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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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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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Avoid Making These 3 Financial Mistakes in Your Illinois DivorceDivorces can be costly – nobody is arguing that. Not only is it financially expensive, but you also end up giving more of your time and emotional energy than you thought you would. Some of the most time consuming and emotionally draining times of your divorce can be during the property division process. This is when you and your spouse look at everything you have accumulated together and decide who gets to keep what and who will be responsible for paying back which debts. This is also the phase of the divorce in which many mistakes can be made, which can affect you for the rest of your life. If you are getting a divorce, here are a few mistakes you should be sure to avoid making:

  1. Not Having Copies of All Your Financial Documents: This is a mistake that a surprising amount of individuals make when they begin looking at their finances during a divorce. You will need various financial documents dating back a couple of years in order to gain a complete understanding of you and your spouse’s current financial situation. Try to gather documents such as statements for your bank accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts; deeds to your home and other real estate properties; titles for any vehicles you may own; and tax returns from the past three-to-five years.
  2. Not Considering the Tax Consequences of Your Decisions: Certain financial moves you make during the divorce can affect the amount of taxes you will have to pay in the future. You should be aware of the tax implications that any actions you take during the divorce will have. Most of the time, the biggest tax implication you will face depends on whether or not you pay or receive spousal maintenance. Beginning in 2019, the person who pays spousal maintenance no longer receives the tax break that allowed them to deduct that amount from their income tax, likely placing them into an entirely different tax bracket.
  3. Being Too Concerned With Keeping the Family Home: Another mistake many divorcing individuals make is being too focused on keeping the family home at all costs. Women, in particular, have a tough time letting go of the family home, especially if there were children raised there. Though this is not always an issue, in many cases, a person who is now living on a single income may find it difficult to afford the mortgage payments and keep up with the costs of maintaining a home. 

Hire a Skilled DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is already expensive enough – you do not need to make any more mistakes that might cost you more money in the long run. At The Foray Firm, we understand how draining a divorce can be – both on your wallet and on your emotions. Our knowledgeable Homewood, IL, divorce lawyers will help you see the big picture during your property division phase and ensure you are making the right decisions to prepare you for the future. 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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