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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneysIn Illinois, divorcing couples have a few options when it comes to how they reach a resolution on issues including property division, parenting time and responsibilities, and child and spousal support. Perhaps the first option that comes to mind is a court trial in which each party is represented by an attorney, but this is not actually the most common method for resolving a divorce. In fact, the large majority of couples are able to settle their divorce out of court. In many cases, it is a good idea to consider whether an uncontested divorce would work for you before exploring other alternatives.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the two spouses agree not only on the decision to get a divorce, but also on all important matters that must be resolved for the divorce to be finalized. However, it is rare for a couple to reach this agreement without going through significant discussions and negotiations to figure out the details. Both parties can also choose to hire an attorney to advise them and help them protect their interests, but the right attorney can do so without escalating conflict in a way that may lead to litigation. After creating a written agreement, the couple can submit it to the court for approval so that the marriage is legally dissolved and the agreement becomes legally binding.

Is an Uncontested Divorce a Good Decision?

An uncontested divorce can be a good decision for many reasons. For one, it can help you and your spouse keep conflict to a minimum and avoid the public spectacle of a trial. You also have far greater control over the outcome in an uncontested divorce, as you and your spouse are able to agree on your own decisions rather than leaving them in the court’s hands. In many cases, an uncontested divorce can be resolved more quickly and with fewer expenses than a divorce trial.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysDivorce is difficult at any age, but couples divorcing after the age of 50 often face unique complications due to the way their lives have become intertwined over the course of a long marriage. Despite these complications, so-called “gray divorces” are becoming increasingly common. If you decide to get a divorce in middle-age or your later years, you should be prepared to address some of the common issues that these divorces often raise.

Important Considerations in Your Divorce After Age 50 

While the basic elements of a divorce are essentially the same no matter the couple’s age, they often affect a couple over the age of 50 differently from how they would affect a younger couple. Some important issues that you may need to deal with in your gray divorce include:

  • Dividing marital property - If you are divorcing later in life, you and your spouse may have significant marital assets that you will need to divide equitably. Your marital home may be one of the most contentious properties, especially if you have lived there together for much of your lives. Retirement accounts are also an important issue for older couples, as dividing the assets within them can have major implications for your retirement plans.
  • Spousal support - Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in an Illinois divorce, but it may be justified in a gray divorce if one spouse has relied on the other for financial support throughout much of the marriage. If spousal support is awarded, the duration is usually determined based on the length of the marriage, so you may be paying or receiving maintenance for 20 years or more if your marriage lasted at least that long.
  • Benefits - You may have relied on your spouse for certain benefits like health insurance and Social Security. In some cases, these spousal benefits can continue for a time after the divorce, but you may need to start considering alternatives.
  • Revisions to your estate plan - A spouse is often listed as the primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy, and may also be named in a will or as the beneficiary of a trust. After getting a divorce, you may wish to revisit your estate plan to prioritize your children as beneficiaries instead.
  • Issues with adult children - Though adult children may not directly affect the terms of your divorce agreement, they are often personally affected by their parents’ divorce, especially if they feel pressure to take sides. It is important after a gray divorce to focus on maintaining your relationship with your children and helping your family through this difficult transition.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

As you prepare for your gray divorce, you need a lawyer who understands the challenges you are likely to face. At Davi Law Group, we will help you protect your financial and personal interests so that you can adjust to your post-divorce life with as little stress as possible. For a free consultation with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer, contact us at 630-504-0176.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysEffectively managing conflict is an important skill in many areas of your life, but it is especially important throughout the divorce process. You may find that emotions are running high between you and your spouse, and chances are that the two of you will not agree on every aspect of your divorce resolution, even if you are attempting to divorce amicably. With these things in mind, you should aim for an approach that helps you resolve conflicts, or at least keep them under control.

Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies

When you and your spouse seem to be at an impasse, here are some suggestions to handle the conflict and keep your divorce negotiations on track.

