Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,If you are close to retirement and facing a divorce (sometimes called a “gray” divorce), the issues you will need to address are at least somewhat different than those faced by younger couples. For example, you probably do not need to worry about child custody, as your children, if there were any, may already be grown and out of the house. You do likely have a lot more assets in the form of bank accounts, retirement funds, shared real estate, and more that will have to be split between the two of you.

Where to Begin

Even if both parties are willing to share and compromise, there is more to splitting certain funds than one may realize. Rather than being able to just share an IRA or 401(k) like you might do with a bank account, there are rules that must be followed to avoid various fees and taxes. Often, individuals who have passed their middle-aged years have a variety of retirement accounts, and they can be tricky.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate through all the laws and regulations to make sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse both get a fair deal. However, it is important that you be realistic and keep in mind that you will likely end up taking at least a minor financial hit. Transitioning from one household to two separate households will obviously mean, except in rare cases, a major increase in expenses.

Also, there is no way to getting around sharing your retirement accounts, unless of course the other party agrees not to touch it in your settlement. Even if it did come directly from your hard-earned income, it also was technically from your mutual marital income.

What Is a QDRO?

Your attorney will explain to you that a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) will be needed to split a 401(k) account without facing a lot of fees. A QDRO is a one-time break that allows you to share your retirement funds with the other party, without being subjected to a penalty. If you take out any more money to use elsewhere, there will be a penalty on that portion of your withdrawal if you are younger than 59½. A QDRO will not be needed for an IRA, but if an IRA is split, it will have to be done officially in your divorce decree or separation agreement in order for the IRA custodian to honor it. If you take the money out directly from an IRA, there will be a penalty for those under 59½, but if it is rolled over to another IRA, there is no penalty.

Contact a Knowledgeable Elmhurst Divorce Attorney

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz and Oliver, LLC, will know exactly how to help you with your divorce. Our experienced Oak Park divorce attorneys will know exactly how to split all of your assets and debts in the best manner to avoid any unnecessary fees. Call 312-605-4041 to inquire about setting up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T065-C000-S004-dividing-your-assets-in-a-gray-divorce.html

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,For many people, the time they went through their divorce may have been the worst time of their lives. No matter whether you wanted out of the marriage or not, from the moment of your separation until well after the divorce is final can be a period of uncertainty and loneliness. Legal missteps during this time can affect the rest of your life, so it is important that you try to remain as mentally and emotionally well during this time.

Coping Tips

  1. Acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself to have them, and deal with them in healthy ways. Rather than trying to push down the wide range of emotions you are facing, try working on self-improvement and stress relievers, like working out at the gym, going for a walk, or talking things through with a close friend.
  2. Take care of yourself. Do not allow yourself to wallow in sorrow or anger. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest, even if you are having trouble sleeping, and do not turn to alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms. These can lead to poor decisions and lifelong issues., so tread carefully.
  3. Make sure your attorney is handling your case in the way you want. If there are specific issues that you want to make sure are taken care of, make sure to communicate those necessities to your lawyer. Heed your attorney’s advice, but also offer input to ensure your needs are being met. Having things taken care of from a legal standpoint will take a lot of stress and worry off of your shoulders.
  4. Avoid arguing with your spouse (or ex-spouse). It will be tempting to answer every call, text, or email, and often you will want to get some anger and disappointment off your chest, but unfortunately, this can, and most likely will, lead to even more negative emotions piling onto you.
  5. Spend time with loved ones. You need friendships and support during a divorce. You may also need some alone time to reflect, but do not allow yourself to be too closed off from the people who love you and want to help you through this difficult time.
  6. If you have children, reassure them, and try to keep up their regular activities as much as possible. Do not drag them into the conflict, but rather try to remain as positive as you can around them. However, also be honest about the situation and let them know that they also are entitled to their feelings, and be open for them to talk to you about the situation.

Contact an Elmhurst Attorney for Help with Your Divorce

The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, are knowledgeable and ready to help you through your divorce. Contact an experienced Elmhurst attorney to iron out the details that will keep your divorce process as stress-free as it can be. Call 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/separation-and-divorce

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divorceDivorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.

Where to Begin with Property Division

Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.

