DuPage County divorce attorneyGetting a divorce can wreak havoc on many areas of your life, but your finances can take an especially hard hit. When you are married, your accounts, loans and bills are all typically in both you and your spouse’s name, but that can be disastrous, especially if your divorce is particularly contentious.

After your divorce, you have to separate your finances from your spouse, but it is not uncommon for people to come out of a divorce with quite a bit of debt and some damaged credit. Without good credit, it can be difficult for you to get loans in your name or obtain housing, among other things. Here are a few things you can do to return your credit back to a healthy state after your divorce:

Live Within Your Means

Now that you are separating your finances from your spouse’s, you need to look at your expenses and income and determine whether you are making enough to live. You should create a budget that outlines all of your necessary monthly expenses, your optional monthly expenses and money for spending. Keeping a good credit score is mostly dependant on paying your bills on time and keeping your debt low. Living within your new means will help.

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Hinsdale divorce lawyerMany people think that divorce only affects children when they are young and still living at home. In reality, it is difficult for children of any age to hear that their parents are getting a divorce. Adult children whose parents are getting a divorce also feel a sense of loss and sadness.

Typically those who have adult children have been married for years, and these kinds of divorces can be the most difficult because they have more history. It is important to remember that your children -- even if they are adults -- also need the love and support that would be given to younger children. Here are a few ways you can help your adult children deal with a divorce:

Wait until the Whole Family Is Together

Timing is everything and telling your adult children about your divorce is no exception to the rule. It is usually advisable to tell all children at the same time about the divorce. Schedule a family gathering during a time that works for everyone to break the news. The last thing you want is for one child to hear about the news from another child.

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DuPage County parenting plan lawyerOne of the most important things you must come to an agreement about when you get a divorce is how your children will split their time between you and the child’s other parent. In the state of Illinois, all divorcing couples who have children together must come to an agreement on their own about a parenting plan, attend a mediation session to help them come to an agreement or have the judge make decisions about the parenting plan if you and your spouse cannot come to one any other way. A parenting plan will set out the future of your co-parenting relationship and while it is not set in stone, you should aim to include all of the necessary items in your plan the first time around.

Holidays and Other Special Dates

Though the basis of your parenting plan will be dictating when each parent spends time with the child, you should make sure that plan includes different holidays and other special dates that might be fought over. Be sure to include all holidays that you may want to spend time with your child -- not just the major ones. Christmas and Thanksgiving are highly-contested holidays, but if you also want to make sure you get an equal amount of time on holidays like Easter and Valentine’s Day, be sure to write that into your parenting plan.

Travel and Vacations

If you and your spouse know that you each will be going on planned vacations, you should be sure to include provisions about that in your parenting plan. Vacations can disrupt the normal parenting schedule, so you should agree in advance how much time you need to plan the vacations prior to leaving.

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Courts Allow Extension of Spousal Maintenance After Payment Period ExpiresParties in a divorce can schedule spousal maintenance to end after a set number of months or years, often determined by the length of the marriage and the recipient’s ability to support him or herself. The recipient can petition to extend the maintenance past the end date, but the payor is likely to contest the effort. In the recent case of In re Marriage of Wojcik, an Illinois man appealed a trial court’s decision to award permanent maintenance to his former wife on the grounds that:

  • She should not have been allowed to file the petition for an extension after her scheduled maintenance payments had expired; and
  • She is capable of supporting herself if she puts an honest effort into finding employment.

The appellate court disagreed with the man and upheld the maintenance payments.

Background

The two parties were married for 27 years before filing for divorce in 2005. At the time of the divorce, the couple had one minor child that required child support. The husband was making $386,000 in annual income, while the wife was re-entering the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for most of her marriage. The divorce agreement stated that the husband would pay $13,500 per month in unallocated family support, which is a combination of child support and spousal maintenance. These payments would continue for 60 months, at which point their child would reach the age of maturity. After the 60 months had expired, the wife filed for spousal maintenance. The court ultimately awarded her $5,700 in monthly maintenance for an indefinite period and $239,400 in retroactive maintenance.

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Hinsdale IL high net worth divorce lawyerIt does not matter whether you have $100 in your bank account or all of the money in the world -- divorce is just as tough, both emotionally and financially, whether you are rich or poor. Many people think that couples who have more money tend to have an easier time if they get divorced, but that is not actually true. If anything, these couples experience just as much, if not more stress than couples with fewer assets. High net worth couples getting a divorce have a lot at stake, which is why it can be so emotionally and financially demanding for them. Here are just a few mistakes you should try to avoid if you have extensive assets and you are getting a divorce:

1. You Attempt to Hide Assets From Your Spouse

This mistake is a big no-no. Hiding assets from your spouse is not only rude, but it is illegal. When you enter into the divorce process, you are required to disclose all of your marital assets, which can be anything from checking and savings accounts to retirement accounts to vehicles and jewelry. Bottom line, do not try to hide assets from your spouse and his or her lawyers -- they will find out and you will pay for your actions.

2. You Forget About Tax Implications

Taxes are not something on most people's minds when they are getting a divorce. You are mostly focused on the here and now -- not what you will be paying in the future. Forgetting about tax implications is a costly mistake. Take spousal support for example -- currently, the person who pays it can deduct it from their taxes, and the person who receives it must report it on their taxes. This changes next year though, where the payor cannot deduct it, and the payee does not have to report it. Either way, tax implications can have a role in decision-making during your divorce.

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Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

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