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St. Charles prenuptial agreement lawyerWhen a couple is planning to get married, divorce is probably the last thing on their mind. When preparing for a life together as partners, a couple usually will not want to think about the possibility of their relationship ending. However, considering this issue can not only help a couple prepare for this unpleasant possibility, but it can also help them identify and address issues that may become a concern in their relationship in the future. After discussing these matters, a couple may find that creating a prenuptial agreement would be a good idea.

Reasons to Sign a Prenup

When creating a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, a couple will make decisions about how certain issues will be handled if their marriage ends, including through divorce, legal separation, or the death of a spouse. This can ensure that they will both have the financial resources they need in such cases, while also allowing them to minimize disputes during the divorce process. A prenup can be beneficial in many situations, including when:

  • One or both partners have significant assets - While assets owned by one partner before getting married will be separate property that will not need to be divided between the spouses during a divorce, it can be easy for marital assets and separate assets to be commingled. For example, one partner may own a house, but the couple may expect to live together in the house, and they may both contribute to mortgage payments or improvements to the house during their marriage. A prenup can specify that certain assets will remain the separate property of one spouse and will not be divided in the case of divorce.

St. Charles divorce lawyerThere are multiple types of financial issues that can play a role in a divorce case. Determining how to divide marital property in a way that is fair while providing for the needs of both parties can be complicated enough on its own, but in some cases, additional issues may arise that can make this process even more difficult. Asset dissipation in which one spouse wastes or destroys marital property is one factor that may need to be addressed. A person who believes that their spouse has dissipated assets can work with an attorney to ensure that this issue is dealt with properly during the property division process.

Ways a Spouse May Dissipate Assets

Dissipation of assets involves the use of marital property by one spouse in a way that benefits themselves and is not related to their marriage or family. A valid dissipation claim must show that dissipation occurred while the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. Some of the most common ways that a spouse may commit asset dissipation include:

  • Affairs - An extramarital affair definitely falls into the category of activities that are unrelated to a couple’s marriage. When a spouse commits infidelity, they are likely to secretly use marital funds to further their affair. This may include buying gifts for the person they are cheating with, spending money on hotel rooms or trips to other cities, or giving away items that are considered marital property.

St. Charles child custody lawyerDuring a divorce, spouses will often encounter multiple types of disagreements over the various issues that will need to be addressed in order to end their legal partnership. For parents, disputes related to child custody will often be some of the most contentious issues, and spouses may have completely different ideas about how to make decisions regarding their children or expectations about when children will live with each parent. By understanding how Illinois law addresses these issues, parents can determine how to reach workable solutions, or they can prepare to advocate for their rights through litigation in court.

Factors Considered in Child Custody Disputes

Parents are usually encouraged to work together to resolve issues related to their children and create a parenting plan that details how they will share parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parents can make sure they are approaching these negotiations the right way by understanding the factors that courts may consider when making decisions about child-related issues. This can also give them an understanding of what issues a judge may look at if negotiations break down and litigation will be required to resolve these matters.

In all issues related to child custody, the decisions made should provide for children’s best interests. The factors that may play a role in determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and the division of parenting time include:

Kane County divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can be a stressful experience, especially if you feel like your life is being completely upended as you separate from your spouse. As you determine how to divide your marital property and address other financial matters, one issue that will need to be resolved is ownership of your family home. Being attached to the home where you have lived is understandable, and you may wish to continue living there after completing your divorce. However, you will want to be sure to understand the ramifications of this decision and make sure you will be positioned for financial success as you move on following the end of your marriage.

Reasons to Keep the Family Home

Maintaining ownership of your home may seem like the ideal outcome in your divorce, especially if you have lived there for a significant time, built connections with others in your community, and want your children to continue to live in the home they have become accustomed to. After spending years making mortgage payments and building equity in your home, you may not want to give up this valuable asset, especially if you have made improvements and put your own personal touch on the property.

If you believe that you will be able to cover the costs of homeownership, and you want to make sure your children will be able to stay in the same home, you may be able to negotiate a property settlement that will allow you to maintain sole ownership of this asset. If this will not be feasible, you and your spouse may agree to co-own the home for a certain period of time, such as until your children graduate from high school.

Kane County divorce lawyerThere are a variety of tax issues that spouses will need to consider when they get a divorce. When parents are divorced or separated, a child can only be claimed as a dependent by one party. In many cases, the custodial parent who has the majority of the parenting time will be able to claim a child, although a couple’s divorce settlement may provide for other arrangements, such as each parent claiming a child in alternating years. The parent who claims a child as a dependent can receive a child tax credit when filing their tax return.

In 2021, this issue has been complicated by a law that provides parents with an Advance Child Tax Credit. Divorced parents or those who are going through the divorce process will need to be sure these tax credits are addressed correctly.

What Is the Advance Child Tax Credit?

As part of the ongoing efforts to provide assistance to people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has begun making advance payments to taxpayers who will be able to claim a child tax credit for 2021. The total tax credit for children who will be five years old or younger at the end of 2021 is $3,600, and children who will be 17 or younger at the end of 2021 will qualify for a tax credit of $3,000. Half of this total credit is being sent to those who can claim children as dependents in monthly payments from July through December of 2021. Parents will receive $300 per month for each child under the age of six and $250 per month for each child under the age of 18.

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