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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in asset division

Cook County divorce attorney for stay-at-home parentsStatistics show that many marriages end in divorce. Once you and your spouse make the decision to part ways, there are several issues you will need to resolve. Some of these include the division of marital assets (and debt), child support, and spousal maintenance. In some cases, one spouse may have stayed home to raise the couple’s children. In other scenarios, both parents might have pursued careers. For stay-at-home moms or dads, it can be difficult to imagine a new life as a single parent, which often means finding a job to make ends meet. However, there are ways to cope with this major life transition, and you will want to make sure you have the financial resources you need after your divorce. 

Consider the Best Housing Situation 

Depending on the allocation of parental responsibilities in a divorce, one parent may be able to stay in the marital home. This can often help ease the transition, allowing the children to remain in the house they lived in during the marriage. However, as a parent who did not work while raising your kids, home ownership can pose a significant financial burden. Making a large mortgage payment every month can seem overwhelming, and you will also be responsible for property taxes, utilities, and upkeep of your home. If you are awarded spousal support, this may allow you to cover your monthly bills, but it may be more financially feasible to sell the house. This will allow both you and your ex-spouse to receive a portion of the profits from the sale. Moving to a new residence may be a first step in beginning a new chapter for everyone.  

Understand Your Finances

It is imperative that you have a firm grasp of your financial situation during and after your divorce. You will want to know what kinds of bank or retirement accounts you and your spouse have and who is listed as the account owner. By obtaining this financial information, you can ensure that you fully understand the extent of your marital assets, allowing you to receive the property and assets you are entitled to.

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Hillside QDRO lawyer

Many people work for a long time in order to save for retirement. Others may have a pension, or they may invest in mutual funds or IRAs so they can live comfortably after they are done working. If a married couple decides to part ways, they may wonder what will happen to their assets in a divorce, including their retirement plans. Under Illinois law, marital assets are divided using “equitable distribution.” This means any assets acquired during the marriage will be divided fairly between the spouses, but not necessarily split in half. It is important to understand what you are legally entitled to in terms of retirement savings that may have originally been meant for both your and your spouse’s future.   

Dividing Retirement Accounts and Pensions

If retirement accounts were created or contributed to during a couple’s marriage, or if they increased in value during the marriage, they are considered to be marital property. The balances in these accounts may be divided equally between the spouses, or a couple may agree on another way to divide these assets. Once it is determined how any retirement accounts will be divided, the retirement plan administrator must be given the details of the division and how that division will be executed. This is done through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). 
By using a QDRO, funds can be withdrawn or transferred from a retirement account, and the account owner will not be required to pay penalties or taxes on the withdrawn amount. QDROs are typically entered once the divorce is finalized. The majority of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, require a QDRO before they can be divided between spouses. IRAs are considered a different type of retirement savings and do not require a QDRO. 

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