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Frankfort Law Blog

Unequal relationships push career-oriented women toward divorce

Modern life for women in Illinois and around the country has created more career opportunities and raised expectations about the division of labor within marriages in the view of one sociology professor. An increased ability to earn money compared to earlier generations has granted many women the freedom to choose divorce instead of staying in unsatisfactory marriages. This has become evident in the fact that about 70% of divorces are initiated by women according to the American Sociological Association.

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has documented that women make up about half of the workforce, they continue to perform the bulk of domestic duties compared to their husbands. Even among couples with both spouses working full-time, 49% of women did household chores every day whereas only 20% of men did. The inequality within the home among working partners can cause some women to seek divorce.

How an estate plan changes through life

Some people in Illinois may think that they are too young to need an estate plan or that an estate plan is only about making a will. However, all adults need some kind of estate plan.

For people in college or recent graduates who have no dependents or serious relationships, it is still a good idea to have durable powers of attorney for health care and finances as well as either a will or beneficiary designations for any assets. The first two appoint people to manage the person's medical care and money if the person is incapacitated. At this age, it may be the parents. As an alternative to a will, if the person only has a bank account, these can be titled as transfer on death accounts.

Co-parenting strategies to help divorced exes

When parents go through a divorce in Illinois, they should take time to process their pain. They also need to talk with their children to understand how they feel and to help them cope with the new situation. There are two co-parenting strategies that can help parents work through this process with the best interests of their children in mind.

After a messy divorce, it can be challenging for the ex-spouses to talk with each other peacefully. It may be tempting to use the child as a mailbox or messenger. This often has the unfortunate consequences of communication mixups and unfairly putting the child in the middle of the conflict. Co-parents should learn to communicate with each other directly in a respectful way. Using modern technology, like text and email, can be beneficial.

The biggest source of debt for a quarter of millennials

It is common for Indiana residents to hear about millennials dealing with student loan debt. However, what is not discussed as often is millennials and credit card debt. A study that was performed by Northwestern Mutual revealed that credit card debt is the biggest source of debt for a quarter of millennials. The majority of this debt comes from dining out and traveling.

Millennials are not always aware of how expensive credit card debt can actually be. It is typically the most expensive type of debt that exists, often being higher than student loans, car loans and mortgages. Many millennials do not even know what interest rate they are being charged, which often leaves them unaware of how much their debt is truly costing them.

Crushing medical debt can lead to bankruptcy

Americans seek bankruptcy relief for a variety of reasons, but one that often stands out is medical care costs. For many people, only one catastrophic injury or illness stands between them and having to face financial ruin. The unexpected financial hit can change the course of their entire life.

While some people assume that it is just the unexpected medical bills that cause a problem, having to miss work is often a primary factor when it comes to finances. The exact impact that medical bills and missed work have on a person's need to file for bankruptcy is often up for debate, and it is hard to determine how many cases stem from these causes.

Why people may choose irrevocable trusts

Many people in Illinois may be thinking about how to handle their assets in the future. People want to ensure that their loved ones are provided for while also avoiding excessive estate taxes and fees. Trusts may be a good option to include as part of the estate planning process, because they provide greater privacy, flexibility and control. There are several different types of trusts that people may make use of as part of their estate plan, including irrevocable trusts.

In general, irrevocable trusts cannot be changed after they are completed, at least without the approval of the trust's beneficiaries. Once funded, the assets of the trust's grantor are fully transferred to the trust, changing their ownership permanently. Irrevocable trusts may be handled differently than revocable ones in a number of ways. They will not be subject to estate taxes with the rest of the estate, because assets held by an irrevocable trust have been removed from the grantor's possession. They are also often shielded from creditors and lawsuits, which can enable people to protect key assets for their children or other beneficiaries.

Discharge and reaffirmation in bankruptcy

Most residents of the Chicago/Frankfort area look at bankruptcy as a means of shedding burdensome debt. Indeed, the only reason people file for bankruptcy is to get out of debt.

Why, then, would a person consider agreeing to continue paying on an obligation that could otherwise be discharged by an order of the bankruptcy court?

Establishing paternity in Illinois

One of the most fundamental concepts of family law in Illinois is the concept of parental rights. Mothers generally have no problem establishing that they have given birth to the baby in question, but fathers can have far greater difficulty in proving that they are a baby's father, especially if the mother is not willing to cooperate. This means that it can be difficult for a father to secure his parental rights.

Illinois law provides several methods for proving paternity, meaning that a given child is the offspring of a given father. If the mother of the child was or is married or in a civil union not more than 300 days prior to the child's birth, the man with whom the mother was living is legally presumed to be the child's father. In many cases, however, the man may not be willing to admit the facts necessary to establish paternity, or the mother may insist that some other man is the child's father. Resolving these disputes can be difficult.

Indiana Supreme Court clears landscaper of fraud charges

As anyone who has used local contractors to build or renovate a house knows, sometimes getting quality work for a fair price can be a daunting process. A homeowner in Wabash County found another hurdle: the state Supreme Court. In a recent decision, the court held that a small landscaping business was not covered by the state's home improvement fraud statute.

The case began when the homeowner hired the landscaper to complete a number of jobs in connection with his home. One of the jobs included landscaping on the property. The landscaper said that the price would be $22,749, and the homeowner agreed. The homeowner paid $20,000 to the landscaping firm. The landscaper also received a payment from a small construction firm in the amount of $15,000. The homeowner then paid the landscaper another $5,000. After receiving the payments, the landscaper stopped all work on the project and told the homeowner to hire another contractor. The landscaper also refused to return any portion of the homeowner's $25,000 payment.

Overcoming the end of a marriage takes work

Making the decision to divorce is a major life-changing decision. You have to think carefully about how it is going to impact you now and into the future. One thing that you might not realize is that you will have to deal with various aspects of the decision even after the split is over.

Nearly half of marriages end in divorce, so you aren't alone. There are various ways that you can cope with the end of the union, you want to make sure that you don't make any mistakes as you proceed.

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