  • Remain calm and rational. It is understandable that you would feel strong emotions during the divorce process, but try to keep those emotions below the surface when negotiating with your spouse. Instead, express your perspective clearly and with a focus on the facts of the situation at hand.
  • Balance assertiveness and empathy. In order to arrive at a resolution that protects your interests, it is important to make your needs known to your spouse. However, it can be just as important to listen to your spouse’s needs, and make an effort to understand his or her perspective, so that you can move forward cooperatively.
  • Find ways to compromise. Ideally, you and your spouse would both end the divorce process with everything that you want, but this is rarely possible. A more realistic goal is to focus on achieving your top priorities, and be open to giving ground on matters that are not as important to you.
  • Seek assistance. An attorney is important to advise and represent you throughout negotiations, and you may also decide to hire a neutral mediator that can guide discussions between you and your spouse in a way that minimizes conflict.
  • Know your limits. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a cooperative approach to divorce is not possible. If you are making no headway in negotiations, you may have to make the decision to take your high-conflict divorce to trial, where your attorney can aggressively represent your interests.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

At Davi Law Group, we can advise you on an approach to your divorce that keeps conflict to a minimum, and help you determine when it is necessary to take a more aggressive approach. In any case, we will do everything in our power to help you achieve an outcome that meets your needs. Contact an experienced Wheaton divorce lawyer today at 630-504-0176 for a free initial consultation.

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DuPage County family law attorneysUnless you are granted your marital home as part of the division of property, you will likely need to find a new place to live either during the divorce process or after your divorce is finalized. Moving to a new home is stressful at any point in your life, but along with all the other stress of a divorce, it can be even more overwhelming. However, you can make the transition easier by taking the time to prepare.

Considerations When Moving After Divorce 

Thinking carefully about where you will move and how you will handle the moving process can lead to greater satisfaction with your decision and less stress for you and your family in the future. Some important things to consider include:

  • How much you can afford. If you are moving during the divorce process, it may be best to explore temporary options until you have a better idea of the likely outcome. Once your divorce is finalized, you should determine where your assets, income, and expenses stand to decide how much you can afford to buy or rent, and whether you need to make a plan to save for a home that meets your needs.
  • How the move will affect your children. If you expect to have a significant share of parenting time after your divorce, you should also consider how a new home will meet your children’s needs. Think about the location in relation to their school and their other parent’s home, as well as the space they will need to feel comfortable.
  • Whether you need legal permission. A move within a short distance is usually acceptable from a legal perspective, but if you are allocated parenting time and you plan to relocate a longer distance away from your children’s current home, you will need to obtain permission from the other parent and/or the court. Under Illinois law, this distance is more than 25 miles from a home in Cook, DuPage, and some surrounding counties, more than 50 miles from a home in other Illinois counties, and more than 25 miles to a location outside of Illinois.

A major relocation will also likely require special considerations in your parenting plan to account for transportation between homes and an alternative parenting time schedule. It can also make it more difficult for your children to adjust, so you should be prepared to talk to them about the move, listen to their concerns, and make every effort to maintain a close relationship despite the increased distance.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneysIf you are having problems in your marriage, chances are that the thought of divorce has crossed your mind at some point, and you may have even thought about bringing it up with your spouse. However, saying something out loud can often lead to a situation in which it is impossible to turn back, so you should think carefully about how and when you raise the subject if you choose to do so at all. When it comes to such a sensitive conversation, some times are certainly better than others.

The Wrong Time

If you have any hope for the survival of your marriage, one of the worst things you can do is to threaten divorce during a heated argument with your spouse. As much as you may be feeling it in the moment, a divorce may not be what you truly want. However, making your partner think it is a possibility can lead to feelings of insecurity. It also has the potential to exacerbate the argument or shut down future attempts at conversation that could help you resolve your issues together.

Even if you are certain that you want a divorce, an argument is not the best time to bring it up. Doing so can make the divorce seem like a punishment to your spouse, rather than a rational decision based on your feelings about the state of your marriage. It also may set the tone for all divorce discussions to devolve into conflict, which can make the process much longer and more stressful.

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