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Posted on in Divorce

Health Risks for Seniors Who DivorceDivorce can negatively affect the lifestyle of people of any age, but the health consequences are direr for senior citizens. Gray divorce, which is divorce that occurs between spouses age 50 and older, has greatly increased in recent decades, despite other age groups showing modest growth or decline. People’s health natural becomes more fragile as they grow older, and the emotional impact of divorce can worsen their health.

Stress and Depression

Divorcing after a long marriage is stressful and traumatic, even if you know that the divorce is in your best interest. You feel uncertain about your future without your spouse as your companion, and the financial agreement may have unsettled your careful retirement plans. Bad experiences from your marriage may also haunt your thoughts, causing symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. Prolonged feelings of stress and trauma often cause a deep depression, and it can be difficult to escape the cycle of depression if you are retired and living alone.

Physical Symptoms

Stress and depression can strain your body because of the way your body responds to these emotions. Stress causes your body to release adrenal hormones, which can be harmful if your body does it continuously. Senior citizens are less capable of handling the strain of stress hormones. As a result, stress and depression can increase the risk of:

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Four Strategies for Financial Success in Your Divorce NegotiationsSavvy divorcees view their division of property as a strategic accumulation of assets instead of a struggle to obtain as many valuable properties as possible. Some assets have a potential value that their current value does not reflect. Just as importantly, other properties may be more costly to hold onto than they are worth. You should prepare for your divorce negotiations by identifying goals. Here are four considerations for obtaining long-term financial success from your divorce agreement:

  1. Assess the Future Value of Your Marital Assets: You should use more than a property's current value when calculating an equitable division of property. Some properties can appreciate in value, such as market investments, real estate, and business interests. Identifying these potential growth assets will help you in choosing which assets you want to keep and preventing your spouse from taking advantage of you. You should ask for additional compensation if your spouse wants an asset that may be worth more than its current value.
  2. Balance Risk and Reward: Relying on the growth of your divorce assets may backfire if the assets do not appreciate in value as estimated. Many growth factors are outside of your control, such as the state of the economy and business markets. You should measure an asset’s potential for growth by both its high-end outcome and likelihood of growth. Protect yourself by keeping some marital assets that are certain to maintain their current value.
  3. Include Expenses in Property Valuation: Real estate, such as the marital home, is an enticing marital property because of its value and use. However, it also comes with many expenses, such as property taxes and upkeep. You should evaluate whether keeping a real property is worth the cost. Are you asking for the marital home because you need the home or because you want to keep a valuable property? You can receive several other properties in exchange for your marital home.
  4. Prioritize Your Vital Properties: Some marital properties are more important to you than to your spouse. Maintaining complete ownership of your business protects your primary source of income. Later in your life, you will rely on your retirement benefits to support your living expenses. You may need to give up other marital properties in order to have complete control over these vital assets.

Making a Plan

You should discuss your financial strategy for your divorce with your attorney before you begin your negotiations. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you identify key properties and advise you on how to keep them. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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How Your Children's School Can Help Them During Your DivorceIt is important to remember that you are not alone when you are trying to help your children adjust to your divorce. Family, friends, and professionals can all play a role in getting your children through the sadness and uncertainty that comes with the sudden change in their lives. Your children’s school can be a vital resource during your divorce. Your children may spend more time with their teachers than with any other adults, outside of yourself and your spouse. With the new school year starting, now is a good time to talk to teachers and counselors at your child’s school about how they can help your child during your divorce.

Teachers

When children are in elementary school, they spend most of the day with one teacher, who is in charge of their education and development. Your child’s teacher should know about the divorce because:

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Subtle Signs That You Have Moved Forward From Your DivorceYour emotional attachments to your marriage will likely persist after you have completed your divorce. You can truly say that you have moved past your divorce when the memory of it no longer dictates your actions or weighs on your thoughts. It may take months or even years to reach this point, depending on your personality and circumstances. The paradox of getting over a divorce is that you will know that it has happened when you no longer think about it. Here are four subtle signs that you have emotionally recovered from your divorce:

  1. You Are Not Triggered By Reminders: There are some things that you naturally identify with your former spouse. It can be as random as a song, food item, outfit or conversation topic. When you experience one of these things, you are immediately reminded of your marriage. You may always associate these things with your former spouse, but you will know you have gotten over your divorce when this recognition does not lead to larger thoughts about your marriage.
  2. You No Longer Keep Track of Your Former Spouse: Immediately after your divorce, you may be curious about your former spouse’s activities. Social media has made it easier to keep track of your former spouse than ever before. You are comparing each others’ post-divorce lives in hopes that he or she does not find happiness before you. Seeing that your former spouse is dating again or having fun makes you angry and jealous, even though it has no effect on your life. When you have moved on from your divorce, information about your former spouse’s life will not phase you because you no longer compare yourself to him or her.
  3. Divorce Does Not Dominate Your Discussions: It is easy to tell that you have not moved past your divorce when you are always drawn to the subject during conversations. This is particularly noticeable when you compare a person you are dating to your former spouse. Moving on from divorce means you are judging your new relationship on its own merits. When people ask you what your marital status is, you say you are single instead of divorced.
  4. You Can Have a Civil Encounter with Each Other: You can prepare yourself for interacting with your former spouse if you know you will be seeing him or her. It is during a surprise encounter that you may become emotional. You avoid interacting with him or her because you are afraid that any conversation will quickly turn into an argument. The awkwardness will always be there, but someone who has moved past a divorce can be civil around his or her former spouse and even ignore attempts to bait him or her into an argument.

Post-Divorce Preparations

To help you move on from your divorce, you need a divorce agreement that you feel settles matters between you and your former spouse in a satisfactory manner. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you negotiate your divorce settlement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Divorce Does Not Change Life Insurance BeneficiariesIllinois law is inconsistent when it comes to divorce and your beneficiaries upon your death. Once your divorce is final, your former spouse will automatically lose his or her status as your primary beneficiary in your will or trust, as well as any control over your estate. If you fail to update your estate plan before your death, a probate court will likely assume that you did not intend for your former spouse to remain your primary beneficiary. However, Illinois has no law that automatically removes your former spouse as the primary beneficiary in your life insurance policy. You must decide and act on any changes to your life insurance beneficiaries.

Choosing a Beneficiary

Unlike with an estate plan, Illinois courts have ruled that failing to update a life insurance policy after a divorce shows that the policyholder intended for his or her former spouse to remain the primary beneficiary. Some people choose to keep their life insurance beneficiaries the same because:

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