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Grotta & Associates Family Law Blog

3 ways to make divorce easier on your child

Divorces are hard on everyone involved, but children often suffer the most. Some believe the divorce is their fault, while others become aggressive or uncooperative when faced with changes they don't want to deal with.

Children are often confused and frightened when parents tell them they're going to go through a divorce. A child fears the loss of a parent and what those changes could mean. Maybe your child fears moving away or never seeing his mother or father again, or he is confused about why you both don't love him enough to stay together. These are common concerns, and it's important to address them.

Dividing retirement accounts can be challenging during divorce

When people think about divorce, they often think about who gets the home and child custody if there are minor children. Many people completely forget about one of the most important assets: retirement accounts.

Retirement accounts are often in the name of the spouse with the higher income or the better job. Stay-at-home spouses may not have much, if any, retirement savings. That's why it's so important that these assets are fairly divided during a divorce. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that the process of asset division during your divorce includes retirement accounts.

An attorney can help put a value on non-monetary assets

One of the most difficult parts of divorce is often deciding on a fair and equitable division of all assets. It is rare for couples going through divorce to agree on who should have what and the overall value of all assets. When your finances are simple, including a savings account and checking account, along with a single home, estimating the value of assets can be simple.

However, when your assets include investments, retirement accounts, vacant land and investment properties, jewelry and other valuable collectibles, it can be difficult to obtain an accurate value for these possessions.

3 reasons why child support is more complex for business owners

On one hand, child support seems simple. Both parents have to support the child, so the court order just evens things out, ordering the parent without custody to help by paying the parent with custody. That money isn't income for the second parent, per se, but helps buy food, buy clothing, and pay for the other many expenses of raising a child.

If you're on a standard salary, this may be simple, but you're not. You're a business owner. You do pay yourself, but that pay fluctuates. A down year leaves you scraping by; a good year means you have extra and the staff gets bonuses. You can't predict it. The business world is a risk, full of ebbs and flows, and income isn't stable. Below are three reasons that child support orders for you and others in your position are more complex and difficult to draft:

Child support obligations are not set in stone

Child support is a critical issue in any divorce. Whether you expect to pay child support or hope to receive it, child support will have a major financial impact on your life and the lives of your children. In Illinois, courts consider the respective incomes, assets and financial circumstances of each parent to determine a monthly child support payment. However, financial circumstances change.

Avoiding social media negativity during a divorce

From Facebook to Snapchat, you have had an active presence on social media for years. It is part of your daily routine to post pictures and updates about your children's achievements and activities as well as your personal challenges and accomplishments. From pictures of your family vacation in Europe to the summer lake house you purchased last year, you are not shy about sharing your status.

This is something that you and millions of other people do every day. Not only do you use social media to keep people informed about your life, but you also use it to keep track of what is going on with your friends and family.

Protecting your business in a divorce

No one likes to plan for a marriage to fail, but if you are an entrepreneur with a small business, you stand the chance of losing ownership in your company if you don't take certain proactive steps.

Ideally, the time to do this is prior to getting married, by clarifying what happens to the business and its assets in case of divorce, i.e., it remains yours. But that's not always feasible for various reasons. The next best solution is to draw up a postnuptial agreement defining your company as your separate property. But family court judges can look askance at postnups that favor one spouse much more favorably than the other or that were executed fewer than seven years from a divorce filing.

Why should I have a forensic accountant on my divorce team?

Even in the most amicable of divorce, you still must make sure that you are getting the settlement that you deserve. When you are dealing with high-asset divorces, and even some that aren't high-asset cases, circumstances might still require that you have extra help with the financial aspect of the property division. This is when a forensic accountant can come into the picture. These professionals can help to ensure that everything regarding the finances related to the divorce is on the up and up.

4 things to consider regarding child custody cases

Your children have to be the focus of the child custody process. Whether you are going through a divorce or have simply split from your child's other parent, the child custody process is likely something you will have to go through. Understanding these points of a child custody case can help you to prepare yourself for what is going to happen.

Challenges to valuing your business in a divorce

If you are a business owner going through a divorce, you are likely concerned not only about the future of your marriage - but the future of your business too. Unique challenges arise when the valuation of your business is considered as part of divorce proceedings.

Your business is your most valuable financial asset. Yet, when dividing marital assets, the role your spouse has in deciding the future of your business may now be larger than ever before. Illinois state law encourages equitable distribution of property among divorcing spouses. This ruling means that your business could be split into portions based on the contributions you and your spouse made to its value.

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