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Dealing With Marital Debt During an Illinois DivorceThe majority of your negotiations during your divorce will involve you and your spouse fighting over what each of you wants out of the divorce. One of the only things you and your spouse will not be fighting to keep are the debts that the two of you incurred during your marriage. In an ideal world, you and your spouse would each walk away from the marriage with only the debts that you each created, but that is not how divorce works. Illinois divides marital assets and debts on an equitable basis, which typically means you will only be responsible for the debts that you have the means to repay. If you and your spouse have a difference in income, the spouse with the higher income will typically be responsible for more of the marital debt.

Go Into Your Divorce Debt Free

Most divorce attorneys will tell you that your troubles can be cut in half if you go into your divorce without any marital debt. Lenders typically do not care about divorce decrees, nor are they legally required to abide by them. Lenders just want their money. If your spouse is ordered to repay a certain debt that also has your name on it, you are still legally responsible for that debt after divorce and can suffer the consequences if that debt is not paid back. Still, it is unfeasible for many couples to repay all of their debts before getting a divorce, though you should repay as much as you can.

Allocating Secured and Unsecured Debts

Handling debts during a divorce can be done in a few different ways, depending on the type of debt it is. Secured debts, or debts that are secured by a certain asset, such as a house or car, typically require refinancing if one spouse is keeping the asset and both spouses are on the debt agreement. To release one spouse from being legally obligated to repay a secured debt, the spouse who is keeping the asset must qualify for refinancing on his or her own.

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Will Getting a Divorce Affect My Credit Score?For many people, divorce can put a big financial strain on the family. The cost of getting divorced is estimated to be anywhere from a couple of thousand of dollars to more than $100,000 if you have an extensive list of issues you must settle and a combative spouse. In addition to the cost of getting the divorce, your finances can change because you are switching to a one-adult household with less income and similar expenses. Many couples worry about what a divorce will do to their credit score and for good reason. Getting a divorce will not lower your credit score by itself, but there are things that happen throughout the divorce and the asset division process that could negatively affect your credit score:

  1. You Have Not Closed Your Joint Accounts Yet: Many couples simplify their finances during the marriage by having joint accounts. These can be bank accounts, credit card accounts or even investment accounts. During a divorce, these accounts must be distributed to both spouses, but it can take time to do that and to open new accounts in your own name. If your spouse still has access to accounts that have your name on them, they can do things that can negatively affect your credit score, such as accruing charges or overspending on a credit card account.
  2. You are Not Prepared for the Change in Income and Expenses: Divorcing also means you are splitting your households. Instead of having two incomes to pay for all of your expenses, you now have all or most of the same expenses but are paying those with only one income. Some spouses may be ready for this change, but other people take time to adjust. Before you are on your own financially, you should figure out a new budget for your post-divorce life and determine what you can and cannot afford. Even something as small as one late payment on a credit card or loan can impact your credit score negatively.
  3. You Have to Refinance Your Home: If you and your spouse owned a home together during the marriage, you must determine what you are going to do with it. Though the easiest way to deal with a family home is to sell it and split the profits, many people want to keep the home, especially if they have young children. If one of you is keeping the home, it is easier for everyone if the mortgage is in that spouse’s name only. To do this, you will probably have to refinance the home, which means you will have to go through a hard credit inquiry that could impact your credit score.

Consult With a Will County Divorce Attorney Today

Though your credit score is probably not on your list of priorities when you are going through your divorce, you should definitely keep an eye on it. Many people come out of divorce not knowing what their personal credit score is or not realizing that their credit score is not strong enough to qualify them for many things. At The Foray Firm, we understand how much of a change a divorce can bring to all aspects of your life. Our skilled Homewood, IL, divorce lawyers can help you throughout your divorce and help you protect your credit during the process. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Is My Marriage Over? Four Signs You Should Consider DivorceMarriage is not easy. You will have good days and bad days. When the bad days happen more often than the good days, you may begin to wonder if you should even still be married. You may wonder if your marriage is over and what that means, but there is no universal answer to that question. For some people, the best thing to do is to get a divorce, while other couples are able to work things out and rebuild their marriage. The decision is never easy, but here are a few common signs that you may want to consider divorce as your best option: 

  1. You and Your Spouse Do Not Communicate: Communication is key to any successful relationship, especially a marriage. When you do not communicate with your partner, you can easily drift apart, which makes for an unhappy marriage. Lack of communication can indicate that there are deeper issues that need to be solved than just learning how to communicate again.
  2. There is No Trust Between You Anymore: Typically, a lack of trust goes along with a lack of communication. You should be able to fully trust your partner, but if you and your partner are not communicating, trust can fade. If you feel like you cannot be vulnerable and honest with your partner about your needs, hopes, and fears, you are not being emotionally fulfilled.
  3. You Are Only Staying Together for the Kids: Staying married simply because you and your spouse have kids together is never a good idea and is not beneficial to anyone in the family. In fact, staying married to your spouse when neither of you is happy can harm your children. Studies have shown that children who live in unhappy households typically have lower self-esteem, behavioral issues, and problems at school.
  4. You Do Not Resolve Your Issues: Conflict resolution is an important skill for any relationship. It has often been said that you should not go to bed angry. While that is not necessarily true, it does mean that you should eventually work out your issues. Refusing to face the issues between you and your spouse or never coming to a resolution builds tension in a marriage. 

