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Cook County high conflict divorce lawyerIn the past, most spouses resolved their divorces in court through litigation. It was frequently a strenuous process, even for those in less contentious relationships. Today, collaborative divorce techniques provide an effective alternative to divorce litigation. While amiability can be helpful in reaching a satisfactory compromise on each issue, it is not necessary. Even warring spouses can avoid the stress and cost of litigation by using alternative dispute resolution methods that do not require them to work together directly. Attorney-facilitated negotiation and certain styles of mediation can work well for those who cannot hold a civil conversation or tolerate being in close proximity to their spouse. Resolving a divorce out of court is often in each party’s mutual interests, so it is often possible for spouses to come to an agreement. If you are interested in resolving your high-conflict divorce out of court, it is important to hire an attorney who is a skilled negotiator. 

Tips for Resolving a Contentious Divorce Out of Court 

Taking your case to litigation to spite one another is not likely to leave you in a more advantageous position than an uncontested divorce would unless your spouse truly will not participate in collaborative divorce in good faith. Tips for succeeding in reaching an agreement despite a high level of conflict include: 

  • Stay apart - Often, bringing spouses face to face raises the level of conflict and makes it less likely that a resolution will come about through collaborative divorce. It may be wiser to pursue a method of mediation or negotiation that does not involve being in the presence of your spouse or speaking with them directly. 

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Divorce Concerns for Long-Married Spouses

Posted on in Divorce

Cook County divorce lawyerWhen you have been married for a very long time, divorce can be a drastic change for you and your entire family. It can be challenging to go from being partnered to living solo after a long-lasting marriage. Yet for many spouses who divorce after decades of marriage, the divorce has been a long time coming. You may have felt that your marriage was no longer working out years ago, but delayed your divorce for a number of reasons. Some spouses wait until their children have flown the coop, or spend years separated without actually ending the marriage. 

There are specialized divorce concerns for older adults leaving long-term marriages. Everything from working out alimony to dividing substantial marital assets and untangling complex financial situations can be a little different. It is important to work with an experienced divorce attorney when you are seeking to end a lengthy marriage. 

Things to Think About When You Are Ending a Long Marriage

In a long-term marriage, you and your spouse likely settled into a pattern of life that is now changing. Some special concerns you should be aware of include: 

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Chicago divorce lawyerIt has become a common trope in movies and music to portray a wealthy person who gets married and subsequently divorced losing half of his—usually the subject is a man—property to his ex-spouse, regardless of the fact that he owned most of the same assets at the time of the marriage. While such a cliché situation is technically possible under the law in some states, the reality in Illinois is generally much different.

Fair Does Not Always Mean Equal

Property division following a divorce in Illinois can be rather complicated, as the law requires marital assets to be divided according to what is equitable and just. While this could result in a clean 50/50 split, there is no guarantee. Rather, the specific circumstances of the marriage, divorce, and expected post-divorce realities must be taken into account to determine the appropriate allocation of assets.

Yours, Mine, or Ours?

The other major point that television portrayals of divorce get tend to get wrong involves what property should and should not be subject to division. In Illinois, only assets that are considered to be part of the marital estate are to be included in the process, not absolutely everything owned by either spouse. The law provides that marital property is any property acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage with very limited exceptions for gifts and inheritances. Generally, this also means that any property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage is not part of the marital estate. There are ways that separate property may become marital property, and such situations can be very complex.

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Chicago divorce lawyer for marriage problemsWhile every marriage is different, and the paths that couples take will vary, experts have identified five signs that can show that a divorce may be likely. For many, it can be hard to see some of these signs without taking a step back to reflect. If you are considering a divorce but are unsure if the time has truly come, see if any of these red flags are appearing in your marriage.

Look for These Signs, Then Decide on Your Next Steps

It may be one or both partners who are causing marital strife, but the following challenges to any marriage may be difficult to overcome. Here are some warning signs to look for in your marriage:

  • You no longer express appreciation – The small acts of kindness may be the first to go in a relationship that is headed for an end. If a couple no longer shows appreciation or gratitude toward each other, this may be a sign that the relationship is slipping away.

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chicago divorce lawyerFor various reasons, the rate of divorce among couples over the age of 50 continues to grow. While many divorces have specific characteristics in common, some issues become more pronounced for older couples. Child support and child custody arrangements may not be as common, but couples can face more significant challenges related to spousal support, division of marital property, retirement savings and Social Security, and complex financial situations.

Common Issues When Couples Divorce Near Retirement

With the complexities that older couples face, it is essential that you work with an attorney who is experienced in dealing with gray divorces and the issues they may face. Here are some of the more common issues to consider during your divorce.

Retirement savings and Social Security – For couples approaching retirement, assets such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions take on greater importance. The portion of the retirement funds acquired during the marriage are divided equitably during a divorce, not solely to the spouse who earned or contributed to the accounts. Divorced parties may also be entitled to Social Security benefits based on their ex’s work history. However, your marriage must have lasted for at least ten years, and the benefits are not eligible to be divided until two years after your divorce is finalized.

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