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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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Calculating Spousal Support Under Illinois LawUnder current Illinois law, judges have less discretion than they previously did in determining what, if anything, can be awarded for spousal support. Spousal maintenance or support awards in Illinois are calculated according to statutorily set guidelines.

Before deciding what amount should be awarded for spousal support, the judge is first required to determine whether spousal support is appropriate in a particular case by considering certain factors, including the following:

  • The current property of each spouse;
  • The realistic earning capacity of each spouse presently and in the future,
  • Loss of earning capacity of both parties, including any loss of earning capacity based on a spouse taking on a more domestic role during the marriage, for example, loss of earning capacity for a stay-at-home parent;
  • Standard of living of the spouses;
  • Any valid agreements by the parties, such as a prenuptial agreement; and
  • The time needed for the spouse receiving support to become self-sufficient.

Once the judge decides maintenance is appropriate, the maintenance award is calculated as follows for a couple earning less than $250,000 and having no previous child support or spousal support obligations. In order to determine the annual maintenance award, 20 percent of the income of the spouse who will receive the maintenance is subtracted from 30 percent of the income of the spouse who will pay the maintenance. The figure determined here is also restricted in that it cannot exceed 40 percent of the combined gross income of the couple.

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Posted on in Family Law

McHenry County divorce attorney, property division in Illinois, property division, marital property, non-marital property, retirement accounts and divorce, joint bank account, equitable distributionWho gets the house? Which one of us can keep the car? What will happen to my retirement account?

These sorts of questions are often some of the first on the minds of those contemplating divorce. Property division is one of the most important parts of the divorce process, and it is often surrounded by several myths and rumors. However, much of the property division process is centered around two questions: “What gets divided?” and, “How does it get divided?”

What Gets Divided?

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, fighting a prenup, McHenry County divorce attorney, prenup, prenuptial agreement, property division, spousal support, overcoming a prenupMany people who are about to get married, particularly those with high net worth, choose to enter into a premarital agreement beforehand. Premarital agreements, also referred to as prenuptial agreements or prenups, are contracts between the two people about to get married detailing what should happen in the event of a divorce. These prenups are legally binding contracts, and courts will often enforce them, but like many contracts, the spouses may have legal arguments available to them that would nullify the contract. In fact, an ongoing and contentious divorce that is currently happening in Illinois highlights some of these arguments. That case, which involves a divorce between a hedge fund manager and his wife, demonstrates two of the most common arguments to invalidate a prenup: improper financial disclosures and coercion.

What Are Prenups?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts that spouses enter into prior to a marriage to decide how certain aspects of their divorce would play out. For instance, spouses who choose to enter into premarital agreements can determine things like property division and spousal support, so that the court does not have to deal with those issues during the divorce. In general, the prenup can outline the rights and responsibilities that the spouses have towards each other during the divorce.

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