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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersWhen preparing for a divorce, many people do not want to think about the logistical side of the separation process. A divorce represents a monumental change in a couple’s life, as the two parties will likely face a much different living situation, daily routine, and lifestyle. While the divorce process can be emotional and difficult to process, it is also complicated. As you prepare for your divorce, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that you and your family will be financially comfortable, moving forward.

Find a Divorce Attorney You Can Trust: Once you have made the decision to pursue a divorce, it is time to move forward and begin thinking about all the logistics that come with a separation. The best place to start is by hiring a quality divorce attorney. Choosing an attorney quickly can give you time to prepare for potential court hearings and litigation. When looking for a divorce attorney, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions: How much experience does this firm have? Does my personality work with the prospective attorney? Can I trust them?  

Communicate Your Priorities: Once you have answered the questions above and have chosen an attorney, it is time to get to work. The first step that you can take in working with your attorney is to communicate what assets are most important to you as your divorce case moves forward. Do you own a house that has been in your family for generations? Is a sole-custody parenting plan your number one priority? Communication is key in developing the best working relationship with your attorney.

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Posted on in Divorce

Most books and advice columns focus on saving marriages, and for a good reason: divorce is hard, often painful, and expensive. Sometimes, though, it is better to know if you should let go. Marriages that are toxic, abusive, or beyond the point of salvaging are prime examples. No amount of work would likely repair such a marriage, and staying could result in more harm than good. So how do you know if your marriage is on route to divorce? The following information may help.

Time Apart Feels Like Relief

Spending time alone or with your friends can give you the chance to socialize, de-stress, or recharge. Unfortunately, this positive influence can turn into a bad one if you are using time away to avoid time with your spouse. The same goes for spending extra time at work, at the gym, or pursuing personal interests. If these things have become more of an escape and less about the sheer enjoyment, it may be time to consider moving forward with a divorce.

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Whether you are nearing retirement age, or still have years or decades to wait, it is never too early to think about retirement. This is especially true for those who are planning on filing for divorce. Assets, including retirement accounts, are subject to equitable distribution during the process. Failure to consider how this will impact your retirement could have negative consequences, long into the future. In contrast, those that plan effectively and consult an attorney during their divorce are more likely to be prepared for retirement. Learn what you need to know to achieve the latter.

Distribution of IRAs During Divorce

Individual retirement accounts, typically purchased by an individual, are generally considered marital property. In this instance, the non-owning spouse's portion is usually rolled over into a new IRA account under their name. However, those that were initiated prior to the marriage may be considered exempt, as long as marital funds were not contributed to the IRA account. Keep in mind that here may be other limitations, exclusions, or variances as well. An attorney can help you understand how your divorce may affect an IRA that belongs to you or your spouse.

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With nearly one million divorces occurring in America each year, one would think that the stigma surrounding the decision to end a marriage had dissipated-or, at the very least, waned over the years. Unfortunately, recent studies indicate that nothing could be further from the truth. In some cases, this could deter some couples from pursuing divorce, despite knowing that it is in their best interest. In the worst of circumstances, the fear of becoming an outcast and lack of support could keep victims in a dangerous marriage. Then, of course, there are those who do go through with divorce and must pick up the pieces alone. Suffice it to say that, the effects of this stigma can be detrimental to society.

Stigma Affects the Religious and Non-Religious Alike

Initially, it would make more sense to assume that the stigma surrounding divorce would only affect those who are religiously affiliated. However, a study on 11 female participants found that even non-religious individuals feel the effects of divorce stigmas. These women, who are often met with a higher social expectation to marry and have children, reported feelings of failure. They admitted to being fearful of talking to their family, friends, and co-workers about the divorce, for fear that they might face judgement for the "failure" of their marriage.

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Posted on in Alimony

The subject of alimony (spousal maintenance) can be a touchy one for couples entering the divorce process. It is common for a spouse to request alimony following the dissolution of marriage, but the definition and parameters of alimony can vary and are sometimes difficult to determine. This is often due to differing opinions and disagreements between spouses when it comes time to settle the details.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to arrange and guarantee financial support for one spouse-provided by the other-to prevent any financial difficulties after the divorce. The spouse who earns less is given a monthly payment from the higher earning spouse to account for regular living expenses and necessities.

The Roles of Mediators and Attorneys

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