Photo of Karen Lavin

The holidays can be a tough time for those whose marriage has come to an end. All the holiday parties and family get-togethers offer repeated reminders of the split. But divorces happen when they must. Take, for instance, Clint Eastwood’s divorce. It was recently finalized.

Eastwood and his wife had been married 18 years. They had one daughter together, also 18. The couple had shot a short-lived reality series, “Mrs. Eastwood & Company.” In the summer of 2013, the couple separated.

Thus far, the divorce details are secret. There is no word on alimony, property division and other classic divorce issues. But if the divorce tracks other high-asset, high-profile divorces in which one partner is much more successful financially, the final price tag could be significant.

The likely sums of money and property involved highlights the most contentious issue for older Illinois couples: property division. These couples, like Eastwood and his former spouse, no longer need to worry about child custody and child support. Instead, they need to worry about how to separate the sizeable and often complicated assets they have accrued over the years. Doing so can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, including whether property is to be considered marital or separate and what constitutes an equitable distribution.

Fortunately, residents of Illinois do not need to sort through their property division issues alone. They can get help analyzing their assets and debts, developing a property-division plan and then negotiating a final agreement. The first step may be to discuss their case with a professional. Doing so could be the start of putting the past in the past, and moving forward to the next exciting chapter.

Source: Design & Trend, “Clint Eastwood And Wife Dina Eastwood Finalize Their Divorce After 18 Years of Marriage,” Rebecca West, Dec. 27, 2014