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Wheaton divorce lawyerFor many divorcing couples, one of the most contentious issues is figuring out which spouse will keep the marital home or if keeping the home is even possible. The financial aspect of the decision is also important. When you share a mortgage with your spouse, ending his or her responsibility is not quite as easy as taking your spouse’s name off the loan. If you wish to keep the house, you will likely need to get a mortgage in your name alone, which could take months or years to do. This can present especially difficult challenges if you are getting divorced as you approach retirement as well, so it is important to plan properly.

Is Keeping the Home Even Reasonable?

Your marital home is likely to have a great deal of sentimental value, particularly if you raised your family in that house. It is understandable that you might want to keep the home following your divorce, but the first question you should ask yourself is if it is reasonable for you to stay in the home. For example, if your marital home is a large, 4-bedroom house on several acres, do you really want to live there and care for the property on your own? If your children are still teens and would be living with you, that is one thing, but if they have grown up and moved to various parts of the country, could you handle the responsibilities of managing the home alone?

Assuming you still want to stay in the home, the next question is one of finances. Can you afford to keep the house? In making your decision, you will need to take a close look at what your financial situation will look like in the wake of your divorce. From now on, you will need to support yourself—possibly with the help of maintenance payments, but maybe not. Remember that owning the home on your own means more than paying the mortgage. You will also need to have enough income to cover utilities, taxes, repairs, insurance, and many other home-related expenses.

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Kane County divorce lawyerDepending on when you and your spouse decided to have children, you may be nearing retirement age and still have teenagers at home. This is especially common for couples who have a larger number of children, and it can create unique challenges if you and your spouse opt to end your marriage through divorce.

According to recent studies, about one in four teenagers whose parents are going through divorce suffer from issues like depression or reckless behavior. Unlike younger children, who may become clingy during a divorce, teenagers will often distance themselves and keep their emotions tight to appear mature and in control of the situation. Teenagers are old enough to understand the world, but they still require the care of a parent. Given the turbulence that already comes with the adolescent years, divorce can be especially stressful for teenagers. 

Is My Child Stressed?

Teenagers usually have the language skills to discuss how they feel, but they will rarely do so without prompting. There are short-term effects from divorce that are to be expected in any child, such as sadness, guilt, and anger. However, parents should also be aware of the long-term issues that may arise. Some signs to look out for include:

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Naperville divorce lawyerThe divorce rate seems to have somewhat stabilized in recent decades, and it might even be falling, but nearly a million marriages in the U.S. end in divorce each year. While some people might give up on the idea of being happy in a marriage after their divorce, many others are willing to give love a second chance—including a significant number of those who are in their 50s and beyond. Recent studies indicate that a full 40 percent of all marriages include at least one spouse who was married previously, and 20 percent involve both partners getting married again. In fact, a Pew Research Center study suggested that about 60 percent of American divorced and widowed people will remarry at least once.

Possible Legal Issues

Remarriage can offer you a chance at marital happiness, but there are many legal concerns that can affect a second or third marriage more substantially than they might affect a first marriage, especially if you are getting remarried later in life. A skilled family lawyer can help you and your new spouse be aware of such considerations so that they do not become bigger issues:

  • Termination of Maintenance: Many older divorces include an order of alimony—called maintenance in Illinois. If your former spouse is paying your maintenance each month, your remarriage will terminate your ex’s responsibility for such payments. The court could even end the payments if you move in with your new partner prior to getting married.

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Wheaton spousal support attorneyAlimony, or spousal maintenance, is thought of as a tool to help newly divorced people adapt from a two-income household to a one-income household. Maintenance is often of special importance for those who get divorced later in life. In many cases, maintenance payments eventually cease, usually after a financial goal or time limit is reached. However, in Illinois and a handful of other states, it can end earlier depending on each spouse’s circumstances. Cohabitating with a new partner after your divorce can have unintended consequences.

A “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Generally in Illinois, maintenance is granted by the family court or by mutual agreement between the spouses. It will be granted, according to the court, to the spouse who needs it most, based on a number of factors. Some of the most important factors include:

  • Income and debt levels of both spouses

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyerIt is not at all uncommon for middle-aged adults to shy away from the idea of divorce. Many individuals remain in unhappy marriages merely to avoid the discomfort that comes with separating later in life. For many reasons, it is completely understandable to experience extreme anxiety when faced with ending a marriage after the age of 50, especially when you have spent a good chunk of your life with your partner. The hurdles that accompany life after a gray divorce are intimidating, but they do not need to stop you from moving on and enjoying your life.

The following are examples of common fears that often cause middle-aged adults to stay in unhealthy marriages:

  • Loss of familiarity - Deciding to take the plunge and end a marriage at any point in life is a scary thing, but experts suggest that divorcing after the age of 50 tends to be particularly fear-inducing. It is not hard to see why; for starters, years of memories, habits, and routines have accumulated over time, making it seem inconceivable that another way of life could exist after the marriage. Many couples simply see divorce as an impossible feat when they look back and consider the amount of time they have invested in the relationship. For others, if the marriage is short-lived, the idea of divorcing can be just as scary, as it can feel as if time is running out. It can also translate into a failure in the individual’s mind because it causes them to wonder if it was, in fact, a waste of their time. Whatever your personal circumstances may be, you can take comfort in knowing that starting over and facing new routines is difficult for everyone, no matter which stage of life, for many different reasons. 

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