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Peoria Family Law Blog

Do you and your spouse share the same financial goals?

There are many famous stories throughout history about individuals from different social classes falling in love. In nearly all of these types of stories, the so-called star-crossed lovers are often kept apart and forbid to marry or associate with those outside their social class.

Thankfully, a lot has changed with regard to views and lines about social classes. Today, in the U.S. people freely meet, fall in love with and marry individuals from very different backgrounds and socioeconomic circumstances. But, does this love last? Can individuals who grew up with very different life experiences, stresses and struggles relate to one another and overcome these differences?

Will your spouse be there in sickness and health?

When two people pledge to share their lives together and marry, many utter wedding vows promising to be together during good and bad times and in sickness and health. However, the results of a recent study indicate that married couples are more likely to divorce when the wife falls ill.

The results of the study are discussed in the most recent issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. For the study, researchers from Iowa State University tracked the marriages of more than 2,700 couples, where one spouse was at least 51 years old, for nearly 20 years. Findings indicate that instances of divorce did not increase in cases where a husband experienced serious health problems. However, in cases where a wife developed health problems, researchers noted that couples were six percent more likely to divorce.

Are you being short-sighted in your divorce?

Everyone makes mistakes and it's from these mistakes that we learn and grow. However, when it comes to the divorce process, mistakes can end up being costly and negatively impact an individual's future financial security.

We've previously discussed the negative aspects of allowing one's emotions to rule during the divorce settlement process. While most divorces are accompanied by strong emotions, individuals who allow emotions to influence their decision-making process are likely to favor short-term gains vs. those that reap long-term rewards. For example, is fighting over the antique car your ex loves really in one's financial best interests?

Do you know your spouse's level of marital satisfaction?

At some point during any relationship, especially throughout the course of a marriage, questions related to the level of happiness of both individuals are likely to arise. While every marriage goes through ups and downs, spouses who appear best equipped to weather the marital tides are those who keep the lines of communication open.

It's seems fairly obvious that communication is a crucial element to the success of any relationship, especially a marriage. Yet, according to research, many spouses don't communicate effectively and a lack of communication can lead to feelings of resentment, mistrust and even contempt which ultimately serve to drive a wedge between spouses.

Child support basics

When parents choose to divorce or break-up, it's important to take legal steps to resolve issues related to child custody and visitation. Even in cases where parents are on good terms, having a formal child custody agreement helps provide clarity, legal protections and also affords the custodial parent the opportunity to file for child support.

In cases where parents share joint custody of a child, the parent who earns more income may still be ordered to pay child support. Additionally, for parents who were never married, a father must go through the process of establishing paternity before any action can be taken with regard to child support.

The challenges associated with child custody relocation cases

When parents choose to divorce or separate, they are still bound together by shared parenting responsibilities. This is true even in cases where one parent has sole physical child custody as the noncustodial parent still likely has legal rights to visitation.

What happens, therefore in cases where a custodial parent plans to relocate to another city or state? What rights does a noncustodial parent have? What action can he or she take to prevent a move or help ensure that his or her visitation rights are preserved?

Study shows that when it comes to cohabitation and lasting love, age matters

Many Peoria area residents have likely heard the famous quote related to the notion that "with age comes wisdom." While this point can likely be debated on many fronts, there's no doubt that with age comes more life experiences that, at least in theory, should provide an individual with the insight necessary to make more informed and wise decisions.

When it comes to romance and relationships, experience can be both a positive and negative. In one sense, individuals who have been in many relationships and may even be divorced are likely more inclined to know what they both want and don't want in a relationship. These same individuals, however, may also carry baggage from past failed relationships that can inhibit their ability to trust and form a close and healthy relationship.

Until Facebook do us part

The Internet is all abuzz with social media websites and Facebook is among the most well-known and popular of them all. In fact, statistics from February 2014 show that an estimated 57 percent of U.S. adults have a Facebook account. Social media users readily use sites like Facebook to share photos, post comments and express their likes and opinions about a variety of topics. Increasingly, the social media website is also being used by individuals attempting to gather evidence about an ex during divorce or child custody proceedings.

In 2010, 75 percent of divorce attorneys who responded to a survey by the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers admitted that Facebook is a "primary source of evidence in divorce cases." Fast forward to 2015 and, along with Facebook's popularity and membership, this number has likely increased.

Is your soon-to-be ex-spouse hiding something?

A major part of any divorce revolves around the division of marital property and assets. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that several factors are taken into consideration when making decisions related to a divorcing couple's property and assets. For individuals with a considerable amount of wealth, numerous factors must be taken into consideration with regard to the actual value of assets, consequently, high asset divorces often take longer to resolve. This is particularly true in cases where one spouse attempts to hide assets.

While not a household name, John Sculley is the former CEO of Apple and is perhaps best known as the man who, in 1985, fired the late Steve Jobs from the company he would later go on to lead. After leaving Apple in 1993, Sculley went on to start a successful investment firm. More recently, Sculley has gained media attention for being the subject of a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife in which she accuses the millionaire of hiding assets during the couple's 2011 divorce.

Why many marriages aren't able to endure through the retirement years

In recent years, there has been much reported about the so-called graying of divorce. An Oct. 8, 2014 Time article reported that roughly 25 percent of divorcees in the U.S. are over the age of 50. The increase in divorce among this age demographic has raised red flags among social scientists who worry about the ramifications of divorcing later in life such as financial insecurity.

While many have studied and written about factors contributing to the gray divorce phenomena such as growing acceptance of divorce and longer life expectancies, few studies examine the issue from the other perspective. Namely, what it takes, later in life, to make a marriage work.