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Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerThere are a variety of different reasons why divorce happens, especially since one couple has a different dynamic than the next. The commonly known statistic for divorce is that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and many believe that this only applies to young couples. However, the baby boomer generation is seeking out divorce more than people realize. This is known as “gray divorce” and the number has doubled over the last 20 years. Regardless of the husband and wife’s ages, there are a few common denominators that often lead to divorce.

Getting married for the wrong reason. Often times those who decide to get divorced realize that they should not have gotten married in the first place. This can be for a variety of reasons such as social pressure to get married, feeling obligated to tie the knot after having a child together, or getting caught up in the romance. The desire to divorce is often mutual by both parties in these sorts of situations.

  • Infidelity. Cheating on a spouse can break even the strongest of relationships. Infidelity breeds distrust and can make people feel inadequate. This is often caused by intimacy issues, which is more important than many people realize. Divorces due to infidelity are highly common even though some couples try to stay together after affairs have occurred.
  • Loss of Identity. It is a well-known fact that when couples have been together for an extended period of time, they become somewhat dependent on each other, They get used to having the other around and it can feel odd if things change. Although relying on another is common, it can also become unhealthy. Those who spend too much time with their partner can feel as if they are no longer an individual. Many will choose divorce as a way to gain back their independence.
  • Constant Conflict. Being unhappy in your relationship is the basis for divorce and arguing is often at the root of this unhappiness. Marriage is a difficult commitment to maintain, especially since you live together and share everything. An excessive amount of conflict can also make it difficult to have the motivation to talk through your differences.
  • Financial Burdens. Monetary stress can make a perfect relationship break into pieces. Financial problems can be difficult to fix because it often takes time to do so. This can become an even larger conflict if one spouse works and the other does not. The working spouse can feel as if the pressure is only on their shoulders and may blame their partner for that stress.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney for Help

Regardless of the reason for wanting a divorce, it is important to seek out an experienced attorney for assistance. At Shaw Family Law, we handle a variety of different situations. If you are considering divorce, contact a Kane County divorce attorney at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

 

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IL family lawyer Getting a divorce affects every aspect of an individual’s life. One has to readjust their living situation, parenting schedule, and finances. Most couples have their finances intertwined, especially in terms of insurance policies. Sometimes this is because only one individual has a job; however, often times couples will use one person’s insurance policy over the other based on the benefits that job provides them with. Although jobs usually provide some sort of insurance policy, this is not always the case. Some couples seek out insurance policies of their own but still remain tied to their spouse. Continue reading to learn how your impending divorce will affect your various insurance plans.

Life Insurance

Filing for divorce can unlink you and your former spouse’s life insurance plan; however, some divorce agreements require ex-spouses to be beneficiaries. This is common if children are involved. By naming your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, you will have a “backup plan” for your children. This is often done by the spouse who is paying alimony. In case of an emergency, the life insurance will become a safety net for your children and continue providing alimony payments if one can no longer pay them.

Health Insurance

Remaining a beneficiary on your ex-spouse’s health insurance plan is not possible after the divorce papers are signed if their health insurance plan is provided by their employer. Most divorcees will utilize their own employer’s health insurance plan if they have not already. For those whose employer does not provide coverage, they will need to seek out health insurance themselves. One can stay with the same health insurance provider as long as they seek out their own plan.

Car Insurance

Many people fail to remember that their car insurance will also be affected by their marriage’s termination. After the cars have been divided between the two of you, each person should contact their insurer to let them know about the divorce. Each party will be removed from the other’s insurance plan. If you decide to find a new insurance provider, looking at various providers is important. Married couples often get breaks in pricing; however, the same is not usually true of divorcees.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer for Legal Help

Divorce is a complicated process, especially in terms of finances and insurance plans. Our attorneys understand that insurance policy changes can be difficult to understand, particularly when major life changes are happening. If you are considering divorce, contact our Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 to help you through the process.

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IL family lawyerDivorce is difficult for all parties involved, especially children. Because of their lack of life experience, children usually do not understand why their parents are deciding to end their relationship. Some even blame themselves for the divorce. Some parents seek out counseling for their child to help them talk through a difficult time. Special needs children often need more help from their parents to understand what is going on in their life. Continue reading for tips on helping your special needs child through your divorce.

Telling Your Child About the Divorce

For many parents, breaking the news about their divorce to their child can be scarier than the divorce itself. It is important to be completely sure that you and your spouse are permanently separating. Being on and off again can be confusing for your child and give them unrealistic expectations for the future. Plan what you will say with your spouse and talk to your child together. Use concise language and reassure your child that your relationship with them will remain the same after the divorce.

