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Orland Park Legal Blog

More people divorcing later in life

In Illinois and across the country, more people are choosing to divorce later in life. In the past 20 years, the rate of divorce for people older than 50 has more than doubled. This change has come even as divorce rates in other demographics, especially among young people, have actually declined. While only 10% of people filing for divorce in 1990 were over the age of 50, that percentage had reached 25% by 2010. The number has continued to rise since that time. There are many factors that have contributed to the rise in older divorces, often referred to as "gray divorces".

In the first place, the same generation that changed American social attitudes toward divorce is now older. People who welcomed no-fault laws and are now in their elder years themselves. They do not face a social stigma about divorce that elders of past generations did. In addition, people are leading fuller, happier and healthier lives for many more years to come. Healthy people in what is, essentially, middle age, still expect to enjoy a romantic life and positive companionship. In addition, just as among younger people, many people who choose to end their marriages have divorced before. They may be ending a second or third marriage rather than a longer partnership.

Steps toward distraction-free driving

While it is not possible to be entirely free of distractions on the road, drivers in Illinois will want to consider the following tips since they address the most common diversions. Among these distractions are phone use, eating and holding conversations with multiple passengers. The solution to the first two disruptions is simple. Avoid them.

Phones should be set to Do Not Disturb mode, and drivers who need to make an emergency call can do so after they have safely pulled over. People are advised to not even use hands-free devices. Drivers could consider a no-eating policy in their car since it can sometimes lead to a commotion among the younger passengers or a spill.

Traffic accidents: 4 factors that make a difference

When you're driving, you know that you have to pay attention and take steps to slow down or stop when necessary. Every time you drive, you know it's your responsibility to watch out for your own safety, because it's impossible to trust everyone on the roads to do the right thing.

There are several common causes for traffic accidents. They include:

  • Eating behind the wheel
  • Drowsiness
  • Texting
  • Drinking and driving

Finances are a major consideration in divorce

If a marriage begins to experience some rough times, spouses may decide that divorce is the best path to take. It may seem obvious to then begin the dissolution process at this point. However, matters are not always that simple under Illinois laws concerning the rights and responsibilities of the parties in a divorce.

The matter of property division is typically among the most complicated and contentious issues for separating spouses. Unfortunately, many people simply feel they cannot afford to get a divorce. Financial divorce analysts often point to three specific economic factors to understand before initiating divorce proceedings: income/debt, current monthly expenses and future monthly expenses.

DOT seeks to ease trucker hours-of-operation rules

Although most Illinois motorists do not spend much time worrying about it, safety on the roadways is always an ongoing concern. The average driver is likely to have several accidents during his or her driving years, hopefully with no physical injuries and little property damage. However, if one of those accidents is with a large tractor-trailer, the odds of serious injury or death dramatically increase. Consequentially, it raises concern for many when the Department of Transportation is attempting to change a regulation that may make truck accidents more likely to happen.

Current regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a DOT agency, limit how many hours a truck driver can work within a specific time frame. The regulations also address minimum rest requirements and the necessity to log the data in a digital format as opposed to the old handwritten manual logs of the past. Noncompliance can result in time out of service. These measures were taken and enforcement has been ramped up because of the very real danger that truck driver fatigue is a major cause in truck accidents.

Study examines disparity in child support

According to a study by Custody X Change, a typical child support payment in Illinois ranges from about $735 to $880 per month. The study used an average income of $55,000 for the custodial parent and $45,000 for the noncustodial parent. It also assumed that the custodial parent spent 65% of the time with the two children while the noncustodial spent the remaining 35% with the kids. The average combined income for two-earner families is $56,000 based on Pew and census data, so the exact figures may vary, but the study did emphasize the disparity in child support payments in different states.

The difference did not seem to be linked to cost of living since New Jersey, one of the states with the highest cost of living, had one of the lowest typical child support payments. Payments ranged from a low of around $400-$528 in some states to a high of $881-$1,187.

Kevin Garnett's estranged wife challenging prenup in divorce

Illinois basketball fans may be interested to learn that former NBA star Kevin Garnett's estranged wife is challenging their prenuptial agreement in divorce court. However, Garnett has petitioned the court to schedule a hearing to enforce the agreement.

According to court documents, Garnett's wife is claiming that she signed their prenuptial agreement "under duress." As a result, he is asking for a trial to determine whether the agreement is enforceable before they divide their marital assets and negotiate any support agreements. In his court declaration, he points out that he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for around nine years before he and his wife got married, and he earned approximately $300 million during that period. He believes that income should be protected by the prenup. He also alleges that his former financial advisor embezzled around $70 million from his savings and investment accounts, causing him to suffer financial hardship. He says he has hired new financial advisors and is working with them to safeguard the remainder of his earnings.

Social media can be dangerous during a contentious divorce

You really don't need much imagination to understand how social media can damage a marital relationship. First of all, social media is addictive, resulting in people spending hours scrolling with their faces buried in their phones. That can detract from their bond with their partner.

Secondly, social media portrays an idealized version of relationships. Few people share the negatives, preferring to brag about the positive things in their life. That can make people feel like their relationship just doesn't compare. Finally, the ability to reach out in an instant to every person you've ever dated can make it a lot easier to engage in infidelity of some sort.

Mistakes divorced parents can make when co-parenting teens

Divorce is not easy for anyone involved, but it might be especially difficult for teenagers who are already going through their own struggles as they navigate the waters of adolescence. On top of dealing with physical and hormonal changes that can be stressful for a young person, handling divorce can shake up a teen's world.

Some teenagers adapt well and do their best to respect their parents. However, some teens see it as an opportunity to get their way and turn to tactics such as manipulation and lying. A bulletproof co-parenting plan can go a long way toward making sure a teen's life stays stable in the wake of a divorce, and stability often breeds better behavior.

Speeding to be focus of 2019 Operation Safe Driver Week

From July 14 to 20, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will make sure that people who drive commercial and passenger vehicles in Illinois and elsewhere around the country follow the traffic laws. These seven days have been designated as Operation Safe Driver Week for 2019, and during the event, law enforcement personnel across North America will be stopping unsafe drivers and issuing warnings and/or citations.

Speeding is the focus of this year's event. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Large Truck and Bus Facts report from 2016 named speeding as the top driver-related factor in car crashes. In fact, the practice has been implicated in almost a third of all auto accident fatalities for decades.

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