic performance in their child.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysIt can be difficult to know when to call it quits on your marriage, especially when you have put a great deal of time and energy into saving it. Shared children can further complicate matters. Often, parties look for a tell-tale sign, an unmistakable moment that forces them to accept the truth that divorce is inevitable. Unfortunately, such scenarios are rare. 

Instead, parties may spend weeks, months, and even years pondering their next steps - often denying themselves happiness during this confusing phase of their lives. Thankfully, you do not have to walk this path. Look at your current situation and discern whether these seven signs are present to determine if your marriage may already be on the path to divorce. 

You No Longer Argue 

While not all arguments are productive, couples need to resolve their disagreements and find common ground. Unfortunately, when parties cannot work things out, they may stop caring about the outcome. Arguments and disagreements may no longer be an issue, but there is distance and detachment. If your marriage has reached this point and you feel like you are all out of fight, you may only have two choices left: stay in a loveless marriage or call it quits. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysFor some divorcing couples, the process is swift. Each moves into their own place and on with their own lives. For others, it is a slow, almost imperceptible change that gradually leads to a new and single life for each party. Such is the case with in-house separation. If this is the solution you are considering for your marriage, these tips can help you make it work. 

Step One: Announce Your Grievances and Establish a Truce

Whereas other separating parties may be able to work out their grievances over time, in separate houses, those who choose to have an in-house separation need to lay their issues out on the table so they can start to move forward. Otherwise, you and your spouse will simply continue to argue and repeat the same cycles. 

Once you have announced your grievances, it is time to establish a truce. Commit to not working on your marital issues and finding a new path forward for your own life instead. Approaching matters in this way can also work for those who hope to repair their marriage since most issues that lead to separation require you to find new and stable ground.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersBeing served with divorce papers can come as a shock, even when things are bad and you are expecting it. You may also find yourself at a loss on how to handle the situation at hand. Learn how to answer your divorce petition in the following sections, and discover what our seasoned divorce lawyers can do to help you with the next steps of the divorce process. 

Your Response Must Be Submitted Within the Allotted Timeframe 

Divorce petitions must be answered within the allotted timeframe to avoid default; since a default means that your spouse gets what they are asking for in the divorce, you will want to avoid this at all costs. As soon as you receive your petition, seek seasoned legal help. 

You Need to Dispute Any Points That You Do Not Agree With

Few divorcing spouses agree on every point; the same will likely be true for you and your spouse. Matters of dispute must be addressed in your response to the petition. Otherwise, your spouse gets what they are asking for in the divorce. Disputing points that you do not agree with allow you to protect your rights and your interests in the divorce, but since divorce papers are often filled with legal jargon, it is possible for you to miss critical issues. Seek legal help and reduce the risk of this happening in your Illinois divorce. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneysDivorce can be a financially devastating process, especially if you are not adequately prepared. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your financial interests, even in the messiest divorce. Learn more by checking out these five financial tips for surviving your Illinois divorce. 

1. Start Saving and Financially Preparing Before You File

One of the biggest mistakes that parties can make in their divorce is failing to financially prepare for it. Most consider the cost of the proceedings, and many recognize that they will have to divide their assets. However, few recognize just how long it can take to financially recover from their divorce. Some may even be obligated to pay child support or spousal support; not preparing for this ahead of time can have serious, long-lasting consequences for the payor. 

2. Eliminate as Much Debt as Possible 

Assets are not the only thing that gets divided in divorce; parties must also divide their debt. Those with limited incomes or who assume the bulk of the debt may find it difficult to maintain their lifestyle. Furthermore, if your spouse fails to cover a joint debt, you may be held responsible for the balance - perhaps to the tune of wage garnishments. Avoid such issues entirely by eliminating as much debt as possible before you file. 

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Illinois divorce lawyersFor the past three decades, divorce rates have been on the decline for nearly every group of Americans. However, senior citizens, or those over the age of 65, are now twice as likely to divorce today than they were 30 years ago. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied, but the potential consequences can be dire. Thankfully, you can still protect yourself in a later-life divorce (dubbed the grey divorce). Learn more in the following sections. 

Later Life Divorce Can Increase Your Risk of Financial Issues in Retirement

When couples save for their retirement, they are planning on having one set of bills and living expenses. Divorce requires the parties to divide whatever assets they may have; this includes any retirement accounts and the family home. With less money to go around and two separate sets of expenses, both parties may be at an increased risk for financial issues as they head into their retirement, and with little to no working years left, they may be unable to recover.

Adult Children May Not Respond the Way You Expect

Senior citizens may assume that adult children are mature enough to handle their divorce, but they do not always respond as one might expect. Even as adults, they may experience grief over the separation of their parents. Some may even question whether their own marriage can stand the test of time. Grandchildren may also be negatively impacted - perhaps even confused by the entire situation. You may also find it difficult to separate yourself from your spouse during major holidays and family events.  

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Illinois divorce lawyersWhile any divorce can be complex, emotional, and acrimonious, few cases escalate quite as severely or quickly as those that involve the narcissist. Manipulative, charismatic, and calculating, they will do almost anything to “get even” with the spouse that wants to divorce them. Learn how to manage such a situation, and discover how our seasoned lawyers can help protect both you and your children during your Illinois divorce

1. Start an “Armageddon” Fund Now

Any divorce can become costly, especially when the divorcing parties struggle to find common ground. When it comes to the narcissist, there is no common ground; there is only retaliation and manipulation. As such, anyone divorcing a narcissist should plan for a costly and lengthy divorce. The narcissist spouse may also attempt to freeze or stop all funds. 

Start saving for armageddon now and you can avoid a lot of financial stress once you do start the divorce process. Just be certain to divulge to your attorney that you have stored money away for your own protection. Armed with that knowledge, they can add those funds to the pool of assets to be divided in the divorce without you being at risk for “stealing” assets. 

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