DuPage County cohabitation agreement attorneyFor generations, the majority of young men and women had the goal of meeting someone, getting married, and raising a family. However, statistics reveal that for many, that goal has changed a bit. Many people today are choosing not to get married, but this choice is not necessarily keeping them from trying to build a life with that “special someone.” But, what happens when a live-in romantic relationship starts to fall apart? A qualified family lawyer can help you come up with some ways to protect yourself.

Cohabitation Statistics in the U.S.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that among American adults between the ages of 18 and 44, a larger share (59 percent) have moved in with a romantic partner at some point in their lives than have been married (50 percent). More than a third of adults (35 percent) have been in both types of relationships.

There are several common reasons cited why people choose not to get married, with one of the major ones being financial. Many people want to be financially stable before walking down the aisle. This delay in marriage has led to a huge increase in the number of couples who choose to live together, also referred to as cohabiting. In the past 50 years, the number of couples who choose to share a home either before or instead of marriage has grown by 900 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 8 million couples cohabitate. Twenty years ago, that number was just under 3 million.

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen it comes to prenuptial agreements, the general opinion often seems to stem from the negative stigma that anyone who pursues such an agreement must not have much faith or trust in their future spouse. Although this may actually be the case for some individuals, in most cases, this stereotype could not be farther from the truth. In fact, prenuptial agreements can help lay the groundwork for long-lasting and fulfilling marital relationships.

Prenuptial Agreements in Today’s World

Prenuptial agreements are extremely popular nowadays, for multiple reasons. Their popularity is not merely a reflection of the state of marriages in today’s society; they also offer practical advantages that benefit both partners equally. Broaching the topic with your future spouse can feel uncomfortable at first, but if you share a mutual interest in pursuing a prenuptial agreement, it can prove to be a valuable, effective tool as you enter your marriage.

Here are some factors to discuss if you are on the fence about signing a prenup:

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DuPage County division of assets attorneyA number of recent studies, including a survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, found that 40 percent of American adults have been deceptive about money with their spouse, and about 75 percent admit that financial deceit has affected their relationships. Considering these statistics, it is not surprising that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the division of assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other in order to avoid having to share them in the divorce.

Finding Hidden Assets

When couples are dissolving their marriage, they are required to provide financial affidavits to the court which reveal any assets they have. Although providing false information to the court is illegal, many spouses would rather take their chances and lie about their assets so they do not have to share them with their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are steps that you and your divorce attorney can take in order to find those assets, including:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton IL divorce attorneyFor many people, their name is a crucial part of their identity. Recently, it has become more common for women to keep their birth name when getting married to maintain this part of their identity. Those who do take their spouse’s name in marriage may wish to change it back if the marriage ends in a divorce.

Legally changing your name after a divorce is a valid option. However, there may also be disadvantages to doing so; for example, if you are professionally known by your spouse’s last name, or if you share the name with your children from the marriage. It may be easier to wait on changing your name legally until after you are retired or your children have started lives of their own. It is important to know that there are no legal requirements to change your name when getting married or divorced; it is a matter of personal preference.

Including a Name Change in the Divorce Process

To return your name to what it was before, the easiest way is to include the name change request in your divorce filing. This is then signed by the judge as part of the final divorce agreement. You may be asked to explain why you wish for a change of name to ensure there is no malicious intent in regards to fraud. An amendment to your divorce petition can be filed if you decide to change your name after your initial filing.

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Wheaton IL divorce attorneyFrom a legal standpoint, a divorce is in some ways similar to a business deal. Marital assets are dissolved and/or equitably split between the invested parties, and even the creation of a parenting plan can start to feel like an exercise in scheduling. Underneath it all, though, there are emotions, including hurt, anger, betrayal, a sense of loss, and grief. At times, this can lead to post-divorce depression. Taking the time to acknowledge the emotional aspects of divorce and address them in healthy ways can help you cope with the stress on your mental health.

Learn to Recognize When You Need Help

Too often, people coming out of a divorce feel ashamed of their perceived “failure.” As a result, they may shy away from asking for help. Reframing your divorce as the end of a journey rather than a shortcoming can allow you to move past it, and a strong support system can help you to do so. With this in mind, seek help when and where you need it. You might consider talking to a grief counselor, the pastor at your church, a friend who has gone through divorce, your family, or a divorce support group.

Many of these options are readily available and waiting for an opportunity to show their love and support, so let them. Ask for your mom to pick up the kids from school if you are stuck at work or just need an afternoon to sit with your emotions. Go to the movies with your best friend. Give yourself permission to lean on the people who love you most, and never be afraid to ask for professional help.

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