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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton IL divorce attorneyDivorce is always an incredibly emotional process, but many people do not understand the legalities that go along with it. With so many important details to attend to, it is easy to make mistakes that can result in forfeiting your rights or making the divorce more expensive than it needs to be. If you are about to go through a divorce, it is important to avoid these common mistakes so you can protect your best interests while completing the process as quickly as possible.

Arguing Unnecessarily

It is not uncommon for couples to argue when they are going through a divorce. While an argument may arise between you and your spouse during the process, it is important to remember you should only engage in these disputes when necessary. Even then, you should only do so through your divorce attorney and not directly with your spouse.

For example, you may want to keep certain property in the divorce not because it is important to you, but because you want to spite your spouse. An attorney will advise against this, as it will only lengthen the process and cost you more in the end. Still, there are times when you may have to become more assertive and fight for what is rightfully yours, which a lawyer can also advise on.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyThe long-term financial effects of divorce can be expensive. If both spouses work, you will need to learn how to survive on just a single income. That one income has to cover utilities, food, and other expenses, as well as fund savings and retirement investments. However, planning ahead can help. If you are considering a divorce, financial advisors suggest taking the following steps so you are on firmer financial ground if and when you decide to file.

Know Your Current Financial Situation

To begin, it is important to know your current financial standing. First, acquire all copies of any bank accounts and investment statements for the past year. You should also make copies of any income tax returns filed for the past several years. Request your credit report so you can see exactly what debts you owe.

Next, consider consulting with an attorney to find out what the bigger picture would look like if you make the decision to end your marriage. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means marital property will be divided fairly between you and your spouse, not necessarily equally. To ensure the equitable distribution of your property, the law requires full disclosure of all assets and obligations.

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DuPage County family lawyerMany people grow up hearing from family members, teachers, and others that they need a college education in order to have a career, earn a good living, and provide for their future. However, according to a recent study, a college education may also mean a better chance of having a successful marriage—especially for women.

Marriage and Divorce Statistics for College-Educated Couples

Approximately half of first-time marriages in the United States last for about 20 years. A study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found that women who have a college degree have an 80 percent chance of staying married beyond that 20-year mark. The researchers used data collected through surveys and interviews to predict the probability of marriage success, much in the same way that researchers use data to predict life expectancy statistics. The data included men and women who were between the ages of 15 to 44 during the years 2006 through 2010.

Differences Between Women and Men

The overall percentage of women’s first marriages lasting at least 20 years was 52 percent. For women who had obtained their bachelor’s degrees, that percentage jumped to 78 percent. Women who had attended college but not acquired their degree had a 49 percent chance of their first marriage lasting at least two decades. Women who had a high school education or less had a 40 percent chance of a 20-year marriage.

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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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