Category Archives: Divorce

How Do I Know If I Should Divorce My Spouse in Illinois?

Wheaton, IL divorce attorney irreconcilable differencesIn 2016, Illinois became a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that, in the view of the law, the only acceptable grounds for divorce in Illinois are “irreconcilable differences.” Irreconcilable differences are defined as the “irretrievable breakdown” of a marriage in which attempts at reconciliation have failed, and any further attempts at reconciling the marriage will not be in the best interests of the family.

In most cases, a couple will agree that their marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown, and they will simply need to state this in the divorce petition filed by one spouse. However, if one spouse does not agree that the marriage should end, irreconcilable differences will be presumed if the couple lives “separate and apart” for at least six continuous months.

Since irreconcilable differences now apply to every divorce in Illinois, they can encompass a wide variety of reasons that people get divorced. For this post, we will focus on typical reasons for divorce to help you decide if divorce is the right move for your relationship. However, in our next blog post, we will look at some trending reasons for divorce that are less traditional but are still quite common.

Typical Reasons for Divorce

The following reasons why a couple may choose to end their marriage have been well-established, and research has shown that they continue to be common:

  • Finances—Spouses act as financial partners, and if either spouse has mismanaged the money in your relationship, especially in your joint accounts, then it can definitely create a major rift in your marriage. In these cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can bring clarity to financial matters and ensure that the division of marital debt and division of property during the divorce process is handled correctly.

  • Extramarital affairs—If you are cheating on your spouse, or your spouse is cheating on you, and neither of you sees a way to overcome this infidelity through counseling or other means, then divorce might make sense for your situation.

  • Relationship conflict—A telltale sign of marital discord is constant arguments. While it is always good to communicate with your partner about various issues, productive conversations that turn into mean-spirited arguments are bound to adversely affect both the marriage and the children.

  • Lack of communication—Conversely, without open lines of communication between spouses, there will be frequent second-guessing and uncertainty about the status of the relationship, not to mention neglect of other major issues in the marriage.

  • Spousal abuse (physical and/or psychological/emotional)—Domestic violence is a crime, and it is certainly a frequent cause of divorce. There are about 27,000 domestic battery police reports each year in Chicago alone—and there are countless other incidents of domestic violence that go unreported. Moreover, this does not account for the less overt verbal, emotional, psychological, and other abuses that may take place. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you should speak to your local police department to learn about your options for safely leaving the relationship.

  • Addiction (drug or alcohol abuse)—Drug or alcohol addiction can lead to marital discord and neglect of familial obligations. In these cases, it is often in the best interests of the family to get a divorce. If you or your spouse needs help with addiction, contact a healthcare professional to get the care you need.

  • Getting married early in life—Life-changing events like marriage should be given careful and mature consideration. If you and your spouse rushed into marriage as high school sweethearts or young lovers, you may have found that the pressures of adulthood have caused the love of your youth to dissipate.

  • Health issues—If you or your spouse are having health problems, you will both be faced with a substantial emotional and financial toll. Some marriages cannot survive this.

  • Uncommitted relationship—Marriage takes effort. If either spouse is not fully committed to the relationship, then it might not last.

  • Religious reasons—The first stumbling block in this area might have been the type of service conducted for your marriage. Different religions make this a difficult decision. What is more, these issues do not end at the altar; someday, you might have to consider what religion to raise your kids in, if any. In other cases, one spouse might be less religious than the other, making it difficult to find common ground on numerous issues.

  • Unsupportive family—If you or your spouse are close with your family members, it might be upsetting to realize that parents, siblings, or other loved ones do not approve of the other partner. This can make it demanding to start your new life and family with your spouse while still staying close with your birth family.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

If any of these typical reasons for divorce seem prevalent in your marriage, and you think you may be headed for divorce, you should discuss your situation with a DuPage County divorce attorney. It is important to know what is involved in the divorce process and whether a different route, such as legal separation, might be more appropriate for your particular situation. Reach out to us at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation to see if divorce is the right decision for you.

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Divorce.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012696/

 

What Should Spouses Over the Age of 50 Expect During Divorce?

DuPage County grey divorce lawyerWhile getting a divorce at any age can be one of the most challenging life changes you will ever face, when you decide to get a divorce at age 50 or older, the situation can be even more complicated and difficult. How will your older sons and daughters react? What will happen with your retirement accounts? What about health insurance? How will you be able to start over at such an older age? There are many issues to consider, and that is the main reason finding an experienced divorce attorney is critical to your success.

Distinct Differences When Divorcing After 50

While many of the usual issues considered during divorce are also relevant to a divorce late in life, there are some actions that need to be approached differently or with extra caution when you are 50 or older. Major differences to take into account when divorcing after 50 include:

  • Development of an Asset Inventory: In many cases, only one spouse will have a comprehensive understanding of the marital assets possessed by a married couple. For the fairest results during a divorce, both sides must have an in-depth knowledge of their assets. After all, by 50, you and your spouse have probably been accumulating property for many years. This includes life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and the house.

