dupage county divorce lawyerNearly everyone knows that marriage rates are not what they used to be. Perhaps unsurprisingly, divorce rates are changing, too - but not in the way you might expect. While 83 percent of people born between 1928 and 1945 (dubbed “the Silent Generation”) were married by age 37, researchers predict that Gen Z - born between 1997 and 2012 - are marrying far less. While this cohort is still quite young, the expectation is that only 60 percent of white Gen Zers will be married by 40 years old, while black Gen Zers might reach levels as low as 23 percent. Why is this happening, and what does it mean for America? 

Is There a Relationship Between Low Marriage and Divorce Rates? 

Just as the Baby Boomers were married at much greater rates than younger generations, they have made headlines by pursuing divorce in staggering numbers. In recent years, more than 30 percent of divorces were made up of Baby Boomers going their separate ways. 

Gen Z is not old enough to demonstrate what kind of divorce rates they are likely to have. But if we look at the preceding generation - the much-talked-about Millennials - their divorce rates are lower than their parents’. In fact, the Millenial divorce rate is the lowest in many years, hovering around 25 percent. While Millennials are less likely to get married and get married at older ages, most of them do still get married - and they tend to stay that way. Researchers speculate this is due in large part to a more careful partner selection process, as well as an innate wariness of divorce that Millenials learned from watching their own parents separate. 

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dupage county parenting time lawyerThe divorce is finally over and life is easy again. Right? Maybe not so fast. Although you no longer share a house with your ex, if you have minor children, you are likely still dealing with extensive communication around planning for the upcoming school year.  While the kids are probably excited (and you might even be looking forward to having them occupied during the day), preparing for the first school year after an Illinois divorce can take some serious work. Here are five suggestions for how to get ready for school. 

Budget for School Supplies

Generally speaking, the parent with the majority of parenting time is receiving child support that already factors in the paying parent’s contribution towards school supplies and extracurricular activities. This means the parent with the majority of parenting time is usually responsible for school shopping. You can ask the other parent for help paying for supplies, but he or she is not obligated to send more money. 

Arrange Before and After School Care

Depending on your job and the age of your kids, you may need help getting them out the door and taking care of them after school before you get back home. Having a good relationship with your ex can help make this part easier, especially if there is a crisis. But if flexibility with your former partner is not an option, be sure to have a rock-solid plan for childcare and let your children know exactly what it is. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerPeople getting divorced in Illinois frequently worry about finances and perhaps never so much as when they are on the cusp of retirement. Pensions, investment plans, and savings accounts are the product of many years’ worth of hard work, sacrifice, and painstaking planning. The prospect of dividing assets in a divorce can be devastating. While a divorce attorney cannot guarantee a perfect outcome, having the help of an experienced firm on your side can help you mitigate the financial impact of divorce on your retirement prospects. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you gather your financial information before the divorce. 

What Will Your Social Security Benefits Be? 

Spouses who have been working their entire lives often have a healthy amount of Social Security waiting for them upon retirement. But for spouses who have worked only a little or not at all, a spouse’s benefits may be the best option. If you have been married for at least 10 years, you may be eligible to receive up to half of your spouse’s benefits. If your ex-spouse plans on collecting based on your work history, your benefits will not be affected. 

How Does Your Retirement Plan Work? 

Not every retirement plan is created equal. For example, military spouses must have been married for at least 10 years before they can claim a portion of their former spouse’s benefits. Other plans have highly specific rules that detail how benefits can be divided, including complex paperwork that must be filled out and submitted correctly. Other plans, like simple 401(k)s, can be divided using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Whatever the circumstances around your retirement plan may be, is important to know the specific details before divorce negotiations begin. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerBefore your Illinois divorce can begin, you will need to choose the county - or venue - in which you want to file for divorce. Generally speaking, the spouse who files for divorce gets to choose the venue where the divorce will take place. However, the responding spouse can object to the venue and petition for change. If your spouse already filed for divorce and you are worried that the venue may negatively affect you, it is essential to have an experienced Illinois divorce attorney who can help you petition for a change of venue. Here are three reasons you may want a different divorce venue. 

Distance

Sometimes spouses who are getting divorced have already separated households. If one spouse moves to another county and files for divorce there, the distance may be too great to comfortably move back and forth for court dates or mediation sessions. This is especially true if the responding spouse has minor children who need to be cared for during court dates. 

Spouses can petition to change the venue to a county that is equally distant from each partner, the county where the responding spouse lives now, or in the county in which most of the marriage took place. 

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wheaton divorce lawyerAmericans' average student loan debt is now nearly $40,000, just $5,000 less than the median individual income. For some students, such as those with graduate degrees in medicine and other highly competitive fields, the cost of an education can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the promise of education and the returns on investment it may bring leads many people to get deeply into student debt, getting out of that debt is not so easy. 

For many married couples, their student loan debt may be their most significant liability. And while a couple may have agreed that one spouse would go to school to pursue greater opportunities, when confronted with the prospect of divorce, the other spouse may suddenly be hesitant to share the responsibility of that debt. So what does an Illinois couple do when they are getting divorced with student loans? 

Are Student Loans Marital Property in Illinois? 

To determine whether both spouses are responsible for paying off student debt, it is necessary to determine whether that debt is marital or personal. If the spouse with the debt accrued all or most of the debt before getting married, the debt will likely remain with that spouse in a divorce. 

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