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Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Practical property division after a finalized divorce

When people in Illinois finalize their divorce, they may think that the hardest part is over. Divorce involves an array of practical and financial changes, many of which are included in the divorce decree or worked out in a settlement. After the agreement is final, however, it remains to both former spouses to implement those decisions and complete the property division process. Therefore, finalizing the divorce may be only the first step in a series of practical actions that people can take to implement the family court's decisions.

While a divorce is pending, a freeze is often in effect to prevent financial changes. However, both former spouses will want to move quickly after the divorce is finalized to put those decisions into effect. Joint accounts will need to be divided. In some cases, people may be able to change the names on the accounts; in other cases, each spouse will need to establish an individual account for their share of the assets. In addition, if one spouse will remain in the marital home, he or she will need to refinance the mortgage into their own name. The other spouse will need to disclaim interest in the home through a quit-claim deed.

The basics of coparenting after a marriage ends

For parents in Illinois, the end of a marriage doesn't mean the end of parenting responsibilities. Courts tend to favor coparenting arrangements that keep both parents involved with a child's life. With such arrangements, however, parents no longer sharing a house are normally encouraged to remember that the child's best interests come first.

Even when an ex-spouse has flaws, the general recommendation with post-divorce coparenting is to not stand in the way of a child-parent relationship. The exception would be behaviors that put the child in danger. Maintaining consistency with basic house rules -- e.g., be kind and respectful -- that apply to each household could minimize issues with differences in parenting styles. And while parents sometimes rely on online calendar sites to keep track of schedules, it's easy for this info to be overlooked. One solution is for parents to place a physical calendar in both homes so everyone involved can keep track of important dates to reduce instances of confusion or miscommunication.

Three steps to help you get organized before divorce

Divorce can be a hectic and stressful time, even in the best circumstances. During divorce, you may not just be ending your marriage, you may also be changing your routines, your living situation and your financial situation. Additionally, the legal process for divorce can be time consuming, depending on your situation.

Although the time surrounding your divorce can be stressful, there are actions you can take to help the divorce process go smoothly. If you know you and your spouse are going to be divorced, getting organized early can help minimize your stress later on, while also reducing the chance of problems and increasing the chance of favorable results.

Cryptocurrency and divorce

Illinois residents who have cryptocurrency assets and are planning to end their marriages should be prepared for the likelihood that the divorce process will be much longer and more difficult than usual. There are issues regarding cryptocurrency that can make it difficult to locate and value them.

Cryptocurrency is a type of virtual currency that has existed for almost a decade. It exists online and is traded in transactions based on blockchain technology. Each online transaction with cryptocurrency is linked to a private and public key that makes it possible for every transaction to be followed back to a single person.

Divorcing later in life can have a financial impact

The divorce rate for spouses between the ages of 25 and 39 has dropped by 21 percent over the past 25 years. However, for those 50 and older, their divorce rate has increased by 109 percent. This surge may have been caused by various factors, including greater financial freedom for women or couples generally growing apart over time. Greater access to health care after a divorce may also play a role in the rise of grey divorce in Illinois and throughout the U.S.

There are many issues that an individual needs to consider during the divorce process. For instance, there may be questions about who gets the marital home or how to divide retirement assets. This can be important for older folks who may not have as much time to recoup any money or assets lost when a marriage comes to an end. Those who aren't connected with the household finances are advised to get involved if a divorce is imminent.

Tips for creating a prenup for a second marriage

There are several reasons that older Illinois couples entering a second marriage might want a prenuptial agreement. They may be bringing more assets into the marriage than a younger couple, and they also may want to make sure their children from the previous marriage still get some assets. A prenup can help a couple plan for retirement and even for what type of divorce they will have.

If there is a disparity in a couple's retirement savings, they may want to specify how they will structure distributions. The couple may also want to make provisions to ensure that the lower-earning spouse will walk away with some retirement savings if there is a divorce. Couples may want their prenup to state that they wish to resolve a divorce using a method such as mediation or arbitration instead of litigation.

Reasons for divorce follow common themes

Divorce rates across Illinois and the United States follow certain predictable patterns that are often associated with changes in the economy and changes in social norms and traditions. Although these fluctuations can typically be seen clearly when charted on a graph and measured against major events, there are a number of reasons for the dissolution of marriage that transcend trends.

According to research provided by Insider, infidelity continues to rank among the top reasons for divorce across the country. Infidelity and extramarital affairs have been a concern for married couples throughout time, and unfortunately, infidelity persists as a problem that leads to divorce today. Additionally, Insider points out that conflict, arguing and a lack of communication are all major reasons for marital dissatisfaction that leads to divorce. As with infidelity, these are struggles faced by married couples from all walks of life.

Marriages more likely to end when wife is ill, studies say

When women in Illinois develop cancer or other illnesses, the likelihood that they will get a divorce increases. According to a study that appeared in 2015 in "The Journal of Health and Social Behavior," there is no similar increase in divorce risk when men become ill.

Other studies support this. One study, conducted by researchers at Purdue University and Iowa State University, examined how more than 2,700 marriages were affected by lung disease, heart disease, cancer and stroke. Women who developed heart disease or who had strokes were at even greater risk for divorce than those with lung disease and cancer. The same effects were not seen when men became ill.

Who keeps the dog when you divorce?

A divorce is a painful and complicated process, bringing both financial and emotional stress. Couples face a number of contentious issues such as child custody and property division when they’re separating. And not surprisingly, one of the more common heated issues in divorce is who gets to keep the dog or cat.

Families have long considered their pets to be an extended part of the family and people have strong bonds with their animals. That means deciding where the pet will live causes quite a bit of friction and emotion.

Parents should put best interests of children first

Divorce is among the most stressful experiences a person can go through in life, and parents who are divorcing may have to deal with issues of custody and support. Child custody cases can be severely contentious in Illinois, as they involve decisions that will impact the parents and the children for years. When possible, parents should strive to establish a co-parenting plan that serves the needs of all parties without relying entirely on judges for decisions.

Where they can't agree though, there are some things parents should keep in mind to make their co-parenting efforts more likely to succeed. The parents should face their own emotions regarding the relationship ending, and attempt to let go of any anger or bitterness. Lingering negative emotions between the parents are potentially detrimental to the children. Each of the parents should stay focused on the best interests of the child. Neither parent should ignore the existence of the other because to do so is to invalidate some part of the child.

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