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Wheaton, IL divorce attorney for couples over 50There is no right or wrong time to get a divorce. Even if you have been married for a long time, people can change, and circumstances may arise in which “irreconcilable differences” lead to the end of your relationship. There is a growing trend in which people over the age of 50 who have been married a long amount of time are now splitting up. This is called a “grey divorce,” and spouses who choose to end their marriage at a later age are sometimes known as “silver splitters.” 

There are many reasons older people choose to divorce. For one, their finances may be in a more secure place, and they may be more likely to afford legal counsel and have a comfortable life post-divorce. In addition, with growing life expectancies, after a significant time together, two people may have simply grown apart. No matter the reason, each divorce brings its own set of challenges. If you are going through a grey divorce, some of the issues you may face include:

Dealing With Retirement and Social Security

In most cases, one person’s pension benefits are considered joint assets, and they must be split between spouses during their divorce. This can be difficult for a person who spent their entire career earning a pension only to have a significant portion of it go to their ex-partner. Funds in retirement accounts, such as a 401K or IRA, must also be divided during divorce. These funds should be divided using a document known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). In addition, Social Security benefits may also need to be reevaluated, and ex-spouses should be sure to understand when they can begin receiving these benefits.

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DuPage County asset division attorney for homemakersWhen a couple chooses to get a divorce, one of the key issues they must resolve is how to split up their property and assets. In an equitable distribution state like Illinois, property is divided in a fair and equitable manner rather than split equally between the spouses. A judge will look at a number of factors to determine how to divide assets fairly. But what if one of the parties did not earn an income because he or she stayed home to raise the children? According to a new study, many people are still conflicted about what homemakers should be entitled to after the divorce.

Who Is More Likely to Be a Homemaker?

According to research, about one in five parents are stay-at-home parents. 27% of all U.S. mothers are stay-at-home parents, while around 7% of fathers stay home to raise the children. While around 10% of mothers who hold a master’s degree or higher choose to opt out of the workplace in order to raise their children, these moms make up about 4% of all stay-at-home mothers. Surveys have also found that the majority of Americans believe that mothers do a better job than fathers of caring for children. 

Results of the Study About Dividing Marital Property

Should caretaking by a stay-at-home parent be valued as highly as the contributions of the partner who brings in the income? A recent study by two professors at Vanderbilt University recruited more than 3,000 subjects to determine their opinion of what homemakers should receive in a divorce. In the study, the professors presented a case of a heterosexual couple where the wife was the homemaker, and the husband initiated the divorce after 17 years of marriage. When making decisions about how to divide the couple’s property, women were more likely to award the wife a higher amount, regardless of the wife’s educational level. Men were more likely to award the wife higher amounts of property if she also had a higher education level.

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Wheaton property division attorney

When you are going through a divorce, you are not only separating from your ex-spouse, but you will also need to split up the assets you own together. Depending on the length of the marriage, it can be difficult to untangle your shared assets and determine who should keep what property. Here are some basic rules for how marital property is divided in Illinois:

Marital Property

During a divorce, Illinois courts only have the authority to divide up marital property. Marital property is defined as property or assets that were obtained during the marriage. Inheritances or gifts that were given only to one spouse and assets obtained before the marriage or after legal separation are considered separate assets that are not eligible for division during the divorce. However, marital and separate property may not always be so easy to define. If an asset that would have been considered separate property was used by both spouses, or if it was “commingled” with marital property, the court may consider it to be a marital asset. For example, if you earned money before your marriage but transferred it into a joint account, then it may be considered marital property.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County property division lawyer family homeDeciding to get a divorce is a much bigger decision than just choosing to split from your partner. Ending your marriage may potentially mean that you will see your kids less often, and you will need to give up ownership of some of the property you own. Determining how to handle ownership of the family home is often one of the most complex issues to be addressed during divorce. Some divorcing couples choose to sell their house and split the profits, but one person may not want to uproot their life. If both parties wish to continue living in the marital home, then disputes over the division of marital property may be difficult to resolve. If you are looking to retain ownership of your home, you should consider the following:

Determine the Value of the House

If you want to keep your house, you will need to buy out your partner’s share of the equity in the home, and the mortgage will need to be refinanced in your name. The equity is the value of the house minus the amount that is owed on the mortgage. It may be necessary to perform an appraisal or consult with a real estate professional to determine the true value of the home. 

Decide How to Divide the Home’s Equity

Once a proper value has been placed on the home, you will need to determine each spouse’s share of the equity. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital assets should be divided fairly between divorcing spouses. A home’s equity may be split evenly between spouses, or another fair and equitable arrangement may be reached. Spouses may be able to negotiate an arrangement between themselves, but if they cannot decide on this or other issues, the ultimate decision may be left up to the judge in their case.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County order of protection attorney

Ending your marriage can not only be a painful process, but without proper planning, divorce can also be expensive. Fortunately, you have options for how you can complete your divorce, and you can take steps to keep the costs down and dissolve your marriage efficiently and cost-effectively. If you want to ensure that your divorce is completed effectively without breaking the bank, consider the tips below:

Avoid a Trial

The costs of divorce litigation can be very high, and when you need to make multiple appearances in court, legal fees and attorney expenses can add up quickly. To avoid this, you can work with your divorce lawyer and your ex-spouse to settle your case outside of court. You and your former partner may also choose to use mediation to settle your outstanding issues. When you participate in this process, you will work with a neutral third-party mediator to reach an agreement. 

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