Naperville Law Blog

Making the best of co-parenting with a toxic ex-spouse

Many Illinois couples who have gone through a divorce are now co-parenting. Some people are dealing with an ex-spouse who is a narcissist or a toxic person. In order to successfully co-parent with a difficult ex-spouse, a person will have to put their children first and maintain their own personal integrity.

Before going into a situation where a person will communicate with a toxic co-parent, they need to realize that there are certain things they cannot change. They will not be able to change the co-parent no matter how much they would like to. They also need to understand that there are certain patterns of communication or triggers that can escalate situations. Steering clear of these situations can empower and protect a co-parent.

How a divorce financial specialist may be helpful

There may be advantages for some people in Illinois in engaging a divorce financial specialist during the divorce process along with other legal and financial professionals. Divorce can have a significant effect on a person's finances over the long term, and people may not always understand the ramifications of the financial settlement they are agreeing to. This can be particularly true for people who have not been very involved in the family finances.

A divorce financial specialist may be a CPA or have other financial certifications, and they can be useful even for people who have a financial advisor. This is because the divorce financial specialist can help project the outcome of various types of settlements and can analyze complex assets such as private equity holdings and closely held businesses. The home often becomes a particular area of contention in a divorce, and a divorce financial specialist can help with this as well. They can work with couples or with individuals. They can also provide expert testimony when necessary if there are financial issues the couple cannot resolve.

Homes aren't always worth keeping in a divorce

Illinois couples who decide to end their marriages may have many questions to answer as they settle their divorces. One of those questions may be what to do with the house that they shared while they were together. Usually, divorcing couples will choose to either sell the home immediately or share it until it can be sold at a later date. Often, a home sale is delayed because it's in the best interest of a child.

In some cases, one person may decide to buy out his or her ex-spouse and remain in the home on his or her own. Those who are looking to sell their homes immediately should make sure that they are to find new places to live. This typically means having enough money and a good enough credit score to rent an apartment or buy a home. Couples who are looking to sell their homes should also be aware that property values and tax rates can change over time.

The unique issues in a divorce after 50

The issues that you will face in your divorce will largely depend on the life stage you are in. Those with dependent children are often most concerned with child custody agreements. However, those who do not have children and those with adult children are more concerned with asset division, especially if they are approaching retirement.

If you are over 50 and are considering divorce, you should take the time to reflect on your priorities regarding the outcome. The following are some of the issues that are uniquely prevalent for divorce after age 50.

Qualifying for alimony

When couples in Illinois get divorced, there are a lot of issues that need to be negotiated and resolved. One such point in question is alimony, also known as spousal support. Alimony is money paid by one spouse to the other on an ongoing basis after a marriage ends.

Prior to women developing careers outside the home, alimony was typically paid by men to their ex-wives so that the wives could maintain their current standard of living or, at the very least, afford living expenses. The assumption behind alimony was that women are financially vulnerable after divorce due to not being trained for a career or, in some cases, giving up careers to become homemakers. If the husband had worked consistently during the marriage, he was often in a better financial position than she was.

Present your parenting plan draft at the mediation session

If you and your former spouse run into roadblocks about your parenting plan arrangement, mediation may help resolve disputes while reducing anger and stress. Circuit courts in Illinois require mediation for child custody and parenting plan issues. In mediation, you may continue to work closely with your own attorney. In fact, it is a good idea to do so in order to protect your parental rights.

When both parents write down the points to work on, it helps the mediator better understand your goals, and your sessions will go more smoothly. With neutral, third-party guidance, you can develop a parenting plan that works for everyone concerned.

Divorcing business owners may have unique concerns

Divorce can carry serious financial consequences that persist long after the emotional issues have been settled. For business owners, this can be especially challenging. When owners of a closely held businesses divorce, they could wind up selling the business or sharing it with a former spouse in an attempt to achieve a property division settlement.

In other cases, one party may need to take on a substantial amount of debt in order to buy out the other party to keep the business under its current management.

Blacha Law Office opens third location in Joliet

Unfortunately, every family has its struggles. And while no two situations are alike, at some point, your family may face circumstances which are too complex to handle on your own. When your future is at stake, you may require legal representation.

The opening of our third office in Joliet, Illinois, sheds light on our firm's dedication to the clients our founding and managing partner has served over the past 15 years. Our firm's personalized and compassionate approach to family law matters has met the needs of numerous couples and their children, as we have worked with them to determine their utmost concerns and fought for favorable results.

Prenuptial agreements for entrepreneurs

A 2016 survey of matrimonial attorneys in Illinois and around the country revealed that prenuptial agreements are becoming far more common. These agreements are often created when wealthy individuals are planning to marry and wish to protect their assets, but they are also becoming popular among entrepreneurs who have ideas that they believe will blossom into thriving businesses. Having a signed prenuptial agreement can also make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise the funds they need to get their commercial ventures off the ground.

This is because venture capitalists and prospective co-founders may be reluctant to invest their time or money into a business venture that could become a contentious asset in property division negotiations should the founder divorce. The fear is that an unqualified individual could find him or herself in a senior position in the company and hamper future growth. When the founder has not signed a prenuptial agreement, venture capitalists or co-founders may insist on a spousal consent form that restricts voting rights when spouses are awarded shares in a divorce.

Choosing to sell or keep the family home in a divorce

Divorcing spouses in Illinois and around the country often find it difficult to decide how to deal with the marital home. The family residence is usually the most valuable marital asset, but it can be hard for spouses to put their emotional attachments aside and concentrate on financial considerations. The two basic options are selling the house and dividing the proceeds or one spouse remaining in the home. In either scenario, the first step is to determine how much the property is worth.

This is a job usually left to professional appraisers who arrive at a figure after inspecting the property and then checking recent sales in the area. Both spouses sometimes select an appraiser to ensure that the value is fair. In such cases, a third appraiser may be called in when the figures submitted vary greatly. Once an appraised value has been agreed upon, the spouses can determine how much home equity they have and how it should be divided.

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