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The Foray Firm

Homewood divorce attorney

Divorce is a common challenge that people face in their lives. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 75,131 couples got married, while 26,132 got divorced in 2016. Tensions run high, and it is easy to find yourself doing or saying things that can cause additional issues. Listed below are the top ten things you should steer clear of doing during your divorce: 

 

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Posted on in Divorce

Filing an Uncontested Divorce in IllinoisContrary to what you see in movies and television shows, settling your divorce case in court is almost always a last resort. Illinois courts highly encourage couples to try to make decisions pertaining to their divorce on their own without outside intervention. Not only does that save you time and money, but it also allows you to keep the control in your hands and enables you to decide your own future. Some couples have tried to avoid going to court and are unable to come to their own resolutions, but most couples see the benefit of settling their divorce outside of court or filing for an uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Almost all divorces contain the same issues that must be settled before the divorce can be completed. These issues include:

An uncontested divorce occurs when couples can come to an agreement on these issues without having to go to court multiple times and involve a judge. Therefore, in the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce is a divorce that is settled without the intervention of a judge or court.

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How are College Expenses Handled During a Divorce?College is not cheap. Since the 1980s, college tuition costs have risen more than 200 percent for public universities across the country, making covering the expense of higher education more difficult than ever. Because of this, young adults are living with their parents longer than any generation prior to them. For parents getting a divorce, paying for their children’s college education can be a point of contention during the divorce negotiations. Fortunately, Illinois law has included provisions in the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) on how post-secondary education expenses are distributed between parents.

Covering the Costs

The IMDMA allows courts to allocate costs to either or both parents based on a variety of factors. The judge can order that property allocated to either spouse during the asset division process be used to pay for post-secondary education, either now or when the time comes. Child support payments can also be extended beyond when the child turns 18 for the purpose of paying for college. A variety of things can be included in college costs, as long as the costs are accrued before the child’s 23rd birthday, or in some cases, the child’s 25th birthday. These costs can include:

  • A prep course for a standardized college entrance exam
  • Two standardized college entrance exam fees
  • Fees for up to five college applications
  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing expenses and meal plans
  • Medical insurance and dental expenses
  • Reasonable living expenses for the child
  • Books and supplies 

Who Pays for What?

As mentioned before, either parent or both parents can be held responsible for paying for the costs related to the child’s college education. If the parents cannot come to an agreement as to how these costs will be covered, it will be up to the judge to decide for them. The judge will make his or her decision based on a variety of factors, including:

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How to Keep Your Illinois Divorce Costs as Low as PossibleNothing in this world is free and that holds true for a divorce. The estimates available for the average cost of getting a divorce differ greatly depending on the source. Some sources state you can get a “do-it-yourself” divorce for a couple of hundred dollars, while other sources state that a litigated divorce can cost upwards of $100,000. Certain things can affect the cost of a divorce, such as the type of divorce you get, where you live, the retainer cost for your attorney and your attorney’s hourly rate. The cost of getting a divorce can seem daunting, but there are some things you can do to help keep those costs down.

  1. Choose the Right Type of Divorce for Your Situation: When it comes to divorce, you have a few options. You can choose between a traditional litigated divorce, a mediated divorce or a collaborative divorce. Typically, the most expensive type of divorce is a litigated one and can cost you big time when it comes to court costs, filing fees, and attorney rates. If you and your spouse are willing to work together with one person who is knowledgeable of family law, a mediated divorce might work, which reduces the cost of two attorneys to one. If you and your spouse are somewhat contentious but you do not want to litigate the divorce, a collaborative divorce might work for you.
  2. Make Sure You are Organized: Being organized and prepared is key when it comes to saving money on attorney costs. If you come to meetings with your attorney and you do not have the needed documents or information for the topics at hand, you will have to meet with your attorney again, costing you more money in the long run. It pays to be prepared and efficient when it comes to a divorce. 
  3. Try to Settle As Many Issues as Possible On Your Own: Another slightly obvious way to save money during a divorce is to try to negotiate as many issues as you can with your spouse without involving your attorney. For example, do not use a meeting with your attorney to hash out the details of who gets which household items if that is something that you and your spouse can work out together. The less time you have to spend with your attorney, the less money you have to pay him or her.

Hire a Skilled Will County Divorce Attorney

If you are concerned about what it will cost to get divorced, there are certain things you can do to ensure you are not paying more than what is necessary. At The Foray Firm, we are not only efficient at what we do, but we also offer a flat-rate divorce for those who want a fixed price prior to beginning the divorce process. Let our knowledgeable Homewood, IL, divorce lawyers assist you with all aspects of your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 312-702-1293.

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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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