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Joliet divorce lawyerFor married couples who own a home, figuring out who, if anyone, gets to keep it is often one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process. However, it is important not to overlook the challenges for divorcing couples who rent a home or apartment together. If you and your spouse are renters, you may not have to deal with the complexities of dividing real estate property, but you may still face conflict when it comes to deciding who will stay in the apartment and who will be responsible for paying rent as your divorce proceeds.

Rental Leases in Divorce

If you have decided to get a divorce, there is a good chance that you and your spouse want to start living separately. However, a rental lease can make this complicated. In many cases, the names of both spouses will be on the lease, which means that you both have a claim to stay there until the lease ends, and you both are obligated to continue paying rent.

If you and your spouse are on relatively good terms, you may be able to address these issues by reaching an agreement. For example, you could consider whether one of you has another viable place to stay, like with a friend or family member. If you have children, you might consider an arrangement in which the parent with primary childcare responsibilities will stay in your rental home so as to better maintain the children’s routine.

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Markham IL divorce lawyerThe financial aspects of divorce can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you do not have much experience managing your own money. If you are uninformed about your finances, you can be left at a significant disadvantage when it comes time to divide your marital assets. The more you can educate yourself about your finances, the more prepared you will be to negotiate or argue for a beneficial outcome to your divorce, and to begin your post-divorce life with a plan to maintain your financial stability and find opportunities for growth.

Gather Information

When you know that a divorce is in your future, you should make a thorough effort to collect all available information about your personal and marital finances. Start with information about your assets, including statements from individually and jointly held bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts, as well as titles to any real estate, vehicles, and other valuable properties you may own. You should also review your credit report to understand any outstanding debts, including mortgages, vehicle loans, student loans, or credit card accounts.

Information about your assets and debts can help you identify your priorities during the division of marital property and better understand what a fair resolution would look like. Your recent tax filings, pay stubs, and other income statements can also provide valuable information to help you manage your finances after your divorce.

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Joliet IL divorce lawyerIf you have recently been through a divorce, you may be excited about the possibility of finding someone new to spend the rest of your life with. However, the thought of your former spouse doing the same may not be nearly as appealing. An ex’s remarriage can be difficult to deal with on a personal level, and it can also sometimes have legal implications when it comes to the terms of your divorce resolution. You should think carefully about how you handle this situation to avoid creating a hostile environment for everyone involved.

Emotionally Coping With Your Ex’s Remarriage

Whether it happens soon after divorce or several years later, news of your former spouse’s remarriage can reopen old wounds caused by the failure of your relationship, especially if you have not yet found a new partner yourself. It can be easy to let your emotions get the better of you and react irrationally, perhaps by lashing out at your ex, complaining about them to your friends and family and on social media, or even trying to sabotage their new relationship. If you are not careful, your behavior could cross into the realm of stalking or harassment, and you could be subject to criminal charges or an order of protection. Rather than giving in to your destructive urges, try talking to a therapist or trusted friend and focusing on your own work, hobbies, or relationships.

Effects on Spousal Maintenance

If your former spouse has been ordered to pay you maintenance after the divorce, you may find that they start to shirk their obligations after their remarriage. Getting remarried is not a valid reason to stop making payments, and if you cannot resolve your spouse’s nonpayment on your own, you have the right to petition the court for enforcement of the spousal support order. On the other hand, if you have been paying spousal support and you find out that your former spouse has remarried, you do have the right to stop making payments, and you should work with the court to terminate the maintenance order.

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Will County divorce lawyerStudent loan debt is a serious burden for millions of Americans, with recent statistics showing an average debt of more than $30,000 among borrowers. Often, borrowers take 20 years or longer to fully pay off their loans. With this in mind, there is a good chance that if you are going through a divorce, you, your spouse, or both of you will have outstanding student loan debt. You should be sure to understand how this debt will affect the division of marital property, as well as your financial situation after the divorce.

Marital and Non-Marital Debt

One of the most important steps when getting a divorce is to take inventory of all of your assets and debts, as well as all those belonging to your spouse. Each spouse’s non-marital assets and debts will stay with them after the divorce, while marital assets and debts will be distributed fairly between the spouses. The question, then, is whether student loans qualify as non-marital or marital debt.

It is common now for people to wait until after graduating college to get married, meaning that many spouses have taken out student loans before their marriage begins. Student loans incurred before the marriage are an example of non-marital debt. However, if you or your spouse took out student loans during your marriage to further your education, they will most likely be considered marital debt. The fact that the loans financed only one spouse’s education, or that only one spouse signed on the loans, will not change their marital status. If you get divorced later in life after taking out loans in your name to finance your children’s education, these loans will also likely be considered marital debt.

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Joliet divorce lawyerGetting a divorce brings so many major life changes that you may find yourself looking for comfort and stability in things that can stay the same. This mindset may have led you to prioritize keeping your marital home in the division of property so that you do not have to worry about moving along with ending your marriage. However, keeping the home is not always the best decision, and it is important to consider your answers to the following questions as you decide how to proceed.

Are You Raising Children?

If you have kids under the age of 18 who are still living with you, especially if you are expecting a greater share of parenting time, staying in your home may be important to help the children adjust and allow them to continue attending the same school. If your children are already grown, however, a divorce may be a good opportunity to sell the home and downsize to a residence that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Can You Afford the Mortgage?

If you and your spouse have not finished paying off your mortgage, keeping the home in the divorce will likely also mean that you become fully responsible for the debt. Homeownership also comes with other substantial costs, including insurance, property tax, utilities, and repairs. If all of these expenses fit into your post-divorce budget, keeping the home may be a good idea, but if you cannot pay them, it may be best to let the home go.

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