Take Note of The Following Oft-Forgotten Assets

  • Retirement Funds: Besides checking and savings accounts, many people have 401(k)’s or other types of investment funds through their places of employment. Members of couples who have been married a while may be able to lay claim to part of their soon-to-be-ex’s retirement accounts.
  • Collections: Some collect wine, coins, jewelry, or even cars. Chances are, your combined assets have gone into building said collections, so even if you do not want to take half of the collection, you may be entitled to half of its monetary value.
  • Valuable Gifts: Watches and rings, large TVs, vehicles, and other gifts given during the marriage legally belong to both of you. In addition, even if something belonged to only one of you prior to the marriage, if you added his or her name to it during the marriage, it could be considered marital property.
  • Photographs and Items of Sentimental Value: These must also be divided or copies made when possible, even if they have little to no monetary value.
  • Intellectual Property: Products or ideas that were trademarked, copyrighted, etc., during the marriage must be split, including any income that may come from them in the future.
  • Winnings or Loan Repayments: If a spouse wins money or valuable items in a contest, on a lottery ticket, at a casino, or by other means, during the marriage, it has to be shared. The same goes for repayments received from loans given by the couple, or either member of the couple, during the marriage.

Seek Legal Counsel in Your Divorce

The above list may only scratch the surface of all the possibilities for assets that could be overlooked in the midst of divorce proceedings. An experienced Elmhurst divorce attorney can help you sort through any belongings or debts you may have and work out a fair settlement. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2012/11/14/what-are-the-consequences-of-hiding-assets-during-divorce/#4c2cd415190c

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2013/10/16/divorcing-women-dont-forget-these-marital-assets/#5efd01421195

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer,Many times, the first thing on a parent’s mind when they get a divorce is how it can affect their children. Many people have said that staying together for the children is better than getting a divorce. There have been numerous studies on how divorce affects children and their well being, but their have also been many studies on how unhappy marriages affect children. Most of these studies have concluded that while a divorce is difficult for many children, staying in an unhappy marriage can be even more detrimental for children’s well being. Many times, the decision to divorce or not to divorce is made based on the children’s best interests. Here are just a couple of ways that an unhappy marriage can affect your children.

Constant Stress and Tension

If you are in a marriage where you and your spouse fight a lot, your child is experiencing some of that stress and the tension that the fights create. It is natural for children to internalize their parents, but when they internalize all of their parents’ fighting and conflict, that can lead to emotional, physical and social ailments, like depression or chronic fatigue. Even if you try to hide the fighting, children are very receptive and can sense you and your spouse’s unhappiness.

Mood and Behavior Problems

Constant fighting and stress can cause your children to develop problems like chronic depression or behavioral issues. Often, children whose parents are in unhappy marriages tend to act out or misbehave as a way of expressing their feelings.

Low Self-Esteem

A home that has an abundance of tension and fighting can produce children who constantly question themselves and their actions. Children often internalize their parent’s problems and blame themselves for the family’s unhappiness. This can cause children to have low self-esteem and be uncertain about many things.

Discuss Your Options With a Park Ridge, IL Divorce Attorney

Making the decision to get a divorce is one of the biggest and most important decisions you might have to make in your life. It can be especially difficult if you are on the fence because of your children. Studies have shown that staying in an unhappy marriage can have negative effects on your children, but only you know your children best. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand that making the decision to divorce is not taken lightly. Talking with an experienced Oak Ridge, IL divorce lawyer can help you make your decision. Call our office at 312-605-4041 to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201703/why-bad-marriages-are-worse-kids-divorce

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-ways-you-can-damage-your-kids-by-staying-in-a-bad-marriage_n_573b4845e4b0646cbeeaf9a9

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer, parenting time and repsonsibilities, There are millions of Americans living with a mental illness. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) say that nearly 44 million people experience a mental illness in any given year and about 10 million adults live with a chronic mental illness. Mental illness can include conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder, but by far the most common mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety disorders. Though the public perception of mental illness has changed to become more open and understanding, mental illness can still impact people in serious ways, especially those who are going through a divorce. Mental illness can also impact decisions made about parenting time and responsibilities in divorce cases.

