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Libertyville Divorce Blog

How a divorce can affect college budgeting

When Illinois parents divorce, they may wonder how the practical and financial fallout may affect their kids' future college education. University tuition is a massive expense for people in any family situation. Tuition has risen significantly over the past decades, a trend that experts expect to continue. Every year, the cost of going to college increased by around 3 percent. As a result, it costs around $46,950 each year to attend a four-year private university while it costs about $20,770 to attend a four-year public school, including tuition, fees, room and board.

Around 40 percent of American marriages end in divorce. While people know that ending a marriage can be financially draining, its effect on college payments may not be the first effect that comes to mind. Family courts prioritize child support for minor children and spousal support payments over tuition. Even when families agree on a plan for university payments to continue during and after divorce, it can be interrupted by emergencies and unforeseen expenses. This is one reason why an agreement about college costs approved by the family court can be explicitly included in the divorce settlement.

Why more older Americans are getting divorced

Since 1990, the divorce rate for those who are 50 or older has increased while it has stayed steady or declined for other age groups. Of those in the former segment who have gotten divorced in the past 25 years, more than half had been married for over 20 years. There are many variables that could explain why this is happening in Illinois and throughout the country.

In some cases, couples realize that they have grown apart and believe that they could do better separately from each other. In the past, older couples may have stayed in a loveless marriage assuming that they were supposed to become dull or boring. However, as the stigma of divorce is no longer as strong as it used to be, older individuals are choosing to end marriages that they aren't happy with. The internet may also make it easier for them to find someone to start a new relationship with.

Creating a workable parenting schedule during a divorce

Divorcing spouses in Illinois may need to make a parenting schedule that plans when children will spend time with each parent. They might have to go to court if they are unable to agree on a schedule. However, the couple will have less of a say in the final decision.

Some parents may find it difficult to negotiate parenting time. They could doubt the other parent's ability to perform tasks ranging from homework help to getting the child to bed on time and more. A parent might even see the schedule as a win-or-lose weapon to be used against the other parent. However, this is never an appropriate way of viewing the parenting schedule. Its purpose is to give the child a chance to maintain a relationship with each parent after divorce.

How to peacefully request a collaborative divorce

Initiating a divorce conversation can present a difficult challenge no one taught you about in school. You may seldom be at a loss for words, but you are not confident you can find the right things to say. Perhaps there are no right words when asking for a divorce.

You may be afraid a discussion will ignite a firestorm of painful, angry emotion. Being the one to deliver bad news feels harder than you imagined. An amicable or friendly divorce is your goal. You can do this, and you do not have to do it alone.

Divorce risk increases when wives get cancer, other illnesses

When wives in Illinois suffer serious illnesses such as cancer or heart disease, divorce may be more likely. However, same is not true when husbands develop these conditions.

A study that appeared in The Journal of Health and Social Behavior in 2015 found that a husband's illness was not a predictor of divorce in the same way that a wife's illness was. Other research supports these findings as well. For example, according to several studies, a woman's cancer diagnosis increases the likelihood that she will get a divorce. One study found that the risk is even higher for women who have a stroke or develop heart disease. On the other hand, there is no increase for married men. Overall, the health benefits that men enjoy from marriage generally do not extend to women.

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.

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