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Libertyville Divorce Blog

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.

Rules for receiving benefits after a marriage ends

Social Security benefits may be offered to an individual based on his or her spouse's work record. This is generally true if the individual was married to that spouse for at least 10 years. The amount of the benefit is equal to 50% of the benefit that the former spouse is set to receive. However, that former spouse will still receive his or her full benefits.

In the event that a person is eligible for their own benefits, that person will receive his or her benefit first. To qualify for benefits based on a former spouse's work record, the person asking for benefits must be at least 62 years old and not married. If someone has multiple marriages of 10 years or longer, he or she may choose the work record to base a benefit payment on.

Children and divorce

Separating parents in Illinois should keep in mind that the divorce process can be very difficult for children to handle well. However, there are some steps that divorcing parents can take to make sure that their children emerge from the divorce able to cope with the many changes.

According to one expert, a divorce may be a wise move if the marriage or relationship has become toxic and is a source of repeated conflict. Trying to remain together for the children will not benefit the children as they will be negatively impacted by the conflict constantly generated by their parents.

How divorce impacts insurance policies

When a person gets divorced in Illinois, it is important to take time to review how it could impact that individual's insurance coverage. After a marriage ends, someone who was covered by a spouse's insurance policy may no longer be covered. One option to obtain coverage in the aftermath of a divorce is to take advantage of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. Another option is to purchase a policy through the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

While COBRA allows a person to maintain his or her exact coverage for up to three years, it may be more expensive than an ACA policy. Individuals who are facing the prospect of ending their marriages should also look closely at their life insurance needs. Those who receive spousal support should buy a policy and make payments on it. This ensures that the policy remains in effect without any changes after the divorce agreement is finalized.

Speedy divorce settlements could lead to future credit problems

Divorcing spouses in Illinois are often eager to reach an agreement quickly so they can move on with their lives. Unfortunately, the simplest way to settle thorny financial issues is not always the most prudent. While simply going through a divorce does not impact credit scores, some of the decisions made during property division negotiations could make it more difficult to borrow in the future.

A lesson some former spouses learn the hard way is that banks do not pay attention to divorce decrees when loans fall into arrears. This means that spouses who signed joint loan documents can be pursued for payment even if they have ceded their ownership interests in the car, home or other asset secured by the loan. The only way to avoid this unfortunate situation is to insist that assets secured by joint loans be refinanced entirely in the name of the spouse who receives them under the terms of the divorce settlement.

4 reasons baby boomers often choose collaborative divorce

Divorcing at any age can be both stressful and sad. As you likely know, though, going through a protracted court battle to dissolve your marriage may take an unbelievable toll on both you and your spouse. Opting for a collaborative divorce may be a much better choice. 

As you age, your odds of divorcing do not necessarily decrease. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rates for those over 50 have nearly doubled since the early 1990s. For those over 65, divorce rates have almost tripled. While you may not be able to avoid a divorce, you can likely make the dissolution of your marriage both easier and less stressful. Here are four reasons baby boomers often choose collaborative divorce over an adversarial battle: 

How some behaviors over time can lead to divorce

Some marriages in Illinois might end because of behaviors that do not seem significant on their own but can destroy a relationship over time. For example, one person might constantly minimize the other person's emotional expression, and this can eventually drive a wedge between them.

Avoiding conflict may seem desirable, but it can come at a high cost. Couples who practice conflict avoidance fail to confront the negative things in their relationship they need to work out. Baggage from the past can also destroy a current relationship. An example might be a person who is unable to trust a partner because of the infidelity of a past partner.

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