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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Whether you are just starting the divorce process or you are in the middle of a months-long divorce, it’s no secret that it can be hard on everyone. For many people, the only information they have about divorce is what they have heard from family or friends who have gone through it, or what they have seen on TV or in movies. Divorce brings with it a slew of uncertainties that even the most planned out divorces can bring. The divorce process is different for everyone, but here are a few things you may not know about divorce: You Will Probably Experience the Grief Process Losing a relationship from your life is a lot like losing a person from your life. Many people going through a divorce find that the healing process is very similar to that of the grieving process -- though it is not so much of a surprise. It is only natural for you to grieve the loss of your relationship, but going through the grief process can help you move on with your life. Your Children Will Definitely Be Affected Many divorcing parents wonder if their divorce will affect their children. While the perfect answer would be no, the divorce will almost certainly affect your children, even younger ones. There is no way to tell how a child will react to news of a divorce, but as a parent, it is your job to make sure your child develops healthy coping mechanisms. A divorce does not mean your child will be emotionally scarred for life -- most children are usually happier after. It is Going to Cost You Money It has been said that the average wedding these days costs anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. Sadly, you could end up spending that much on divorce, too. While there is no “average” cost for a divorce, they can become costly very quickly. The total cost of a divorce will depend on the type of divorce you are getting, where your life if you are using an attorney and how amicable you and your spouse are. All Divorces Were Not Created Equally Many people think the only way to get a divorce is to hire attorneys and fight it over in court. In reality, there are a handful of ways you can go about getting a divorce. You could go with a traditional litigated divorce, a mediated divorce, a collaborative divorce or even a do-it-yourself divorce. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it can be worth it to do your research before you begin the process. Consult with a Knowledgeable DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Although divorce may feel like the end of the world, it is not. All divorces are different, but one thing you can do to make sure you have a successful divorce is to hire a skilled Yorkville divorce attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today to discover how we can help you finalize your divorce and allow you to move on with your life. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Getting a divorce turns your entire life upside down. The asset division process can prove to be especially cumbersome for some couples, as it requires you to take every single asset and debt into consideration when making decisions. Most couples argue over the house, bank accounts, and vehicles. While these high-value assets are important, it is also important not to overlook one of your most important assets -- retirement funds. It is easy to forget about retirement when it is 15 or 20 years away, but planning for it now can save you a big headache in the future. When it comes to retirement plans, one of the most important tools in your toolbox is a QDRO, which is a commonly used acronym for a qualified domestic relations order. QDROs can be extremely beneficial when divvying up retirement plans during a divorce and can take some of the uncertainty out of your future. What Is a QDRO? In the state of Illinois, all pension benefits, including individual retirement accounts (IRA’s) and defined contribution plans and accounts, are presumed to be marital property and must be divided in “just proportions.” This is where a QDRO comes in. A QDRO is a legal document that designates an alternate payee’s right to receive all or a portion of the benefits held in certain types of retirement accounts. What Is Included in a QDRO?

QDRO’s are just as legally enforceable as an order for alimony or child support and must be approved by the court. Basically, a QDRO will allow both payees to draw from the retirement plan when the time comes. Most of the time, the named payees will be both spouses, but in certain situations, the alternate payee can be a child or another dependant. For a QDRO to be valid, it must contain:

  • The plan owner’s name and mailing address;
  • The alternate payee’s name and mailing address;
  • The percentage of the plan that will be going to the alternate payee;
  • How that percentage will be determined;
  • The number of payments included in the order; and
  • How those payments will be made to each payee.

Consult with a Kendall County Asset Division Attorney Today

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are going through a divorce, there are many changes that you will notice. These can range from obvious ones -- such as your living arrangements or income -- to ones you may not necessarily think about all of the time -- like insurance. Insurance is something that you will almost always need, but it is also something people do not necessarily think about. Many people forget about insurance changes when they are going through a divorce because compared to other things you might be dealing with, it may not seem very important -- but it is. Taking care of these crucial changes to your insurance policies can save you grief and money in the long run.

