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Divorce, family law and appeals representation in Joliet, Illinois

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Joliet Family Law Blog

How compensation structure affects divorce

The type of compensation structure spouses have can have a big impact on decisions during a divorce. Each party needs to consider things like bonuses, stock options, commission, and other unique forms of compensation. For couples in Illinois who just have straightforward salaries with no bonuses, asset division is likely to be relatively simple. They don't have to worry much about the timing of a divorce filing affecting total assets.

Prepaid bonuses with a claw-back provision can be particularly challenging to deal with in a divorce. This is a bonus that's paid at the beginning of an employment term that can be reduced or withdrawn in the employee quits or doesn't meet certain performance marks. If this bonus is divided during a divorce, it should be clear in the agreement that a spouse must be ready to give their part of the bonus back if the claw-back is enforced.

Parents' rights to their children

A father generally has the same rights to his children as a mother does after a divorce. This is true despite the fact that fathers in Illinois and across the country may feel as if they face long odds of obtaining physical or legal custody of their children. A court will look at many different variables when determining if a parent gets full or partial custody of a son or daughter.

Those variables typically include the mental and physical health of a parent as well as the depth of a relationship between a parent and child. The court may also look at whether a parent can meet a child's basic needs such as providing a stable living environment. Older children and teenagers may be allowed to help determine whom they live with or who should make decisions on their behalf.

The financial impact of divorce on older adults

While people in Illinois who are over 50 might be more likely to get divorced than younger people or previous generations in their age group, the financial and emotional toll can be high. According to one study conducted by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, wealth for people who get a divorce after age 50 drops about 50%. Older divorced people in one study also reported a higher rate of depression than those whose spouses had died.

For women, the financial effects can be particularly acute. One study found that the standard of living for women went down 45% when they divorced after age 50 while for men it decreased 21%. Furthermore, people did not tend to regain their previous financial status over the ensuing years. For many older people, there is simply not enough time to make up for the financial impact of divorce.

Divorce planning in the summer

According to psychology and family law experts, summer is the prime time for Illinois residents to begin plans for a divorce. The results of a study that was conducted by sociologists at the University of Washington indicate that divorce filings tend to increase during August and March.

Generally, if there are complications in a marriage, those complications will get worse if a couple has to spend more time with one another. When couples are able to resume their routines, divorce filings will spike.

Does your spouse have a high-conflict personality?

When you got married, you likely had dreams of your relationship lasting the test of time. While dating, your future spouse may have seemed like the perfect person to complement your personality, and you likely felt that you two were a perfect match overall. However, after tying the knot, you may have begun feeling that your relationship was less than perfect.

In fact, you may have begun wondering how you chose to marry your spouse in the first place. At every turn, it may seem as if he or she is trying to pick a fight, and due to the unhappiness you have experienced, you have decided that the time has come to end the marriage. However, you may worry that the process will be conflicting as well.

A way to split retirement plans in divorce

You and your spouse have been busy making plans, including retirement plans. A divorce means you must now think about unmaking those same arrangements.

The good news is that many have been down the same road. Divorce is a legal procedure, and even in a stressful and less-than-amicable split, divorce courts have a tried and true way to do just about everything.

Gender role shifts in marriages could increase divorce risk

Gender-equal marriages are becoming more common in Illinois and other states, but this isn't always the norm. In some situations, couples begin married life together in traditional roles that change over time. And this is when there's the potential for issues that may lead to divorce, at least according to a Swedish study.

Researchers found women who started marriages in traditional gender roles where they were either not working or earning significantly less than their husbands were more likely to get divorced if their earnings increased. One possible reason for the study's results is that women sometimes spend the early years of marriage raising children or relocating to support their spouses. Over time, however, some wives reach a point where their income equals or surpasses their husband's earnings.

Kevin Garnett in legal dispute with wife

Basketball fans in Illinois and elsewhere may remember Kevin Garnett from his days as an NBA superstar. However, he is now in the news because of legal issues between himself and his wife. She claims that she signed a prenuptial agreement under duress and wants it to be declared invalid. Kevin Garnett has requested a trial to determine its validity before negotiating new asset division or spousal maintenance agreements.

Garnett's wife currently receives $100,000 a month in temporary support payments. However, that amount could increase if the current agreement is not upheld. Garnett claims that he made over $300 million during his playing career, and he also claims that his financial adviser embezzled $70 million from him. The couple has two children together, and Garnett's wife has asked for physical custody of both of them. A hearing regarding the prenuptial agreement is scheduled for July.

How to successfully co-parent a teen

Divorced parents in Illinois may have to consider several factors when it comes to co-parenting a teenager. Divorce can be especially hard on teens, who are already struggling with the changes that come with growing from a child to an adult. However, there are ways parents can make the transition easier.

Being flexible with scheduling is the first thing a divorced parent can do to help their teen cope. The average teen already has to juggle spending time with his or her friends, education and possibly work. Forcing a teen to adhere to a strict schedule for family time can be an additional source of stress.

Deciding whether to keep the family home in a divorce

In Illinois, divorcing couples may have issues about who should get the family home. The home is commonly the largest asset that a couple has, and there may be emotional attachments to it. People who have children might also decide that they want one of the spouses to keep the home.

There are several questions that a person should ask before they decide to try to buy out their spouse's interest in the family home. People first need to figure out the amount of equity that they have in their home. They might need to get a valuation of the property to figure out its fair market value and then subtract the mortgage from it to arrive at the equity.

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