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Posted on in Marriage

Wheaton family law attorneyMarriage is a dream for many people, but for others, it is something that is not necessary. While some people need a ceremony to show their love in front of friends and relatives, others prefer to simply live together and act as a married couple without undergoing the legal process. When a couple wishes to live together but not get married, it is sometimes known as a common-law marriage. While it does work for many couples, any couple that enters into this type of relationship must understand what their rights are, and how to protect them.

What is a Common Law Marriage?

Not every couple that lives together is considered to be in a common-law marriage. In most cases, people that want to be considered common law must:

  • Cohabitate for a certain period of time

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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 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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