Naperville Law Blog

Important financial considerations during and after divorce

Planning a divorce in Illinois requires an exhaustive analysis of marital assets and future finances. Former spouses must identify all assets and debts and wrangle with calculations for child support and sometimes spousal support. Both parties must figure out what their individual incomes and expenses will look like after the divorce and develop new personal budgets. Certified divorce financial analysts help people sort through these details and make decisions about how to divide their marital estate.

Assets encompass cash, bank accounts, investments, various bonds and real estate, and they must be divided in an equitable manner. Handling debts is typically a complicated matter during divorce. A person accepting responsibility for a debt does not alter the terms of the original loan agreement that named both spouses.

Citizenship changes for some children born overseas

Some people in Illinois may have heard about changes by the Trump administration to citizenship laws that could affect the children of some U.S. citizens born overseas. The rule is complex and may be confusing for some missionaries, foreign service workers and people in the military.

Under U.S. citizenship law, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows citizens to seek citizenship for their children born abroad at the time of their birth. However, some children who are not citizens are birth can also seek citizenship before they are 18. If their parents are citizens and the children have green cards, they can apply for naturalization. Under the new law, children of citizens living overseas would no longer be considered U.S. residents for the purpose of getting citizenship. If parents adopt a child from abroad who does not have a green card, the child will not get citizenship automatically. Children whose parents do not meet certain residency requirements and children of parents who naturalize after the child is born would also be affected.

Financial dishonesty during a divorce

When some Illinois couples divorce, their once-loving relationship can quickly turn into one of distrust and competition. This can be particularly true when there is a major financial disparity in the relationship along with a significant amount of anger. When only one spouse is aware of the financial details of the relationship, it can seem far too easy for that person to hide assets in order to prevent them from being divided. Of course, this is unlawful, and family courts frown severely on spouses who conceal assets from the proceedings. Of course, hidden assets must first be noticed and brought to the court's attention.

There are several warning signs that could indicate that one spouse is hiding assets in the divorce. Typically, this can only take place when one party has most of the assets in the relationship and also manages the finances. The other spouse may have little knowledge about investment accounts and other funds where family finances are saved. It is important for both spouses to obtain copies of bank statements, tax returns and other key documents. If one spouse suddenly begins to overpay the IRS or other creditors, this could be an attempt to conceal assets. After the divorce is finalized, the overpaying spouse could seek a refund.

Successful parenting when there's an ex and a new spouse

For some Illinois parents, raising a child after a divorce comes with challenges because the family dynamics after divorce affect everyone involved. Additionally, co-parenting a child together after divorce requires effort and consideration on the part of both biological parents. Adding a step-parent to this equation often brings up even more things that the adults must work through in order to raise the child in a healthy, stable environment.

Understanding what a child is going through after a divorce and when a stepparent joins the household is important. After a divorce and a parent's remarriage, a child might be feeling left out or uncomfortable in their own home. They might be struggling with their place in the family and feeling guilty and disloyal to the other parent. There might also be some conflict with accepting another adult in their life.

Dealing with financial challenges in a divorce

For some Illinois couples, a divorce can mean financial problems. However, there may be ways to mitigate some of those issues. Making a budget can help a person understand what short-term expenses may be ahead, including finding housing, getting new insurance and purchasing a new vehicle. People should also estimate what the divorce will cost.

Asset division can be a complicated process. People may want to consider the liquidity of certain assets and which ones have tax obligations. Some people might want to keep the home, but it may be too large and too expensive for this to be practical. The couple should try to pay off debt before the divorce is final if possible. If they cannot do this, they should address how the debt will be dealt with in the divorce agreement. They might also want to make a plan for their children's college education.

Why people choose to divorce

In Illinois, spouses choose to divorce for many different reasons. While there might be some feelings of shame during the separation process, choosing to end a marriage can be a self-protective measure that should not be stigmatized.

According to a study that was reported in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, newly divorced straight exes reported four main reasons why they chose to end their marriages. The researchers surveyed 2,731 people for their study and found that the No. 1 reason for divorce was because of a lack of intimacy or love.

What to do about the family home in a divorce

Some people in Illinois who are going through a divorce might also be getting custody of the children and want to keep the family home to lessen the upheaval they feel. Others may simply want to keep the house because they are attached it. Whatever the reason, the first step in keeping a home is to determine its value and how much of that value is owned by each spouse. Next, one spouse usually has to buy the other out.

Couples often agree to do this by having one of them take a larger share of the assets than the other. For example, one might keep a retirement account, a car or other property in exchange for the value of the home. Borrowing money is another option. Some people may be fortunate enough to get help from family or friends.

Trump administration announces new immigration bill

Amid a controversy regarding tweets posted by President Donald Trump, the White House quietly released a 620-page immigration bill that already has support from several Republican senators.

The bill, which was co-authored by Jared Kushner, supposedly outlines many policies for border security and legal immigration. It does not reportedly have solutions for the millions of undocumented immigrants already living in Illinois and other states throughout the country.

Getting a green card as the child of a diplomat

Those who are born in Illinois or any other state to a foreign diplomat may be entitled to receive a green card. A diplomat can be an ambassador, counselor or any other individual who has diplomatic status with the United Nations. Furthermore, children of diplomats must have resided in the United States since birth and maintained that residence prior to applying for their green card. Those who ask for permanent residency in the United States must give up their diplomatic immunity.

They must also renounce any other privileges granted to them as the child of a diplomat. Applicants must file Form I-485 to have their status in the United States adjusted. In addition to the form, an individual must provide two photos, a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID. He or she must also provide evidence of continuous residence in the United States.

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