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Libertyville Divorce Blog

Jealousy and insecurity can lead to divorce

You have probably heard that infidelity is one of the top reasons for divorce in the United States, and that's true. Cheating in a relationship is more common than many people realize, and, for many people, it's a complete deal-breaker if they find out their spouse wasn't faithful. It's not something they'll even try to work through.

That said, it's important to note that simple feelings of jealousy and insecurity can also lead to a divorce, even if the cheating that the other person is worried about never happens.

4 ways a friendly divorce may benefit your children

Ending a marriage is rarely easy. After all, even if you and your spouse agree divorce is the right course of action, you are apt to face a variety of emotions. Your children may also have a hard time coping with the end of your marriage. 

While many divorcing spouses choose to take the end of their marriages to court, others choose a friendly path. With a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse work together to wrap up the marriage. Here are four ways this type of divorce may benefit your children: 

Avoiding obstruction when selling a marital home

Individuals in Illinois and throughout the country who are getting divorced may want to sell their family homes. However, this might not be possible unless the other spouse consents to the sale. It is not uncommon for the other spouse to take action to prevent a home from being sold. In some cases, that person simply wants to avoid uprooting their children during the school year or isn't sure what the house is worth.

If an individual has a valid reason for not wanting to sell a marital home, it may be possible to discuss the situation and come to a reasonable solution. Those who refuse to listen to reasonable offers to sell the home or refuse to work toward a solution could be trying to punish their former partners. The same could be true of those who won't clean the house so that it can be staged or shown to prospective buyers.

Factors to consider in going to litigation in a divorce

Some people who are going through a divorce are able to negotiate an agreement without going to court. However, people in Illinois who are struggling to reach an agreement with a spouse might wonder whether it would be better to settle or to go to litigation. Cost, time, stress and the possible outcome are all factors in this decision.

Litigation can be costly in time and money. Court dates may be set months out, and it is also necessary to do some preparation for litigation. Cost can run into five or six figures, so people considering litigation over property division should weigh the value of the assets they are fighting over against the probable costs of going to court.

Child custody options: which one is right?

When parents in Illinois go through a divorce, it can be difficult to decide on a child custody schedule. A lot of parents want to have equal custody, but some plans can be better than others for a child's emotional well-being.

For instance, some parents think it would be easiest to alternate weeks with one parent having the kids from Sunday through Saturday and the other parent having the kids the following Sunday through Saturday. However, for younger children in particular, this can cause separation anxiety. If parents do decide on this schedule, it is recommended that parents spend some time with their children during their off weeks. One caveat is that visiting the kids during off days may be a challenge if the couple's divorce was not amicable.

High-asset divorce brings dispute over artwork

Two wealthy art collectors are in the process of contentious divorce proceedings. The property in this divorce will be split according to equitable distribution, which is the same law that governs property division in Illinois divorces. In addition to millions of dollars of artwork, the New York couple is battling over real estate in Manhattan and the Hamptons. There is a good chance that private details about how the husbands runs his business will be exposed in these proceedings, which could also be costly.

One consideration in dividing artwork fairly is whether the artwork was part of the couple's personal belongings or whether it was the property of a business. If it is the latter, the judge will need to determine how much each spouse contributed to the business in order to assess what property interest they each have in the artwork. To assist in the valuation process, the judge may order an appraiser to valuate the artwork.

Collaborative divorce may be a better option than litigation

Divorce is a difficult experience often made tougher by a contentious courtroom battle, but marriage does not have to end this way.

You have options, one of which is collaborative divorce. This is a process gaining in popularity because of its focus on a reasonable, practical method for closing one chapter of your life and opening another.

More older Americans choosing to divorce

Even as overall divorce rates decline in the United States, "gray divorce" is growing more common in Illinois and across the country. For Americans aged 50 and up, the divorce rate has more than doubled in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, a trend that shows no sign of stopping. There are a number of reasons why more older Americans are choosing to end their marriages, but there are also some specific concerns that can accompany this type of separation. Because a divorce tends to have a major financial impact on both parties, people considering a divorce later in life may want to consider their retirement plans.

One contributing factor to the rising popularity of divorce among older adults is increased health and lifespan. People are living longer lives and remaining healthy longer, and they want to live out their lives happily. In addition, some parents stay together in order to raise their children in the same home. After their children are adults and out of the home, they may finally make the decision to divorce. Social responses to divorce have also changed dramatically in recent decades; ending a marriage has become much more widely acceptable and common than in the past.

Social Security benefits after a divorce

Older Illinois couples who are planning on getting divorced might be concerned on the effect the split will have on their retirement finances. One of the benefits many older people depend on to help them cover living expenses is Social Security and in a divorce, they might worry that they will lose some of these benefits. Many people, however, will be able to still receive Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse's work record if they meet the eligibility criteria.

To be eligible to claim and receive benefits based on their ex-spouse's work record, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years. The person receiving the benefits on their ex's work record must be at least 62 and unmarried, even if their ex-spouse has remarried. Additionally, the amount the person receives using their ex-spouse's work record must be greater than the amount they would receive based on their own work record, and the ex-spouse must be collecting benefits. One exception is for couples who have been divorced for more than two years and their ex has reached full retirement age but is just not claiming their benefits yet.

Why taking money from a 401(k) may not be the best idea

It isn't uncommon for Illinois residents and others to turn to their IRAs or 401(k) balances to help pay for costs related to their divorces. However, individuals may be diluting the value of their accounts by accessing them before the age of 59½. This is because the government will assess a 10% early withdrawal fee for doing so. Furthermore, those who take money out of their retirement accounts will need to pay income taxes on the amount withdrawn.

Instead of withdrawing money from a 401(k), it may be possible to borrow money instead. Individuals may be entitled to borrow an amount equivalent to 50% of their current account balance up to $50,000. Loans are typically repaid on a monthly schedule, and interest rates are typically the prime rate plus 1%. A person usually has five years to repay the entire loan balance.

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