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Grotta & Associates Family Law Blog

Don’t just get it over with, prepare your finances for divorce

There may come a point when you realize that divorce is the best way to escape a bad marriage. Although this is going to change your life in many ways, you should keep in mind that things will get better sooner rather than later.

Up front, it's important that you get everything in order. Here's something to keep in mind: You should never rush through the divorce process because you want to put it in the past as quickly as possible.

Don't do this during your divorce

Following your instincts and intuition is vital in life, but during your divorce proceedings, you might want to keep your "instincts" in check. This means that if your spouse upsets you and your instincts say it's time to raise your voice, consider taking ten deep breaths and seeing how you feel afterward.

There are many things you should not do during your divorce process. Common sense will dictate that you avoid most of them. However, your instincts could override your common sense and you might be tempted to do them anyway.

Pulling money from accounts before a divorce could cost you

You can tell that a divorce is inevitable because of the way you and your spouse feel about one another. Maybe there's been infidelity. Perhaps you've grown apart over time. Whatever the reason, it's natural to want to start planning for your future without your spouse. Don't get ahead of yourself by making major financial mistakes as you head for divorce court.

It's common to feel like you shouldn't have to support your spouse when a divorce is imminent. After all, if you're the one making the most money, why should someone who wants to leave you continue to benefit from all your hard work?

Do your personal contributions for a 401K impact asset division?

There are a lot of factors that impact how assets get divided during a divorce. The kind of divorce you're seeking, whether or not there is a prenuptial agreement on record and even custody of your children, can have an impact on who gets what. The courts in Illinois strive to fairly divide all marital property between both spouses during a divorce.

Marital property in Illinois includes any assets earned during the marriage. It matters less who earned the income or obtained the asset and far more when the acquisition took place. Amounts in the account before your marriage will likely get exempted from the asset division process, but any deposits or accrued interest during your marriage is subject to division by the courts.

There might be an alternative to monthly alimony payments

Now that you are starting to take the first steps to move forward with divorce, do you expect the judge to include spousal support as part of the divorce decree? A Cook County judge is going to examine certain factors in making an alimony determination. For example, the court might examine the property each of you will walk away with when the divorce is final, your earning capabilities, the length of your marriage, and even your health and mental condition.

Once the court makes its decision regarding the need for alimony, it will then make a determination on how much alimony you should receive and for how long. Judges usually make this decision based on the particular circumstances of each case. If you do not want to be saddled with depending on monthly alimony payments, there may be an alternative available. If the court and your future ex-husband agree, you may be able to take a single lump sum alimony payment.

Ending your marriage doesn’t have to mean ending your business

Deciding to end your marriage is the first decision you will make in what is usually a very stressful and complex process. This is especially true when you have a substantial amount of assets to divide. On top of determining whether to sell your primary residence in Orland Park or keep it, you and your wife will have to negotiate over the retirement and investment accounts, your vacation home, and everything down to the living room furniture.

Divorce becomes even more complicated when you throw a business in the mix. While you may be willing to let your wife have the house, the boat and her fair share of all other marital assets, the one thing you want to hold on to is your consulting practice. You spent endless hours building your business from the ground up and the last thing you want to do is watch your business fail because of your divorce. Fortunately, there a few things you can do to prepare your practice. Read further for some tips to protect your business from divorce.

Points you have to think about for child custody cases

Going through a divorce is a big event in your life, but your children are also impacted by this decision. You have to think carefully about the decisions you make regarding your children because the child custody solutions you find now can impact your children for a long time to come.

There are several different decisions that you need to make for your child. Making sure that you take the time to consider each one is crucial.

Why you need professional advice about your divorce

A divorce may appear simple on the surface, but there are many things to think about before you go before a judge or finalize your divorce. While there are many people who claim you can file for a divorce online or that it's better to avoid working with an attorney due to expense, that's simply not true.

Trying to go through a divorce without help can put you at risk of making serious mistakes that cost money or result in risking your financial future. You may not know everything you're entitled to or make errors that cost you more in the long term. Here are a few reasons you need to consult with an attorney before your divorce.

Dividing assets: Your art could be a marital asset

As an artist, one of the things you need is your artwork. That work may have the potential to sustain you and bring in an income. It's your creative outlet, and it has meaning to you. Even though it may not seem to be valuable monetarily in some cases, art is an asset and may be part of the property division process if you go through a divorce.

When it's time to split up, remember that anything created during your divorce may be considered to be a marital asset. That means that your spouse could choose to pursue your art during the settlement negotiations. What do you need to know about this process?

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.

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