IL divorce lawyerDivorce is difficult no matter the circumstances. While divorce may have been legally difficult in the past due to societal values, divorce in the digital age can prove just as troublesome. Social media can become a face-less platform for one to publicly or privately vent about their marriage difficulties or impending divorce based on their account privacy settings. Whether your account settings are placed on private or not does not necessarily mean you are fully protected from your spouse or their attorney discovering your posts.

Privacy Protection

Switching your profile from public to private does not guarantee that your social media posts will not make it into your divorce proceedings. Use the following tips to better protect yourself in the digital age:

  1. Change your passwords often: Many use similar passwords for all of their accounts because they are easy to remember. Though this tactic may make logins easier for the account’s owner, it also makes it easier for others to hack into their account, especially those who are close to them. Changing passwords frequently is an easy way to block intruders from hacking into bank accounts, emails, and social media platforms.

  2. Look at your security settings: Though making your account private does not guarantee complete safety, it is a step in the right direction. Onlookers can misconstrue comments and posts for their advantage even if you believe that your social media is “clean” for others to look at.

  3. Watch your words: Email communication may not be as commonplace; however, it can still lead to your downfall in court. A judge can request email history for evidence, making anything you have said through the online forum public to your spouse.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMilitary marriages experience strains and stresses in greater capacity than other marriages due to the complications that their jobs put on both spouses. Though these marriages can be extremely stressful and difficult, the overall divorce rate among both male and female service members only averaged 3 percent in 2017. To be more precise, about 21,290 of 689,060 married troops divorced in 2017. The divorce process for members of the military is relatively uniform to those who are not in the service. The main difference for these individuals is how to divide their retirement plans.

Typical Military Retirement Plans

Retirement for members of the military is radically different for each member since not many individuals serve for 20 years, the requirement to get the normal retirement benefit. As a result, military retirement plans are made up of 3 components:

  1. Defined Benefit: Retired pay is 2 percent times the number of years of service. For example, if you retire after 20 years you get 40 percent of your final base pay and if you retire after 30 years, you receive 60 percent.

  2. Defined Contribution: The military contributes 1 percent of a member’s base pay to their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. Each member is automatically enrolled with a 3 percent base pay contribution to their TSP and the government will match up to 5 percent of their contribution after two years of service. A member of the military must complete two years of service to receive government contribution.

  3. Continuation Pay: After 12 years of service in the military, active duty service members receive a bonus equal to 2.5 months basic pay if they commit to four additional years of service.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL ivorce lawyerPrenuptial and postnuptial agreements have become much more common in today’s society. Many attribute this to the median age at which most couples get married. Since 1990, the average age for marriage has risen from 26 to 29 for men and 23 to 27 for women. Rather than getting married right out of high school or college, as most people did in the 20th century, many couples opt to get married later in life. Not only does this add a level of age maturity to each spouse, but it also allows for more capital to be built up by each individual before getting married. As a result, many couples have decided to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to better protect themselves in their marriage.

What Makes Up the Agreement?

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that states the division of assets between each spouse. This includes their finances coming into the marriage, what property each spouse has, and how they would split their home in case of a divorce. One of the main aspects missing from a prenup and postnup is child custody. While it is clearly impossible to plan this ahead of marriage if a couple does not have children yet, it is also illegal to do so. Child custody cannot be determined by the parents. This decision is entirely up to the court.

Common Reasons for the Contract

While getting married at an older age does have a correlation with signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, there are various other reasons why couples decide to choose the legally safe route.:

  • A Previous Marriage - For couples who have been married before and will be bringing previous “baggage” into the marriage, a legal agreement is often signed as a precautionary measure.
  • Wealth/Debt Division - Many spouses come from different economic statuses. This can mean one person has a substantial amount of wealth or debt. In cases such as these, many couples will decide that a prenup or postnup is the best decision.
  • Only One Spouse Is Working - In case of a future divorce, some couples decide to have a safety net in place for the non-working spouse. Making this decision before or right after getting married can eliminate hashing things out if divorce is in their future and emotions run high.