Child Custody Determinations

Many parents do not have a say in the child custody proceedings; however, sometimes their input is taken into consideration for cases regarding special needs children. Custody for special needs children can be more difficult because constantly transitioning from one household to another is not always the best decision. These household transitions can become easier as they become habitual.

Transitioning After the Divorce

One of the best ways to help special needs children transition to living in two households is to have some uniformity between both homes. Many families will have a calendar in both homes to provide visual stability for the child. The calendar includes things like your work schedule, your former spouse’s work schedule, and your child’s extracurriculars. A good practice for parents is to set aside individual time with their child. By putting aside time for you and your child, they will be reassured that your love for them has not changed.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

The divorce process is stressful no matter the circumstances. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders to allow you to focus on your family and the lifestyle change you are going through. If you are considering divorce, contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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IL family lawyerGetting married and starting a family is ingrained in Western cultures, especially in the United States. By the age of 50, 90 percent of people have been married at least once. Due to the high percentage of individuals who decide to get married, there is also a large divorce rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, divorce rates are not as high as many think. 3.2 people out of every 1000 individuals go through divorce. Divorce rates may be decreasing; however, they will never become obsolete. Continue reading to learn different ways to avoid divorce whether you are on the path to your wedding or have already said “I do."

Avoiding Divorce

Love Is Not Ageless: Studies have repeatedly shown that getting married as a teenager is extremely risky. This is not only due to the lack of relationship experience but also the lack of financial security. Money problems can bring even the best relationships under extreme duress. After a certain point, divorce rates begin to increase as age does. Statistics show that the best age window to tie the knot is between 28 and 32.

Power Dynamics: One of the most important aspects of any relationships is equality. No one wants to feel like they have zero control over their romantic life. This sense of power can be in terms of finances, decision making, and many other aspects of a relationship. It is crucial to find a balance to maintain an equal power dynamic between you and your partner.

Communication Is Key: This is a pretty universal piece of advice that often gets lost in translation. It is easy to respond to your partner’s rude comment with an equally insulting one. Instead of nitpicking each other and creating a cycle of bad attitudes, it is better to be upfront with your partner about your feelings and emotions.

Change Is Not Always for the Better: Studies have shown that opposites attract meaning that a person’s unique qualities are what draws you in. However, once the “newness” of a relationship wears off, many of these quirks begin to lose their luster. One must remember that trying to “change” your partner is a recipe for disaster. You may spend most of your time together but this does not mean that you should begin to become each other.

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IL divorce lawyerSubstance abuse is one of the most common reasons why couples decide to divorce. With over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 suffering from addiction, substance abuse has become an epidemic throughout America. Individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction can end up hurting their spouses and children mentally, physically, and emotionally. Many spouses will attempt to seek help for their addicted partner. While rehabilitation does work for some, many continue to have issues in the long-run. Continue reading to see how substance abuse can affect divorce if your spouse struggles with addiction.

Areas of Divorce Affected By Addiction

  • Child Custody: This is one of the primary areas in which addiction can have extreme ramifications. High intakes of drugs and/or alcohol can greatly impair one’s mental state, making it nearly impossible for a parent to fully care for their child. If one parent has struggled with substance abuse, the other parent is almost guaranteed full custody. One of the only ways in which the judge can be swayed is if said parent is actively participating in rehabilitation and is showing serious improvement.
  • Marital Assets: Judges attempt to divide marital assets as evenly as possible, though it may not always appear as such. Marital asset division is not necessarily dependent on each spouse’s everyday behavior, but rather their financial tendencies. If one spouse has spent a significant amount of the couple’s savings to feed their addiction, it is not uncommon for a judge to allocate more assets to the other spouse to make up for the finances that have been lost.
  • Negotiation of Settlements: Often times the spouse who struggles with addiction will not put up much of a fight throughout the negotiation of settlements. Judges take drug and alcohol addiction seriously when making divorce decisions and public knowledge of substance abuse can damage an individual’s reputation and career and potentially result in criminal charges depending on the severity of the situation.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

If you are in the process of parting ways with your addicted spouse, it is important to have an attorney who will fight to win custody and a fair division of assets throughout the divorce proceedings. At Shaw Family Law, P.C. we understand that divorce from a spouse with a drug or alcohol addiction can be an emotional and difficult time for everyone involved which is why we work with your best interests at heart. Contact a seasoned Kane County divorce attorney for help winning the battle for the safety of yourself and your children.

