Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Job and income related to divorce rate

There are many reasons for Illinois residents to get divorced, but factors related to employment and income are common. Certain jobs may make a person statistically more or less likely to get divorced, and income levels also play an important role in outcomes, asset division and alimony. It is helpful to understand how people's occupations affects their divorce risk.

There is a correlation between income and divorce rates, according to data collected by the 2015 American Community Survey. Those with higher and more stable, consistent incomes tend to see lower divorce rates. In contrast, professions with overall lower incomes or greater fluctuation in incomes tend to see higher divorce rates.

Keeping the ability to retire intact after divorce

In Illinois, some couples divorce after they have been married for years and have accumulated substantial assets in their retirement accounts. In order to protect their abilities to retire on time, they should avoid making some potentially costly mistakes.

Some people make the mistake of financing their divorces by withdrawing money from their retirement accounts. If they are under the retirement ages specified by the different types of accounts, they may be assessed 10 percent early withdrawal penalties by the IRS on top of the taxes that they might have to pay. Others do not understand how to value the retirement accounts. It is important to consider the taxes that might be owed when making withdrawals from 401(k)s as opposed to Roth IRAs.

Shared parenting positively impacts children

Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce and who share custody of their children may already be aware of the benefits of shared parenting. When both parents care for their children in equal amounts of time, it can benefit the whole family. Mothers who aspire to work outside of the home can benefit from such an arrangement because it allows them to have more time to put efforts towards their career. Fathers can spend more time with their children, and children can spend equal time with both parents.

In the majority of child custody cases that are decided by a judge, mothers are given sole or primary physical custody of their children. This can be unfair to both parents if they are both fit to raise their children. It can be unfair to mothers who want to become a breadwinner for their children because having it puts heavy demands on their time. It can also be unfair to fathers who wish to spend time with their children. Even in cases where fathers have visitation rights, the schedule can still lead to imbalance in the lives of the parents.

Paying for back-to-school costs

After divorces are over, some Illinois parents may still have occasional disputes over small details that they didn't include in their parenting plans. One of these potential issues involves which parent should be responsible for paying the back-to-school expenses for their children. By crafting detailed parenting plans, these types of arguments might be avoided.

When it's time for children to go back to school, they will need many different items, including classroom supplies, new clothes and even payments for extracurricular activities. These expenses can quickly add up, leading to arguments about who should pay for what. If one parent has primary custody of the children while the other pays child support, the responsibility for purchasing these items should fall on the parent who receives support. Such payments are meant to take care of these types of costs.

Advantages of prenuptial agreements

Illinois millennials might be more likely to have a prenuptial agreement than earlier generations. They are marrying at a later age than previous generations and coming into marriages with assets and debts that they might want to keep separate. While in the 1970s about 80 percent of people were married by the age of 30, the same percentage in 2016 was not reached until the age of 45. In 1975, more than 40 percent of women did not work outside the home. By 2016, that percentage had dropped to 14 percent. People in their 20s and 30s are also prioritizing financial stability before getting married.

For example, when one couple married, they both agreed that they wanted the woman to keep her retirement account separate from the debts the man had taken on to run a coffee shop and other businesses. Some couples may also still want prenuptial agreements for more traditional reasons. For example, one man's parents had a pharmaceutical consulting business. They wanted to protect the family business in the event that their children got a divorce.

Tips for the lower income spouse in a divorce

When an Illinois couple ends their marriage and one has earned less money than the other, that person might want to make a financial plan for after the divorce. The lower earning spouse is often a woman. Women are still paid less than men at 82 cents to the dollar. One reason for this is that women are more likely to take on care-giving for older relatives and children. This can limit their career opportunities and opportunities to save money since they often have to work fewer hours.

Another disadvantage of not being the breadwinner is that the person may be inexperienced in financial matters. Even a person who pays some household bills might not have dealt with the family finances.

Divorce and retirement accounts

Some divorced couples end up returning to an Illinois court for an agreement modification, but many others can only wish they had the opportunity to do it all over again. Unfortunately, not all mistakes can be fixed after the fact and are best off avoided in the first place. One potentially costly error is failure to obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) prior to the division of a retirement account.

Funds that are prematurely withdrawn from an IRA or another qualified retirement account generally result in a penalty. Simply withdrawing funds pursuant to property division in a divorce agreement does not stop the imposition of penalties.

Calculators for child support

Illinois parents who are going through a divorce may use online child support calculators provided by the state to determine how much support a non-custodial parent will be obligated to pay. However, they should be aware that these calculators are not as reliable as they may think, and the actual child support amount ordered by a judge may be completely different from the estimate obtained from the calculator.

Using the monthly income of both parents, the amount of time each parent spends with the child and the amount of any benefits or credits parents may receive, child support calculators provide an estimate of monthly child support. Judges calculate child support using formulas determined by state laws and regulations and may have an assessment of the parents' circumstances that differs from that of the parents

How health care can have an impact on a divorce

With the future of health care being so uncertain, some Illinois couples planning to get a divorce have put the separation process on hold. Some spouses, especially those with pre-existing conditions, are worried that they may no longer be able to afford health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced by the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

For those who want to put a halt to their marriage, there are a few options. First, they can finalize the divorce papers but hold off on getting the documents processed by the courts. Second, the couple could negotiate a post-nuptial agreement that spells out the terms of the divorce. While the couple remains married, there will be no need to go through the process again if they decide to finalize the divorce later on.

Marijuana DUIs increase among drivers

More people in Illinois and across the United States are driving under the influence of marijuana while fewer are driving drunk, according to the results of a national roadway study. As the number of drivers testing positive for alcohol decreased by 77 percent between 1973 and 2014, the number of drivers showing a marijuana-positive result rose by 50 percent between 2007 to 2014.

The results of the National Roadside Survey were shared at a Denver meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in June 2017. While some have raised concerns that the change in marijuana use can be attributed to pot legalization campaigns, many of the results showing increased usage on the roads were obtained before legalization or in states where marijuana remains criminalized.

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Zuba & Associates, P.C

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6067 Strathmoor Drive
Rockford, IL 61107

Phone: 815-315-9351
Fax: 815-397-1834
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