Contact an Illinois Attorney for Legal Assistance

Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a good way to protect you and your spouse in the future. If you have decided to take these precautionary measures, a skilled marital agreement attorney is crucial to best divide and protect your assets. Contact our Kane County prenuptial and postnuptial attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550 to help you and your spouse decide what is best for your future.

 

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IL family lawThe holiday season has its own difficulties for everyone. For some, family parties and the amount of money being spent on gifts become their source of stress. While for others, December becomes breakup season. It is fairly common for couples to decide that divorce is best amidst the holidays. Due to the additional amount of time that couples spend with their families and each other, along with the financial pressures that the holidays can bring, divorce decisions are often made during or immediately following festivities. The idea of “new beginnings” can also spark a need for change. Breakups that occur during the holiday season can be difficult; however, those going through their first holiday season after a recent divorce often struggle the most.

Survival Tips

Whether you are considering divorce, are in the process of one, or have just come out on the other side, it is important to keep the following things in mind throughout the holidays:

  1. Validation: Many try to ignore their pain or sadness thinking that it is wrong to be depressed during a time when everyone else appears to be jolly. It is important to remember that your feelings are valid under such circumstances. The pain of divorce does not take a break just because Christmas is around the corner.
  2. Remember Your Children: In the midst of divorce, holidays often become irrelevant; however, those with children cannot cancel the holidays. While you may be lacking holiday cheer, it is important for your children’s lives to remain relatively similar as before. This includes the celebration of holidays as a family, whether or not this includes your ex.
  3. Create New Traditions: Continuing to celebrate with old traditions can cause old sentiments to resurface. Discontinuing old traditions and creating new ones is a good remedy, especially for those traditions that include your former spouse.
  4. Volunteer: Many families volunteer their time throughout the holidays whether they find themselves in a tough place or not. Volunteering is a great way to keep your mind off your own matters and also reminds you of the great things you have in life.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

Deciding divorce is the correct path during the holidays can be difficult for all parties involved. It is important to have an experienced divorce attorney help you through this difficult time. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we work with our clients to make the process as painless as possible. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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IL divorce lawyerThe rights of the LGBTQ community and same-sex relationships have greatly evolved in the United States within the last 20 years. Unlike many countries, the United States has legalized same-sex marriage throughout all 50 states. Learn about how historical changes can result in difficult divorces and dissolutions:

Making History

Same-sex marriage officially became legal across the country just three years ago. The 2015 decision of Obergefell v. Hodges resulted in the highly anticipated legalization of marriage. Before permitting same-sex marriage, the various states across the country allowed for “civil unions.” A civil union is a legally recognized arrangement that is similar to marriage. The first civil union was offered by the state of Vermont in 2000. The legal trend spread throughout the United States, including in Illinois in 2011. Though civil unions did recognize same-sex relationships, many people within the LGBTQ community did not view civil unions as having the same power and meaning as marriage. Obergefell v. Hodges put an end to marriage inequality, making the loving agreement legal in all 50 states.

Divorce and Dissolution

Like all other relationships, just because one can get married does not mean it will always work out in the end. Divorce between same-sex couples is often easier said than done. Before the legalization of same-sex marriage, many couples had been together for 10, 15, even 20 years. This means their life together is often much longer than their marriage certificate recognizes. As a result, it can be much more difficult to determine parental rights, alimony payments, and various other aspects that are decided in a divorce. Some courts will recognize prior years of cohabitation; however, this is not always the case. On the other hand, some couples decided never to say “I do” and simply stuck to their legally recognized civil union. As is the case with marriage, a civil union is a binding contract. Thus, more goes into the ending of a civil union than simply walking out the door. The dissolution of a civil union is very similar to the procedure for divorce. Assets get divided, parental rights must be decided, and spousal maintenance is allocated if necessary. Though the words divorce and dissolution may be different, the result is the same: a terminated contract with loose ends to tie up.

Legal Help for Illinois Divorce and Dissolution

Divorce and dissolution when it comes to same-sex couples is an extremely complicated process. It is difficult to divide the assets and results of a relationship that has not been legally recognized for the length of time that it has existed. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we understand that the delay in legal recognition should not mean an unfair divorce or dissolution. Contact us at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with a seasoned Kane County divorce attorney so that you can have a fair ending to your marriage.

 

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