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Naperville gray divorce attorneyIf you are over the age of 50 and you are going through a divorce—or you have recently finalized your divorce—finding a new romantic partner may be the furthest thing from your mind. Sometimes, however, life throws curveballs, and the perfect person for you may come along when you least expect it. There is also the possibility that you have been emotionally checked out of your marriage for many years prior to your divorce, so you might actually be ready to look for love again as your divorce finalizes. Either way, there are some things you should know before you commit yourself to finding a new serious relationship in the wake of an older divorce.

Spousal Support Considerations

Legal professionals and relationship experts generally agree that it is best to put off getting into a serious romantic relationship until your divorce is completed. Ultimately, however, the decision is up to you, but you need to be careful because certain decisions could affect your financial future more than you might expect.

Under Illinois law, spousal support is not automatic in any divorce case, but it is relatively common in divorces between older spouses who have been together for many years. In many such cases, one spouse tends to be financially dependent on the other, making maintenance necessary for an equitable divorce.

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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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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County gray divorce attorney

Divorce after 50 presents itself with all sorts of new challenges, including fear of the unknowns in your life, like how you will achieve your dreams now, what will happen with your retirement, how you will make ends meet on a fixed income without your spouse, if you will have to work until you die, or if you will ever fall in love again. While all of these are valid and warranted concerns, there are ways to not only survive but thrive after your gray divorce. Here are some tips to get you started. Who knows? Maybe you will lead an even better life after your gray divorce than you did the 50 years prior.

4 Steps to Surviving a Gray Divorce

Over the last three decades, gray divorce rates have nearly doubled. This all-too-common type of divorce might seem daunting, but ultimately it is for the best—and you can make both your lives better if you are willing and able. But the first goal is survival. There are numerous ways to get through a gray divorce, but four key steps are:

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Dupage County spousal support attorney

Contrary to common belief, even if you and/or your ex-spouse are retired or will retire soon, spousal maintenance (alimony) payments will not automatically stop in Illinois. Depending on the circumstances and the obligations set forth in your divorce decree, the payor might still be required to continue making spousal support payments long after retirement. Here is a closer look at the different scenarios you might face with regard to spousal maintenance after retirement:

Spousal Support as a Retiree

Regardless of whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, there are essentially three things that could happen to spousal maintenance payments upon retirement:

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