Life Insurance

If you have a current life insurance policy, you may need to reevaluate the terms of the policy before you finalize the divorce. As long as there are no ongoing obligations, such as child support or spousal maintenance, you may want to think about removing your ex-spouse as a beneficiary on your insurance policy.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Everyone knows that divorces are expensive, but they cost a whole lot more than just money -- they also cost you precious time, energy and emotional stress. Money is one of the biggest stressors in both marriage and divorce, which is why divorces can be so tense and combative. There are many complicated decisions you must make during a divorce and a good amount of them revolve around your finances. The decisions that you make about your finances when you get divorced are decisions that will affect you for a good portion of your life. Try to avoid making these four common financial mistakes during your divorce:

Not Having All of You and Your Spouse’s Financial Documents on Hand

Preparation is key when it comes to divorce. You will want to make sure that you have all of you and your spouse’s financial documents before you begin to negotiate who gets what. Make sure you have bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage and loan information and any other relevant financial documents on hand. If you think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, let your lawyer know. They will be able to help you uncover any hidden assets.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Getting a divorce makes many things in your life far more complex than usual. Your children’s living arrangements become more complicated, managing your time becomes harder and even having your work life and home life balanced becomes more difficult. One of the things that can be the root of much stress is your finances and if you are not careful, your divorce can wreak havoc on them. If you are getting ready to file for divorce or you are currently in the process of a divorce, these four tips can help you keep your finances organized and simple:

Close Your Joint Accounts

Once you have filed for divorce, you should make sure you close your joint accounts, whether they are checking accounts, savings accounts or credit accounts. By splitting the amounts of both your checking and savings accounts, you can begin the separation process for marital property. You should also make sure to close your joint credit accounts so you do not rack up any more marital debt.

Open New, Separate Accounts

Next, you should open separate accounts that have your name on them only. It’s important that you remove your name from your spouse’s accounts or you remove your spouse’s name from your accounts. New checking, savings and credit accounts should be opened as soon as possible.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, One of the biggest questions people have when they begin the divorce process is how it will affect their finances. Many people forget how interwoven their lives become with their spouse’s lives until they go to separate them. Especially when it comes to your finances, things can become confusing and stressful. The decisions you make during your divorce will affect you for many years to come, if not the rest of your life. One of the ways you can ensure your finances are taken care of and your assets are distributed correctly is by having a lifestyle analysis prepared.

What Is a Lifestyle Analysis?

Simply put, a lifestyle analysis creates the basis for what your standard of living was during the marriage. It is basically the complete financial picture of the most recent years of your marriage. Your lifestyle analysis will include:

  • The kind of living expenses that you and your spouse had;
  • The spending habits you and your spouse had;
  • All of your financial statements, such as credit card and bank account statements;
  • Tax returns from your marriage and business tax returns, if applicable;
  • Any recurring expenses, such as clothing, travel or entertainment;
  • Your credit report; and
  • Any discrepancies your financial records may have with one another.

The Importance of a Lifestyle Analysis

Your lifestyle analysis is your complete financial picture of your life during your marriage for the past couple of years. Many times, courts will base multiple decisions off of the standard of living you enjoyed while you were married - the lifestyle analysis establishes that. An accurate lifestyle analysis can ensure that you get the portion of your marital assets that you are entitled to and it can also help establish a need for spousal or child support.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,When you hear people talking about divorce, they are probably talking about one of three things: how it affects you emotionally, how it affects your children, or how financially debilitating it can be. Marital life typically means that all of your finances and assets are entwined with each other, making it a difficult and stressful time for you when you go to separate them. Divorce can leave you with a sad bank account, a less-than-favorable credit score and thoughts about how you will pay bills alone. Although these issues can weigh on you, there are things you can do to help yourself after your divorce.

Educate Yourself

Before you begin creating a plan of attack for your finances, you have to know what you are working with. One of the first things you need to do is to take stock of all of your assets and debts and determine what is now yours. Divorce means you will be splitting all of these things, though not necessarily equally, but equitably. Figure out what you are working with and then go from there.

Create a Budget

Next, create a budget of what you need to spend and save each month. List out all of your monthly expenses such as rent, health insurance, utilities, credit card payments or other bills. Then figure out how much you can afford to save each month. Even a little bit at a time can add up eventually. Creating a budget can help you get into the swing of managing your finances after your divorce.

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mediationWhen you think of divorce, you might think of litigation in a courtroom with a judge handing down decisions, or a couple in a lawyer’s office arguing with each other, voices raised, about who gets to keep the family home. While popular culture would lead you to believe this is how divorce is, in reality, it does not have to be that way. When you think of getting a divorce, you do not have to go the traditional litigated route - you have options. One of those options is to go with a collaborative divorce, or one in which you both work together to settle your disputes outside of the courtroom. This has turned out to be beneficial for many couples for many reasons. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider going with a collaborative divorce:

The Process Can Be More Affordable

Because you are settling issues in various meetings, rather than in the courtroom, you are not having to pay court costs and fees every time you try to settle something. Rather, you can make it a point to come to a decision about certain things during each meeting, cutting down on the number of meetings you will actually need to have.

