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Libertyville Divorce Blog

Considerations when very wealthy couples divorce

For wealthy couples in Illinois who are getting a divorce, the process of dividing property can be complex. This is illustrated in the case of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently issued a statement with his wife that the two were ending their 25-year marriage. Since Washington is a community property state and Bezos started Amazon after getting married, his wife may own 50 percent of it.

This might not be the case in Illinois or other equitable distribution states. A number of factors would be taken into account to determine what part of a couple's fortune each person would get including how much each worked to build it. This could lead to a split that was 60/40, 75/25 or even smaller depending on the couple's overall worth.

The relationship between divorce and attractiveness of couples

An article in "Psychology Today" reported that couples who have different levels of attractiveness tend to have less successful relationships than couples who are roughly equal in their physical attractiveness. This means that if one person in an Illinois couple is significantly more attractive than the other, that couple may be at greater risk for divorce.

According to one look at online dating practices, both women and men seek relationships with more attractive individuals. However, people usually settle into relationships with people who are of equal attractiveness. When they do not, one study found that the jealousy of the less attractive partner may cause problems in the relationship. Another found that when women are significantly more attractive than their partner, they are not as committed to the relationship, and they flirt more.

Tax law changes will influence alimony and property division

For splitting spouses who did not complete the divorce process in 2018, they must now settle their separations according to the newest tax laws. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act withdrew the tax deduction that people who paid spousal support had been allowed to take. With alimony no longer deductible as of 2019, some Illinois residents negotiating their high-asset divorces are looking for alternative methods to reconcile financial disparities within the division of marital property.

Property division generally does not impose taxes. Splitting spouses might choose to replace alimony payments with one or more cash transfers outlined within the property division agreement. For example, two spouses with a marital estate valued at $1 million might decide that one former spouse pays the other $500,000 outright or in multiple payments over a set amount of time.

Self-care ideas to help you through divorce

Divorce may be notorious for court battles and vengeful spouses, but, thankfully, this stereotype does not have to be a reality. More and more options are becoming available for ending your marriage in a cooperative and amicable way.

Even so, divorce is still hard under the best of circumstances. Try these self-care ideas to help you get through it.

Mistakes with real estate that divorcing couples should avoid

Some divorcing couples in Illinois may need to divide a home. It is important to do this in a way that minimizes financial harm to both people. For example, some people may be committed to keeping the home, but realistically, they may be unable to keep up with the associated expenses. The couple can sell the home right away and split the proceeds, or one spouse can buy out the other.

In an amicable divorce, another solution is for one spouse to sign the house over to the other without an exchange of money. Whatever the circumstances are around one person taking the home, the other spouse should be removed from the deed as well as the mortgage. Couples sometimes neglect the former step to avoid too much paperwork, but this can cause problems later if the split is no longer amicable and the couple are still linked financially.

Minimizing post-divorce credit card debt issues

The end of a marriage in Illinois doesn't necessarily mean the end of joint credit card debt obligations. This is because credit card companies aren't legally bound by divorce decrees. Therefore, it's entirely possible that an ex could be held responsible if a former spouse fails to pay a debt that was jointly incurred. While it is possible to add stipulations to a divorce agreement that would force an ex to pay their share, returning to court can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

For this reason, it's often recommended that individuals going through a divorce make an effort to leave a marriage without lingering debt obligations. If joint debt remains after a marriage and an ex files for bankruptcy or simply refuse to pay the debt, a creditor can go after the other party for the full amount owed plus additional fees for interest and penalties.

Preparing financially for divorce before marriage

Many couples preparing to walk down the aisle in Illinois do so with the anticipation of staying united in matrimony indefinitely. Unfortunately, circumstances can change, and knots can be untied. According to one study, nearly 60 percent of couples surveyed believed financial issues were "somewhat" responsible for the end of their marriage. Approximately 20 percent of divorced respondents felt financial matters were a more of significant factor, and nearly 30 percent cited their spouse's credit score as a source of marital stress.

It's stats like these that have some relationship experts suggesting that partners begin discussing finances while still in the dating phase before marriage. Such efforts may include meeting with a certified financial planner or therapist before exchanging "I dos."

How to handle the holidays after divorce

Illinois parents who are getting divorced might be worried about how to handle the holidays. This can be a time of anger, fear and sadness for both the exes and children. However, parents have an obligation to put aside those feelings and focus on trying to make the holidays pleasant for everyone in the family.

Therapists or loved ones may be able to provide an emotional outlet for parents. Exes should avoid the temptation to try to get back at one another by interfering with the children's ability to visit both households during the holidays.

How a divorce coach fits into the divorce process

When an Illinois resident is considering getting divorced, he or she may assume that the first step is to hire an attorney. While an attorney may provide legal counsel and representation in a divorce, another type of professional could provide guidance and help a divorcing person to prepare for the matters that lie ahead. A divorce coach offers emotional support, guidance and answers to questions about what to expect as the divorce moves forward.

The goal of a divorce coach is to help the client separate from their spouse in a manner that is as painless as possible, according to the co-founder of a divorce coach firm that provides divorce coaching services and training for people who wish to become divorce coaches. However, a divorce coach cannot give legal advice or do many of the things that an attorney is qualified to do. A divorce coach can help a client get paperwork in order to save time and costs, prepare for meeting with an attorney and provide emotional support.

How taxes and alimony will change after 2018

For many decades, alimony has been tax-deductible for the payor and tax-payable for the recipient. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be reversing that situation for divorce agreements finalized after the end of 2018. Most experts agree that this means both parties will probably have less money as a result. In addition, the lack of a deduction could put some Illinois payers in a higher tax bracket.

One possible solution is to try to finalize the divorce agreement before the year's end. In order to do this, prioritizing is critical. One should think about what they and their spouse want and need in order to quickly reach an agreement. They should also keep in mind that if they can put together a satisfactory agreement for now, it may be possible to modify it later if needed.

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