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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Student loan debt can contribute to divorce

46737804_S.jpgMany people in Missouri are struggling under the weight of student loan debt, which has grown dramatically in the past decade. On average, student loan borrowers have $34,144 in debt. The average debt for graduates of the class of 2017 is even higher at $39,400. In the past 10 years, the percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000 has gone up 300 percent. Just as student debt can have a significant impact on life decisions, it can also have a major effect on marital relationships.

A number of millennials have decided to postpone major life plans like getting married or buying a home because of concerns about debt. For those who do decide to get married, the psychological stress and pressure associated with student loan debt can be devastating to a relationship and lead to divorce. Concerns about the financial future can be expressed with anger or anxiety, and that stress can damage the marital bond and romantic connection. Because financial issues can already be one of the most serious problems a marriage can face, significant student loan debt only exacerbates these concerns.

Lawyers report rise in younger people getting prenups

76765603_S.jpgGetting a prenuptial agreement may be more important for Missouri millennials who are getting married than in previous generations. Couples in general have been getting prenups at a higher rate than in the past, but according to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been an increase in millennials doing so.

With the average age of marriage rising for both women and men, millennials are going into marriage with more assets than their parents may have had. They may want to protect real estate, investments and retirement funds, and a prenup may help them do that. Others may be struggling with debt. In 2017, college graduates' average student loan debt was more than $38,000. Millennials may have other debt as well, and their spouses-to-be might be concerned about having to pay back some of those debts in case of a divorce. They may see a prenup as a solution.

Finances and the cause of divorce

34311947_S.jpgCouples in Missouri who decide to get a divorce have varying reasons for doing so. However, a common factor that often arises in divorce is money. According to some studies, money issues are the main reason that many couples decide to go their separate ways.

People who decide to get a divorce may find that there is an additional toll the process can have on their finances. Couples who are considering getting a divorce due to problems with money may benefit from learning about the most frequently occurring money problems and what may be done to solve them.

Estate planning issues during a divorce

People in Missouri should know that when they decide to divorce, there is a range of legal and financial implications that can come with the end of a marriage. In addition, it can be important for individuals seeking a divorce to update their estate planning documents as soon as possible. While some changes cannot be made until a divorce is finalized, others can be made even while the divorce is pending. Making these changes as soon as possible can be important for protecting a person and his or her beneficiaries and heirs and preventing unwanted outcomes, especially if there is a risk that someone could become incapacitated or even pass away while the divorce is pending.

Under the law, certain types of documents cannot be changed until the divorce is finalized. At the same time, these are some of the most critical documents to change immediately once it is possible. These important provisions include the beneficiary designations on pensions, life insurance, retirement funds and other key financial accounts.

Court rules that children of divorce need both parents

3575093_S.jpgMissouri couples who are going through divorce proceedings may have special concerns if children are involved. A recent court ruling in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marital split has brought to light how courts often look at child custody and visitation.

The couple separated and eventually divorced due to allegations of child abuse raised by Jolie against Pitt in 2016. Pitt was later cleared of the accusations.

The number of women paying alimony is rising

30807004_S.jpgHistorically, upon dissolution of a marriage, the husband was far more likely to be required to pay child support or alimony. However, times are changing across Missouri and the rest of the United States. Due to shifting roles within a family, courts are beginning to order support paid by the wife to the husband.

According to a recent study, 45 percent of all family law attorneys noticed an increase in women being ordered to pay alimony over the past three years. The study, authored by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, showed that 54 percent of the attorneys surveyed also noticed an increase in mothers paying child support.

Income and the chances of divorce

4869604_S.jpgThere are certain factors that may make Missouri residents more likely to get a divorce. One of these factors includes situations in which women begin earning more than their husbands after having entered the marriage earning less or not working. According to a study conducted by Swedish researchers, couples in this situation have a higher chance of getting divorced.

One of the reasons for the higher likelihood of a divorce when women begin earning more than their husbands is that it can be difficult for some men to step out of traditional gender roles. This is particularly truer for couples that maintained conventional gender roles in the early part of their marriage than for those who have a gender-equal union.

Business valuation key in divorce property division

36117092_S.jpgWhen Missouri business owners consider divorce, they may be concerned about the effect of the split on their family business. In many cases, the most significant asset that a couple has is the business, and it can add complex concerns to the property division process. In order to deal with the business accurately and fairly in the divorce, it is important to establish a proper valuation for the enterprise and look closely at how business income affects the marriage.

During a high-asset divorce, detailed financial information can be particularly important when dealing with the complex issues of valuing a business. Several approaches can be used to develop a proper valuation of an enterprise, including asset, market and income approaches. In all cases, the first steps toward valuing the business come through the financial statements. It is also important for experts to be able to review financial records, tour facilities and speak to managers. Without clear information, the true value of the business could be obscured.

The pros and cons of bird nesting

26688830_S.jpgMissouri residents may have heard of a new trend in parenting after divorce called "bird nesting." The arrangement allows the children to remain in the family home while the parents take turns living there with them. This type of child custody solution has gotten mainstream attention as the premise of the show "Splitting Up Together." It features divorced parents who have chosen to live together with their children.

One of the benefits to such an arrangement is that it doesn't involve a lot of upheaval for a child. It also allows an individual to remain in their home until it makes sense to sell or until a lease agreement expires. Those who have just ended their relationship could choose to live together for a short time as a way to split in an orderly fashion. Typically, this works best when parents can communicate effectively and appropriately with each other and their children.

Tips for handling divorces with children

48216907_S.jpgGetting divorced is difficult for most Missouri couples as it is. When parents of young children decide to end their marriage, there are a number of additional issues that might arise. They should be careful with how they handle their divorces and their children so that their kids are more likely to emerge relatively unscathed from the process.

In order to help their children, parents should ask them if they feel like they are to blame for the divorce. Unfortunately, many children tend to place blame on themselves when their parents divorce. Parents should explain to their children that it is not their fault and that both of their parents still love them.

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Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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