Illinois divorce lawyersCouples who have raised children often look forward to their retirement years because they consider it well-earned time together. However, many baby boomers are finding they are no longer compatible with their mate, or that they no longer want to spend all that uninterrupted time with one another. In fact, divorce rates for those over the age of 50 have more than doubled in the last decade. Unfortunately, that increase in divorce is creating some serious financial issues for this demographic group – sometimes to the point that it completely derails their plans for retirement. Learn how a seasoned Illinois divorce lawyer may be able to help you protect your assets and increase the chances of a healthy financial future during your gray divorce.

Divorce, Retirement, and Your Pension Plan

When parties plan for retirement, they are generally only accounting for one set of expenses. Divorce can double the expenses, and it requires that the parties split whatever assets they have. In short, there is less money to go around, and more expenses to cover. For some, this may mean downsizing or living a less luxurious life during their retirement years. Others may have to give up plans that they had made (i.e. traveling). Still, there are some who may be at a significant risk for divorce-induced poverty. Whatever your circumstance, rest assured that there are strategies that one may use in divorce to help protect their assets and financial future.

Tips for Protecting Your Retirement in a Gray Divorce

In most divorces, retirement pensions are divided equitably between the parties, meaning they are divided according to what the law considers “fair.” Various factors, such as the duration of the marriage, total value of the marital estate, and the contributions made by each party are used in the determination. As such, it is critical that parties have an accurate valuation of their estate. It is also important to ensure that all contributions – monetary and non-monetary – are accounted for when developing your divorce strategy.

Even still, parties should understand that the loss of pension funds can have a significant impact on their financial future, especially when it occurs when one is already retired or nearing their retirement. Parties can minimize this impact by utilizing a few key strategies, such as:

  • Downsizing their life (i.e. selling the family home);
  • Discussing one’s financial situation with an attorney to determine which marital assets may offer the greatest long-term benefit;
  • Delaying retirement so that there is more time to save;
  • Taking up a side job to save for retirement;
  • Rolling over retirement pensions instead of taking a cash payout;
  • Ensuring pension accounts are divided according to the plan’s rules;
  • Requesting alimony if you are a disadvantaged spouse; and
  • Offering another asset in lieu of alimony if you expect to pay spousal maintenance.

Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we work hard to protect the financial futures of our clients. Seasoned and experienced, our DuPage County divorce attorneys always pursue the most favorable outcome possible, regardless of the circumstance. To get started on your case and schedule a personalized consultation, call our offices at 630-665-2500 today.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |

Wheaton divorce lawyersFew couples enter a divorce, planning to fight and argue. Yet, when they start to discuss touchy issues like money, assets, and children, tempers can quickly flare. Thankfully, there are some tips that you can use to avoid a messy divorce – and none rely on the actions of your spouse, meaning you can still attempt for a relatively amicable divorce, even if your ex becomes vengeful.

Focus on the Best Interests of Your Children

Parents who remain mindful of their child’s needs often fare better, even if their spouse starts to act out. That is because they understand that children usually cope better with divorce when they are able to have a healthy, continued relationship with both parents. They are less focused on “winning,” and more concerned about what their child needs and wants most.

Sometimes that can mean coming to terms with a difficult truth (i.e. their child would do best if they stayed with their other parent during the week because it would allow them to stay in the same school). Other times, it is simply recognizing that their spouse is a wonderful, loving parent, despite their short-comings as a partner. In short, the parent recognizes that their child is not a bargaining chip, but an innocent party in a difficult and painful separation – and that can change everything from how they negotiate to the way they talk to their spouse while doing parenting time exchanges. You can even do this if your spouse is attempts to make things difficult by minimizing your contact with them as much as possible.

Minimizing Contact with Your Spouse (With or Without Kids)

Couples who struggle to get along often benefit from minimizing their contact – and this can be done, even if you do not have children together. Rather than try to work out the details of your case on your own, have your attorney handle the negotiations. Have your divorce papers served by an unbiased party (law enforcement, etc.) instead of doing it yourself. Lastly, minimize all discussions that must take place (i.e. conversations regarding the children) to emails or text messages – and always read them over carefully – to avoid heated discussions.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we work hard to help our clients navigate the divorce process with less contention because we understand the pain that it can cause for the involved parties. Dedicated and experienced, our seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers can protect your best interests, and the best interests of your children. Start by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 630-665-2500 today.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |

Illinois divorce lawyersDivorce can be an expensive process, and there are many financial pitfalls that can further increase its cost. For the wealthy, things are about to get even riskier. Starting in 2019, the tax credits afforded to those paying alimony will be gone, and that can lead to some significant financial losses. The cost is so great, in fact, that many financial advisors are telling their clients to get divorced before the beginning of next year. Unfortunately, this may not be the best option for your case.

For the Love of Money – Rushing Your Case Could Have Severe Consequences

Money is one of the biggest and most frequent sources of contention in divorce – and for good reason. You may already have to scale back your life to accommodate the division of assets that typically occur in a divorce. What is more, you may be ordered to pay alimony to your former spouse. Should this happen, you may want to try and avoid the loss of the tax credit.

Unfortunately, if you rush things, you may make an even bigger mistake. Perhaps you may be so rushed that you fail to ensure your business is properly valued. As such, you may end up having to sell it, or you may lose more of your other marital assets. Alternatively, you may make decisions that are not in your best interest, such as selling the family home rather than using it as trade-out for a more valuable asset (i.e. projected business or investment profits, a portion of your retirement account, etc.). You may even make decisions to appease your ex-spouse’s requests, just to complete the divorce faster. Sadly, doing so could have irreversible, long-term consequences, such as:

  • Extreme financial loss;
  • Reduced decision-making power in your child’s life;
  • Business losses (including complete closure);
  • Losing the right to intellectual property;
  • Excessive and increased alimony payments;
  • Less time with your children; and
  • Being unable to retire as comfortably as you had planned.

None of this means that you cannot expedite your divorce; it simply shows that a rushed divorce may not be the right path. Instead, parties should consult with their lawyer to determine what course may provide the moneyed party with the best possible outcome.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, we work hard to protect the financial well-being of our clients. Learn more about how our seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers can help to mitigate the potential financial losses Illinois divorce. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule your confidential, personalized consultation with our offices today.



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