Dispelling Assumptions About Gray DivorceIt is difficult for people outside of a marriage to understand why a couple would divorce after being together for decades. Family and close friends want an explanation because they are surprised by and upset about the change. Observers may conclude that:

  • One of the spouses is going through a midlife crisis and made an impulsive decision to divorce; or
  • The spouses were waiting for their children to become adults before they divorced.

These are both factors that can influence the timing of a divorce. However, gray divorce can occur for reasons that defy common stereotypes:

  1. Getting a Divorce Is Rarely Impulsive: People going through a midlife crisis stereotypically seek youthful excitement, and finding a younger romantic partner can make someone feel younger. However, getting a divorce is not as simple as buying a sports car. The process takes months to complete, and the result upends your life socially and financially. Deciding to divorce can be impulsive, but completing it takes commitment.
  2. Decades of Tension Can Lead to Divorce: Spouses may realize their lack of compatibility after they have retired and are no longer actively parenting. However, people do not suddenly stop loving each other. The spouses’ relationship had likely been flawed for years. Careers and parenting can fill a void in a marriage when spouses do not communicate, lack affection or cannot cooperate with each other. When forced to interact with each other, spouses can no longer ignore that they are unhappy together.
  3. People Stay Married for Reasons Other than Children: Parents do try to protect their children by delaying their divorce until after the children have left the home. However, it is difficult to stay in a marriage for that reason alone. In practical terms, waiting for their children to become adults spares the parents from including child support or the allocation of parental responsibilities in the settlement. The parents may cling to their marriage because they still care for each other or are afraid of being alone.
  4. Both Rich and Poor Choose Gray Divorce: Gray divorce seems like a luxury because it is expensive and leaves each spouse with fewer assets. However, unhappy spouses will divorce, even if they cannot afford it. Financial strife is one of the main stressors in a marriage that can cause conflict and lead to divorce. Wealthier couples can afford to build separate lives from each other while staying married.

Getting a Gray Divorce

The division of property and spousal maintenance can be complicated if you divorce after a long marriage. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you with your gray divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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How Divorced Friends Can and Cannot Help During Your DivorceWhen you have decided to divorce, it is logical to seek advice from a friend who has already gone through a divorce. However, you should understand what is appropriate for you to request from your friend. Someone who has previously divorced understands the stress and emotional pain you are going through. That experience does not extend to legal decisions about your divorce.

Not Your Lawyer

Going through a divorce does not make someone a legal expert. Your friend may have learned about the process, but that does not qualify him or her to advise you about your divorce. You should not compare your divorce to your friend’s divorce because there are numerous factors that may differentiate your cases, such as:

  • The amount and types of marital properties you have;
  • The number of children you have;
  • Whether you want a majority of the parenting time with your children;
  • Who has a greater income in your marriage;
  • What stage you are at in your life;
  • If you reside in a different state with its own divorce laws; and
  • If the divorce laws have changed since your friend’s divorce.

Your friend may have been pleased with how his or her divorce was resolved, but that does not mean that the same strategies will work for you. Only a divorce attorney can evaluate your case and determine how to get the best outcome.

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Marriages Falling Victim to Political DiscordThe political war between conservatives and liberals can claim several marriages as among its casualties. The media and public are noticing more divorces caused by political disagreements between the spouses. A recent study found that:

  • 29 percent of the respondents believed political differences are causing tension in their marriages or relationships;
  • 11 percent divorced or ended their relationship due to their political differences; and
  • 22 percent of millennials divorced or ended their relationship due to their political differences.

Your marriage can work if you are on the opposite end of the political spectrum from your spouse, but couples are finding it more difficult to avoid the issue.

‘The Trump Effect’

Many people identify the political rise and election of President Donald Trump as a flashpoint in political divisiveness between couples. The president has polarizing views on political and societal issues, and many people either vehemently oppose or enthusiastically support the views. There have been well-publicized stories about spouses ending their marriages because one person voted for Trump in the election or supports his policies. Trump’s presidency has increased political discussions among friends and family, but the worsening political divisions started before he took office:

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Presenting Evidence of Child Abuse by Co-ParentYou must act decisively to protect your child if you suspect that your co-parent is abusing your child or allowing someone else to abuse him or her. It may be necessary for you to take sole responsibility for your child until your co-parent can show that your child will be safe around him or her. However, a family court will not take away all of your co-parent’s rights and responsibilities unless you can provide convincing evidence of the abuse. You must establish that the abuse is occurring, that your co-parent is responsible, and that giving you sole responsibility for your child is in his or her best interest:

  1. Physical Evidence: You may suspect child abuse if your child is injured after returning from a visit with your co-parent. Your child may be afraid to tell you that your co-parent caused the injury, but you should be suspicious if your child cannot give a plausible explanation for the injury. If you believe your co-parent is responsible for the abuse, you should document it by taking pictures of visible injuries and visiting your child’s pediatrician.
  2. Child Behavior: Children experiencing physical or emotional abuse often show they are upset by behaving differently. Your child may react to the abuse by behaving violently, becoming withdrawn, regressing emotionally, or showing an unusual interest in topics such as sex. A child therapist can identify whether your child’s behavior may be linked to abuse.
  3. Witnesses: You should ask family members, neighbors and other people around your children whether they have seen your co-parent behave abusively towards your child. Witnesses may not have seen the actual abuse, but they can testify that they saw your co-parent behaving aggressively or inappropriately towards your child. Be aware that some people will feel uncomfortable testifying against your co-parent if they have a close relationship with him or her.
  4. Character Background: Your co-parent may have a history of abusive or violent behavior that makes your child abuse claim more plausible. You should present your co-parent’s criminal record to the court and recount your own relationship with him or her.

Parenting Battle

In order to obtain sole responsibility for your children, you must prove your parental fitness as well as your co-parent’s unfitness. The court must believe that your children will be safe and cared for with you as their only parent. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can explain why giving you sole parental responsibilities is in the best interest of your children. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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When Employers Fail to Withhold Former Spouse's PayYou can order your former spouse’s employer to withhold money from his or her pay if that former spouse is not making his or her required payments for child support or spousal maintenance. You must send your uniform order of support and a notice to withhold to your spouse’s employer. Once it receives the notice, the employer must:

  • Withhold money from your former spouse's paychecks, starting with the first pay period in the next 14 days; and
  • Send payments to a state disbursement unit within seven business days of the date that the former spouse is paid.

If the employer does not comply with the notice, you can file a third-party complaint against the employer for receipt of the missed payments and a $100 fine for each day that the employer did not comply.

Recent Example

In the case of In re Marriage of Schmidgall, a woman filed a complaint against her former husband’s employer for ignoring her notice to withhold for six months. The woman’s lawyer initially sent the notice to withhold by certified mail in May 2014, but the envelope was returned and marked “refused.” The lawyer sent two more notices in June and August, both of which were returned as “unclaimed.” The employer claims that it did not receive a notice until late December, after which it began to comply. Testimony in the case established that:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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