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Bolingbrook divorce attorney asset division

One of the most difficult decisions you may ever be faced with is determining when the time is right for a divorce. All couples go through periods of being unhappy, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence, you may begin to wonder whether or not you would be happier alone.  In most cases, there is some form of resentment during the divorce, whether it is about a specific issue, or the divorce itself. In many cases, this can lead to mistrust. Even though you are ending your relationship, there are many things that require a level of trust during a divorce, with the most important of them being the financial side of things. Is your spouse being honest and open about his or her assets? If you feel they are not being honest and you are worried about not receiving your fair share of the marital estate, the discovery process can be used to ensure that property issues are settled fairly.

Tools You Can Utilize During Discovery

When you begin the divorce process your first step is to try and come to an agreement on

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Bolingbrook gray divorce attorney

Divorce can be difficult for any couple, and it often becomes more complicated the longer a couple has been married. When couples over the age of 50 choose to get a divorce, they face not only the end of a relationship that has formed a large part of their lives but also the prospect of coping with the challenges of old age independently. For this reason, it is important to properly prepare for the divorce process to reduce the possibility of an emotionally and financially stressful outcome.

Important Considerations for Older Spouses in Illinois

If you are pursuing a divorce in your 50s or beyond, you can improve your readiness by taking the following actions:

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Will County asset division attorney

Retirement accounts are frequently among the most important assets involved in an Illinois divorce case. If pension benefits are earned by either spouse during the course of a marriage, they are considered marital property. So in the event of a divorce, a judge may issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which enables the division and transfer of retirement funds without incurring any legal penalties.

Appeals Court: Divorce Settlement Did Not Refer to Former Husband’s Disability Pay

A recent decision from the Illinois First District Appellate Court raised an interesting question related to divorce and retirement benefits–namely, does a QDRO affecting a former spouse’s pension also apply to any pre-retirement disability benefits they receive?
The facts of this case, In re Marriage of Sullivan, are fairly straightforward. A husband and wife divorced after nearly 13 years of marriage. During the marriage, the husband acquired pension benefits through several plans. Based on a marital settlement agreement (MSA) negotiated between the parties, a Cook County judge entered a QDRO, giving the wife 50 percent of all listed pensions.
After the judge entered the order and the divorce was final, the now-former husband applied for Social Security Disability insurance benefits. This was necessary so that he could also receive long-term disability benefits under his pension plans. When the former wife learned of this, she went back to court, arguing that she was also entitled to 50 percent of the disability benefits. The former husband argued the MSA and QDRO only applied to retirement benefits, not disability.
The courts sided with the former husband. The First District, affirming a Cook County judge’s prior ruling, noted that the “absence of an express or even implied reference to disability or disability benefits” strongly suggested that the “parties did not contemplate benefits at the time of dissolution.” Indeed, the agreement and QDRO only intended for the former wife to share in the former husband’s “retirement benefits.
The way that disability works, the former husband will receive those disability benefits until he reaches his normal retirement age of 65, at which point those benefits convert into the pension. So as the appeals court explained, had the former husband “never become disabled, he would not be receiving any payments” from his disability plan.

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