You Have More Control Over Your Outcomes

One of the main benefits of collaborative divorce is the ability to actually control what happens to you and your family’s futures. In a collaborative divorce, both you and your spouse work with your separate attorneys to come to a decision on certain topics that will most benefit your family. In a litigated divorce, the judge will make decisions for you in accordance with state laws if you and your spouse cannot come to a decision on your own. Often times, the decision that the judge makes is not necessarily in you or your family’s best interest. Collaborative divorce allows you to do what is best for your situation.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,“I think we should get a divorce.” Whether those words came as a total and complete shock or it was only a matter of time until they were uttered, it is never easy to hear that your marriage is falling apart. Divorce is an emotionally draining process, but it can also put a strain on your finances. Luckily, you can alleviate some of that strain by making sure you are well prepared before you even begin the divorce process. Making sure your finances are in order before you begin can save you some stress and a headache or two in the long run. Gather Your Records

Your first step in preparing yourself and your finances for divorce is by gathering all of your financial records and making copies of them. You should make sure that you have copies of your:

  • Bank account statements from the past year, including checking and savings;
  • Current retirement account statements;
  • Documents pertaining to your mortgage, car loans and any personal loans;
  • Credit card statements from the past year;
  • Recent pay stubs; and
  • Your tax returns from the past couple years.
Open New Bank Accounts (and Start Saving) As soon as you are legally separated from your spouse, you should open new checking and savings accounts, but in your name only. This will ensure that your money is not going to be a part of your marital property, which is subject to division during a divorce. You should also make sure that you are putting away a little bit of your income each month. Transitioning from living with two incomes to only your own income can be challenging, so making sure you have some sort of a safety net is good. Take Record of What You Own When you begin dividing your marital property, you should know what you own, what you are entitled to and what cannot be subject to division by state law. Make lists of both marital and nonmarital property, including everything from retirement accounts to your collection of antique postage stamps. You should also try to estimate what each item is worth, that way you can make sure both you and your spouse are getting equitable shares of your marital estate. Create a Budget Write down all of your sources of income for each month and all of your expenses, taking into account that you will only be working with your own income from now on. Before your divorce, weekly trips to the nail salon might have been doable, but can you still afford them after you are divorced. Try to cut back on your spending and using that money to build your new savings account. Speak with a Knowledgeable DuPage County Divorce Attorney

There are many things that will stress you out during your divorce, but your finances do not have to be one of them. Speaking with an Aurora divorce attorney can help you get your financial affairs in order, figure out which property you are entitled to and plan for the long term. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to begin preparing for your divorce today. To schedule a consultation, call the office at 630-409-8184.

 

Sources:

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Posted on in Divorce Finances
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,Though the actual act of divorcing does not affect your credit score, divorcing can have an effect on your credit through indirect ways. Women, especially, have traditionally had issues with their credit ratings after divorce because men were traditionally the breadwinners of the families and controlled the finances. Although things have changed, there are still a majority of women who have financial issues after divorce. One of those issues is trying to rebuild credit after years of intermingled credit with their spouses. Understanding steps you can take before and after your divorce to help protect your credit can be crucial to your financial wellbeing. Close Your Joint Accounts The first step you should take after you begin the divorce process is closing all of you and your spouse’s joint accounts. Because the accounts are joint accounts, both you and your ex are responsible for the accounts and the debts accrued on those accounts. By closing the accounts, you are preventing your ex from spending any more money on them and designating the debt to one person, rather than both of you. Keep Paying Your Bills You should also remember that it is a top priority to keep paying all of your bills, even if you are going through a divorce. On credit cards, make at least the minimum monthly payment, and for mortgage payments, you should pay them in full. Even one missed payment can damage your credit score and can cause future lenders to deny you or raise interest rates for you. Establish Your Own Credit One of the more important steps you can take to protect your credit is to establish your own credit under solely your name. Getting a credit card that has a small limit, such as a credit card from a store, can raise your credit score if you pay off the card as soon as you use it. Get Help from an Experienced Aurora Divorce Lawyer

If you are thinking about a divorce, one of the things you need to address is your finances and how you will be financially after the divorce. With the help of a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your credit during and after your divorce. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. to begin discussing your situation. Call the office at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/life-events/divorce-and-credit/

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Posted on in Debt
Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce laws,Even if a person has spent hours considering their various options and weighing its impact on their future, the decision to divorce can still elicit heightened emotions of fear. Unfortunately, it happens that some spouses may attempt to influence how the other proceeds with the divorce by issuing threats that play upon those fears.