 

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https://beginningstreatment.com/substance-abuse-and-divorce/

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is difficult no matter the circumstances. While divorce may have been legally difficult in the past due to societal values, divorce in the digital age can prove just as troublesome. Social media can become a face-less platform for one to publicly or privately vent about their marriage difficulties or impending divorce based on their account privacy settings. Whether your account settings are placed on private or not does not necessarily mean you are fully protected from your spouse or their attorney discovering your posts.

Privacy Protection

Switching your profile from public to private does not guarantee that your social media posts will not make it into your divorce proceedings. Use the following tips to better protect yourself in the digital age:

  1. Change your passwords often: Many use similar passwords for all of their accounts because they are easy to remember. Though this tactic may make logins easier for the account’s owner, it also makes it easier for others to hack into their account, especially those who are close to them. Changing passwords frequently is an easy way to block intruders from hacking into bank accounts, emails, and social media platforms.

  2. Look at your security settings: Though making your account private does not guarantee complete safety, it is a step in the right direction. Onlookers can misconstrue comments and posts for their advantage even if you believe that your social media is “clean” for others to look at.

  3. Watch your words: Email communication may not be as commonplace; however, it can still lead to your downfall in court. A judge can request email history for evidence, making anything you have said through the online forum public to your spouse.

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Posted on in Property Division

Il divorce lawyerFamily businesses can be difficult to successfully maintain. Some believe that mixing family and business is a recipe for disaster; however, family businesses often become the pride and joy of the owners. Because the businesses are often built from the ground up, it is much more difficult to let them go. This is often a problem that divorced couples who own a family business face. Not only do they have a personal connection to their workplace, but those involved in family businesses often have often invested a lot of time and money into their business. Continue reading to learn about the various options divorced couples have when deciding what to do with their family-owned business.

Your Options

There are a variety of options available to those trying to figure out what to do with the family business while going through a divorce. Every couple’s divorce is different, some being a mutual decision while others happen by surprise. Regardless of the situation at hand, sometimes one has to separate emotions from business no matter how much time and energy they have put into their job.

  1. Continue Owning the Business Together: Though this option does not work for everyone, some choose to continue running their family business in a similar manner. This is more common in couples that are mutually ending their marriage amicably. While you may decide to work different schedules and keep business meetings to a minimum, keeping the family business within the family is an option for some.

  2. Buy Out Your Ex-Spouse: For most couples, working together post-divorce is unhealthy and unreasonable. An option for those who no longer want to be tied together personally or professionally is to have one spouse buy out the other. This will require legal assistance on both sides but is often a relatively quick and easy solution.

  3. Sell the Business: Family-owned businesses are more than just a business to those involved. Memories become tied to the building and the business as a whole, making it extremely difficult to continue working in the environment. Many decide to sell their family businesses and have a fresh start. This can be due to the personal connection or financial burden that the business has once a marriage comes to an end.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL ivorce lawyerPrenuptial and postnuptial agreements have become much more common in today’s society. Many attribute this to the median age at which most couples get married. Since 1990, the average age for marriage has risen from 26 to 29 for men and 23 to 27 for women. Rather than getting married right out of high school or college, as most people did in the 20th century, many couples opt to get married later in life. Not only does this add a level of age maturity to each spouse, but it also allows for more capital to be built up by each individual before getting married. As a result, many couples have decided to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to better protect themselves in their marriage.

What Makes Up the Agreement?

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that states the division of assets between each spouse. This includes their finances coming into the marriage, what property each spouse has, and how they would split their home in case of a divorce. One of the main aspects missing from a prenup and postnup is child custody. While it is clearly impossible to plan this ahead of marriage if a couple does not have children yet, it is also illegal to do so. Child custody cannot be determined by the parents. This decision is entirely up to the court.

Common Reasons for the Contract

While getting married at an older age does have a correlation with signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, there are various other reasons why couples decide to choose the legally safe route.:

  • A Previous Marriage - For couples who have been married before and will be bringing previous “baggage” into the marriage, a legal agreement is often signed as a precautionary measure.
  • Wealth/Debt Division - Many spouses come from different economic statuses. This can mean one person has a substantial amount of wealth or debt. In cases such as these, many couples will decide that a prenup or postnup is the best decision.
  • Only One Spouse Is Working - In case of a future divorce, some couples decide to have a safety net in place for the non-working spouse. Making this decision before or right after getting married can eliminate hashing things out if divorce is in their future and emotions run high.

Contact an Illinois Attorney for Legal Assistance

Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a good way to protect you and your spouse in the future. If you have decided to take these precautionary measures, a skilled marital agreement attorney is crucial to best divide and protect your assets. Contact our Kane County prenuptial and postnuptial attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550 to help you and your spouse decide what is best for your future.

