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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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4 Ways Staying in a Bad Marriage Can Affect Your ChildrenWhen it comes to making the decision to get a divorce, one of the biggest reasons couples hesitate to begin the process is because of their children. A rather common question that couples have when deciding whether or not to get a divorce is, “How will it affect the children?” While there is no one specific way divorce affects children, it is known that children can and will bounce back after their parents get divorced. Many couples think that staying together for the children is the best option, but it is, in fact, the opposite. Here are a few ways that staying in a bad marriage can have a negative effect on your children:

  1. Your Kids Can Develop Low Self-Esteem: Children absorb everything around them. When they are living in a household where mom and dad are fighting all of the time, they may begin to feel unsure of themselves or even rejected. Children will internalize their emotions, and constant fighting can cause them to develop feelings of unworthiness.
  2. Your Kids Will Be Living with Chronic Tension: If you can feel the tension between you and your spouse, your children can feel it too. Subjecting a child to a home that is filled with chronic tension is never a good idea. Children will begin to feel uneasy in their own homes and will walk on eggshells around their parents to try to prevent any more fighting.
  3. They Can Develop Intimacy Issues: Children who come from unhappy homes can also have issues in their own relationships when they get older. They saw how their parents interacted as they were growing up, so they tend to steer clear of any type of intimacy because they fear they will be hurt. Even when they do enter into an intimate relationship, they tend to remain reserved, cautious or guarded.
  4. They Can Develop Mood or Behavioral Issues: Many children whose parents are constantly bickering or fighting tend to develop mood or behavioral issues. Children who come from households full of tension tend to struggle with problems such as dysthymia, depression, anxiety or even personality disorders or substance abuse. These children may also have behavioral issues, such as difficulty managing their anger.

A Homewood, IL, Divorce Attorney Can Answer Any Questions You May Have

It is no secret that a divorce can be tough on everyone in the family, especially the children. As a parent, you have a responsibility to protect and care for your children. In some cases, getting a divorce may do just that. Though it may be rough for a little while, your children will be happier and healthier in the long run. If you have questions about the divorce process or how to get started, contact The Foray Firm. Our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys can answer any questions you may have about the process. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to set up a consultation.

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Four Key Post-Divorce Moves to Manage Your FinancesOften, being married means nearly every part of your lives are entwined with each other – and finances are no exceptions. Many married couples have joint finances and share financial assets such as bank accounts, credit card accounts, investments, and even retirement accounts. When you go to get a divorce, you have to split all of that up in the most equitable way possible. This can be difficult even for the most amicable of couples. It is important to understand that a lot – but not all – of your post-divorce financial success depends on how you handled the finances during the divorce. Here are a few things you can do after the divorce to ensure you have a bright financial future:

  1. Take Care of Your Credit: You should take steps to make sure your credit is protected and that you are starting to build new credit in your name only. If there are any credit cards still open in both your and your ex-spouse’s name, be sure to close them as soon as possible. Open one or two credit cards in your name only to begin building credit on your own.
  2. Make Sure Your Estate Planning Documents are Up to Date: This is something that couples often forget about when they get a divorce. Once your divorce is final, you will want to be sure to update all of your estate planning documents, if you have them. The last thing you would want is for your ex-spouse to inherit your estate if you were to suddenly die. Be sure to update the beneficiaries in your will, trust or other documents.
  3. Sell or Refinance Your Home: If you and your spouse bought a home while you were married, you will also need to determine what to do with such a large asset. If neither of you wants the home, the easiest thing to do would be to sell the home and split the profits. If one of you is keeping the home, you may need to refinance it to make the payments more manageable.
  4. Form a Budget For Yourself: Now that you are single, you will need to rework your budget to meet your needs, while also fitting within your new income. Before, you probably relied on both yours and your spouse’s income to run the household. Now you must make sure you can survive on your income alone. 

Get Help From a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Your finances are one of the biggest issues that will affect you for the rest of your life following a divorce. Getting help from a knowledgeable Bolingbrook, IL, divorce attorney can ensure your divorce settlement addresses as many of these issues as possible. At The Foray Firm, we can help you plan for your financial future before your divorce and help you modify the terms of your agreement after the fact. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Unique Assets That You May Need to Divide in Your Illinois DivorceBeing married, even for just a few years, can leave you and your soon-to-be ex with a mess of tangled assets, which can be stressful when all you want is for the divorce to be over with. Illinois courts support the idea that divorces work best when the couple comes to agreements for issues on their own, although that is not always possible. Illinois judges will first make you and your spouse attend mediation sessions to try to work out the details of your divorce, but you will end up in court if it does not go as planned. The process of dividing your property can become lengthy, especially since you have to address almost everything you and your spouse own together or separately – even the not-so-common assets. 

Physical Items

Physical assets are those that you can see, feel and touch. Typically, when most people think of property division, they are thinking of physical assets, which can include:

  • Pets or other animals: Prior to 2018, Illinois treated pets much like property was – whoever contributed the most financially to the animal usually ended up keeping it. Now, pets are treated more like children and a judge can decide who to place the animal with, based on the relationship between the animal and each spouse and the wellbeing of the animal. Pets are still one of the more contentious issues in property negotiations.
  • Collections or other mementos: Items such as photographs and home videos are invaluable and can be highly fought over in property division. With today’s technology, making copies of these things is fairly easy, though having the originals is another matter. Collections can also be fought over, especially since many collectible items are worth a lot of money.
  • Gifts given to each other: Items that were given as gifts before you were married – such as the engagement ring – are not subject to division. However, any items you may have given as gifts while you were married are fair game.

Abstract Assets

These assets are sometimes overlooked because they are not technically physical things. Just because something cannot be touched or felt does not mean that it lacks value. Intangible, yet valuable assets that you should not forget include:

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Preparing Your Finances for an Illinois DivorceFor many people, getting a divorce is the most difficult thing they have ever had to do or experience in their lives. Getting a divorce uproots your entire life after you have gotten used to it for years or even decades. Divorces not only spell emotional turmoil, but they can also wreak havoc on your finances if you are not careful. Many people often underestimate the effect a divorce will have on their finances or simply make poor decisions because they are under pressure. One way to avoid making these mistakes and to set yourself up for success after your divorce is by preparing before you even begin the divorce process.

Know What You Are Working With

Before you do anything, your first task is to take inventory of everything that you own. You should take stock of all assets and have all pertinent documents on hand, including:

  • Savings and checking account statements;
  • Brokerage account statements;
  • Pension and Social Security statements;
  • Property deeds and car titles; and
  • Any physical property you own, such as household items.

Do not forget to also take inventory of any liabilities or debts you may have. Gather all documents pertaining to these, such as:

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