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DuPage County divorce attorneyA contentious divorce can be incredibly difficult when you have been accustomed to relying on your spouse for financial support, and this is especially true if your spouse has cut off your support in the time leading up to the divorce. Illinois divorce and family law statutes include provisions to protect financially disadvantaged spouses when it comes to the division of marital property and the allocation of spousal maintenance and child support in the final divorce decree, but a spouse with few resources of their own may find it difficult to support themselves and secure quality legal representation before the divorce is finalized. In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue temporary relief.

Temporary Relief Options During the Divorce Process

As your divorce approaches, there are a few legal options to protect your finances if you fear that your spouse might cut you off or if your spouse has already done so. These options include:

  • Petitioning for a temporary financial restraining order: A restraining order can prevent a spouse from transferring, hiding, or blocking the other spouse’s access to assets, except for the purposes of providing for their own necessary living expenses or regular business costs.
  • Petitioning for temporary spousal maintenance or child support: When a spouse has limited assets during the divorce process, a court may order the other spouse to make temporary payments to assist with living expenses for the spouse in need and the children of the marriage.
  • Petitioning for interim attorney’s fees: In some cases, the court may order a spouse with financial resources to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees to allow them to fairly participate in the litigation process.

It may be a good idea to focus on these petitions for relief early in the process while you have some resources available to hire an attorney. You will also need to prepare to support your petitions with financial affidavits demonstrating that you have a need for relief.

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Common Financial Mistakes People Make in DivorceIf you are thinking about or in the process of divorce, you need to be careful of making one of the common financial mistakes that many people make during a divorce. Indeed, make sure to understand these common mistakes and how you can avoid them, and do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney for help.

Delaying Talking to an Attorney

One mistake that couples thinking about divorce make is to delay talking to a knowledgeable divorce attorney. There are many things that people may do during the divorce process that may have an effect on the final outcome and they may not know about the consequences of their actions without talking to an attorney first. Even if you have not decided to divorce but are just considering it, it can pay off in the end to talk to a divorce attorney right away. An attorney can also give you an idea of what is likely to happen during the divorce, which may help you to make a decision.

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DuPage County divorce attorneys, social security benefitsLate-in-life divorces, often referred to as “gray” or “silver” divorces, are becoming more common in the United States. While these divorces are more common and acceptable, many senior Americans do not realize the impact that divorcing or remarrying may have on their retirement and Social Security benefits. It is an important issue since Social Security is the primary source of income for many senior Americans. Understanding the impact divorce may have on your retirement future can help you navigate your divorce and avoid making costly errors.

Divorce May Impact Your Social Security Benefits

The impact of your divorce on Social Security depends on how long you were married to your spouse and whether you decide to remarry.

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DuPage County divorce attorneys, pay for my divorceFunding a divorce can be very difficult for a couple. This is especially true if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent and depends on the other spouse for income. Some spouses come up with creative ways to fund their divorce, like a Geneva, Illinois woman who went to a crowdfunding site to fund her divorce.

Making sure you are able to pay for your divorce is important. If you are considering divorce and concerned about paying for your divorce, it is important that you understand the variety of options available to you before proceeding any further.  

Strategies to Pay for Your Divorce

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DuPage County divorce attorneys, attorney feesMost divorcing spouses simply want the divorce to be over as soon as possible. Oftentimes a couple will work together to move the divorce forward and finalize the divorce. In some cases, however, a spouse may ask that the court award attorney’s fees to help cover the cost of the divorce.

While it is rare, it is possible that a court may decide to award one party attorney fees. This can be good news for a spouse if he or she does not have a significant amount of money and needs assistance funding his or her legal costs.

Can a Court Award Attorney’s Fees?

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estate planning divorceMost people that have written an estate plan or considered the task assume that upon divorce, any part of that plan that designated money or property to the now-ex-spouse would no longer be in effect. While that is the case with some common estate plan components, it is not always true. It is essential that anyone considering or undergoing a divorce take a look back at any estate planning documents and make some necessary changes.

Changing Beneficiaries of Estate Planning Documents

Many documents in an estate plan list certain beneficiaries designated to take on a certain power or to receive certain assets at a particular time. For example, a trust will have a designated trustee, a will will have designated beneficiaries set to receive assets, a will will name a designated executor, and powers of attorneys will name specific agents to act on behalf of the documents’ creator. In Illinois, a dissolution of marriage will automatically revoke any provisions in a will, trust, or power of attorney that pertain to an ex-spouse. A party pursuing a divorce will not need to worry about changing these particular estate plan pieces after a divorce to ensure that the ex-spouse will not benefit from any prior designations.

One piece of your estate plan that the court will specifically address is your life insurance policy. Most Illinois family law courts will consider the issue of life insurance policies during a divorce. The final divorce decree will state whether any party is required to maintain any life insurance policy for the benefit of the other spouse. If the divorce decree does not require a person to keep his or her ex-spouse on the life insurance policy, it will be very important to work with the insurance company to remove this person as the beneficiary. The designation will not be automatically terminated upon divorce, so the party with the policy must actively take steps to protect him or herself.  

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property settlement in divorceDevelopments and changes are constantly made in the legal world. Whether they be changes to relevant law, local procedure, or evaluating a constitutional challenge, rules and procedures can and do change over time in addition to new laws coming into practice. This is just one of the reasons hiring an experienced attorney to handle a legal matter can be so important. It is part of a lawyer’s professional responsibility to keep up to date on the latest changes and decisions in the law, and this is especially true for the area of law in which an attorney practices. One such change may have an effect on those hoping to pursue a divorce in Illinois.