How Divorce Decisions Involving Children Are Made

When making decisions about a parent’s allotted parenting time and responsibilities in Illinois, the judge must consider what is in the child’s best interests. The judge will look at many factors before making his or her decision, including:

  • The wishes of the child, within reason;
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate when making decisions;
  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The interactions of the child with each parent and any siblings;
  • The child’s needs;
  • The ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before their own; and
  • Any other factor the court deems to be relevant.

The judge’s main goal when making decisions involving children is to make sure the child is happy, healthy and getting adequate care.

Mental Health Issues and Their Impact on Child-Centered Issues

Though the mental health of both of the parents and the child are taken into consideration by the judge when he or she makes decisions about parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, a parent will not be automatically disqualified from either just by having a mental illness. The judge will take into consideration the severity and type of mental illness that you have. A more severe mental illness, like schizophrenia, might constitute a reason to take away certain decision-making responsibilities, or a condition like substance abuse might limit parenting time. It also depends on whether or not the parent is currently receiving help for their mental illness and their willingness to do so if they are currently not.

Contact an Elmhurst, IL Child Custody Attorney Today

Divorce and mental illness are two very difficult things to deal with on their own. Put them together and they become even harder. Parents who have a mental illness often worry if that will interfere with their right to parenting time and responsibilities in the event of a divorce, but they should not worry. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand the gravity of child custody cases and the worries that come with a mental illness. Our highly-skilled Park Ridge, IL child custody lawyers can help you build your defense to any mental illness claims your spouse might make against you. Call our office today at 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/GeneralMHFacts.pdf

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,With the new year fast approaching, 2019 is right around the corner. While this is exciting for some, couples who have just filed for divorce or are mid-divorce could see some not-so-nice changes with the new year. A law that was passed in December 2017 will come into effect beginning January 1, 2019, and will affect any couple who has not finalized their divorce by December 31, 2018.

Act Will Change Tax Implications For Divorcing Couples

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed in December of 2017 and made changes to the tax code that will affect about half of Americans in some way, shape or form when it goes into full effect at the beginning of the year. For divorcing couples, the TCJA will affect the tax implications of spousal support (also known as alimony). The act will change the existing 77-year-old law on who pays taxes on spousal support.

Old Law vs. New Changes

Any couple who finalizes their divorce before December 31, 2018, will adhere to the current rules on who pays taxes on spousal support. As of now, the person who is paying the spousal support can deduct the payments on their taxes. The person who receives the spousal support must pay taxes on the payments depending on their tax bracket. Under the new law, spouses who pay support payments will not be able to deduct the amount on their taxes and the spouse who receives the payments will not pay tax on them.

Implications of the Change

Couples who are currently going through a divorce have more pressure to finalize their divorces before this new law goes into effect. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers estimates that divorces will change significantly in the way they are settled and that divorce cases will become more hostile than before. The organization has also stated that couples who currently have prenuptial agreements should reexamine the documents and update them based on the new law.

Get in Touch with an Elmhurst, IL Spousal Support Attorney

It is no secret that a divorce can be a messy and complicated process. With the new law that will take full effect next year, your divorce could become even more complicated. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, you can have peace of mind knowing that we are here to help you throughout your divorce process and will help you make the best decisions about spousal support and its effect on your taxes. Our highly-skilled Lincolnwood, IL spousal support attorneys understand the importance of receiving support and that spousal support is something that you may depend on, especially right after your divorce. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling 312-605-4041.

 

Sources:

https://www.efile.com/tax-deduction/income-deduction/divorced-tax/

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/24/the-new-tax-bill-will-complicate-splitting-up-especially-for-women.html

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Divorce is difficult and stressful for everyone – there is no doubt about that. Once you completed your divorce and have decided everything from how your marital property is divided to how your parenting time is divided, you probably felt like a weight was lifted off of your shoulders. All of that stress and worrying can come rushing back if you have to move and you want to take your child with you. In Illinois, parenting time can be changed if there is a significant change in circumstances from when the parenting plan was first created – parental relocation qualifies as one of those circumstances. Even if you are not moving out of the state, you cannot just pick up and move if you are taking your child with you. You must seek the permission of both the other parent and the court.

