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What does a successful divorce look like?

Going through a divorce is not easy. It is an extremely emotional time for almost everyone involved. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the process and feel dismayed. However, there are ways people can prepare themselves and set themselves up for success at the end of their divorce.

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Surgical sponges left in man's body for four years

One central Illinois man was shocked to discover the cause of his ongoing discomfort and pain after surgery: two surgical sponges left behind. The man received his first operation in May 2014, but long after the procedure, he experienced shortness of breath, high fevers and other signs that indicated an infection. Despite receiving antibiotics and other treatment, the symptoms would return, and doctors were unsure of the cause of his recurrent illness.

However, after receiving a CT scan in April 2018, the man received an urgent call from his medical team asking him to come in right away. The scan's image had revealed the medical objects left in his body four years before. While physicians said that symptoms usually show up within two years, in the man's case, it took four years to discover the medical error. His symptoms worsened as the sponges began to disintegrate inside his body. The man is warning other patients to be wary of the potential dangers of surgical errors.

Uncovering hidden assets in a divorce

When people decide to divorce in Illinois, many hope that they will be able to reach an equitable settlement on financial matters. The financial effects of divorce can linger on long after the emotional and practical matters have been concluded, so handling these issues honestly and efficiently can help both parties to move on rather than face court entanglements. Unfortunately, however, some spouses seek to hide assets before or during the divorce to prevent their former spouses from receiving their fair share.

There are a number of ways divorcing spouses can seek to educate themselves about family assets in order to prepare for the future and uncover hidden assets. Going through tax returns, additional schedules and other financial documents can often reveal the true state of family finances; some spouses may have more qualms about hiding funds from the IRS. There are specific schedules that may be particularly important for people going through a high-asset divorce with multiple types of investments.

Keeping taxes in mind during a divorce

When people in Illinois decide to end their marriage, they may be particularly concerned about how divorce will affect them financially. Asset division and spousal support can be some of the most contentious issues, and the changes coming in tax law with the new year in 2019 may make divorce more difficult for many.

As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, all divorces that are finalized after the new year begins will treat alimony differently than it has been in the past. Existing divorces won't be affected, but new agreements will be. While spousal support payments are currently tax deductible by the payor, with the recipient paying taxes at his or her lower tax bracket, the change will reverse the situation. Payments will no longer be deductible, and the recipient will no longer be taxed on them. While this may seem a boon to recipients, many disagree; the deduction was a strong incentive for generous payments and tended to benefit both parties. Therefore, many people are rushing to complete a settlement before the end of the year to preserve the current tax provisions.

Driving safely in winter weather

Inclement weather is a common cause of accidents in Illinois. Road conditions can go from being fine to dangerous very quickly. AAA has released tips for driving safely in winter weather.

Safe tires are essential for winter driving. Tires should always be checked for proper inflation. Radial tires should not be used with other types of tires.

How children can adjust to divorce with parents' help

There are many ways for separated parents in Illinois to help their kids better adjust to divorce. For starters, it's important to keep family life as consistent and stable as possible. Parents should try to avoid fighting with each other over child-rearing issues. Even parents who have fundamentally different parenting styles may be able to agree on a set of consistent expectations between their households.

Furthermore, parents should be prepared to answer their children's questions about the divorce and reassure their kids that they love them. In some cases, they may need to adjust their answers so that they are age-appropriate or do not otherwise involve sharing inappropriate information. Parents should not dwell on negative issues or say things that will make the other parent look bad. It is important to avoid making children feel caught in the middle of a conflict.

Dividing retirement accounts in a later-in-life divorce

Divorce can complicate the retirement plans of Illinois spouses who decide to separate later in life. The phenomenon of "gray divorce" continues to rise across the country. While there are multiple factors leading to a higher likelihood of later-in-life divorce, these separations can be accompanied by additional financial concerns.

The division of retirement funds can be an important part of property division for couples of any age. When people divorce at 50 or older, however, those funds are more immediately relevant. Retirement age is fast approaching, and each partner has less time remaining in the workforce. In addition, it often costs more to pay for two separate retirements from the same pool of money than it would to fund one joint retirement. Therefore, divorce negotiations over how to divide existing retirement accounts can be particularly critical. If a couple is older but has only been married a short time, the effects on each person's retirement are likely to be minimal. In many cases, however, the divorcing couple has been married for decades and their finances are deeply intertwined.

For-profit nursing homes and substandard care

Many families in Illinois rely on nursing homes to care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are understaffed, and incidents of neglect and abuse sometimes occur.

According to a new report in Gerontology, residents in for-profit nursing homes were almost twice as likely to experience health issues related to substandard care compared to residents in homes or not-for-profit facilities. Signs of nursing home neglect included dehydration caused by improperly managed feeding tubes, bed sores and medication mismanagement.

What happens to your stock during a divorce?

Divorce with high-assets can be hard to navigate. If you and your ex have considerable finances and resources, it can take a long time to figure out how best to divide everything. When other investments come into play, such as stocks and bonds, this can further complicate the process as it adds another layer of complexities to the situation.

While stocks are a sound investment, figuring out how best to divide these entities might not be as clear-cut as other finances.

The complicated relationship between money and divorce

The relationship an Illinois spouse has with money has a good chance of bleeding into their personal relationships. Financial issues provide a significant source of marital distress. A survey of 2,000 adults conducted by a bank reported that 35 percent of respondents admitted that money caused strain in their relationships. Other research has found links between divorce and credit scores or income.

Data from the Federal Reserve Board indicates that couples with big differences in their individual credit scores have a greater chance of divorce within the first five years of marriage. Partners who both have high credit scores have a higher rate of long-lasting relationships.

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