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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

What Chicago Couples Should Know Before Filing for Divorce

To learn more about what couples should know before filing for divorce in Illinois, contact Chicago divorce attorney Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Before filing for divorce, Chicago couples should plan for several changes in their financial circumstances. For instance, income tax liability may increase significantly when each person’s filing status changes from “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately” to “head of household” or filing as a "single" individual. Spousal maintenance and/or child support payments may also impact the financial future of both spouses. Overall expenses, like auto insurance, monthly utilities, and cellphone plans may also increase, and retirement plans and other investments may be divided. To learn more about the financial impact of filing for divorce and to implement the right strategies that may minimize monetary setbacks, divorcing couples can call Chicago divorce attorney Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Increase in Federal Income Tax

Proper financial planning during the divorce is can help couples avoid unpleasant surprises when tax time rolls around. With the help of a skilled Chicago family law attorney, divorcing couples can examine both “married filing jointly” and individual filing so they can make necessary adjustments that reduce the additional taxes incurred in filing individual taxes.

Overall Costs May Rise

When a divorcing individual is not well prepared, he or she may face financial hardship and the inability to enjoy the same standard of living that was enjoyed as a married couple. Overall expenses like motor vehicle insurance, individual health insurance premiums, telephone and internet service, and rent are likely to increase due to a change in the bundling of plans, the expiration of discounts, and an increase in the overall cost of living.

Spousal Support and Child Support Take a Disturbingly Huge Portion of the Income

In Illinois, spousal support payments are calculated by examining the duration of the marriage, the income of each spouse, and the standard of living that the parties enjoyed during the marriage. In some instances, spousal maintenance payments may amount to 20% or more of a divorcing party’s income. In other instances, the courts may rule that spousal support isn’t applicable. Child support payments are calculated by evaluating both parents’ combined net income and the overnights that each parent spends with the children.

Retirement Plans May Change Substantially

Depending on the type of divorce, divorcing Chicago couples may discover that retirement goals may become harder or easier to attain. If costs rise, investing in a 401(k) account may become more difficult, forcing divorcees to change plans. If cost reduces and financial situations improve, divorcees may find investing in a 401(k) account easier and more fulfilling.

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