233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

assets, Batava divorce attorneyIn an Illinois divorce, one of the major decisions that the judge needs to determine is just how the property that the couple has acquired during the marriage should be divided. When most people hear the words “property division,” the items that usually come to mind are the family home and any other real estate a married  couple might own; the family vehicles; and savings, checking, retirement and other financial accounts.

There are several other assets that couples tend to overlook as they are making their property lists, and these items can be just as valuable, as well as being a good negotiating tool during divorce negotiations. These assets often include:

Pets

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children, Batavia family law attorneyWhile the stigma surrounding the social implications of divorce has certainly lessened in the past few decades, there is still the question of whether or not divorcing when you have children is better or worse for the kids themselves. Most psychologists agree that staying in an unhealthy marriage is not good for children, but some argue that it is not better for a child to grow up without both parents, no matter what their relationship is like. These psychologists believe that a child is more apt to grow up stable if he or she has the structure of a two-parent home, and sees two adults working together in some capacity to raise him or her, regardless of the inner workings of their very personal relationship. Yet staying in an unhealthy marriage just for the kids may do damage not only to the children when they are young, but can also have lasting effects.

Cooperative Examples

The first point here negates the idea that a child is better off if he or she has the opportunity to see two adults working together to run a household, even if their relationship is not great. That is to say, a child is perhaps more sensitive to emotional implications and burdens of their parents than we may like to admit. Children can feel the tension between their parents, and this often leads to emotional scars and wounds that are not recognized for what they are, even as they are developing. A child who grows up in a joyless house, for example, even while she may have a broad understanding of partnership without love, may have trouble seeking joy in her adult life. A child who grows up in a home in which his parents do not respect each other may have trouble finding and giving respect later in life.

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infidelity, Batavia divorce lawyerThough extramarital affairs hardly carry the same weight of negative connotation that they did a half century ago, infidelity is still among the leading causes for divorce in American marriages. Marital infidelity is also serious issue when it comes to the process surrounding the dissolution of a marriage in court. The projected numbers as to the frequency of extramarital affairs are staggering: an estimated 45–50 percent of all married women and an estimated 50–60 percent of all married men in America have been unfaithful to their spouse at one point during the marriage, suggesting that a whopping half of all marriages in the country have, at some point, been affected by infidelity.

Not a Marital Death Sentence

This is not to say that all people who face the issue of infidelity in a marriage are destined for divorce. An estimated nearly two-thirds of all couples affected by infidelity choose to work through the issues and not to divorce as a direct result of the affair. To be fair, statistics that estimate how many couples stayed together initially but were unable to ultimately work it out are unavailable. Not all of the reasons for a couple staying together after one spouse is unfaithful are necessarily good ones, and not all marriages are truly worth saving, sadly. Many couples stay together because they are more afraid of being alone, are nervous about the impact on divorce, or because of financial implications.

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grey divorce, Batavia family law attorneyDivorce is difficult. It can be even more difficult later in life, particularly when approaching old age. The number of these so-called grey divorces has skyrocketed in recent years. In addition to the more challenging emotional aspects of divorcing later in life, there are financial and medical considerations to make. Not only will there be retirement accounts to consider, but any financial mistake that a person makes while going through a grey divorce can be more challenging to overcome. Whether you were the primary earner in the marriage or not, the most important step is to speak with a qualified attorney.

Retirement Accounts and QDROs

If you have a joint retirement account with your soon-to-be ex and do not have a similar account in the name of the non-account holder, you will need to open one. If the retirement account is to be divided, you will need to directly transfer the money from one account to another so that neither account holder is taxed for the transfer. Any money deposited into a joint retirement account during the marriage will be subject to equitable distribution laws. If the owner of the account is younger than 59 ½ and the money is withdrawn before the divorce is finalized, he or she may be subject to a withdrawal penalty; money transferred during divorce proceedings or during separation will be subject to taxes. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is required to make this type of transfer when holding a traditional workplace retirement account. Using a QDRO when transferring from a retirement account ensures that the transfer will not be taxable.

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social media, divorce, Batavia divorce lawyerIt is no secret that divorce can be messy and complicated. This is all the more true with the proliferation of social media, a virtual world in which no secrets are left secret and no trauma is left private. If you are facing divorce, there are several lifestyle choices that you will have to make—beginning with finances, living arrangements, and parenting schedules. With these crucial and weighty decisions to make, it can seem a fool’s errand to attempt to also control less-important things like social media. And yet if you are going through divorce, understanding how to get your social media assets under control can be one of the most important things you can do.

Protecting Yourself

There are several reasons for this, and they are not all only applicable if you are going through a less-than-amicable divorce process. The first, and most obvious, is that it can be painful to watch your soon-to-be-ex spouse moving on with his or her life. You may be struggling to cope with the emotional and psychological effect of ending your marriage, while he or she may appear to be just fine. It is important to keep in mind that many social media experts remind users that the image you see of someone on Facebook or Twitter is often carefully manipulated and not a true depiction of reality.

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