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Protect yourself when you divorce a narcissist

Divorce is complex even when your ex is mentally stable. When you're dealing with a person who's a narcissist, things can get even more difficult. It is imperative that you prepare yourself for this when you're going through the end of your marriage because they are going to try everything they can to get their way.

A narcissist isn't going to play fair. Instead, they are going to try to bully you into giving them their way. While they're doing that, they may try to make you as miserable as possible. For example, they may try to force the divorce to go through a trial instead of using mediation. Not only is this an attempt to drag you through a longer divorce, it is also an attempt to make you spend more money since litigation is more expensive.

Exemptions: An essential part of the bankruptcy code

Bankruptcy is sometimes a tough pill to swallow. You have worked hard to get where you are, and the fact that you had something unexpected happen in your life could ruin it all.

Fortunately, bankruptcy isn't going to ruin you. In fact, bankruptcy is designed to help you overcome your debts and find better financial footing, so you can have a more balanced life without the fear of repossessions, foreclosure or other issues.

How COVID-19 could influence estate plans

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused instability in financial markets and significant disruptions to the lives of those living in Illinois and throughout the country. However, in addition to the challenges that it has caused, the recent outbreak may also create estate planning opportunities. For instance, assets that have depreciated in value may be prime candidates to be gifted to beneficiaries now. This can be done either through a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) or by loaning the assets to a beneficiary.

By loaning or selling an asset, any future appreciation will be held outside of the current owner's estate. If assets are held in a trust, the current owner will retain access to them or any revenue that they generate. After a certain number of years, the assets that remain in the trust will be transferred to beneficiaries tax-free.

Pay attention to life insurance in a divorce

Illinois divorces may be even more complicated than they initially seem. Of course, there are difficult issues such as property division and custody for the two parties to work out in the divorce agreement. Beyond that, there could still be other concerns that the parties may have thought were simple but really are not. One of these areas is life insurance after the divorce is final.

Life insurance involves issues beyond just property division. The parties will need to consider and project the expenses for child rearing along with the possible costs of college. If there is alimony, the parties will also factor that into the decision of how much coverage they need. The difficulty is that it is hard to anticipate the future to know the possible expenses.

3 rights your children have during a divorce

A child whose parents are going through a divorce also has to make a transition. They need to adjust to living in two homes and having to split their time between parents. This can be a rather traumatic experience, and kids can internalize blame for their patents' break-up, but you can help them to meet this emotional time with healthy self-esteem intact.

One thing that you must remember is that your focus has to be on the kids. You and your ex will need to work as a team to make sure that they have what they need. This isn't always going to be easy, but remembering your child's rights throughout the process is beneficial.

The case for timely estate planning

Illinois residents might want to take a closer look at their estate planning strategies to ensure that they will not struggle with costly tax implications. Those who have significant assets have opportunities available to them as far as protecting their wealth and leaving a legacy for their families is concerned.

Formulating the perfect estate planning strategy may be challenging because of changing laws and uncertain economic climates. It is important to plan when conditions are favorable. For example, in 2020, the Internal Revenue Service increased the maximum allowable tax deductions for individuals and couples. However, prepare for a decreased allowable amount beginning in 2025.

Some well-meaning parenting plans could spark dispute

Formulating a workable parenting plan is one of the more difficult parts of a divorce. For Illinois parents who are trying to come to a solution that is satisfactory to both sides, it is important to think about the factors involved. Some concepts might seem sound at the start, but may not be practically effective.

Parents who seek to alternate weeks with the child could find that it is a challenge to make it work. Any co-parenting plan will try to ensure the parents have sufficient time with the child, share in decision-making and address expenses related to the child's upbringing. Experts suggest that the preferred template is for parents to share custody 50/50. A viable schedule is key.

End-of-life plans are part of an estate plan

People tend to focus on their assets when they create an estate plan, but this isn't the only facet of your life that has to be covered. You need to think about your final days so that you have everything in place if you become incapacitated.

When you're incapacitated, you can't relay your wishes to anyone around you. There isn't a way that you'll be able to make legal decisions. Having information in your estate plan about who will do these things for you is imperative.

Will disputes can be costly and unexpected

Illinois residents may wonder how they can save time and money while making a plan to pass their property on to their loved ones after their death. People can determine how to do so by making a will or creating a trust, but if they do not do so, their belongings will pass according to the state's laws on intestacy. These go into effect when people die without a will. In order to avoid this result, some people may turn to downloadable forms in order to prepare a will on their own.

In many cases, these documents may achieve their intended effects, but in other cases, this decision can lead to unintended and costly consequences. In one situation, a woman used a pre-printed form to prepare a will on her own. She wrote out all of her belongings explicitly and individually, indicating that she wanted to pass them to her sister. If her sister died before her, she wanted to leave them to her brother. The will form did not contain a residuary clause, language to include all belongings not explicitly mentioned in the will.

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.

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