First Steps

Before you do anything, you are required to provide written notice about your intended relocation to the child’s other parent. The notice should be issued to the other parent at least 60 days before your intended relocation unless that is not possible. The notice should be filed with the clerk of the circuit court and should include your intended date of relocation, your new address if it is known and the length of time you will be there if the change is not permanent. If the other parent agrees to the relocation, signs the notice and files the notice with the clerk of the court, no further court action will be taken. If the parent fails to sign the notice, objects to the relocation or you both cannot agree on a modification to the existing parenting plan, this is when the courts get involved.

Petitioning the Court to Relocate

Every decision that the court makes concerning your child is made with the child’s best interest in mind. When making a decision on how the parenting plan will be modified to accommodate the relocation, the courts will consider:

  • The reasons for the intended location;
  • The reasons why the other parent objects to the relocation;
  • The quality of the relationship that each parent has with the child;
  • The educational opportunities that the child currently has and the ones that he or she will have at the new location;
  • Whether or not extended family is near the existing location and the new location;
  • The anticipated impact the relocation will have on the child;
  • Whether or not an acceptable allocation of parenting responsibilities is possible with the relocation;
  • What the child wants, within reason; and
  • How a modification to the parenting plan could be crafted to minimize impairment to the parent-child relationship.

Contact a Lincolnwood, IL Parental Relocation Attorney

Whether you are the parent who is seeking to relocate or you are the parent who is objecting to the relocation, this type of change can be difficult for everyone – including your child. Stress during this time of contention can be reduced with legal help from an experienced and knowledgeable Skokie parenting time lawyer. Our attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC are compassionate and understand how a relocation can affect everyone in the family. Our attorneys also understand how to obtain successful parenting plan modifications, which can help speed up your relocation process. Call our office today to set up a consultation at 312-605-4041.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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Skokie divorce hidden assets lawyerDivorce can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with a high net worth and a spouse who has attempted to hide assets. Though it is difficult to keep financial secrets from your spouse these days, it does not stop people from trying. According to a report by CreditCards.com, nearly 15 million adults have a credit card or bank account that their live-in partner does not know about. Though it can be tempting to hide assets from one’s spouse during a divorce, it is not a good idea – in fact, it is illegal. If you think your spouse may be concealing financial resources during your divorce, here are five ways you can begin looking for hidden assets:

1. Look at Tax Returns

The first place you should begin looking for hidden assets is in your taxes. Income tax returns from at last the past five years are a good place to start. Look at where income has been coming from, whether that be your spouse’s job, interest, dividends, or capital gains or losses. If something seems off on the tax return, talk to your attorney about it.

2. Check Bank Statements

Another place to look could be bank or credit card statements. When examining these statements, you should look for any large transfers or withdrawals, especially patterns such as regular transfers or withdrawals of small amounts of money. Look for any payments made to family members or friends or custodial accounts for children. Also, look for any ATM withdrawals and note the amounts withdrawn – are these normal spending habits, or could they be an indication that your spouse is withdrawing and concealing marital funds?

3. Check Public Records

Another way you can find hidden assets is by checking public records for valuable information. Public records can be accessed at places such as county courthouses or city halls. Records you should be concerned with include:

  • Tax assessments
  • Loan applications
  • Business records
  • Real estate appraisals
  • Property deeds

4. Search the House

Another way you to find hidden assets is through good, old-fashioned searching. Look in all the spots that your spouse could hide information – not only in the obvious places, such as his or her desk, filing cabinets, or journals, but also in closets, dresser drawers, and even under the mattress. You might just find clues about certain assets that he or she is hiding.

5. Hire an Attorney Skilled in Asset Discovery

Divorce is not easy for anyone, but if your spouse is hiding assets from you, it can be even more emotionally and financially stressful. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing funds or property from you, you should immediately contact a Lincolnwood divorce asset discovery lawyer. The experienced lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you discover any assets that your spouse may be trying to keep from you and work to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 312-605-4041.

Sources:

https://www.creditcards.com/press-releases/2018-financial-infidelity.pdf

http://documents.jdsupra.com/efb799e4-2d82-4b32-a9fe-af8e21e5114f.pdf

https://www.liveabout.com/ways-to-find-hidden-assets-during-divorce-1103106

https://www.truthfinder.com/infomania/technology/find-hidden-assets-divorce/

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Elmhurst divorce attorney pet ownershipEveryone who is a pet owner knows that their pet is part of the family, and to some people, their pets are even like children. For the longest time, pets were considered property in an Illinois divorce, and the spouse who got to keep a pet was mostly determined by who purchased the animal. A recent change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act now includes a clause about pets which sets out guidelines to determine who gets the pets when spouses get a divorce.

