In our last post, we began looking at the importance of the 10-year mark for marriage for purposes of Social Security retirement income. As we noted, ex-spouses who have not remarried are able to receive payments based on their former spouse’s record. For older couples who are contemplating divorce, timing may therefore become an issue.
Not every couple in Illinois wants to get married. To be sure, marriage is a personal choice, but there can be unexpected consequences if one unmarried partner suddenly becomes ill and incapacitated. In this situation, someone needs to make decisions about the medical care of the ill person. If the unmarried couple has not established a power of attorney for health care, then neither partner will have a legal say about important medical decisions pertaining to the other in the case of an emergency.
As readers may be aware, there has been an increase in recent years in divorce among older Americans. So-called “gray divorce” is not only occurring among those who have been married more than once, but just as much among those who have only been married once.
Last time, we began looking several changes made by a child custody law that went into effect this year. As we noted, some of the changes were substantive and other merely involved language, but in either case, an experienced attorney should be able to leverage these changes to help advocate for the interests of a parent.
Careful communication is critical to helping resolve disputes, particularly emotional disputes. In child custody cases, this is especially true given the attachment parents have around issues of custody. This is partly what underlies recent changes made to state law concerning custody issues.