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Peoria Family Law Blog

Can a lump sum payment help women struggling to get alimony?

In traditional Illinois marriages, it is fairly common for women to remain at home while the man is the primary breadwinner. This is especially normalized in high-asset marriages with children, as one party often remains at home to raise the kids. When the marriage ends, these women find themselves at an economic disadvantage.

If you are one such woman, you may have been out of the job market for so long that your degrees and work experience may now be outdated. You may not even have work experience or a degree at all, depending on how young you got married and the path you followed. The new tax reform further complicates things by making alimony a tax burden to ex-husbands who pay.

What are ways for men to manage mental health after divorce?

The process of getting a divorce in Illinois often includes dealing with strong and complex emotions: fear, sadness, relief and confusion. While you may start to feel better as soon as you sign the papers, you may instead find it more difficult to move on with your life. You may struggle with depression or other mental health issues. While you may have to look hard to find them, there are resources that address the connection between men's mental health and divorce.

Resources from recent years show how challenging divorce often is for men, especially when there are children involved. WebMD offers several important tips to help men avoid making common post-divorce mistakes. For example, you may want to find a new romantic relationship right away, especially if you are dealing with depression, loneliness or self-doubt. However, it is often better to work on improving your own mental health before beginning a serious relationship. Spending time with close friends may be a better plan for the first year or so after your divorce.

4 ways stay-at-home moms rebuild credit after a divorce

Effective marriages often require both sharing and splitting household responsibilities. If you elected to stay home to raise your children while your spouse went to work, though, your credit score may not be as high as you would like. Alternatively, you may have no creditworthiness at all. 

Stay-at-home moms often have worse credit than their working spouses for a variety of reasons. Still, if you want to work toward a successful financial future, improving your credit score makes sense. Here are four ways stay-at-home mothers often rebuild credit following a divorce: 

How can I prepare my finances for a high-asset divorce?

If you are getting a divorce in Peoria, you may have wondered how you can prepare for that financial hit. Some divorces are amicable with couples never needing to set foot in court, or at the very least, not for long. However, when there are high-value assets involved, years of marriage that led to entangled ownership, and a breadwinner versus homemaker situation, things might become more complicated.

Personal finance company, NerdWallet, cautions you to think twice about well-meaning recommendations from family and friends. Your best friend in New York who recently went through a high-asset divorce did so under different laws than you will in Illinois, no matter how similar your situations may be. It is always best to source your advice from professionals in your state.

Financial debts and divorce

When individuals get a divorce in Illinois, the most complex parts of the settlement often revolve around finances. When a court grants a divorce, part of the order includes a division of the couple's finances, including both assets and debts. It is important for individuals to understand how debt may affect a divorce settlement.

The Illinois State Bar Association provides an overview of several divorce-related issues to help residents understand the process. According to the ISBA, the financial aspects of a divorce may come from an agreement between the spouses or from a court mandate. If a couple agrees on the division of their assets and debts through negotiation, it may reduce court-related expenses and make the process go quickly. When a couple cannot agree, a judge makes the decision based on relevant information.

Can I really get a paternity test at Walgreens?

If there is some doubt regarding the paternity of your child, you have likely spent a lot of time considering your options. Whether you are the father or the mother of the child, you may wish to prove who the biological father is once and for all. Unfortunately, DNA tests are typically very expensive and many parents are seeking cheaper solutions. Because of this, many have turned to Walgreens.

On the Walgreens website there is, in fact, a DNA paternity test for just $14.99 at the time of writing this article. If you are concerned about privacy, a test that you can order online and take at home may provide a good solution. Usually, the kit will ask for a cheek swab of the father and the child. If the mother's maternity is also in question, there may be a third swab for her to use.

How should you respond to paternity fraud?

If your wife comes to you with the news that she is pregnant with your child, you may feel excited, nervous or surprised. But what should you do if you find out later that you are not the true father of the child? You may learn that the mother committed paternity fraud. This sometimes occurs when a married woman wants to hide an extramarital affair that results in a pregnancy. In Illinois, it may be difficult to prove paternity fraud, but there are a few steps you may take if you suspect you are not the child's father.

Determining the true parentage of a child is essential because it may have a significant impact on legal rights and responsibilities as well as financial issues. The Circuit Court of Cook County provides information on the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, which covers the establishment of parentage in the state. According to the law, if you were married to the child's mother within 300 days of the child's birth, the law presumes you to be the father. If you are not in fact the child's biological father but your wife does not suggest that there is another potential father, she may be deliberately committing paternity fraud.

Do you have to split lottery winnings in a divorce?

A person's odds of winning the lottery are astronomically low. Whenever someone does win, it is a momentous occasion. Over the last Fourth of July weekend, two Illinois residents won the Lucky Day Lotto, one winner in Chicago and one in East Peoria. 

A lot of Illinois residents play the lottery. While winning is the dream, going through a divorce can put a damper on the good mood. A lot of people assume they will have to give up half, or even more, of their winnings to their ex-spouse. However, the actuality is a lot more nuanced than that.

When the breadwinner leaves, homemakers must cut expenses

Sometimes divorce comes unexpectedly for homemakers in Illinois. One minute, a couple is roaming the world hand-in-hand, and the next, the breadwinner announces that they are leaving for a younger or wealthier partner. When this happens, resentment and already bad spending habits can cause many homemakers to continue living the lavish lifestyle that they did before. However, failure to cut expenses could create problems in the long run.

One woman shared her story in CNBC of her transition from being a part of the wealthy 1% as a married woman to becoming the discarded wife. One of her greatest regrets was not reducing her spending sooner, even after her husband told her he would not continue to support the lavish lifestyle she had grown accustomed to. Attorneys also warned her that she would not get the financial support she had in mind, even though she had set aside her career ambitions to follow her husband around the world.

Make sure you know about all your spouse's assets

Couples who are going through a divorce in Illinois must make sure they are aware of all the assets and income the other spouse has. Unfortunately, some spouses hide assets so they do not have to divide them up during divorce proceedings. This is especially true in high-asset marriages. Legally, each spouse needs to fully disclose what he or she has, but it also helps to know how to look for assets the other side may try to hide.

According to FindLaw, both parties must voluntarily disclose all assets, which may include bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, businesses, bitcoin accounts, artwork and jewelry. If one side thinks the other spouse is hiding something, he or she can make a formal request in which the other must answer everything honestly. Related financial paperwork may be estate documents or tax returns.

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