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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Orland Park divorce attorney lawyer for real estate ownershipWhen you decide to get a divorce, there are a slew of things that must be decided. You will have to figure out where you will be living and how you will be able to afford to live on your salary alone. If you have kids, you will need to figure out how you will split parenting time with your spouse and where your children will live. One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is how you will divide your marital property. In Illinois, marital property is considered to be anything that was acquired by either you or your spouse after you were married. If your home falls into that category, you also have to figure out how you will handle ownership of your marital home.

Divorce and Real Estate

One of the first things you should do when you are getting a divorce and trying to decide what you are going to do with your home is to get it appraised. This will help you know the value of your home, and it will also help you decide what you want to do with it. There are basically three options when it comes to dealing with your marital home during a divorce: 

  • Sell the home. The easiest and cleanest way to deal with your marital home during a divorce is to sell the home and split the profits. This ensures that both spouses are treated equally during the division process, and both spouses will likely end up with a little bit of cash (as long as you have equity in the home.) However, selling the home may subject you to capital gains taxes that may be owed on the home if it has appreciated significantly.

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New Lenox divorce attorney for asset and debt divisionOne of the more contentious issues that may arise during your divorce is how you and your spouse will divide your assets. In Illinois, all marital property is divided between divorcing spouses in an equitable manner, which may not always result in an “equal” division. Spouses often go head-to-head to gain ownership over assets such as the marital home, savings accounts, or other valuable belongings.

What you may not realize is that you must also divide your marital debt during the divorce process. Marital debt is any debt that you and your spouse are both legally responsible for. Figuring out what to do with marital debt can be stressful, especially because debt is one of the few things you will not be trying to keep. Here are a few tips on how you can handle debts intelligently during your divorce:

Pay Off Debts Before You File for Divorce

Regardless of what happens during your divorce, you will still be held responsible for any joint debts that were taken out in your name during your marriage -- even if your spouse is ordered to pay off certain debts. Creditors are not required to follow the decisions made in divorce decrees, and they may still hold you liable for any debts in your name. Because of this, it is advised to pay off as much of your debt as possible before you file for divorce. This is the easiest way to protect yourself from being held responsible for debts that your spouse has been ordered to pay.

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 Orland Park divorce lawyerUnless you have gone through the divorce process before, you probably do not know what truly happens when a person decides to legally end their marriage. Most people’s understanding of divorce is taken from movies and television shows or pieced together from things they have heard from friends and family who have gone through the process. This can result in some less-than-accurate understandings about divorce and how the process works. However, it is important to have a realistic idea of what to expect if you are thinking of getting a divorce. Here are a few common divorce myths and misconceptions and the truths behind them:

  1. You Have to Have a Specific Reason to File for Divorce

Since 2016, Illinois has been a purely “no-fault state” when it came to divorce. Before that, Illinois law provided 10 possible grounds for divorce, and a person would state one or more of these as reasons their marriage should be dissolved. The old grounds for divorce included things such as mental cruelty, adultery, habitual drunkenness, and abandonment. Now, the only grounds recognized are irreconcilable differences, which simply means that a marriage has broken down beyond repair.

  1. Spouses Can Be Punished if They Committed Adultery

While adultery used to be one of the grounds for divorce, infidelity in a marriage will typically not play a role in most divorce cases. In fact, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifically states that the decisions made during the divorce about issues such as the division of marital property should be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” This means that an ex-spouse cannot be financially penalized or lose parental rights simply because they had an extramarital affair.

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 Mokena divorce attorney for emotional issuesSome things we just know to be true, like the fact that the sky is blue or the grass is green. Another universal truth is that divorce is going to be stressful, no matter which way you look at it. In fact, some have said that divorce is the most stressful life event a person can go through, right after the death of a loved one. While we all understand that this situation is going to be difficult, it does not have to be excruciatingly so. There are things you can do to make the divorce easier on you and give you a little bit of peace during this hectic time. If you are feeling stressed out about your divorce, try following these simple tips:

  1. Do Not Fight Your Feelings

One of the most important things you should remember is that everything you are feeling is normal. You may be feeling sad, depressed, angry, bitter, or even hostile, but it is important that you allow yourself to feel these things. Emotionally healing after a divorce is a process, and going through your emotions is part of that process.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Though you may not feel like it, making sure you are taking care of yourself physically is just as important as taking care of yourself mentally. You should make sure you are eating healthy foods, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. When you feel good physically, this also helps you feel good mentally.

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New Lenox divorce and child custody attorney

If you are getting divorced, and you have children, there are an entire set of issues that must be addressed that will be unique to this type of case. You and your spouse must decide where the children will live, what kind of parenting time arrangements will work for you, and, arguably most importantly, how decisions concerning the children will be made. Illinois courts urge you and your spouse to reach an agreement about these issues on your own, but that is not always possible. If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement, the court will step in, and a judge will make these decisions for you.

Types of Significant Decisions

What used to be known as “child custody” is now called “allocation of parental responsibilities” in Illinois. In general, significant decision-making responsibilities include any decisions that must be made about the child’s life. The judge can allocate the right to make each of these decisions to one or both of the parents. Decision-making responsibilities that will be allocated include:

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