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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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Chicago alimony attorneyWhen a marriage is ended, some of the most far-reaching decisions revolve around finances and assets. Without a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the two parties or the judge must agree on whether alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, will be paid by one spouse to the other. There are different factors to determine whether alimony will be paid, how much the payments will be, and how long the support will continue.

Spousal support is not a required part of the divorce agreement. There are three main avenues for one spouse to receive alimony in Illinois:

  • Through a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This agreement can cover the amount of the payments, the length of payments, or simply if payments will occur.
  •  A settlement or agreement by the two parties during the divorce proceedings. This can be negotiated directly by the two parties in an uncontested divorce or by their attorneys during divorce negotiations.
  • A petition of the court by one of the parties.

Determining Whether Alimony Will be Paid

If there is no spousal support agreement in place, the following factors are taken into consideration when determining if spousal support is to be paid:

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Chicago divorce attorneyDivorce statistics can vary from source to source, but most sources estimate the divorce rate for first marriages to be between 40 and 50 percent. For second marriages, the divorce rate is closer to 70 percent. If you are getting divorced for the second time, you are not alone. While you may assume that you know what to expect in this divorce since you have been through it before, each case is different and there are often additional issues to consider in a second or third divorce. To ensure that you make the best decisions possible and avoid mistakes during your divorce case, work with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Property Division and Other Financial Concerns

Just as you did in your first divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your shared assets and debts. You may have bought a home, made investments, taken out a loan, or made other financial decisions during your second marriage that you will need to address in your divorce case. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement or other marital agreement in place dictating property division, you and your spouse will need to either reach an out-of-court settlement or take the case to trial to divide your assets and debts.  An experienced divorce lawyer can help you explore your property division options and choose the option that makes the most sense given your particular situation.

Child-Related Matters in a Second Divorce

If you and your second spouse had children together, you will need to address the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Sometimes, spouses who were previously married have children from their previous marriages. You may have stepchildren that you have grown close to over the years. Unfortunately, stepparents do not have a right to parenting time with their stepchildren unless they have formally adopted the children.

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Chicago divorce lawyerFinancial issues are just one part of the marital relationship. However, financial concerns often eclipse other matters in a divorce case. A spouse’s income, debts, assets, and expenses influence almost every aspect of the divorce case. Child support, spousal support, and property division are all influenced by finances. This is why it is so crucial for divorcing spouses to ensure that financial disclosure is accurate and complete.

Some spouses try to manipulate the outcome of the divorce by lying about how much money they make or other financial information. If you are divorcing and believe that your spouse has fabricated financial information or soon will, take action now. You deserve a divorce outcome that is based on accurate financial information. A divorce lawyer experienced in complex financial concerns during divorce can protect your rights and help you take the next step.

Methods for Hiding Assets in Divorce

One of the most common ways that spouses try to gain an advantages by lying about finances is by hiding assets. A spouse may simply fail to list all the accounts and assets he or she has. Cryptocurrency, offshore accounts, or businesses may be vehicles for hiding assets. Divorcing spouses may also hide assets by transferring the property to a friend or colleague. For example, a husband may transfer $10,000 to a friend under the guise of paying back a personal loan. This shields the money from division during divorce. After the divorce, the husband simply gets the money back from the friend. Spouses may also underreport the value of certain items. Antiques, fine art, jewelry, or collectables may be worth much more than the spouse claims the assets are worth. Businesses and professional practices may also be vulnerable to undervaluation during divorce.  Some spouses go so far as to physically hide property or cash to prevent the property from being divided during divorce.

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