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Libertyville Divorce Blog

Study finds wedding debt causes marital strain for some

Some Illinois couples may be among those who said in a LendingTree study that they regretted spending as much money as they did on their wedding. The survey was conducted among people who were aged 18 to 53 and who had gotten married within the past two years. Nearly half said their wedding had put them into debt.

More than three-fourths of those who had wedding debt said they argued about wedding costs with their spouse while just 20% of those who were not in debt said they did. Fewer than 10% of the couples who did not accumulate wedding debt said they had considered getting a divorce because of money issues while almost half of those with wedding debt said they was the case. More than two-thirds of couples who had debt from their wedding said they argued often about money compared to less than 10% of those who did not have any wedding debt. One-quarter of couples surveyed said they wished they had spent less on their wedding.

Benefits of a prenup for couples of average means

It's fairly common for couples planning to tie the knot in Illinois to assume prenuptial agreements are for individuals with significant assets they wish to protect before marrying. However, it's also possible for a prenup to provide much-appreciated protections for couples of average means getting ready to walk down the aisle.

The creation of a prenuptial agreement provides an incentive for both parties to disclose available assets and existing debts. Taking this step before marriage could minimize legal disputes in the event of a divorce and reduce the financial burden that often comes with the end of a marriage. If properly structured, a prenup can also clearly establish what was separate property going into a marriage, which could reduce frustration over trying to find supporting documents proving sole ownership of certain assets if a marriage ends later.

Advantages of keeping separate bank accounts during divorce

Some Illinois residents find that having bank accounts that are separate from their spouses reduces financial conflict. Additionally, some may believe that it can actually make the divorce process easier as finances were never commingled and, thus, are not considered marital property to be divided. This is actually a misconception as any assets gained during the marriage may be designated as marital property, making them subject to division.

Even though funds kept in separate bank accounts may still be considered marital property, there are still many advantages to keeping separate bank accounts. If a couple is going through a divorce, having funds that the other person cannot access can be advantageous if things turn sour. One individual may still have some access to emergency funds even if his or her ex-spouse cuts off access to any joint accounts.

Divorcing without conflict: The importance of self-care

If you are planning to file for divorce in Illinois, it is important for you to understand that the process does not have to be as difficult and unsettling as you may imagine. Though your perception of the situation may stem from what you see on television and hear in the media and entertainment industries, many couples enjoy amicable separations with minimal conflict and challenges. 

One important aspect that often goes overlooked but can significantly impact the outcome of divorce in a positive manner is self-care. In addition to using this time to reassess your separation goals, post-divorce finances and expectations, take the following suggestions into consideration to protect your emotional well-being and physical health

Study says certain wedding dates linked to divorce

People in Illinois might think that disagreements about money or whether to have children could raise their divorce risk, but some studies show that choosing certain wedding days could be a predictor for divorce. According to a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, choosing certain wedding dates could indicate that the couple is at a higher risk for divorce.

After looking at wedding dates for 1 million couples, researchers concluded that the worst date to choose for a wedding was Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. Among the couples in their study, within five years, 11% married on that day had divorced. More than 20% had split up after nine years.

Student loan debt and the divorce process

During a divorce in Illinois, decisions have to be made about the division of both assets and debt, and this includes student loans. Like other forms of debt, any student loans taken before the marriage began will be the sole responsibility of the original borrower. When student loans are taken out during a marriage, however, things become a bit more complicated. In community property states, student loans are divided equally between spouses automatically, but Illinois is not one of those states.

Illinois and all other non-community property states use an equitable distribution model to decide how much of the student loan each party is responsible for paying. If all of the money was used to pay for one spouse's tuition, fees, and other school-related costs, they will likely be responsible for paying all the debt. If some of the money went towards housing, food, and other expenses the couple had together, that portion of the debt may be split.

The ins and outs of handling job loss during a divorce

For most couples in Illinois, the process of ending a marriage is more than enough to have on their plates. Unfortunately, there are times when one of the divorcing spouses also loses his or her job during this time of transition. Several factors come into play when this happens.

Since the details associated with job loss during divorce varies from case to case, the court usually attempts to get all the information before making any decisions. For example, if someone lost his or her job because of circumstances over which he or she had no control, a court is likely to be reasonable with requests to reconsider spousal or child support obligations. However, this may not be true if a person loses his or her job due to circumstances over which he or she had full control, such as personal misconduct.

How to successfully co-parent during the summer

Divorced parents in Illinois may need to revise their co-parenting plans for the summer. As children get older, their needs change, and they may want to spend more time with friends or have other obligations. Parents should try to work out summer plans as early as possible, so their children know what to expect.

Once parents have agreed on a plan, they should share it with their children. They can put up calendars in both households that have summer schedules marked on them to help everyone keep track. Predictability can help reduce anxiety in children.

How to prepare financially for a divorce

When people in Illinois get a divorce, they need to be able to protect themselves financially, and this requires a thorough knowledge of their financial situation. They also need to understand what their expenses will be like after the divorce. The first step should be to gather as much documentation as possible.

Tax returns, bank statements and credit card statements from the past three years will all be useful. Pulling credit reports can help people identify joint accounts and jointly held debts they will need to address in the divorce process. Next, they should start putting together a lifestyle analysis. This needs to be a thorough record of all expenses both before and after divorce. In addition to financial statements, online tools can help by pulling information from accounts to identify expenses. People should make certain they are accurate in estimating expenses. For example, while inflation is generally low, this does not apply to college costs and health care. Financial professionals may be helpful in putting together these budgets.

Advantages of a peaceful divorce

Ending your marriage does not need to be a complete train wreck. If you dread the thought of courtroom fights and shelling out thousands of dollars to fight over assets, you are not alone. This type of divorce is emotionally and financially draining. You and your spouse do not have to split up this way. There are plenty of amicable divorce options, including:

  • Uncontested divorce
  • Negotiated divorce
  • Mediated divorce
  • Collaborative divorce

Even if you do not want to be in a romantic relationship anymore, it may be possible to end your marriage peacefully. Here is a look at some of the many benefits of divorcing without a fight.

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