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St. Charles property division lawyerMost of the decisions you make during your divorce can and probably will affect you for the rest of your life, but one of the most important decisions you and your spouse must come to is how you will divide your marital estate. For many couples, this can be an emotional and highly contentious process because of the importance placed on their belongings and the need to have financial security after the divorce process has been completed. The way marital property is divided can affect a person’s financial stability or even their ability to retire later in life. With so much at stake, Illinois courts urge couples to try to come to an agreement on their own about property division, though, if they cannot, they will have to take the issue to court.

Factors for Consideration

If a couple is unable to reach an agreement about how their marital estate will be divided, they will have to appear before a judge so that he or she can make a determination for them. If this happens, the judge will only make decisions about marital property, which means most property that was acquired after the couple was legally married but before a judgment of legal separation was entered. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including:

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Kane County divorce attorneyApart from acknowledging how much will be needed for rent and basic monthly expenses after a divorce, it is all too easy, and common, for divorcing couples to find themselves shelving the financial aspect of the split until after the process is finalized. When you consider the emotional toll of the end of a marriage and additional stressors such as parenting plan arrangements, a potential relocation, and maybe even a new partner for one or both parties, money is often one of the last things couples wish to think about. This can be especially harmful for those who have very limited funds to begin with, or for those who have little to no employment options when the marriage unravels. 

The Importance of a Financial Game Plan

No matter how much or how little money you have to work with, the lack of a financial game plan can result in a divorce that does not turn out in your favor. For example, if you and your spouse were already in serious debt prior to the separation, those debts may only get worse and become more unmanageable if they are ignored. As overwhelmed as you may already be, avoidance is never the answer where your financial well-being is concerned, especially when you are about to experience a significant shift in income and overall lifestyle due to the split.

Why It Pays Off to Address Financial Matters Early On

Whether you have had minimal time to prepare, are currently a stay-at-home parent and do not know where to turn for help, or are simply scared and are avoiding money matters because your mind is on overload, making a plan to address finances early on can help you turn the situation around. Here are three reasons why addressing your finances is important:

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Which Qualities Are Necessary for Your Real Estate Agent During Divorce?You have many important decisions to make about your marital home during a divorce, including whether you should sell it. Some spouses decide that selling their home is their best option if neither of them needs a home of that size or would be able to afford the home on their own. Selling the home could give both of you a significant amount of money to use in starting your post-marriage life. If you decide to sell your marital home, choosing an experienced real estate agent will be important in ensuring a successful sale that helps your divorce. There are characteristics that a real estate agent needs when selling a home for divorce:

  1. Neutrality: Because you will be using the same real estate agent, you need to feel that the agent is treating you equally. Showing favoritism to one side causes the other side to distrust the agent and may lead to conflict in the divorce. The agent must make a concerted effort to share information equally with both spouses, even though it is natural to communicate more with the spouse who is still living in the home.
  2. Diplomacy: Similar to neutrality, the agent should be diplomatic in dealing with you. An agent who has experience with divorcing clients should know how to help both sides agree on important issues regarding the sale. There may be times when your emotions lead to an argument with your spouse about the home. Your agent should know how to help defuse this situation and keep you on track with the sale.
  3. Trustworthiness: You always want to trust your real estate agent but may need to rely on that trust more during a divorce. You may not have the time to oversee every step of the sale. You need to trust that your agent can follow your instructions and make decisions that are in your best interest.
  4. Strong Negotiator: Your financial plan for your divorce may rely on the money you receive from selling your home. You need an agent who can negotiate a good price on the sale and complete it in a timely fashion so as not to delay your financial plans.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

You should be able to learn whether a real estate agent would be a good fit for you by searching for client reviews and interviewing them. How do you find the best candidates among the hundreds of agents? A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can recommend real estate agents when handling your divorce case. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Dealing With a Narcissist in a DivorceFor many spouses seeking a divorce, coming to an equitable agreement outside of the courtroom is the ideal solution. It keeps the personal details of their divorce more private and generally is a less-contentious process. When dealing with a narcissistic spouse, going to court may be your only option. If you are divorcing this person because of his or her egotistical and manipulative personality, it should not be a surprise that those same traits come out during divorce negotiations. Narcissists can cause several problems during a divorce:

  • A divorce is another way to assert their power over their spouses. They are less likely to settle on issues because they see a divorce as a competition they must win.
  • They may lie or misconstrue the facts of a marriage in order to portray themselves as the victim. If they are the extroverted type, this also makes them good at presenting and selling their stories to a judge.
  • They generally do not care about who gets hurt during the process, even if it is their children. They will extend the process as long as they feel they need to in order to win, and will attack their spouses’ character, regardless of the emotional damage if may cause their families.

Narcissists are difficult to predict during a divorce because their decisions are often based on feeding their egos, not what may be in the best interest of them or their families. Your attorney should know in advance about your spouse’s personality, because there are strategies for dealing with a narcissist.

Present Evidence

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child college expenses in illinois, kane county child support lawyerThe subject of your child’s future college expenses and who will be responsible for them following the end of your marriage can be difficult to address, especially in the midst of an impending divorce. Whether you and your spouse discussed the funding of your child’s education early on in your marriage or did not discuss it at all, you may be wondering who will be responsible for paying tuition and other expenses once you are separated.

Who Pays for What?

While preparing for your child’s education may not be at the forefront of your mind during the divorce process, there are certain discussions you can have with your spouse and attorney to ensure your child’s education is secure when the time comes for them to attend college. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act works in favor of your children and their higher education. Revisions to Illinois state family law in 2016 enabled courts to order a parent to pay for the child’s college if the child is no longer living at home but attending school. Before either parent is ordered to contribute a certain amount to college expenses, however, there are multiple factors that the court takes into account:

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