  • Understanding of the Retirement Accounts: As you approach retirement age, you are going to want to have all your finances sorted out in such a way that your golden years remain golden. While you will not have the retirement you planned with your spouse, and you might not get everything you were expecting during retirement after the divorce, there are ways to fairly divide the assets in retirement accounts. When dividing these assets, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) should be used to avoid any penalties or taxes that would come with withdrawal of funds before reaching retirement age.

  • Ensuring Health Insurance Coverage: At your age, having good health is particularly important, so you will need to make sure you have coverage. If you are not yet qualified for Medicare, your options may be limited to using COBRA to stay on your spouse’s insurance until you find other solutions, insurance through your current employer (if you have one), or insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace. If you would prefer to stay on your spouse’s insurance indefinitely, a legal separation might be a preferable option instead of divorce.

  • Attainment or Maintenance of a Life Insurance Policy: You and your spouse are both not getting any younger. It is just as important—if not more important—to get life insurance policies figured out upon divorce as it is while married, especially if one spouse will be paying spousal maintenance or child support. While term life insurance is not taken into account during divorce, permanent life insurance is counted as a marital asset and must be dealt with as such. In particular, if you or your spouse do not already have a permanent life insurance policy, you or your spouse might want to ask for one in divorce to protect the rights to alimony, child support, and retirement/pension benefits if a spouse dies. If either spouse already has a permanent life insurance policy with the other spouse as the beneficiary, you are free to change the beneficiary of the policy, unless ordered otherwise by the judge in your case.

  • Deciding What to Do With the House: If you are not an empty-nester yet, you may want to continue living in your marital home after your divorce. However, you will need to be prepared for the day when your children leave the home. If you have no children at home, you may want to consider what you will end up doing with the house. Upkeep at your age can be both taxing and expensive, and if your house is not paid off, you may struggle with mortgage payments, property taxes, and other expenses.

  • Be Prepared for the Job Market If Necessary: As you approach retirement, getting a job can become much more difficult. If being divorced will put you in a financial position that will require you to get back onto the job market, do not be surprised to hear that you are “overqualified” or other rejections that might be related to your age. Conversely, if you feel at a disadvantage due to your lack of training or education, you may want to ask for your spouse to contribute toward your professional development. If your spouse agrees to spousal support that will help pay for your tuition at a local school, for instance, then you will be able to receive the necessary training to start a new job. This will make it much easier for you to manage the finances for yourself without your spouse.

Contact a Wheaton Grey Divorce Attorney

As you can see, there are many unique challenges facing people who wish to get divorced after the age of 50; however, you do not have to face this difficult decision on your own. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers can help you every step of the way, no matter how complicated your divorce gets due to the late stage in your life. For a free consultation, reach out to us at 630-871-1002.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/divorce-after-50-5-things-to-consider-2388813

https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/mistakes-avoid-when-divorcing-over-50/

https://www.policygenius.com/life-insurance/how-does-life-insurance-work-during-a-divorce/

 

Are There Different Types of Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County spousal maintenance attorneyFinancial issues often play a major factor throughout a marriage, and they can even cause a couple to divorce. In some cases, a couple may get used to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. Whether one spouse earned a substantially higher income, or the other spouse stayed home to raise children, a divorce can significantly impact their situations moving forward. When going through a divorce, spouses may wonder about the aftermath and how they can move on. Some of the typical fears are: “Can I afford to stay in the house?” or “How will I be able to pay bills?” Under Illinois law, one partner may be able to seek spousal maintenance once the marriage ends. A court will consider several factors when determining whether to award maintenance and what kind of payments are necessary.

Spousal Maintenance Payments

Illinois courts will look at different issues to determine if spousal maintenance (which is often referred to as alimony or spousal support) is warranted. These factors can include the income level of both spouses, their health and ages, and how long the marriage lasted. Support is based on need, and both women and men are eligible to receive payments. The following are three types of spousal maintenance payment options:

  • Permanent or Indefinite Maintenance: For marriages which lasted at least 20 years, Illinois allows for the payment of maintenance until one of the parties dies. However, payments can be terminated if the receiving spouse remarries or if the paying spouse retires.

  • Maintenance in Gross: This type of maintenance payment could be made in one lump sum or a designated number of installments. Although not as common, it is sometimes used to gain certain tax advantages.

  • Rehabilitative Maintenance: Also known as “reviewable maintenance” or “periodic maintenance,” this type of support may be paid for a short, fixed period of time or an indefinite amount of time. A case may be reviewed periodically to determine whether continued maintenance payments are necessary.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is not to punish or reward spouses but to allow a person to maintain their lifestyle after the end of their marriage. This kind of financial assistance is intended for lower-earning spouses, and it can help them make the transition to single life and give them time to get back on their feet and become self-supporting.

Every divorce is unique, and in some cases, the spouses can settle the terms of maintenance on their own. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support, they will have to resolve the issue through litigation in court, and a judge will decide whether to award maintenance. In either case, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure that all applicable factors are taken into account and that maintenance is determined correctly.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

Going from being a married spouse to a single person can be a difficult transition. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll a divorce takes, but you may have to relocate and get a job to make ends meet. If you are worried about how to move on financially after the end of your marriage, you may be entitled to spousal support. Our skilled DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyers will help you determine your eligibility for maintenance and advocate for you to receive the support you need. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000