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Wheaton IL divorce attorneysOver the last 25 years or so, divorce rates have more than doubled for those aged 50 and over. Thought to be due, at least in part, to an increase in life expectancy, these later-life divorces have some unique considerations and risks. So, if you or someone you know is planning on filing for what the media is calling a “gray divorce,” it is important to know how to best protect oneself and financial future.

Understanding the Risks of Gray Divorce

While all divorces are considered financially, mentally, and emotionally complex, those that occur later in life carry some serious financial risks, namely a situation known as divorce-induced poverty. This is a risk of particular concern for those who have already retired or have been out of the workforce for a long period of time. In addition, women, who typically live longer than men, may experience long-lasting poverty if they do not take proper precautions during their divorce.

Preparing Your Finances

In Illinois, marital property goes into what is known as the marital estate. This includes assets like your home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vacation homes, vehicles, and more. These items are then valued and distributed equitably among the divorcing parties. Of course, before this can happen, you will need to know what it is that you and your spouse own. For those kept in the dark about their finances, this can seem like an insurmountable task. Furthermore, there is always the risk of disappearing assets. Rest assured: your attorney can help with the process. For now, simply gather all of the financial information you can find.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysDivorce can be difficult and painful for any couple, but victims of domestic violence face a unique situation that few understand. These cases are not generally about who gets the house, the kids, or the dog. Instead, they are focused on safety and security. Victims must take extra precautions. Above all else, they need strong allies and advocates in their corner to help protect them from further acts of violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence and are seeking a divorce, there are steps you can take to help you move forward safely, securely, and with a measure of confidence.

Be Prepared for Potential Safety Issues

Whether you are still living with an abusive partner and making plans, or have recently moved out and are afraid as to what may happen in the weeks and months to come, it is important that you take immediate steps to protect yourself. If you have not done so yet, take photographs of any bruises or injuries. Gather any medical documents you may have on previous injuries.

In addition, you should talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about your situation. This can help to ensure everyone knows that you may be at risk. Victims are also encouraged to seek a restraining order, which can be obtained through an experienced attorney. You may also wish to speak to the police about pressing criminal charges.

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Wheaton QDRO and QILDRO LawyersSecuring your financial future by helping you save for retirement is something your employer may offer you as an employee. In addition, you may have saved on your own to build a healthy nest egg for your golden years. While money deposited in retirement accounts generally belongs to the person whose name is on the account, when that person gets divorced, if there are no agreements to the contrary, his or her spouse is entitled to an equitable portion of the money contributed into the retirement accounts during the marriage.

Retirement Funds as Marital Property

In Illinois, despite in whose name the account is held, retirement benefits, including pensions and 401k savings accounts, are considered marital property if they are acquired after the marriage was formalized and before a formal dissolution of a marriage is granted by a judge. If either spouse wants to challenge the classification of the retirement benefits as marital property, he or she has to show the court that the benefits were acquired in a way that qualifies as non-marital property under the law.

When a couple is getting divorced, each spouse can request an equitable portion of the other's retirement benefits be awarded by the court. However, Section 502 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that the couple could also agree on how to deal with the retirement benefits themselves. For example, they can decide to renounce all claims to the benefits, or, if they both have retirements funds, they can agree to an even split of the accounts. These agreements could be written into a marital settlement agreement, which is then reviewed by a judge before being entered as part of the final Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage.

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DuPage County family law attorneysThe debate over whether or not parents should stay together for the sake of the kids has been a controversial one for decades now, continually raising the big question: Is divorce really the answer? While most couples contemplate divorce as a means to end a relationship that is no longer working for either party, the concept of a parenting marriage stems from an entirely different motivator all together—one aimed at serving a very unique purpose. 

The Idea Behind the Parenting Marriage Model

Just as couples who decide to divorce based on the realization that their marriage is no longer a healthy option, couples who choose a parenting marriage also recognize that their relationship has changed and is no longer the romantic partnership it once was. Under this marriage model, they choose to remain in the marriage for the sole purpose of continuing to raise the children together. 

The specifics of a parenting marriage can differ greatly from one couple to the next. Many spouses remain living under the same roof, in their own personal bedrooms, and some choose to date and have separate romantic relationships outside of the home. Negotiations are made both formally and informally, and mutually agreed upon boundaries and guidelines are established from the beginning. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersWhen divorce proceedings begin, it can throw everything else in your life into a state of uncertainty. Life continues while the legal issues are getting worked out, with bills to pay and obligations to meet. Because of this, sometimes an Illinois court will order temporary relief to one spouse in order to get through the period of the proceedings, including temporary parental responsibilitieschild support, or spousal support

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support 

Most temporary relief orders asked for in Illinois courts have to do with the arrangements for any children of a divorcing couple. It is common for one parent to seek a temporary order of parenting time simply to ensure the children are permitted to remain in their current situation. Forcing children to move abruptly, only to possibly return them to the previous situation, is generally held to not be in their best interests. Alternatively, parental responsibilities can be contested for more malicious reasons. For example, in some divorce cases, particularly those that are contentious, it is not unheard of for one parent to attempt to get possession of the children solely to cause a disruption in the lives of the children and the former spouse.

Child support is another major factor. The costs of raising a child cannot be paused while the divorce is ongoing, so a temporary order is often necessary. The court will generally assess the request by considering each parent’s income, the current situation, and the needs of the child. 

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree