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Generally speaking, when two people get divorced, they will sell the house so that they can split any profit that they make from that sale. They can then use this money to buy new houses or apartments for themselves. They don’t stay on the mortgage together for their family home.

However, there are some cases in which couples will consider doing this. Perhaps the market is down, and they want to own the house for a bit longer to see if the value goes up. Perhaps the children don’t want to move out of the house, and they’re considering keeping it until the kids are done with high school. There are reasons that this happens, but is it something you should consider?

Remember your financial obligations

The big thing to consider here is that if you’re not going to be living in the house, staying on the mortgage with your ex means that you are still obligated to make those mortgage payments. Both you and your ex will continue to have that liability.


Does alimony last forever?

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If you were ordered to pay child support, you know that it’s probably going to last until your child turns 18 – unless there are other reasons why it should continue. But what about alimony? If you have to pay alimony to your spouse, who is already an adult, then does it just last forever?

The good news is that it does not last indefinitely. When you get divorced, the court will determine how much alimony you have to pay and for how long. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered, such as the length of the marriage, how realistic it is for your spouse to re-enter the workforce and how long that is expected to take.

How do these factors apply?

For example, if your spouse has spent the last 20 years raising the children and hasn’t worked at all, while you have earned millions of dollars per year, you could be ordered to pay a substantial amount of alimony for a significant amount of time. But if your spouse simply makes a little less than you do and you haven’t been married for very long, your obligation shouldn’t be nearly as significant – if it exists at all.


Co-parenting with someone for whom you likely have a highly conflicted mixture of feelings can be difficult. Newly separated or divorced couples sharing custody of their children typically do best when they focus more on their children and less on what their former partner is doing with their lives.

That means establishing some boundaries. Of course, that’s easier said than done. There are a lot of things that are no longer any of your business – and that goes for both of you. It’s easy to justify making them your business by saying they affect your child – and anything that affects your child is your business.

One crucial boundary that you both need to respect is your ex’s romantic life. Are they dating anyone seriously or more than one person casually? Have they introduced any new romantic partners to your child?


This time of year can be particularly challenging for divorced parents. If you’ve got a co-parent who is determined to get your child expensive, lavish gifts that you can’t afford or simply don’t think they need, it can be particularly frustrating.

Divorced parents shower their children with gifts for any number of reasons. Some just want to be the “favorite.” Others are relentlessly competitive. Sometimes, parents who feel guilty about the divorce or not being able to spend as much time with their kids as they’d like try to make up for it by buying toys, games, sports equipment, clothes, vacations and more.

Try to reach an agreement

As with most co-parenting issues, the best strategy is to try to talk about it and come to an agreement. You can ask your co-parent to commit to a spending limit for individual gifts and share the cost (and credit) for larger gifts – unless they’re coming from Santa. See if they’ll agree to a provision in your parenting plan about gift-giving.


For some reason, you may want to relocate with the children after a divorce. It could be due to a new job opportunity, remarriage or even a change of environment. However, certain child custody laws might affect your move, and it is prudent to stay ahead of the situation.

For context, relocating does not necessarily mean moving with your children to a different state or country. Changing residence within the state can still be considered relocation if it meets specific criteria under Illinois law. If you share custody of the children, you cannot act alone and move with the children, as explained below.

How the process works in Illinois

Suppose you intend to relocate with the children. In such a case, you must provide written notice to your co-parent and file a copy with the clerk of the circuit court. The law requires at least 60 days' notice unless it is impractical. In such a case, you must inform your co-parent and the court as early as possible.

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