Responding to Threats

It is not unusual to want your divorce to end in a way that is mutually agreeable. It is even acceptable to think the final settlement should favor you if the marriage included some egregious acts by your spouse. However, when threats are issued it is important to respond in an appropriate and legally measured manner. Doing otherwise can result in negative repercussion and even severe sanctions. However, in most cases, the threats can be best categorized as empty bluster.
  • “You’ll never get a dime unless you do this my way.” This just is not true. Community property states lay out exactly how marital assets are divided. In other states, a judge has the final say.
  • “I’d rather go to jail than pay you a single dime.” If a spouse fails to live up to court-ordered support payments, you can take steps to garnish their wages. In most cases, when faced with going to jail for defying a court order, the offending party usually opts to pay voluntarily.
  • “I’d rather quit my job than make any payments to you.” This one can be a little more difficult to fight. Try to record this threat or get a witness. A judge can order them to continue making payments.
  • “I will reconcile with you if we put everything in my name.” This is less a threat and more an attempt to dupe you into signing away future claims to marital property. Never let anyone have full financial control over your life.

Rely on the Knowledge of an Experienced Aurora Divorce Attorney

The divorce process can be a very emotional experience, leaving some people feeling vulnerable and even frightened. Matters do not improve if one spouse attempts to take advantage of the situation by issuing threats. Working with an experienced Kendall County divorce lawyer can offer one great relief and support.

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Posted on in Division of Property

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Most couples going through a divorce are looking for a fair division of the marital assets, alimony and child support amounts they can live with, and, ultimately, the legal dissolution of a marriage that just was not working. However, every so often we hear about some really odd demands made by one party or the other that cause us to shake our heads in disbelief. Strange Demands, Strange Results Granted, divorce laws around the world vary greatly. Some tend to favor one party more than the other. Perhaps the only thing more strange than the demands made by the parties in these divorce cases, is that the judge actually granted them in finalizing the divorce decree. A Cambodian couple ordered to split their assets took things quite literally and divided their house in half. The husband towed his half away, perhaps to enclose it before the rainy season. A judge in Spain ordered a couple to divide their apartment in half as it was deemed best for the well-being of their two young daughters. In Australia a man had to dig up the remains of his parents, who he buried on his family property, after a judge awarded the property to his wife. A Nobel laureate who was divorced in 1988 had to pay his wife half of 1995 winnings because their settlement included a clause for any future Nobel winnings up to and including 1995. If he had won in 1996 his wife would have received nothing. In India, a man who claimed his wife spent all his money on ice cream, was ordered to pay $1,300 per month in support, and an additional $2.50 each month so his wife could buy ice cream. Of course, these stories all seem to border on the extreme, but the lesson is that if you feel you are entitled to something as part of your divorce there is no harm in asking for it. Work with an Experienced Aurora Divorce Attorney When it comes to dividing marital property as part of the final divorce settlement there is bound to be some disagreement among the parties. This is when it will pay off to find and retain an Illinois divorce lawyer that will work on your behalf to see that you receive everything to which you are entitled. When you rely on the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. for help in pursuing your divorce, you will benefit from years of experience and their dedication to client satisfaction. You can schedule a free consultation when you call their offices today. Sources: http:/mentalfloss.com/article/23385/10-bizarre-divorce-settlements https:/www.oddee.com/item_99656.aspx" divorce are looking for a fair division of the marital assets,alimony andchild support amounts they can live with, and, ultimately, the legal dissolution of a marriage that just was not working. However, every so often we hear about some really odd demands made by one party or the other that cause us to shake our heads in disbelief.

Strange Demands, Strange Results

Granted, divorce laws around the world vary greatly. Some tend to favor one party more than the other.

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divorce-financesBoth marriage and divorce create a wide variety of financial scenarios that impact both spouses, as well as children, over the course of months and years. Some believe the best way to maintain financial security, even before a divorce is considered, is to keep a secret account with funds of which your spouse is not aware.

Positive Aspects of a Secret Fund

Husbands and wives may find that opening a separate account apart from any joint accounts becomes a necessity. Some pros for doing so include:

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Posted on in Divorce Finances

Illinois custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,If you are headed for a divorce, an amicable parting and division of marital property definitely is the best case scenario. However, it does happen when one party may attempt to conceal certain assets or even disguise the value of property in an attempt to get out of the marriage with more than the other party.

What to Look For and Where to Look

Here are a few things to look for when faced with a divorce, especially if you think it is something your spouse may have been planning for some time.

