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Posted on in BGL Law
Dangers of Loneliness After DivorceWhen you complete your divorce and settle into your post-marriage life, it is common to be struck by a sudden feeling of loneliness. The feeling may have started when you first separated from your spouse, but the busyness of your divorce distracted you from it. You have lost your partner in life, which no other type of relationship can replicate. In some cases, you may become estranged from your circle of friends, especially if most of them are married. Loneliness can cause unhealthy behavior and bad habits. Coping with loneliness requires understanding how it affects you and being proactive in changing your life.

Effects

Loneliness is often accompanied by feelings of depression and anxiety. You are sad about your current isolation and worried that you will always be alone. Those are natural feelings to have after a divorce, but allowing them to control you can have harmful consequences, including:

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Injury Compensation Considered Marital Property in DivorceFor people who have suffered serious injuries, their monetary compensation can be vital to supporting themselves. Compensation can come in multiple forms, including a personal injury settlement, workers' compensation benefits and disability benefits. The injury victims need the monetary award because:

  • The short- and long-term medical costs can be exorbitant;
  • They may have lost significant wages while recovering from injury; and
  • Their injuries may prevent them from obtaining employment for an indefinite period.

If you are going through a divorce, you may assume that you can keep all of your injury compensation. It seems only fair because you are the person who went through the pain and suffering and are still being affected by it. However, Illinois courts have consistently ruled that money accrued due to injury is marital property.

Defining Marital Property

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Posted on in BGL Law

Signs of Separation During DivorceBecause of an update to Illinois' divorce laws in 2016, spouses who agree to divorce no longer have a mandatory separation period. Previously under the law, spouses who wanted to divorce due to irreconcilable differences were required to be separated for two years before the marriage could be dissolved. The spouses could agree to reduce the period to six months, but the separation period could be no less than that. Now, Illinois has eliminated the need to prove fault in a divorce, as well as the prerequisite that spouses be separated.

While all divorces in Illinois are effectively no-fault, a spouse can attempt to stop a divorce by contesting that there are not irreconcilable differences. In this case, separation can once again be important. Illinois law presumes irreconcilable differences when spouses have been separated for six months. Separation does not mean simply living apart. Spouses can live separately in the same residence or act like they are married while living in separate residences. There are several factors that can determine whether spouses have truly separated:

  1. Property Division – Spouses who have already started dividing their marital assets are signaling that they are separating. Assets can include financial accounts, real estate and vehicles.
  2. Divided Household – Spouses can live in the same home but cut off interaction between each other. They may use different rooms and not eat meals together.
  3. Parenting Time – Spouses who have separated may spend time with their children individually. This can be similar to a parenting schedule set up during a divorce.
  4. Self-Identity – Do spouses refer to themselves as being married or separated? They may specify on legal documents or during social interactions.
  5. Time Together – Some spouses live apart but still see each other socially, such as during vacations and family events. This may be a sign that they have not fully separated.
  6. Fidelity – If one or both spouses have started new romantic relationships, it shows that they are emotionally moving on from the marriage. Conversely, spouses living apart may remain sexually intimate, which muddles how separated they are.

Arguing for Divorce

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Crafting a Long-Distance Parenting PlanIf a divorced parent decides to move, he or she can petition to relocate with the child. The court's decision will result in either allowing the child to relocate with one parent or ordering that the child cannot be relocated, even if it means the child will live with the other parent. No matter which parent the child lives with, the parent's relocation alters the existing parenting plan. The parents must return to court to modify the allocation of parental responsibilities, which includes parenting time and decision making. A long-distance parenting plan requires careful consideration of how parental responsibilities are divided and the complexities of travel.

Parenting Time

When divorced parents live near each other, they can each have regular parenting time with their children. Illinois prefers that the children primarily live with one parent, but the other parent may be able to schedule frequent visits. With long-distance parenting plans, parents need to arrange less-regular visits and/or identify times during the year when the children can visit the distant parent for an extended period, such as school breaks and holidays. Though the agreement maintains the distant parent's rights, he or she will likely have a reduced share of parenting time because:

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Collecting Social Security Benefits From Your Divorced SpouseDuring a divorce, retirement accounts are considered marital property that can be divided. If your spouse accrued retirement benefits during your marriage, you have a right to an equitable share of those benefits. You may have to negotiate the share you will receive, because your spouse will want to protect his or her retirement assets. However, social security benefits follow a different set of rules. The Social Security Administration allows you to receive half of the value of your former spouse's social security benefits without affecting his or her own benefits.

Qualifications

This may be a less contentious way to get a share of your spouse's retirement benefits after divorce, but not everyone will qualify. In order to receive benefits based on your former spouse's social security:

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