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The Foray Firm

Tips for Divorcing a Spouse With a Substance Abuse Problem in IllinoisAlthough most people who get married enter into their union thinking it will last “til death do us part,” that is not what statistics show. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce in the United States. There are many reasons that can cause a couple to file for divorce. Issues such as infidelity, financial problems, and drug or alcohol addiction can all put a significant strain on any relationship. Illinois is a no-fault state, which means that a couple must only have “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce. However, when one spouse has a substance abuse problem, this can make the divorce process very challenging. That is why it is essential that you plan ahead and take steps to protect your rights before filing for divorce from an addicted spouse. 

Taking Precautions to Protect Yourself

Excessive drug and alcohol use can lead to many problems and negatively impact a family as well. When someone drinks or uses drugs, he or she may become violent by physically or verbally abusing his or her spouse and children. The abusive partner may also squander the couple’s savings to fund his or her addiction. 

Although every situation is unique, there are certain decisions that still need to be made in an Illinois divorce, regardless of the reasons for splitting up. These include the allocation of parental responsibilities and child support if children are involved, as well as spousal support and the division of property or assets. All of these issues may be impacted by the fact that one party has a substance abuse problem. For example, a parent may be required to have supervised visitation or denied parenting time altogether if it is proven that it is in the best interest of the children. 

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Are Belongings Divided 50-50 in an Illinois Divorce?During the divorce process, property division can be the most contentious conversation that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will have. Not only is it emotionally difficult to discuss divvying up your life together, but it can also reveal sides of your former spouse that you may have never seen before. The division of assets can sometimes feel like a lose-lose situation, especially when you do not think that your previous partner deserves some of your belongings. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can help you determine which assets you are willing to give up and which ones are worth fighting for. Without a proper lawyer’s help in states like Illinois, it may feel like you are giving up a lot more than you expected.

Equitable Distribution Versus Community Property

Like most states in the U.S., Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning that properties in a divorce are divided in a manner that is deemed fair but not necessarily 50-50. Divorcing couples who cannot agree on how things will be divided will be turned over to a judge, who will then determine how the property will be divided in an equitable manner. The judge will look at factors such as income, personal assets, and financial needs and determine what is considered fair.

There are nine states that use a different method, and they are called community property states. Within these states, lawmakers deem all property, assets, and debts to be the belongings of both spouses. With this in mind, everything will be divided 50-50 between both parties, including any debts. This type of division applies to anyone filing for divorce within these nine states, whether or not they got married within them. These properties will be considered “quasi-community” property if they are acquired while living in an equitable distribution state.

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How to Avoid Financial Difficulties After DivorceDivorce rarely comes as a surprise and is often a decision that is made by both spouses after months, or even years, of conflict. Unfortunately, most divorcing couples can see their marriage coming to an end as time goes on. Though this may be difficult to accept for some, most spouses have come to terms with their divorce before contacting an attorney for help. For those who see their marriage coming to a close, it is important to financially prepare for your future. It is no secret that divorce can be an expensive legal process, but with proper preparation, you can be fully prepared for the start of your single life before signing any legal documents.

Re-creating Your Budget

Many families have a budget that they work with on a monthly basis. Whether it is typed up on a spreadsheet or simply an estimate in the back of your head, this budget will have to be revamped for those going through a divorce. This budget may look different during your divorce to accommodate for any legal or court fees that you may incur during the divorce process. Having an idea of a post-divorce budget is a good way to start your new life. In most cases, this budget cannot be nailed down until after you and your divorcing spouse have discussed spousal and child support payments as well as the division of assets.

Updating Official Records

In the midst of a divorce, it can seem overwhelming when you realize the number of legal and financial documents that need to be changed. With the help of your attorney, adjusting this paperwork can be done much easier. This may include contacting your workplace to notify them of your changing marital status so that they update your insurance and 401(k) plan. If you have a will and/or powers of attorney, you will need to be sure that your former spouse is removed from them immediately. Many forget this step and do not realize it until they are in the midst of an emergency situation.

