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Wheaton divorce lawyerWhen a couple gets married, the woman often takes her husband’s last name. The tradition of married surnames dates back to the 12th century. However, many people think this is sexist, or at least outdated, since the idea was common when women were considered men’s “property.” In some cases, a wife may hyphenate her maiden name with her new married name. In same-sex marriages, each spouse may opt to keep his or her own last name, both spouses could hyphenate, or the couple could choose one of the spouse’s surname for both to use. A growing trend in marriages these days even involves a husband taking his wife’s last name. 

Regardless of which name is ultimately chosen after the wedding, important documents are typically changed to reflect the legal union, such as Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, mortgage or vehicle loans or titles, and more. So what happens to the last names when a couple gets divorced? Can a spouse change back to his or her birth name? Can a child’s last name be changed after the divorce? It is important to know that in 2020, the Illinois law regarding name changes will be slightly different than it was in the past.  

Legally Changing Names

During the divorce proceedings, it can be a fairly simple process to legally change back to your maiden name, birth name, or previous legal name with the help of an experienced attorney. However, it is also possible to change it after the final divorce decree is issued. 

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Wheaton family law attorneysMost people get married with the hope and belief that they are going to live happily ever after. However, people and circumstances change, which can ultimately lead to the demise of a relationship. According to statistics, approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. When a couple has children together, this can further complicate the divorce process. Many decisions need to be made regarding the welfare of the kids. These include allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support.

The thought of parenting on your own can be overwhelming, but there are ways to embrace this next chapter. It is also critical to hire a divorce attorney who knows Illinois laws that govern divorce issues in order to protect your rights.  

Moving on After Divorce 

Single parenting can be challenging to say the least. Starting over again after being married for many years is difficult regardless of the circumstances. This new transition can result in many different emotions, such as anger, relief, excitement, anxiety, and grief. Even if your divorce is amicable, you may be so used to making decisions as partners that you do not even know how to begin living life as a single person. Try to think of this time as an opportunity to explore, rediscover yourself, and redefine your relationship with your children.  

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Wheaton divorce lawyerA divorce under any circumstances can be difficult, but it can be especially painful when a couple has been married for a long time. The divorce rate among couples who are over 50 years old has steadily increased over the past few decades. 

Some couples wait until their kids are grown to go their separate ways, thinking their children will react to the break-up better if they are older. However, this may not always be the case. Studies show that even older kids who live on their own can be devastated by their parent’s divorce. This can translate to their own romantic relationships, making them leary of a commitment such as marriage. They can also feel stressed because they feel like they have to choose one parent over the other, especially in a high-conflict divorce. If you are concerned about how your gray divorce will affect your grown children, below are some issues to consider when helping them through the transition. 

Tips for Helping Older Kids Cope

Society often tells us that after a certain age, a child is no longer a kid and is considered a “grown-up.” That may be true in certain situations, but even adult children still need their parents from time to time. They may be in shock at the news of their parents splitting up after being together their entire childhood. What they thought was a solid family foundation is now torn apart, which may leave them feeling sad, angry, guilty, and lost. 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysThere are many reasons why people get divorced, and one of the most common is financial issues. Arguing over money or frivolous spending can cause a couple to grow apart. In some cases, it may destroy trust and result in the end of the marriage. During the divorce proceedings, anything the spouses owned together will need to be divided between the spouses. This is referred to as the division of marital assets and property. Certain assets might be in the form of retirement accounts, pension plans, or other investments acquired by one or both spouses. However, splitting these types of assets is not as easy as tangible items such as a house, furniture, or vehicles. The process can be complicated, so it is important to understand how they will be distributed according to Illinois divorce law.   

What Is “Equitable Distribution”?

In Illinois, marital property is just about anything the couple acquired during the time they were married. This is different from non-marital property, which are items or assets that one of the spouses owned prior to the marriage. Gifts and inheritance also fall into the non-marital or separate property category. 

Under Illinois law, “equitable distribution” in a divorce means that all the marital property will be divided between the spouses in a fair or equitable way, but not necessarily completely in half. Therefore, it is important to determine what portion of the retirement savings is considered to be marital property and subject to division during the divorce.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysMaking the decision to legally terminate a marriage is a big step. For some people, it might be daunting to think of being single again, especially if they have been married for a long time. There are options that a couple can take if they are not ready to split up permanently. A trial separation is an informal agreement between two spouses that they will live apart for a period of time. Unlike a legal separation, a trial separation is not a legally binding contract, but in both situations, the pair is technically still married in the eyes of the law. In some instances, the married couple may choose to seek counseling to work out their problems during the separation. They may even reconcile and move back in with each other. However, some couples may decide to get a divorce after they are separated. 

Factors to Consider During a Separation

A trial separation begins as soon as one of the spouses moves out of the marital home. This means he or she will have to find a new place to live, whether it be temporary or long term. A couple can decide on the terms of their agreement, which can be flexible since it is not an official legal arrangement. This allows both partners to explore options regarding child-related and marital issues in the event of a divorce later on. 

Some of the important factors to consider in the short and long term following a separation include the following:

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