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Peoria Family Law Blog

What can a forensic accountant do for you?

The end of your marriage in Illinois is more than the end of a relationship; it is the end of your contract with your spouse. Before it can be dissolved, the two of you will have to come up with a new agreement that you can both live with, but if your marital assets are extensive, this can get tricky. According to Forbes magazine, your best step toward a solution may be to hire a forensic accountant.

Whether or not you are afraid your spouse may try to hide accounts, assets or income, identifying everything that should be on the official financial statement can be a challenge. If there is a chance that he or she will not willingly supply information, a forensic accountant has the expertise necessary to uncover matters hidden within business records, past years’ tax returns and incomplete inventories, as well as other sources.

Bonding with your infant after your divorce

Even though a couple in Illinois is having a child together, they may still discover that they cannot make their relationship work. A new dad may feel like he will be at a disadvantage when it comes to developing a visitation schedule. However, studies show that he needs to have adequate parenting time to form an attachment with his baby, just as the mother does.

According to HelpGuide.org, successfully bonding with a caregiver provides an infant with the security needed for lifelong healthy development. Attachment involves an emotional relationship, but is not just about the love the father feels for the baby. Instead, it is developed as they respond through vocalization, touch and gestures and learn to read each other’s cues. Through this process, the child learns trust, self-confidence and socialization, which sets the stage for future emotional and personal development.

The complications of alimony following a divorce

For Illinois couples experiencing marital strain, divorce is a welcomed alternative to resolve strenuous differences. However, divorce brings with it a significant number of implications that must be addressed to reach a mutual agreement that is beneficial for both parties. Some of the decisions that need to be made are related to child support and custody, separation of assets, finances and property, and spousal support or alimony.

According to the New York Times, alimony was originally created as a solution to relieve financially dependent women of mandatory monetary obligations immediately following a divorce. However, in today’s society, only 10 percent of divorce cases include some kind of alimony agreement or reward. As traditional familial roles become less prevalent, many more women are working then there were when alimony was created. This means more women are bound to alimony obligations than traditionally expected. Even though only 3 percent of alimony recipients are men, working women who are required to pay are often a lot more frustrated by the obligation.

How to manage your child support payments

Many ex-partners in Illinois are required to pay child support, even though doing so may interfere with their ability to manage their own living expenses. These payments are to ensure that their kids can receive the same standard of living that is possible if they lived at home with both of their parents. It is important for parents who are responsible for providing financial support to their kids to make their obligations primary. 

The average amount of child support that custodial parents receive each year is $5,150, states GoBankingRates.com. These payments may seem like a lot of money to the parents who pay them. There are things that can happen that can make it hard for them to make full and timely payments. Parents who make room in their budgets for child support can better prepare themselves to make on time payments for the long-term. 

A couple of things to consider about high-asset divorces

Couples who are in the midst of high-asset divorces in Illinois may be making mistakes and should take some time to consider their strategies. Their mistakes can impact their finances, especially if they do not have any prenuptial agreements in place to protect their assets.

Some couples can resolve their difference amicably. Many couples in high-asset divorces are not so fortunate. Many couples cannot keep their emotions from getting involved and may resort to doing things to make their separations more problematic and financially draining on their partners. According to Investopedia.com, people in high-asset divorces have more to lose financially. They often have more higher value assets involved, such as joint retirement accounts, multiple properties, non-family partnerships and pensions.

How to become an active divorce dad

While you were married, you may not have been able to spend as much time with your children as you would have liked. Work may have claimed much of your time, and now divorce has made being with the kids even more challenging.

Although it takes time for everyone involved to heal emotionally and become used to this new chapter in their lives, many fathers take divorce as an opportunity to improve their relationship with the children. Becoming an active divorce dad is a good thing, but you must also take a few precautions.

How should you spend your alimony checks?

If you have been granted alimony by an Illinois judge, it indicates that your marriage and divorce have put you at a disadvantage financially. The support you get from your ex-spouse is not intended to be a punishment for him or her, but a way to prevent that hardship from destroying your life. The payments typically do not last indefinitely, but using them wisely may restore your earning potential and help you become independent, or may meet other important needs.

GoBankingRates.com points out that, whether you set your successful career aside to raise your children or you supported your spouse’s education and never got your degree, using spousal support to take the classes you need could give you the relevant knowledge and skills to catch up. Meanwhile, the money may help cover the costs of rent or mortgage payments and other monthly expenses while you attend school.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement except it is entered into after you are married. If you are already married in Illinois and do not know about this option to protect your assets and create a more harmonious marriage, then it is something worth learning about. According to ABC News, a postnuptial agreement can outline several things, such as the responsibility for incurred debt, the division of property in the event of a divorce and personal things, such as the responsibilities of you and your spouse within the marriage.

While this type of document can be especially helpful for high asset situations, it also is beneficial for you even if you do not own a lot of assets. For example, if you have a reason to believe that you will get an inheritance in the future, this agreement can be used to protect that. A postnuptial can also be beneficial if you own a business with your spouse.

Are your children bewildered by your friendly divorce?

Sometimes, obvious difficulties are easier to deal with than circumstances that appear to be calm, cool and controlled--at least on the surface. This is often the case for children whose parents are going through an amicable divorce. Where are the arguments? The hurt feelings? If there is day-to-day discord, if one parent or the other has become a tyrant or if there is outright abuse, the children may be as willing as the grownups to get out of a bad situation. However, a friendly divorce between two people who have always been loving and responsible parents is a situation that children may find difficult to accept, and they may behave in the following ways.

Benefits of spousal support reform

Spousal support, which is called spousal maintenance in Illinois, is a common order that may have been made in your divorce case. It is usually decided by a judge because it is rarely easy to come to an agreement through negotiations, based on our experience at Butler, Giraudo & Meister. You should be aware that the spousal maintenance laws in the state were revised in 2016, which introduced some changes to how support is decided.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, the changes in the alimony laws were designed to help you if you have a moderate income level. One major change in the laws was to create consistent formulas for figuring maintenance payments. The length of time you will need to pay support is directly related to the length of time you were married. In addition, who pays the support is completely based on income earned. Whoever makes more will pay alimony. The amount is figured by taking 30 percent of your income as the payer and subtracting 20 percent of your spouse’s income.  

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