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DuPage County divorce attorneySo many uncertainties pop up when you know that divorce is in your future, and one of the biggest questions people have is about the price tag. It is no secret that getting a divorce can be expensive, but many people do not realize just how expensive a divorce can be until they are in the middle of the chaos. Some divorces can be completed for as little as a few thousand dollars, while other divorce price tags can jump into the hundreds of thousands. But why is there such a big price difference from divorce to divorce? For the same reason there are such big differences in the divorce agreements: no two situations are the same.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Divorce

There are various elements that factor into a divorce that can affect the cost of the process. These factors can include:

  • Whether your divorce is contested or amicable: One of the biggest factors in determining how expensive your divorce ends up being is the ability for you and your spouse to cooperate. If you and your spouse are on the same page and you do not have any major disagreements, your divorce will likely cost much less than if the same issues were contested.

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Naperville IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be a particularly expensive legal endeavor, especially for couples who already have complicated finances. When a couple or one of the spouses is struggling with debt, the costs of divorce can be incredibly difficult to bear. Many people benefit from pursuing debt relief through bankruptcy around the time of their divorce, but if this is something you are considering, you should understand how the timing of your filings can affect your finances and the divorce process.

Timing Your Divorce and Bankruptcy Filings

Some couples choose to file for bankruptcy together before beginning the divorce process. One benefit of doing so is the ability to share bankruptcy fees and costs with your spouse. Filing for bankruptcy before divorce can also help to simplify the division of marital assets and debts, especially in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, through which certain assets are liquidated in exchange for the discharge of debt. Having a more clear understanding of where your finances will stand after bankruptcy can lead to a more equitable distribution.

However, there are situations in which waiting to file for bankruptcy individually after the divorce is a better option. For example, if a spouse has mostly non-marital debt, it is likely in the other spouse’s best interest to stay out of the bankruptcy process. Filing for bankruptcy separately may also be necessary to ensure that each spouse qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy according to the terms of the means test. Alternatively, if you are interested in pursuing Chapter 13 bankruptcy so that you can retain more of your assets, it may be best to wait until after the divorce, as this process can last for between three and five years.

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Naperville divorce finances attorneyIf someone were to ask you right now how much money you would need each month to live comfortably, do you think you could give them an accurate number? Most people have no idea how much money they actually need to survive each month or how much they actually spend, even if they do have a budget. However, when you go to get a divorce, it is important to have an idea of your spending habits and financial needs, as it will be one of the questions that your attorney will bring up when discussing issues including spousal support and asset division. Most of the time, people will significantly underestimate or overestimate what they actually need to live a comfortable life or to maintain the lifestyle that they had during their marriage. A lifestyle analysis can help to ensure that you are prepared for life after your divorce is final.

Components of a Lifestyle Analysis

The goal of a lifestyle analysis is to produce a report that contains all of you and your spouse’s recent financial information. The analysis will also establish a basis for what your standard of living was during your marriage, and it may help to identify any issues or discrepancies. Information in your lifestyle analysis may include:

  • Personal tax returns from at least the past three years for both you and your spouse, along with business tax returns if either of you owns a business

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Wheaton family law attorneyFor many families, the winter months are filled with weeks of celebrations, time spent with loved ones, and meals gathered around the family table. At the same time, the holiday season can be abundantly stressful, especially for children whose parents are going through or who have already gone through a divorce or a separation. During the first holiday season after the separation, parents often face difficulty when it comes to bringing the magic of the season alive in their homes, but there are some things you can do to help. 

Managing the Holidays After Divorce

Here are a few things you can do to make the holidays easier for you and your children after your divorce:

  • Expect emotional reactions from your children. The first holiday season after your separation will likely be one of the hardest you will experience. While you may understand that the sadness that you feel during this holiday season will not last, your children may not. They may become frustrated, or they may not understand why things this year are different from years before. When you notice your child’s mood beginning to take a turn, try encouraging your child to talk about what they are feeling.

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DuPage County divorce attorneyDivorce is no doubt one of the most stressful things a person can experience in their lifetime. Even for adults, coping with the stress of a divorce can be difficult, but for a child, it can be nightmarish. Children are not nearly as developed as adults are in any sense, whether that be emotionally, physically, or mentally. As such, children tend to have a much more difficult time coping and dealing with the impact of the divorce than their parents, especially if the divorce is particularly contentious. For many parents, the well-being of their children is the most important thing and at the top of their list of concerns, and if they are struggling to cope with your divorce, it may be beneficial for them to talk to a family therapist.

Signs That Your Children Are Struggling to Cope

Here are a few signs that may indicate that your children need help:

  • Frequent Outbursts or Displays of Aggression: Children are still learning important skills, like emotional control and regulation. Some children may express their strong emotions by lashing out in anger, throwing tantrums, being disobedient, or otherwise acting completely out of character.

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