Pets are Treated More Like Children Under New Law

A new law that took effect at the beginning of 2018 now allows pets to be treated more like dependents and less like property. This means that Illinois now recognizes that animals are living beings, and their best interests need to be taken into consideration when a separation is in order. However, it will still need to be determined whether or not pets are considered marital property before any allocation occurs. If a pet is found to be marital property, a judge can now consider certain factors when determining who gets custody of a pet in the divorce.

Considering Factors

Much like when you are getting a divorce with children, either party can petition for sole or joint possession and responsibility of a pet or “companion animal,” as the Act puts it. The petitioner could either be awarded sole or joint custody of the animal, depending on the judge’s decision on what is in the best interests of the pet. The only animals that this change does not apply to are service animals, but in cases with companion animals, judges may consider factors such as:

  • Who spends more time with the animal.
  • Who takes the animal to the veterinarian.
  • Who trained the animal.
  • Who tends to the animal’s daily needs, such as eating or walking.
  • Who has financially provided for the animal.

Use a Lincolnwood Divorce Attorney to Settle Your Pet Custody Disputes

For most pet owners, their animals are part of the family, which is why this new law was enacted–to treat animals owned by divorcing couples more like family members. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about who your pet will end up with, you should contact an Elmhurst divorce lawyer who can help you fight to keep your beloved animal in your possession. By working with Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, you can have peace of mind knowing that your attorney has a proven track record of successfully settling family law cases. To set up a consultation, call our office at 630-530-4400.

Sources:

https://www.ilnews.org/news/justice/new-illinois-divorce-law-would-give-pet-custody-to-better/article_d51fc1c4-e0fb-11e7-b083-cb3fcf9279f8.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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Skokie divorce lawyer business valuationThe American Dream is the belief that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough. For many people, their own American Dream is realized through business ownership. In 2010, there were reported to be around 27.9 million small business in the U.S. Comparing that statistic to the divorce rate, which is anywhere between 40 and 50 percent, it is safe to say that many divorcing couples have an extra question to ask: what happens to my business if I get a divorce?

Steps to Protecting Your Business

Owning a business is a rewarding experience, which is why you want to protect it at all costs. The easiest and least stressful option for protecting your business in the case of a divorce is to come to an agreement about the business in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If you do not use either of these documents, there are still ways you can protect your business from being divided in a less-than-favorable way:

1. Get a Proper Valuation

The first step in protecting your business is making sure that it is valued properly. This is how the courts decide what your business is worth and how much each spouse is entitled to. The best way to do this is to get a court-appointed appraiser to evaluate the company and then have a private professional look over the numbers before you show them to the court.

2. Pay Yourself a Decent Salary

While it may seem odd, you should pay yourself a good salary rather than investing it all back into the business, or you could be accused of withholding some of the earnings from your spouse. Their lawyer could argue that the spouse was entitled to more of the company’s money, because not enough of it was put into the household.

3. Ease Your Spouse Out of the Business

As soon as possible, you should try to phase your spouse out of the business. The longer they work there, and the more effort they put into building the company, the more a lawyer can argue that they deserve a portion of the company, and the more likely a judge is to agree with them.

4. Give Up Other Assets

As a last resort, you can use other assets, such as cash, real estate, or other property, to bargain for your ownership of your company. Your business is an asset, and it will be valued and distributed like other assets. If you can negotiate with your spouse, you might be able to mitigate any obligation you have to share business interests with them.

5. Hire an Experienced Skokie Divorce Lawyer

When you own a business, it is often your most valuable asset. The last thing you want to do is lose it during your divorce. If you want to retain your business and keep doing what you love, you should hire an Elmhurst divorce attorney who is skilled in the area of protecting family businesses. Contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC to see how we can help you protect your business, whether through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or through measures during the divorce process. Call our office at 312-605-4041 to set up a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220124

https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/05/protecting-your-business-from-divorce.html

https://www.nfib.com/content/resources/legal/a-small-business-owners-guide-to-divorce/

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