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Do Not Forget About the Right of First Refusal During Parenting Time NegotiationsCo-parenting is not easy. Balancing the responsibilities of taking care of children between you and your co-parent is challenging even for couples who are together. When you become a single parent, balancing these responsibilities become more difficult to manage. Many divorcing parents often worry about the fact that they will most likely have to split their parenting time with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse. It is hard for many parents to cope with the fact that they may not see their children every day anymore or be there for every one of their child’s milestones or achievements. One small solace that can be awarded to divorcing parents is what is known as the right of first refusal.

What is the Right of First Refusal?

Illinois courts strongly encourage parents to come to their own agreement on child-related issues such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, then the court will step in to allocate parenting time and decision-making responsibilities in the child’s best interest. If the court must step in, it may award either parent the right of first refusal, which is a clause in the parenting plan that states that the other parent must be the first person to be offered the right to care for the child if the parent cannot watch the child during his or her designated parenting time. The parent must ask the other parent if they are able to or would like to care for the child before they seek alternative options for childcare.

Right of First Refusal Agreements

The court is not the only one who can create a right of first refusal agreement. If the parents agree to come up with a parenting plan on their own, they are permitted to include information about the right of first refusal if they please. Clauses about the right of first refusal should include:

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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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Markham divorce attorney

Marriage 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: 

 

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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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