Il divorce lawyerDivorce is a complex topic, and while every Illinois couple faces a unique set of challenges when getting divorced, those who get divorced after age 55 tend to share a common set of issues. Colloquially known as “gray divorce,” divorces that happen later in life may not deal with some of the more challenging issues related to children but often present more difficult problems related to finances. Even if divorcing spouses are exiting the relationship on good terms, decades of financial entanglement often make gray divorce a complex process that requires the help of attorneys and financial experts. If you are considering a gray divorce in Illinois, here are some challenges you may want to anticipate.

Permanent or Indefinite Spousal Maintenance

After a couple has been married for 20 years or more, a court may award permanent alimony payments, especially if one spouse gave up significant career or educational opportunities to raise children and run a household. Spousal maintenance payments must be supported by a life insurance policy that lists the recipient as a beneficiary in case the paying spouse passes away first.

Wills, Trusts, and Other Inheritance

Older couples have often already established financial instruments to pass funds, heirlooms, and real estate on to their children or other beneficiaries. They may also have inherited such items from their own parents. Distinguishing what is marital and non-marital after a long life together can prove very challenging. Professionals like accountants who can help determine how much of a property or bank account is marital property may be necessary to ensure a fair property division.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce poses a particularly difficult set of challenges. Often spoken of as even more difficult than the death of a spouse, a divorce can divide an Illinois family, strain parental relationships with children, and put former spouses under great financial stress. Because divorce also involves separating from a life partner, feelings of loneliness and grief are very common - even if you are convinced that getting divorced was the right decision. While nothing but time can completely allow the hurt of divorce to heal over, here are four tips for moving past divorce more quickly.

Find a Great Therapist

Finding a therapist who works with your personality and therapy style can be difficult, especially if you are already down and not feeling very motivated. But a great therapist can be immensely helpful in processing feelings after a divorce. He or she can also help you recognize patterns of behavior in yourself that may have contributed to the breakdown of your marriage so you have a better chance of a healthy relationship next time you find someone special.

Meditation

Anyone who has gotten divorced can tell you that friends and family will all have advice. Sometimes this is nice and can feel supportive, and other times it may put you under even more stress. Meditation is a great way to shut out the noise and focus on your inner self. Many divorcees find that meditation has helped them realize that even the most strongly felt emotions are temporary and that trying to control the outcome of every event is not only ineffective but counterproductive.

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Posted on in Divorce

Il divorce lawyerWhile most people feel some sense of sadness after divorce, others experience a profound sense of regret - not because they got divorced, but because of choices they made during the divorce. Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through, and it understandably makes even the most patient and rational person have moments of unreasonableness. But while it can be tempting, and perhaps even justified, letting your anger or emotions get the best of you during divorce is a recipe for trouble. If you are going through an Illinois divorce right now, here are four mistakes to avoid for a better divorce now and a clearer conscience in the future.

Involving Your Children in Your Fights

Parents getting divorced have to settle difficult matters together, often during the time they get along least. Creating a parenting plan that details parental responsibilities and parenting time present a major challenge, especially when couples dislike each other strongly. However, the worst thing you could do during parenting plan negotiations is getting your children involved in your arguments with your spouse. They are not responsible for the divorce and they do not have the maturity or the understanding to appreciate what is really going on. Protect your children from conflict as much as possible, and you will look back knowing you did the right thing for them.

Taking Advice From Non-Professionals

If you ask five divorced people for advice on an issue, you will get five different answers. Everybody’s divorce is different, and while having the support of friends during your divorce is essential for your wellbeing, taking legal advice from people who are not attorneys can often backfire in a big way. You can save yourself time and money when you let your friends help you work through the emotions of divorce and leave the legal aspects to a great divorce attorney.

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IL custody lawyerParenting is not easy under normal circumstances, but parenting during divorce tests the limits of even the most patient parents. Raising a child with a former spouse, especially if there are years of marital conflict preceding the divorce, is a very challenging endeavor. Recognizing this, parents getting divorced in Illinois are required to submit a detailed parenting plan for approval by an Illinois court. Here are three tips for getting the most out of your parenting plan.

Work Together

While the last thing you may want to do with your ex is sit down and discuss important aspects of your co-parenting future, the time and cooperation you invest in this process now can reward you for many years to come. Spouses who work together to create a parenting plan are more likely to be satisfied than spouses who wait and rely on a judge to create one for them. Even when it seems impossible, mediation can help high-conflict couples focus on specific issues to create a parenting plan that works for everyone.

Include as Many Details as Possible

While every parenting plan is required to address certain issues, such as where the child will spend her time, how parents will move a child between houses, and which parent will make certain important decisions on the child’s behalf, parents can include additional details. While it may initially seem counterintuitive, especially for contentious exes, creating a highly detailed parenting plan can actually prevent conflict in the future by anticipating potential problems and solving them ahead of time. Parents can also include a plan for what to do when they cannot reach an agreement in the future.

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IL divorce lawyerAs the average age of marriage in Illinois increases, many couples are getting married and living in a home that one spouse already owns. Years later, when the couple gets divorced, determining whether the home is marital property can prove trickier than anticipated. If you are considering divorce in DuPage County, IL, and are curious about how your home may be treated in the asset division process, read on.

Is a Home Personal or Marital Property?

If one spouse already owned a home outright before the marriage, and the other spouse moved in once the marriage began, the home will likely be seen as the personal property of the spouse who previously owned it. Generally speaking, assets and debt that were owned by one spouse before a marriage remain the property of that spouse after a divorce.

However, this can get complicated if the other spouse helped pay for significant renovations or if the house was not owned in full when the marriage began. Even if one spouse never technically paid for the home because he or she was engaged in the full-time effort of raising children if the house was paid off using marital money (which is any money earned by either spouse during the marriage), at least part of the house will likely be seen as marital property.

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