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Posted on in Divorce

Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce, divorce, finances, division of property, marital propertyWhen progressing through a divorce in Illinois, spouses have to make important financial decisions. This must be done while tolerating a great deal of emotional stress. Many times this volatile situation can cause people to make unnecessary yet consequential mistakes. A substantial mistake made regarding finance is operating and making decisions without having ample information. Without the information required to make sound decisions, the outcome of a divorce can be left to chance, or even worse, the other spouse.

Budgeting Through Divorce

Another common mistake made when spouses are going through a divorce is not adequately budgeting. When spouses are married, they become accustomed to having the financial resources of two incomes. When a marriage ends in divorce, the spouses are forced to adapt their financial decision making to address the fact that they no longer have the other spouse’s income available. Not making a conscious and focused consideration about the decreased income that spouses have available to them can lead to serious financial shortcomings that an Illinois court may not be able to rectify.

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debt, DuPage County divorce attorneyIn an Illinois divorce, the property and assets of a couple are equitably (fairly) divided. What a lot of couples fail to take into account is that this process of division also applies to their debt. It does not just disappear, after all. Be prepared and protect your financial future. Know how to deal with debt during the divorce process, and how you can effectively protect yourself from debt that should no longer be considered “yours” once everything is completed.

Taking a Proactive Approach to Debt Before the Divorce

All too often, couples wait put off dealing with debt until the last possible minute, assuming it will all just work itself out during the divorce process. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Instead, debt may be wrongly assigned to a party that cannot reasonably afford it. However, even if debt is equitably distributed during the divorce, failure to think ahead can come back to haunt the one who should have been “off the hook.” This can be especially true in situations involving joint debts, such as joint credit cards, mortgages, and other installment loans.

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discovery, review, Aurora divorce attorneyOne of the parts of the divorce process that many people find the most distasteful is the discovery process. However, if you and your lawyer fail to do thorough job of discovery it can harm your current case and even affect your options for years to come.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is the process of finding out about the other side's case. In a divorce case this usually mostly involves understanding the finances. The basic tools of discovery include:

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financial professional, planner, Aurora divorce attorneyHave you ever consulted with an accountant, analyst, or financial planner? For many people, working with a financial professional is something that only the wealthy need to worry about. Of course, there are those who would suggest that it is through working with financial advisors that many are able to become wealthy, but that is a topic for another day. Regardless of your income or tax bracket, however, divorce can be one of the most economically complex processes that you will ever be forced to navigate, and to get through it, the help of a financial professional may prove to be absolutely necessary.

Division of Assets

Allocating marital property is among the most challenging concerns for a large number of divorcing couples. It can be nearly impossible to determine what is fair and equitable if both spouses do not have a clear of understanding of the value of each part of the estate. A real estate appraiser, for example, can provide an accurate valuation of your home, while a retirement professional can help you analyze the current and expected value of pensions, 401(k) plans, and other investments. These considerations must be made before you and your spouse can split your assets, and doing so can allow you both to feel that you have been treated fairly.

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money, divorce costs, DuPage County Family Law AttorneyIt finally happened. After months of battling with yourself over making the decision, you have, at last, filed a petition for divorce. You are an intelligent person, so you knew that divorce was going to incur expenses, and a few may even be substantial, but you understood there was little you could do to avoid some costs. In fact, you even took the precautionary step of retaining a divorce attorney, an investment you believe to be well worth the expense. Now, the divorce proceeding are officially underway and how you handle the next few months can have a significant impact on your personal ledger sheet.

For a very large number of couples, the financial considerations of divorce represent a very reasonable concern. Many couples live essentially paycheck to paycheck and may be overwhelmed at the thought of adding additional financial obligations, despite their desire to end the marriage. While it is certainly true that every divorce situation will incur some level of expense, there are a number of common situations that can result in unnecessary increases in the cost of divorce.

1. Be Unprepared

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finances, divorce, Illinois divorce attorney Divorce involves more than the dissolution of a marriage. It is a complex legal process, and many couples will experience financial hurdles on their way out of the relationship.

Deciding to divorce is a serious consideration, and protecting your financial interests requires careful planning. One of your first steps should be calling a divorce attorney for advice. Your lawyer will likely look to find out:

  •         Whether or not there was a prenuptial agreement;
  •         If you and your spouse have children; and
  •         The income, assets, and deb of you and your spouse make.

Under Illinois law, these factors—and many others—may affect your strategy for securing your financial future. Because this is such an intricate process, hiring a divorce attorney may ultimately save you money over the long term.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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