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Special Considerations for Divorce After a Long Marriage

 Posted on July 15, 2019 in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneysFormer NBC news anchor Matt Lauer’s wife of 20 years has formally filed for divorce. The couple is seeking an uncontested divorce, but many factors will likely complicate and possibly draw out the split. Lauer is estimated to have made over $100 million during his tenure at NBC, and the couple has invested much of this money into extravagant real estate purchases. Not only is the couple quite wealthy, but they have also been married for two decades and have three children together.

Couples who divorce after a long marriage often experience a much different dissolution process than couples who have had short marriages. If you are considering ending your long-term marriage, there are several considerations you should keep in mind.

You or Your Spouse May Be Eligible for Spousal Support

Spousal support, also referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, is not awarded in every divorce case. Illinois family courts consider many factors when determining whether or not spousal support is appropriate. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Each party’s property, income, and present and future earning capacity;
  • Contributions that either party made as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent;
  • Any decrease in a party’s present or future earning capacity due to the marriage;
  • Each party’s age and mental and physical health;
  • Contributions a party made to the other's career advancement or education;
  • Any preexisting agreements such as a prenuptial agreement; and
  • Tax considerations.

Spousal support is generally awarded when one spouse has been out of the workforce for a significant time or is otherwise not financially independent. Traditionally, many recipients of spousal support have been women who sacrificed advancing their career to focus on being a parent or homemaker. However, spousal support can be awarded to men and women alike.

Retirement Funds Will Need to Be Divided

If you are getting a divorce after a long marriage, you probably have concerns about how retirement funds will be distributed between you and your spouse. Unlike some other states, Illinois divides property according to equitable distribution laws. This means that marital property is not divided exactly 50-50 but is instead divided according to each spouse’s financial circumstances and needs. In the majority of divorce cases involving a long marriage, retirement accounts are considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. Retirement funds can be modified to include an additional payee through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are getting divorced in the Chicago area, contact an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer from the Pesce Law Group P.C for help. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at 630-352-2240.



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