Pending Court Decision

In Illinois, the coming months could see a court decision that has an effect on divorce law in the state. The Illinois Supreme Court has decided to issue an opinion on a case involving the issue of property settlement in a divorce. More specifically, the particular case deals with the treatment of Social Security benefits in a property settlement during a divorce.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce financesStart to finish, the process of divorce can be expensive and goes well beyond legal fees. In a divorce, most of a couple’s assets are usually up for grabs. This can include retirement accounts, savings accounts, real estate, and the marital home, just to name a few. In addition, each party must consider the financial implications they will face after their divorce is finalized. For many, that may involve starting a new life in their 40s or 50s, something that can be challenging both emotionally and financially. With all of these financial considerations in mind, the prospect of divorce can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially when a number of other issues will also undoubtedly have to be addressed. There is some good news, however. For those couples or individuals considering divorce, there are steps to take prior to filing for divorce to take into consideration in order to financially prepare for the separation.

Financial Advice

There are many issues that arise in the context of divorce, and financial consideration should by no means be pushed aside. Financial planning can offer huge benefits to the party that takes this preparatory step, and can begin well in advance of ever filing a divorce petition. According to a recently published financial news article, the following tips deserve special attention:

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce finances, prepare for divorce, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhether you and your spouse have discussed the possibility of divorce, you know your marriage is in disarray, or you have simply made the decision to end your marriage on your own, there are certain steps you should take prior to filing for divorce. Heeding this advice may not only serve to protect your interests down the road, but may also make the divorce process much smoother and easier to endure. Read on for some important first steps to take before heading to the courthouse.

Things to Do Before You Divorce

  1. Do not discuss your intentions or the facts of your case with anyone, particularly if you believe your spouse will react badly to your request for divorce. This may require you to refrain from speaking to others in the presence of your spouse, and be more careful about sharing information over your phone or computer of he or she also has access to the device. If you are both in agreement about obtaining a divorce, this may be less important for you.
  2. Start your own savings account. This will enable you to afford living expenses and legal fees as they come up. Once your spouse learns of your plans for divorce, or if your divorce is contentious, he or she may begin closing joint accounts and canceling credit cards which will limit your access to funds.
  3. Begin collecting financial documents that will be relevant to your case. This may include tax returns for recent years, retirement and other account statements, bank accounts, and credit card statements. Look over the statements for unexplained or unexpected withdrawals.
  4. Obtain a copy of your latest credit report so you have a good idea of the joint debts and credit cards you hold with your spouse.
  5. Begin compiling information related to any children of the marriage, and how you fulfilled your role as a parent and a spouse. Make a list of all of the ways in which you cared for your child throughout his or her life, and ways in which you continue to do so.
  6. Compile information and documentation as to what your lifestyle was like during the marriage, including regular household expenses. This may be important if one spouse is claiming that the couple enjoyed a certain standard of living during the marriage and wishes to continue with it after divorce.
  7. Begin researching and looking for experienced divorce attorneys in your area who have had successful results for their clients. Schedule a time to meet with a qualified attorney to discuss the facts of your case.

Divorce Attorney

If you are considering divorce, contacting an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney is important. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC have successfully represented clients in divorce matters for many years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your matter. We have offices located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville.

Posted on in Divorce

divorce finances, gray divorce, divorce after 50, DuPage County divorce lawyer, divorce attorney in IllinoisAny couple that decides to divorce will have financial considerations to take into account, but issues surrounding divorce finances may affect those couples who divorce later in life the most. Ending a marriage after the age of 50 can have its own set of issues to address when it comes to preserving financial security. Often, couples of that age have investments, savings, accumulated assets, and retirement accounts to sort through.

Questions to Ask

Many older couples in this situation may need to take actions that they would not have had to if they remained married, such as going back to work or selling their home. However, there are steps these individuals can take to minimize the the financial effect their divorce will have. According to a financial advice article recently published, there are certain questions divorcees can ask before, during, and after a divorce proceeding to ensure financial security.
  • Where is the money? Those who are getting divorced need to identify and determine what marital property will be eligible for division. This generally includes money earned during the marriage and assets or items purchased with that money. Items that many may not realize are marital property include pension plans, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and tax returns.
  • What are the tax consequences? Any future tax bills must be factored into all settlement offers. An offer that seems fair on its face may not be so equitable when taxes are considered. Tax consequences must especially be considered when it comes to alimony payments, which are usually considered taxable income to the recipient and a tax deduction for the payor.
  • How can we split our retirement savings? Depending on the type of retirement account, transfers can either be straightforward or complex. IRAs can usually be handled by the divorcing spouses and addressed within the divorce decree, while splitting 401(k)s and pension plans can be more complicated. Early and well-informed action in this area can provide huge financial benefits.
  • Should I keep the house? While many people who divorce later in life feel strongly about keeping their home, it may not be a wise financial move, especially if they forgo other assets in the negotiating process to do so. Sometimes, it is more beneficial and financially wise to sell the home and split the profits.
  • Will I still be insured? In the past, many couples may have actually avoided divorce for fear of being denied individual health coverage. Now, new laws like the Affordable Care Act should help to relieve some of those concerns, as well as marketplace or COBRA coverage under an ex-spouse’s employer health plan.
  • How should my estate plan change? Couples divorcing later in life are advised to change all of their estate planning documents as soon as they make the decision to divorce, in order to best improve their chances of protecting their property and preserving their final wishes.
Divorce Attorney If you are considering divorce, the experienced attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC can help you. Please feel free to contact us today for a consultation. Our offices are located in Wheaton, Warrenville, and Chicago.
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