Tag Archives: cost of divorce

IL divorce lawyerIf you are considering divorce, it is important to work with an Illinois divorce lawyer that can help you through the process. Many people find that they have to meet with a few divorce lawyers before finding the one that is right for their case.

To help you narrow down your list faster, and to ensure you find the lawyer that is a good fit, it is important to prepare for your initial consultation. This may include bringing any relevant documents, such as financial statements, as well as a list of questions you want to ask. In addition to any questions you may have about the specifics of your case, below are some additional questions you should ask.

Is Family Law Your Specialty?

Family law encompasses many different factors. A divorce case involves more than just ending a marriage. Divorce lawyers have to understand every aspect of divorce, including child custody and child support, property division, and more. A lawyer that focuses on family law will know all the ins and outs so they can appropriately advise on your case.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is expensive. Most people entering the process understand that. However, although many people associate the cost of divorce with attorney fees, spousal maintenance, and child support, there are other costs of divorce, as well. These are often the somewhat hidden costs that people do not realize they will have to face until they have already gone through the process. Below are the six biggest hidden costs that you should prepare for if you are about to get a divorce.

Moving Costs

Both spouses do not remain in the home after a divorce and few, if any, people even want to. As such, you must consider the cost of a new home, including the expense of moving your belongings from one place to another. Moving can cost a lot, so it is important to research what rental properties cost in the area you want to move to, or the local housing market, if you want to purchase another property.

A New Home Loan

If you are remaining in the marital home but both you and your spouse are named on the mortgage, you will have to take out a new mortgage. It is important to consider how much your new mortgage payment will cost and if you can handle the other costs of homeownership, such as paying property taxes and upkeep.

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college tuition, divorce settlement, Illinois divorce, DuPage County divorce, attorney, IllinoisFor the most part, parents are responsible for supporting a child until the point of emancipation. In general, emancipation happens at age 18 when people are considered legal adults, although cases involving disabled children will often extend support requirements beyond this age. Sometimes, support requirements for a child’s college education can be included in a divorce settlement.

Depending on the needs in your divorce case, you should consider discussing whether an educational obligation should be included in your settlement. Many parents who opt to do this sign an agreement that they will split the costs and these agreements often have stipulations, like certain grade point averages, that a child must meet in order to continue receiving the support.

Parents should be aware of the importance of wording in such contracts, as is indicated by a recent decision out of New Jersey. In that case, a father and mother had signed an agreement to split the cost of graduate education for their children. When their daughter was accepted to an expensive program at Cornell, her father denied responsibility and said he would only pay for a less expensive law school. A judge disagreed and ordered that the father was required to pay for half of her Cornell education costs.

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Because of the Recession that shook the country for the better part of the last decade, there seem to be quick-fix solutions for everything popping up just about everywhere. Divorce is no exception. Especially in major cities such as Chicago, signs advertising a fast, painless, easy, and cheap solution to your marital woes are ubiquitous. But can they fulfill the promises they make?

Most experts, including the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine, note that there are often hidden costs associated with these quick fixes, and they lack the security brought by a qualified family law professional. According to the National Marriage Project, the U.S. divorce rate has increased by nearly 50 percent since the mid-20th century, and, reports Smart Money, “the number of divorce lawyers has grown apace.” There’s no good reason to try to save a few bucks when hiring someone to help you through one of the most difficult periods of your life.

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If you are planning a divorce and you’re concerned that it could become hostile, you need to keep a careful eye on your financial situation in the months leading up to and during the legal proceedings. One of your first steps should be to set up accounts in your own name, and then you should investigate hiring a lawyer to learn more about what to expect.

Start by establishing financial accounts in your own name. Do not count on a joint account to cover you, or any joint bills, during this time. Your spouse may make an attempt to drain the account, and it’s very dangerous for you both to be writing checks out of an account if you are not speaking to each other or living together. This can lead to bounced checks and angry billing companies. Eventually, it’s recommended that you close these joint accounts and joint credit cards. If you can’t close a credit account because of a current balance, write and keep copies of a letter that states your unwillingness to be connected with any further debt beyond the balance at that time.

If you have valuable personal property, now is the time to safeguard it. If you are not sure about how your spouse will react to news of the divorce, you could lose your property or have it destroyed in the heat of anger. You can protect important items in a safe deposit box or by contacting a friend or family member who is willing to store these items in the short term. If your property does become damaged, you may have grounds for a destruction of property claim.

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