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Peoria Family Law Blog

Social media can impact your divorce

A recent study found that the average owner of a smartphone touches the device's display about 2,600 times per day, adding up to approximately a million swipes, wipes, taps and touches per year. The most used app? Facebook.

With so many people are in nearly constant communication with social media, it makes sense that their interactions can generate evidence that can be used in divorce, affecting important issues such as child custody, spousal support, child support and more.

Addressing the marital home may be challenging during divorce

The marital home is typically a couple's largest asset. It is for this reason that the home often becomes the main point of contention during the divorce process for people in Illinois. A couple of tips may help spouses decide the fate of the marital home when dissolving their marriage.

First, a married couple going through divorce may choose to sell the house and then split the proceeds. Another option, however, is for one person to remain in the house and buy out his or her partner. Before choosing the buyout option, though, it is essential to ascertain that this is financially feasible.

Equitable property division standard used in Illinois divorce

People going through the divorce process in Illinois typically realize that all of the assets they acquired during the marriage will likely end up decreasing by half. This is because each of the spouses is to receive his or her fair share of the couple's marital estate. Common concerns, however, are how to differentiate nonmarital and marital assets, including retirement plans, during divorce.

Marital property in Illinois includes any debt and asset that was obtained during the marriage. However, there are some exceptions, including any property that one spouse got as a gift, as well as inherited property. Making matters more complicated is when nonmarital property has been commingled with assets that are considered to be marital property.

Division of marital property may include IP assets

One of the most stressful aspects of a divorce in Illinois is determining how to divide assets. This is especially true if the two individuals cannot see eye to eye when it comes to the division of marital property. One type of asset that is often neglected is the intellectual property, or IP, asset.

It is critical at the beginning of the divorce process to consider all marital assets, which include IP assets. After all, these assets may be necessary to support one's future investment and financial growth following divorce. IP assets in particular may also help with generating income.

Child custody may be point of disagreement during divorce

Even a seemingly smooth divorce process can be difficult for both parents and children to navigate from an emotional standpoint. Thus, battles involving child custody and other similar issues can cause even greater emotional stress -- stress that can have long-term implications. A few tips might help people in Illinois to reduce the stress often associated with the divorce process.

First, it is important to realize that most children understandably want to spend time with, and enjoy their time with, both parents. Acting jealous or angry when one's child spends time with an ex may make the child feel as though he or she has to take sides. In the child's mind, he or she has to love one of the parents more than the other one.

Prenuptial agreement may provide protection in divorce

As people in Illinois prepare to get married, they typically prefer not to discuss the possibility of getting divorced. This is why putting together a prenuptial agreement often gets placed on the back burner or is ignored altogether. However, prenuptial agreements are essential for protecting one's best interests in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement essentially provides details about how assets and property will be handled if two people decide to end their marriage. Having this type of legal agreement in place keeps two divorcing individuals from having to fight about who will get certain assets during their divorce proceeding. This ultimately saves the couple time, money and stress.

Joint parenting may benefit both parents and children

Shared child custody is the subject of many discussions nationwide, including in Illinois. Some believe that the frequent back-and-forth traveling between parents in joint parenting arrangements cause disruption, anxiety and insecurities in children. Others are of the opinion that children of divorces benefit in various ways from having equal access to both their parents -- even if in two different residences. Although this is not the ideal solution for all post-divorce families, it is worth considering for those who can maintain amicable relationships with their exes.

A factor that seems to benefit joint parenting arrangements is the distance between the residences of the two parents. If the proximity allows children to maintain the same friends and take part in their usual activities, regardless of the parent with whom they are staying, acceptance of their new circumstances seems to be easier. Another aspect that has proved to create a strong foundation for children that grow up to be well-adjusted is the manner in which rules and punishment are handled. If parents have the same sets of rules and punishments that are observed in both residences, children cannot play parents against each other.

Financial considerations in divorce can be stressful

While it is only natural for emotions to be overwhelming for anyone ending a marriage, special attention must be paid to the financial decisions made during this time. The impact of doubling the basic household expenses -- such as utilities, groceries and other ongoing expenses -- can be significant. Whether in Illinois or elsewhere, careful planning is required to be prepared for these often unanticipated obligations that result from a divorce.

Fortunately, support and guidance are available, and retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney can be of great help. In some circumstances, mediation may be the ideal option for settling all material issues. In other cases, it may be necessary to go to court. A lawyer can assist in either instance.

If divorce goes to court, how you behave matters

Most couples in the Peoria area going through divorce file irreconcilable differences as the reason for the action. That catchall phrase allows you to seek a dissolution of marriage without having to establish legal grounds -- something that can take a great deal of time and be complicated.

In the current environment in Illinois, many couples seek to resolve their divorce-related issues without going to court. This may be done through mediation or through negotiations. But when issues can't be resolved, the court must weigh in. Experienced family law attorneys know the value of being skilled in whatever form of advocacy will best serve the client's needs and situation.

Ways to avoid trickle-down effect when grandparents divorce

Back in the Reagan years, trickle-down economics was in vogue. The general idea was that you spur investment by giving investors tax breaks. That spurs production, which spurs job creation, which in turn puts money in consumers' pockets. Demand for all that upstream production goes up. Everyone wins.

Depending on who you talk to, the idea still has merit or is hogwash. We write about it today because there is the trickle-down effect is one that may apply to our topic -- grandparent divorce.

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