The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

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Yorkville gray divorce attorneyDivorce rates are often changing and vary depending on the source of your information. Although the general divorce rate is anywhere between 40 and 50 percent, one statistic that can be agreed upon is that the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled since the 1990s. Gray divorce, or divorce that takes place when someone is 50 or older, can be devastating for many people, particularly because gray divorces often end marriages that can be decades long. Spouses in these cases have special considerations that should not be forgotten when going through the divorce process, especially related to financial matters. If you are going through a divorce later in life, here are a few mistakes to avoid:

Not Understanding Your Finances

In any marriage, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a better understanding of the couple’s finances than the other. While this type of arrangement might work during a marriage, it will certainly not work in a divorce. If you are the partner whose knowledge of the family’s finances is unclear, you need to get a better picture of what your finances actually look like. Review all of your bank accounts, investment portfolio, and any debts that you owe before you begin dividing your property.

Clinging to the Family Home

There are many reasons why a spouse would want to keep the marital home after a divorce. For some couples, the thought of moving their children out of the family residence is unfavorable. For older couples, the sentiments attached to the home may cause them to hold on when their finances say they should let go. First, get an accurate appraisal of the home’s worth. Then, figure out if you can afford to keep the home on your own.

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Aurora divorce attorney finances

As much as marriage is an emotional and cultural bond, it is also very much a legal and financial partnership. When you are married, as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, what is yours is also your spouse’s, and vice versa. Although keeping finances completely separate is not impossible during a marriage, it is somewhat rare. When you get a divorce, untangling your finances can be a huge headache for both you and your spouse. For some people, divorce can even be the beginning of financial downfall -- but it does not have to be. Below are a few tips you can follow to help yourself maintain a sense of financial stability during and after your Illinois divorce.

Create a Post-Divorce Budget and Manage Your Expenses

One of the first things you should do is create a rudimentary budget to use after your divorce. If you are still early in the divorce process, you may not know exactly what all of your expenses or income will be after your divorce, but you do know that you should expect some changes. Keep in mind that you will have to budget for one income only, and you will probably have to determine new living expenses. This is also a good time to look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. 

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Oswego spousal maintenance attorney

There many issues that can break up a marriage -- infidelity, lack of communication, a difference in values -- the list goes on. One of the most commonly cited topics of marital stress is money. The stress does not end once the marriage is over, though. The majority of married couples plan their lives around two incomes. When a couple gets divorced, suddenly both spouses now have to figure out how to balance their lifestyles with their newly single-income household. In some cases, one spouse simply does not earn enough to survive or enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as he or she did before the divorce. In certain situations, spousal maintenance may be awarded, which can help alleviate this financial burden.

Will I Be Awarded Spousal Maintenance?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is no guarantee that spousal maintenance will be awarded in any divorce case. If you think that you deserve to receive spousal maintenance, you must file a petition with the court to have your case heard. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not a spousal maintenance award (commonly known as alimony) is appropriate for your case. Before the judge makes his or her final decision, he or she will consider all relevant factors in your case. These include, but are not limited to:

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DuPage County division of assets lawyerMany people who get a divorce state that finances were the reason or at least played some part in the breakdown of the marriage. For those couples--and many other couples--the stress of money does not stop there. Many divorces are also quite contentious and filled with anxiety over the couple’s financial issues. Most couples have their assets intermingled in some way, and when they get divorced, they have to figure out how to separate them. Below are a few common financial issues that divorcing couples face and how best to deal with them.

Assessing Your Assets

Not all assets were created equally. Before you begin to do anything involving your finances, you need to understand them. Make a list of every asset you have. These can include:

  • Cash

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DuPage County divorce lawyerDivorce is stressful for many reasons. Not only do you have various emotions running through your head, but you also have to deal with the financial aspect of the divorce. It has been estimated that a typical divorce can cost anywhere from $8,500 up to $100,000. The actual cost of your divorce will depend on a variety of factors, with some of the most influential factors being where you live, whether or not you have children, and your attorney’s hourly rate. With a price tag of at least a couple thousand dollars, it is not uncommon for some couples to have sticker shock when it comes to paying for their divorce. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of your Illinois divorce.

Figure Out Which Process You Want to Use

Before you even begin, you should know which type of divorce you want to use. Contrary to what many people may believe, traditional litigation is not the only way to get a divorce. You can also choose to go with a mediated divorce or a collaborative divorce. Each method of divorce has its advantages and disadvantages, but depending on your situation, a mediated or collaborative divorce may be able to save you both time and money.

Be Prepared With Organized Financial Records

Before you meet with your attorney to begin dividing your marital property, you should be sure you have all of your financial records organized and ready to go. Make sure your records are in order so your legal team can better understand your financial picture. Organizing your records yourself before a meeting saves you precious time for more important matters.

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Posted on in Divorce

asset dissipation, Aurora divorce attorney, private investigatorX, divorce and finances, file for divorceWhen considering a divorce, or learning of a spouse’s intent to file for divorce, one usually looks to hire a skilled divorce attorney. This is a good first instinct. However, another hire you may wish to consider is that of a private investigator.

Even if you think the divorce might be amicable, the assistance of a professional and experienced investigator may be worth every bit of the expense.

How a Private Investigator Help

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divorce and finances, DuPage County divorce lawyer, financial planning, divorce proceedings, divorce expensesBecause many divorces end up in court and involve lawyers, it is commonly looked upon as a legal matter. However, the financial impact of a divorce has the influence to alter a person’s life in a number of ways.  It is critical that those entering into a divorce have a firm grasp on their current financial situations, and initiate financial planning for their future, as well as that of their children, if necessary.

Get the Planning Started

Take steps early in the process so you are prepared when divorce proceedings get underway.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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