Talk With a Knowledgeable Will County Divorce Lawyer Today 

For many people, one of the most difficult choices they will make in their life is whether or not to divorce their spouse. This decision does not come easy and often takes months or even years to arrive at. If you think a divorce would be your best option, you should also talk with a compassionate and skilled Homewood, IL, divorce attorney as soon as possible. At The Foray Firm, we understand that you may be nervous or unsure about taking this step in your life. We can help you take care of all of the details of your divorce so you can focus on the next chapter of your life. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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How are Additional Child-Related Costs Handled in Illinois Child Support Cases?It has been touted for generations that it takes a village to raise a child and there is a reason for that adage – it is true. Raising a child takes a great deal of dedication, effort, and financial resources. There are so many things you have to pay for when it comes to raising a child. Basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care can add up quickly. Child support exists to ensure that both parents do their part to provide for their child financially when those parents are not married. But what about all of the other costs associated with raising a child? Fortunately, Illinois family law also has guidelines for how other child-related expenses are to be handled and taken care of in addition to the basic child support obligation.

Other Expenses

In Illinois, if parents are unmarried and one parent seeks to collect child support from the other, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will help to calculate and establish administrative orders for one or both parents to provide support to the child. This number is considered to be the “basic support obligation.” These payments are intended to provide for the child’s basic needs. As any parent knows, the costs of raising a child go beyond providing for his or her basic needs. Here are some common child-related expenses that can be added to the basic child support obligation:

  • Extracurricular activities and school expenses: Illinois recognizes the importance of outside activities and the role that they play in a child’s development. At the court’s discretion, one or both parents can be ordered to pay for any extracurricular or school expenses that are intended to supplement the child’s social, cultural, athletic or educational development.
  • Childcare expenses: In today’s world, childcare is something that most parents cannot go without – and it can get expensive. The court can order one or both parents to pay for reasonable childcare expenses directly to the childcare provider or to one parent. These costs can include daycare, before and after school care or camp when school is not in session.
  • Health care costs: A portion of the basic child support obligation is already intended to be used for ordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child, but the court can also order one or both parents to pay for the cost of any expenses that are not covered by health insurance. These costs can include any unreimbursed medical, dental, orthodontic or vision expenses or prescription medication that is not covered by the insurance.

Get in Touch With a Will County Child Support Attorney

Raising a child is expensive, and Illinois recognizes that both parents have an inherent obligation to financially provide for their child. If you are not married to your child’s other parent and you are seeking to establish a child support order, you could benefit from talking to a knowledgeable Joliet, IL, child support lawyer. At The Foray Firm, we have the experience you need in a family law attorney, and we can help you make sure you are able to provide everything your child needs. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Finding Things You Can Look Forward to in Your Life After DivorceAlmost everyone will agree that divorcing your spouse is difficult. Ending such an important relationship is hard for anyone, whether the decision to end the marriage was mutual or not. Even if you and your spouse both agree that the marriage should end, the emotional process of breaking up is difficult and often mimics the emotional process of grief. Though your partner is still alive, in many ways you are grieving the death of your relationship with them. Though it can feel counterintuitive and extremely draining at times, there are actually some major benefits that you can discover after your divorce. 

  1. You Can Focus on Your Personal Goals: Without a spouse whom you constantly have to consider when making major life decisions, you can begin to focus on your personal goals. If one of your goals is to go back to school and earn a degree, you can do it. If you want to start your mornings with meditation, nobody is stopping you. Being divorced means you are free to do whatever makes you happy.
  2. Shared Parenting Time Means More Free Time: One of the things that many divorced parents fear is not being able to take care of their children all of the time because of shared parenting schedules. While you will still miss your children while they are with their other parent, it also means there will be times when you will be child-free. You will not have to figure out who will babysit your kids if you want to go out with friends. You will not have to wake up early to get your children off to school. You can cherish the time you spend with your children, but you can also enjoy your days off.
  3. You Get to Rediscover Who You Truly Are: Many people cite their divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to them. One of the main reasons why people tend to be so happy after a divorce is because they get to reconnect with themselves. People who have been married, especially those in long-lasting marriages, can lose their identity sometimes. Rather than knowing who you are as an individual, you only know who you are as part of a couple. Divorce allows you to get back in touch with your individual self so you can be the best person you can be.

Contact a Markham, IL, Divorce Lawyer to Help Finalize Your Divorce

One of the ways you can make sure you are in a good place once your divorce is finished is by hiring a skilled Will County divorce attorney. At The Foray Firm, we understand how difficult a divorce can be for your entire family. We can help you settle any issue pertaining to your divorce, from property division to parenting time. Do not settle for less than what you deserve; call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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