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Child support, alimony and retirement important divorce matters

Arriving at a divorce settlement that is pleasing to both parties going through the divorce is seldom easy. This is especially true when financial issues are at the heart of the divorce. A few tips may help people in Illinois to navigate the divorce process in a way that is most beneficial to them now and in the future from a financial standpoint.

First, it is important to obtain a court order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, if one plans to receive part of a spouse's retirement account. Before doing so, it is important for a person to ensure that he or she is aware of every retirement account belonging to the spouse. Then, the individual must review each plan's individual rules concerning QDROs. It is expedient to have the retirement plan's administrator approve the QDRO before the divorce settlement is finalized.

Next, it is important to note that a person's ability to receive child support and alimony is based on the spouse's ability to make payments. It may be possible to place in one's divorce decree a requirement for the soon-to-be ex-spouse to get life insurance or disability policies as a kind of insurance in case he or she becomes unable to pay court-ordered support in the future. It is also necessary to determine whether to agree to a certain termination date for alimony or spousal support if it is not required by law.

Knowing exactly how an individual's divorce-related decisions will affect him or her down the road can be challenging. An applied understanding of the law, however, can make a person feel more confident about making decisions that are in his or her best interest. Any person going through divorce has the right to fight for his or her fair share of assets in Illinois.

Source: unionleader.com, "Money Sense: Financial mistakes to avoid during a divorce settlement", Marc Herbert, May 2, 2015

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