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How divorced parents can help children adjust to holidays

The holidays can be a tough time for parents and children in Illinois following a separation or divorce. Both may be feeling many different emotions, such as anger, loss, betrayal, sadness and fear. Parents must deal with these emotions in a way that does not impact on their children's holiday. The focus at this time needs to be on helping children adjust to the changes and still enjoy a happy holiday season.

This does not mean parents should ignore their emotions, but they may need to talk to a professional, such as a therapist or counselor, or friends and family about the situation. Parents might be tempted to try to keep the children away from the other parent if they are angry about the divorce, but this can be harmful for children. The aim should be to encourage the child to enjoy time with the other parent.

The potential benefits of partnering with angel investors

Small business owners in Illinois and elsewhere in the United States are typically on the lookout for capital. Working with an angel investor may be an ideal way to get the money they need without having to turn to venture capitalists. This type of investor may be a friend or family member who has sufficient money to back a new venture. In some cases, angels work in groups as opposed to on an individual basis.

The typical angel investor is between the ages of 40 and 60, and this person likely has experience as an entrepreneur or experience running a company in general. The SEC says that an angel investor is someone who has a net worth of at least $1 million and makes at least $200,000 a year. Those who are married must make $300,000 per year. The rule is put in place to ensure that individuals don't put money that they can't afford to lose into a potentially risky venture.

Is your will up to date?

Making the decision to write a will was a courageous move. After all, writing a will meant you had to take the time to consider your own mortality and dwell for a time on how life will go on after you are gone. It was likely difficult, and that is one reason why so many people postpone the task until it is too late.

However, your family will likely be grateful for your efforts since your will may save them many questions and frustrations after you pass away. Unfortunately, your work is not over. As difficult as it may have been to draft your will in the first place, it is important that you revisit it from time to time to ensure it is still relevant. Failing to update your will at key moments in your life may leave your family with a useless document.

How to avoid common financial mistakes of divorce

People in Illinois who are getting a divorce should make sure they avoid common financial errors. For example, it is important to take taxes into account when dividing some assets. A document called a qualified domestic relations order is necessary when dividing a 401(k), and a distribution must then be rolled into an IRA. This prevents taxes and penalties. People should also be aware that if they sell some assets to pay bills, there could be taxes on the sale.

However, there will no longer be taxes on alimony for people who receive it, and alimony will not be tax-deductible for people who pay it in divorces that are finalized starting in 2019. This could result in less money for both people. People who expect to pay alimony should not quit their job in order to avoid it as this will only lead to more financial problems over time.

Integrating corporate cultures for a successful merger

For Illinois businesses that want to grow, mergers and acquisitions are a strong possibility. In the first half of 2018, worldwide transactions were on the rise. Compared with the same period one year before, the value of business acquisitions rose to $2.5 trillion, a 64 percent increase. There are a number of reasons why companies may be more likely to pursue buying other businesses, including a positive economy, the availability of capital and the affordability of debt.

W many companies are looking to grow through mergers, their likelihood of success remains a long shot. In one report by management consultants at KPMG, the firm noted that only up to one-third of these transactions are successful in increasing value above what it would have been without the merger. Almost 70 percent of acquisitions, on the other hand, reduce shareholder value or are value-neutral. While the immediate transaction may close successfully, there are an array of issues that can confront businesses in the process of integrating two companies. One of the most important issues that is often overlooked in the process of planning for a merger is corporate culture.

TCJA to impact alimony, child support taxes

After being passed into law in December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated a number of deductions and exemptions, raised the Alternative Minimum Tax limit and reduced federal rates of taxation. Furthermore, this tax reform will affect the way child support and alimony are treated for Illinois residents. The TCJA gets rid of both dependent and personal exemptions and raises the standard deductions.

A parent who is newly single may have more incentive to claim the Head of Household status under the TCJA. In order to claim Head of Household, the person must be unmarried, have a dependent living in the household greater than 50 percent of the time and be responsible for more than 50 percent of the expenses of the household. After a divorce, the parent who is the Head of Household can claim the Child Tax Credit of up to $2,000 per qualifying child.

Can you succeed in commercial real estate these days?

Investing in commercial real estate has the potential to be a rewarding and satisfying venture. Many in Illinois and beyond purchase commercial property as a second source of income, a retirement plan or even as the sole means of financial support. With the proper management, you can do well in this industry.

Unfortunately, everything changes, and even the face of retail is undergoing a vast transformation. If you own storefront property or other retail or office space, you may be concerned about the recent trends. More brick and mortar stores are closing, and shoppers are preferring to do their business online. You may wonder how you can keep your property lucrative in such a market.

The link between divorce and health issues

Getting a divorce takes the number two spot on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. This tool measures how likely someone in Illinois or elsewhere will experience health problems related to stress within two years of an incident taking place. While divorce can be stressful for anyone, it may take an especially difficult toll on those who are 50 or older. Studying these issues can be important as the divorce rate for this age group has doubled since 1990.

Researchers from Bowling Green University point to several factors for the increase in divorce among older people. One of those factors is that people are living longer than they used to. As women increasingly enter the workforce, they are less reliant financially on their spouses. Those who have been divorced and remarried are 2.5 times more likely to get divorced again. Among the health issues most common among older adults who divorce is depression.

"Gray divorce" on the rise

In Illinois and across the country, a growing number of older Americans is choosing to divorce. These statistics are part of a social trend that has been increasing over the decades, and the growth in baby boomer divorces is now being referred to as a "gray divorce revolution." Since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans aged 50 and older has doubled. At the same time, the divorce rate for people aged 65 and older has tripled. Divorce is more socially acceptable and familiar to people, but there is a number of specific factors that may affect a particular couple's decision to separate.

In general, family experience with divorce can correlate with an increased likelihood of a legal split. For example, the daughters of parents who divorced are 60 percent more likely to end their own marriages, and the sons of divorced parents are 35 percent more likely to do the same. In addition, people of any age who have divorced in the past are more likely to do it again. Therefore, people who are on their second or third marriages are 2.5 times more likely to divorce than those who are still involved in their first marriages.

The hidden costs of debt forgiveness

Illinois residents who are struggling to pay their bills sometimes seek relief by pursuing debt forgiveness, but they often find the terms offered by credit card companies or debt collectors very difficult to meet. Lenders and collection agencies are primarily interested in recovering as much of the outstanding balance as possible, and any concessions they make are designed to provide either temporary relief only or secure the largest lump sum payment possible.

Credit card companies generally sell debts to collection agencies for a fraction of their original amounts when payments have not been received for several months. These collection agencies may then offer to forgive part of the debt in return for a lump sum payment. However, this forgiven debt will still appear on credit reports as a negative item and, in many cases, the IRS will treat the forgiven amount as income and expect taxes to be paid on it. This option also assumes that individuals who have been unable to pay their bills for prolonged periods are able to gather together the money needed to settle their debt.

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