St. Charles Medical Issues in Gray Divorce Attorney

Kane County Attorney Explains How Health Issues Can Affect Late-Life Divorce

If you or your spouse has serious health issues, this can significantly affect the process and outcome of a divorce. It is critical for you to choose an attorney who understands how Illinois courts treat such cases and who knows how to advocate effectively for your interests.

At Goostree Law Group, we appreciate the additional strain that serious illness or disability places on a divorcing couple. You can rely on us to handle your case with compassion and integrity.

Each of our attorneys is a distinguished professional with an average of 15 years' experience in divorce and family law. We have helped clients work through just about every divorce issue you can imagine, including cases where one spouse has a physical disability or is legally incompetent to manage their own affairs.

Divorcing a Mentally Incompetent Spouse in Illinois

If your spouse is no longer legally competent, perhaps due to dementia, you can still obtain a divorce in Illinois. Your spouse's appointed guardian also has the right to file for divorce if they can prove that this is in their ward's best interest. The attorneys of Goostree Law Group will assist you without judgment.

You should be aware, though, that your marital property will still be equitably divided. Depending on the duration of your marriage, the court may also require you to provide ongoing support to the divorced spouse in the form of maintenance, formerly known as alimony.

Divorce When One Spouse Is Disabled or Seriously Ill

A spouse's physical disability or serious illness, including medical issues such as mental illness or drug addiction, can strain a marriage to the breaking point. If you find yourself in this situation and believe divorce is the right solution for you, a good deal of planning and preparation will be needed.

Whether you are the healthy spouse or the afflicted spouse, the attorneys at Goostree Law Group are well equipped to negotiate a divorce settlement for you. We will carefully investigate all the details of your situation and develop a strategy to achieve the outcome you desire.

Some of the key issues involved in this type of divorce include:

  • Caregiver services. You will need to document all of the services that the healthy spouse currently provides for the disabled spouse, including but not limited to personal care, home care, and transportation. Lining up other relatives or paid services well in advance will ease the transition of divorce. The costs of these services will be taken into account when determining the needs of the disabled spouse, which the court must consider as one factor among many in determining an equitable division of property and the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.
  • Division of property. Illinois law spells out a list of factors that the court must consider when dividing marital property. Among these factors are the age, health, employability, and needs of each party. A disabled spouse will not automatically be granted a greater share of marital property than a healthy spouse, because numerous factors are considered, and each will be weighted according to the couple's unique circumstances.
  • Maintenance payments. Illinois law generally expects divorced spouses to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time, and it allows the court to award maintenance only after a finding that maintenance is appropriate given the couple's specific circumstances. The law also sets specific guidelines for the duration of maintenance payments based primarily on the length of the marriage, although the court retains the discretion to deviate from these guidelines. Depending on the nature of the disability, the duration of the marriage, and other factors defined in the law, the court need not necessarily award maintenance to a disabled spouse, but an award of maintenance is more likely than not.
  • Public aid. A disabled spouse may qualify for more need-based aid after a divorce. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are based solely on your own work history and are not affected by divorce. People receiving SSDI are also eligible for Medicare benefits, but not until two years after their date of entitlement. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, however, are need-based, as is eligibility for Medicaid coverage.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer for Older Couples With Health Concerns

The attorneys of Goostree Law Group will advocate strongly for your interests in matters of divorce, family law, and criminal defense. We serve clients in the Kane County communities of St. Charles, Campton Hills, Elgin, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elburn, Kaneville, and LaFox. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.

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