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DuPage County divorce attorneysGetting divorced is unlike other break-ups. Not only do couples have to deal with the emotional consequences of ending a marriage, they must also deal with the legal and financial ramifications of getting divorced. There is no way to completely avoid all negative economic consequences during divorce, but there are a few things you can do to help minimize these consequences.

One of the best ways to protect your rights and safeguard your finances during divorce is to get help from a qualified Illinois divorce lawyer. Additionally, experts have other pieces of wisdom which can help you avoid the most common financial pitfalls during divorce.

Mistake 1: Being Unaware of Your Family’s Finances 

In many marriages, one person does the majority of the financial planning. If you are getting divorced and are not up-to-date regarding your financial scenario, you can easily be taken advantage of. If you are considering divorce, it is a good idea to gather certain documents now, instead of waiting until you need those documents. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes bring out the worse in people and your ex may be unwilling or unable to provide these items in the future.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen parents finally reach the realization that they can no longer be happily married, their first concern is often how the divorce will affect their children. Fortunately, research has shown that children of divorced parents can thrive and be just as successful and contented as children with married parents. However, telling children about an impending divorce can be a near-monumental task to undertake. If you and your spouse have children and plan to separate or divorce, telling the children about the split may be a challenging and emotional conversation. However, there are some steps you can take to make the conversation about divorce less traumatic for you and your children.

If Possible, Tell the Kids Together

If you and your spouse are able to do so civilly, telling the children together can help them feel more secure. Presenting a united front in this way helps indicate to your children that although you may not be married to on another anymore, you will still be their parents. Telling the children as a couple also helps the children feel less obligated to pick sides. Of course, telling your kids about the split together is not always possible. Couples with extreme resentment towards each other may struggle to put the children’s needs first during the conversation and may make the situation more emotionally volatile.

Make the Conversation Age Appropriate

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have several children together, you may be tempted to tell them about the divorce separately. Many experts suggest telling the children all at once instead of individually. Doing this reduces the chances that one child spreads misinformation to the others and adds unnecessary confusion. After the initial group discussion, you may want to follow up with each child independently. When discussing divorce with children under five, experts say that keeping the conversation simplistic and concrete is best. Focus on the vital information: where the child will live and who he or she will live with. School aged children can handle a bit more detail, but parents should be careful not to overshare. Teenaged children may be standoffish when learning about the divorce and act like they do not want to talk about their feelings. However, teens and preteens still need love and attention from parents just as younger children do. Give your teenaged child some time to cool off if he or she gets upset at the news and try to approach the topic later.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersDespite the romantic notion of “love at first sight,” a happy, healthy relationship does not develop overnight. It takes years of love and commitment by both partners. Likewise, very few marriages and long-term relationships fall apart all at once. Instead, in most cases, the partners begin growing apart over time as the health of the marriage deteriorates. In some situations, there may be a precipitating event—such as an episode of infidelity—that leads to a divorce, but, according to relationship experts, a struggling marriage is likely to be the result of much less dramatic, but just as serious, interpersonal issues.

Marriage and family therapists have a fairly good grasp of the problems facing unhappy couples. Some of the most common issues that ultimately lead to the breakdown of a marriage include:

Dying Curiosity

When you first dated your spouse, every conversation was exciting. You could hardly wait to learn more about him or her, what things they liked and did not like, and who they were as a person. As time goes on, couples begin to get bored, and each partner may feel like they are losing their unique identity. Experts suggest continuing to ask questions and to explore one another’s feelings and perspectives, no matter how long you have been together.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyIn today’s world of online help and how-to videos, some people insist on trying to do everything themselves. They learn how to fix their cars, prepare gourmet meals, and even how to identify and treat minor illnesses. While a do-it-yourself approach can be cost-effective in many situations, and it certainly instills a level of personal confidence, there are some circumstances in which avoiding the expense of professional assistance may actually cost you dearly in the long term. Beyond the finances, however, there a number of other reasons that every divorce should include, at the very least, a consultation with a qualified attorney.

Improved Organization and Control

You may have a pretty good idea of the various considerations inherent to the divorce process: divide the property, make arrangements for the children, decide upon spousal maintenance and child support, file the petition, and wait for the court. But, do you really understand each of the steps involved with every one of the listed elements of divorce, and in what order they should be completed? A lawyer, however, has handled hundreds or more divorce cases and can assist you in preparing an organized approach.

Handling Paperwork and Meeting Deadlines

During your divorce, you will be responsible for filing a large number of documents along the way, including petitions, responses, motions, and requesting records. Keeping track of all of them and their associated deadlines can be a nightmare, especially if you work full-time and have parenting responsibilities. A divorce attorney, on the other hand, will have developed a system for ensuring the proper documents are completed on time, and, in most cases, require just a signature from you before they are filed with the court. Accuracy is also paramount in the process, because if your paperwork includes mistakes, the court could end up basing a decision on inaccurate information. There is no telling exactly how costly a single mistake could be, but is not worth the risk.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersAs more and more couples wait longer to enter into marriage for the first time, along with the rising prevalence of remarriage, individuals have more time than ever to accumulate wealth and property on their own. Extensive personal assets, of course, can make a subsequent divorce much more complicated, as it becomes difficult to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. For just reason, those who have started a business or obtained ownership of a company prior to marriage are encouraged to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests.

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

While the law in Illinois already provides that property or assets acquired prior to a marriage are not considered marital property, complications can still arise. For example, if your spouse owned a company before you got married, the company itself may not be part of the marital estate, but income generated by your spouse’s efforts after the marriage are usually considered to be marital. Similarly, any marital property invested into the company during your marriage may need to be reimbursed to the marital estate in the event of divorce, even as the company ownership remains non-marital.

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help?

Many of the financial concerns related to your company can be addressed long before they ever become a big problem, through the use of a prenuptial agreement. You and your soon-to-be spouse can negotiate an agreement to keep the business ownership and operation completely separate from the marital estate. You can also plan in advance on how invested marital property is to be handled.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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