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A property division checklist will ease your mind

There is a lot to worry about when moving through the divorce process, as you realize that your life is changing in many ways. For example, matters of property division will always be at the front of your mind. You know that the right approach could be the difference between receiving what you deserve and missing out in more ways than one.

A property division checklist can ease your mind, as it will give you the organization you need to complete the process of splitting your assets, liabilities and resources. Here are the four most important categories of any checklist:

  • Personal property. These are the many items you keep in your home, including: motor vehicles, artwork, china, electronics, home furnishings, clothes, and antiques and collectibles.
  • Real property. This typically includes your marital home, vacation and rental properties and any undeveloped land.
  • Financial assets. This is the category that often draws the most attention, as it includes: cash, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit and trusts.
  • Business assets. If you or your ex-spouse own part of a business, these assets could come into play during a divorce.

What will you include in your parenting agreement?

Going through divorce is a challenging time in your life, especially if you have to consider the well-being of any minor children.

Although things are sure to change in the future, you can use a parenting agreement to remove some of the stress from your life. With this in place, both you and your ex-spouse will have a clear idea of how things should play out in regards to child custody.

When do Illinois courts award spousal maintenance?

Divorce is never easy; people often struggle with painful emotions, difficult negotiations and fears about their financial future. This is why many divorce-related matters become volatile and contentious.

For instance, spousal maintenance is one area where divorcing parties often clash. One party typically feels that he or she deserves financial support while the other party might argue that such payments are not justified. If you anticipate this type of dispute in your divorce, it could help to understand the circumstances under which Illinois courts may award maintenance.

The sobering statistics on domestic violence

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a common problem. Physical abuse, sexual assault, intimidation, emotional abuse and stalking are serious issues that may put you or your children in danger. If you or someone in your home is at risk of becoming a victim of domestic violence, you should seek help right away. Filing a petition for a protective order may be one of the best things you can do for your safety.

If you are in this type of situation, know that you are not alone. Statistics reveal the severity of the issue.  

Remember to list these 6 items when facing property division

If you are heading for divorce, you may be putting together a list of assets in preparation for the property division phase of the proceeding.

You undoubtedly listed the usual items, such as your home, bank accounts, investments, vehicles and even your pets. However, here are six items you might not think of as assets that should be considered as well.

Estate plan considerations in blended families

When two parents decide to join together in matrimony, there are many different variables to consider. The proper distribution of their estate is one of the most important things for them to hash out. 

Merging two families is a delicate process, so parents must handle it properly. There are a few important considerations when creating or modifying an estate plan with a blended family.

How unmarried Illinois couples can protect assets in a breakup

Property division is often a contentious part of divorce. The good thing about it, however, is that state statutes regulate the division of marital property and the rights each spouse has, offering some protection and justice in the process.

What about couples who choose not to marry? Illinois does not accept common law marriage, which means that property division laws do not apply to cohabitating couples. As much as you do not want to consider you and your partner breaking up, it is smart to protect your assets now in the following ways instead of losing them later.

What Does It Mean for a Minor to Be Emancipated?

Most people never hear about a minor becoming emancipated unless it involves someone newsworthy - a teenage actor or actress, for instance - who wants to become legally self-sufficient. The assumption may be that these famous people are trying to protect their earnings from their parents, but there are other reasons why a minor might want to become emancipated. 

Visitation and the Reluctant Child

For divorced parents with children, even if you have legitimate grievances with each other, all of that needs to be set aside when it comes to your children. Numerous studies have shown that having quality relationships with both parents is much better for kids in the long run than having strained or nonexistent relationships. 

Do Sperm Donors Have Parental Rights?

For many years, the process of artificial insemination was seen as the exclusive province of married heterosexual couples who were not able to have a child on their own. As societal norms shift and more people are able to explore their options as potential parents, single women and lesbian couples increasingly turn to artificial insemination. 

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