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Homewood grey divorce attorney

Grey divorce, also known as Silver Splitter or Diamond Divorcees, refers to the older “grey-haired” couples who decide to file for divorce after being in long-term marriages. According to the Pew Research Center, a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau found that for every 1,000 married couples aged 50 and over, 10 of them ended in divorce. Grey divorce entails many issues a traditional divorce carries, such as the division of marital property and assets and spousal maintenance, but is unlikely to include the allocation of parental responsibilities or child support.

Reasons for Grey Divorce

  1. Longer Life Expectancy and Better Health: Life expectancy has drastically risen within recent years, allocating for more time for older individuals to find happiness in a different partner that best fits their interests. 
  2. You and Your Spouse Have Grown Apart: Sometimes, couples do not experience a major upset relating to financial matters, cheating, or abuse, but rather do not feel the same way about each other as they did when they first got married. After the children have grown up and left the nest, many couples are unsure where their marriage may go, which leads to divorce. 
  3. Financial Reasons: Financial burdens such as debt can cause issues within a nearing-retirement or already retired couple. Being unsure how money is going to be managed now that one or both of you are not working can cause marital conflict. 
  4. General Displeasure: Is your sex life bland or non-existent? Are you unhappy doing day-to-day activities with your spouse? Many couples blame being bored or unsatisfied for many years as a reason to file for divorce.
  5. Retirement: Before retiring, you and your spouse are busy working and/or raising your children. Retirement gives you way more free time than you had before, and many couples find that they do not want to spend that time with their spouse. 
  6. Addiction: Substance abuse and gambling are a few addictions grey divorcees experience that can result in the fallout of their marriage. Many divorcees report that their spouses put their addiction above their marriage, family, and financial security, which put them both at risk of losing everything.  

Contact a Will County Divorce Attorney Today

Going through a divorce is never easy, especially after you and your spouse agreed to stay together “until death do us part.” Do not let your divorce disturb your retirement and the rest of your life. Here at The Foray Firm, we will lead you through your grey divorce and weigh current and future outcomes relating to financial matters, property management, and asset division. Contact a Joliet, Illinois, divorce attorney at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation. 

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Tips for Surviving the Holidays After a DivorceGoing through a divorce is tough, but going through a divorce during the holidays can add to the hurt.

If this is your first holiday season since separating from your spouse, it is natural to feel lonely and sad. It is important to not let these emotions control you and prevent you from enjoying the holidays. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maintain your mental health and manage your stress throughout the holidays:

  1. Take It One Day at a Time: It is only natural to want to rush through a time in your life that you would rather not be present for. Remain focused on the here and now, and take each holiday as it comes.
  2. Do Not Skip Out on Spending Time with Family and Friends: As much as you want to spend time alone, your family and friends are your support system and people you should lean on during this hard time. If an invite is offered, take it.
  3. Volunteer Your Time: The holidays are about giving, and volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter will take your focus off of your problems. Helping others who are less fortunate than you will make you realize how much you have to be grateful for.
  4. Make New Traditions: Avoid dwelling on the traditions you lost or will lose because of the divorce, and make some new ones. There is no better time than the present to begin anew.
  5. Take a Break from Social Media: Scrolling through social media and seeing other people’s “perfect lives” will only make you feel worse. Delete any social media app you may be tempted to use, and enjoy your mini social media cleanse. 
  6. Do Not Numb the Pain: Indulging in drugs or alcohol may seem like a quick and easy way to forget what you are going through, even if it is for a short amount of time. When emotions are high, mixing pleasure and pain can lead to tears, angry outbursts or worse. If you plan to drink, set a limit and stick to it. 

According to the American Psychological Association, there is a difference between being sad during the holidays because of personal issues and a serious emotional or mental condition. If you believe your holiday blues are lasting longer than the holiday season, immediately contact a healthcare professional.

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