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Adjusting Your Retirement Plan Because of DivorceDivorce can throw your retirement plan out of whack, particularly if you have been investing in your retirement benefits for a long time and are closing in on your target retirement age. The value that your retirement benefits have increased during your marriage is included in your division of property, meaning that your spouse may receive part of your benefits. Younger divorcees have time to make up the retirement money that they lose without having to drastically change their retirement plans. Older divorcees must make important decisions about whether they will adjust their retirement plans.

Ways to Adjustment

People often calculate a specific amount of money to regularly contribute to their retirement plan in order to have enough money to retire by a certain age. Divorce can throw off those calculations by draining money from your retirement savings and decreasing the amount of income you have available to contribute towards retirement. You will be individually responsible for more of your living expenses and may have to pay spousal maintenance and/or child support. There are multiple ways that you can adjust your retirement savings plan after divorce, including:

  • Increasing the percentage of each paycheck that goes into your retirement plan
  • Changing the amount of money that you plan to save by the time you retire
  • Deciding to retire at an older age in order to have more time to save for retirement
  • Making more aggressive investments that have a high risk and reward

Protecting Your Retirement Plan

You may not need to make major adjustments to your retirement plan if you can hold onto most of your retirement assets during your divorce. Protecting your retirement benefits requires planning ahead or being flexible during divorce negotiations. If your spouse has a retirement plan of comparable value to yours, you could agree to each keep your own retirement savings. You can give your spouse other valuable properties, such as your marital home, in exchange for you preserving your retirement plan. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can state that retirement savings will be defined as nonmarital property.

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Distracted Driving Is More Than Cell PhonesThousands of people in the U.S. die each year and many more are injured due to traffic crashes that involve distracted driving. If you were injured in a vehicle accident, proving that the other driver was distracted should establish their liability in a personal injury lawsuit. People often associate distracted driving with cell phone use because talking or texting while driving will take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. States such as Illinois issue traffic tickets to people caught using a handheld digital device while driving. However, the problem of distracted driving goes beyond cell phones.

Cognitive Distractions

All acts of distracted driving share a common trait: they divert your attention away from driving. Talking or texting on your phone is a good example of this because you are concentrating on a conversation you are having with someone. You could be similarly distracted if you are driving while you are:

  • Having a deep discussion with a passenger
  • Talking to someone on a hands-free device
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup or otherwise grooming yourself
  • Using a touch screen installed in your vehicle

Unlike using handheld digital devices, many of these activities are not traffic violations, even though they could still be dangerous. By reading the police report for your accident, you may see that the other driver admitted to being distracted right before the crash, which is an act of negligence.

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Ways to Divide Parenting Time in Your DivorceDivorced parents share parenting time with each other in most cases because their children benefit from having a strong relationship with both parents after a divorce. For a court to give all of the parenting time to one parent, the other parent would have to be a danger to the children or show complete disinterest in seeing the children. There are many different ways that parents can divide parenting time – from one parent receiving a vast majority of the time to an even split of parenting time. Each division has its own implications for creating a parenting schedule and financial factors, such as child support and taxes.

80-20 and 70-30 Divisions

Illinois law presumes that children benefit the most when one parent has a majority of the parenting time because:

  • The children have a primary residence and neighborhood that they call home.
  • Frequent transportation between parents’ homes is more disruptive.

Giving one parent a majority of the parenting time may be sensible in your situation if one of you is more available to be with the children or more capable in a caretaking role. A 70-30 division of parenting time would work if you want to split your parenting schedule between weekdays and weekends. An 80-20 division would likely have the children spending every other weekend with their nonresidential parent, which may make sense if a parent has a busy work schedule or lives far enough away that seeing the children every week is impractical.

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Recovering Personal Injury Damages After Hearing LossCatastrophic injuries often cause severe injuries that can be permanent or last for a long time. Deafness in one or both ears is one of the most frightening consequences you may suffer from an injury. There is no ignoring it when you have lost your hearing – you are forced to adjust every aspect of your life. If you are fortunate, your hearing may recover over time or hearing aids may allow you to function. Those who are less fortunate may be permanently deaf, forever impairing their ability to work, perform certain tasks and enjoy life. No matter the extent of your hearing loss, you deserve compensation if another party was at fault for the injury that caused your deafness.

Common Causes

Hearing loss injuries are most commonly associated with workplace injuries, such as being exposed to loud noises over an extended period. These cases fall under workers’ compensation law, which is separate from personal injury law and has more limits on the compensation you can collect. However, a hearing loss injury can also fall outside of workers’ compensation law, allowing you to file a lawsuit against someone other than your employer. For instance:

  • A third-party manufacturer may be liable for a faulty product that damaged your hearing or failed to protect you.
  • A negligent party may have caused an extreme noise that damaged your hearing.
  • Ear and brain injuries during a collision, such as a car crash, can cause hearing loss.

It can be difficult to connect your hearing loss to a specific incident because the effect may be delayed. You also must prove that you did not lose your hearing naturally with age or due to factors that are separate from the incident.

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Protecting Your Digital Information During DivorceCybersecurity should always be a priority because of the sensitive personal information that we have on our digital devices and on the internet. Think of the damage that someone could do to your life if they had unfettered access to your computer or knew the passwords to your private accounts. If you have not made an effort to strengthen your cybersecurity, during your divorce is a good time to start. Your spouse – not an anonymous hacker – may be the person most interested in accessing your digital information. You cannot rely on the same security methods as during your marriage.

Passwords

You should change the passwords or personal identification numbers for accessing your digital devices and accounts, even if you never shared them with your spouse. There are several reasons to do this:

  • Your spouse may have seen your passwords written on a piece of paper or within a digital file;
  • Your passwords should not include any personal information that your spouse may be able to guess; and
  • Your spouse could have learned an encrypted password if they had access to your digital device.

Knowing your passwords could allow your spouse to spy on your private messages and access your individual financial accounts. It might not even be illegal if you shared a password with them and never changed it. A two-factor authentification process is a simple way to improve your password security. The account will notify you if someone attempts to log in from an unrecognized device and will send an authentification code to your phone or email.

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