 

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IL family lawThe holiday season has its own difficulties for everyone. For some, family parties and the amount of money being spent on gifts become their source of stress. While for others, December becomes breakup season. It is fairly common for couples to decide that divorce is best amidst the holidays. Due to the additional amount of time that couples spend with their families and each other, along with the financial pressures that the holidays can bring, divorce decisions are often made during or immediately following festivities. The idea of “new beginnings” can also spark a need for change. Breakups that occur during the holiday season can be difficult; however, those going through their first holiday season after a recent divorce often struggle the most.

Survival Tips

Whether you are considering divorce, are in the process of one, or have just come out on the other side, it is important to keep the following things in mind throughout the holidays:

  1. Validation: Many try to ignore their pain or sadness thinking that it is wrong to be depressed during a time when everyone else appears to be jolly. It is important to remember that your feelings are valid under such circumstances. The pain of divorce does not take a break just because Christmas is around the corner.
  2. Remember Your Children: In the midst of divorce, holidays often become irrelevant; however, those with children cannot cancel the holidays. While you may be lacking holiday cheer, it is important for your children’s lives to remain relatively similar as before. This includes the celebration of holidays as a family, whether or not this includes your ex.
  3. Create New Traditions: Continuing to celebrate with old traditions can cause old sentiments to resurface. Discontinuing old traditions and creating new ones is a good remedy, especially for those traditions that include your former spouse.
  4. Volunteer: Many families volunteer their time throughout the holidays whether they find themselves in a tough place or not. Volunteering is a great way to keep your mind off your own matters and also reminds you of the great things you have in life.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

Deciding divorce is the correct path during the holidays can be difficult for all parties involved. It is important to have an experienced divorce attorney help you through this difficult time. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we work with our clients to make the process as painless as possible. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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IL divorce lawyerThe rights of the LGBTQ community and same-sex relationships have greatly evolved in the United States within the last 20 years. Unlike many countries, the United States has legalized same-sex marriage throughout all 50 states. Learn about how historical changes can result in difficult divorces and dissolutions:

Making History

Same-sex marriage officially became legal across the country just three years ago. The 2015 decision of Obergefell v. Hodges resulted in the highly anticipated legalization of marriage. Before permitting same-sex marriage, the various states across the country allowed for “civil unions.” A civil union is a legally recognized arrangement that is similar to marriage. The first civil union was offered by the state of Vermont in 2000. The legal trend spread throughout the United States, including in Illinois in 2011. Though civil unions did recognize same-sex relationships, many people within the LGBTQ community did not view civil unions as having the same power and meaning as marriage. Obergefell v. Hodges put an end to marriage inequality, making the loving agreement legal in all 50 states.

Divorce and Dissolution

Like all other relationships, just because one can get married does not mean it will always work out in the end. Divorce between same-sex couples is often easier said than done. Before the legalization of same-sex marriage, many couples had been together for 10, 15, even 20 years. This means their life together is often much longer than their marriage certificate recognizes. As a result, it can be much more difficult to determine parental rights, alimony payments, and various other aspects that are decided in a divorce. Some courts will recognize prior years of cohabitation; however, this is not always the case. On the other hand, some couples decided never to say “I do” and simply stuck to their legally recognized civil union. As is the case with marriage, a civil union is a binding contract. Thus, more goes into the ending of a civil union than simply walking out the door. The dissolution of a civil union is very similar to the procedure for divorce. Assets get divided, parental rights must be decided, and spousal maintenance is allocated if necessary. Though the words divorce and dissolution may be different, the result is the same: a terminated contract with loose ends to tie up.

Legal Help for Illinois Divorce and Dissolution

Divorce and dissolution when it comes to same-sex couples is an extremely complicated process. It is difficult to divide the assets and results of a relationship that has not been legally recognized for the length of time that it has existed. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we understand that the delay in legal recognition should not mean an unfair divorce or dissolution. Contact us at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation with a seasoned Kane County divorce attorney so that you can have a fair ending to your marriage.

 

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDivorce is commonplace in today’s society. Many families go through this legal process and some even have to sign the papers multiple times. Like the statistics say, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Though high-conflict divorce is seen on television and social media every day, divorce is not always conducted through a screaming match. Some couples divorce due to infidelity or constant arguing; however, two of the most common reasons for divorce are lack of intimacy and not being prepared for marriage. Divorce may not be pleasant for any of the parties involved, but getting a divorce does not mean you hate your spouse. Learn about the two types of divorce and the common options available to those going through the ending of a marriage.

Contested Divorce

This is the type of divorce often televised or included in movie plotlines. A contested divorce occurs when neither party can come to an agreement about the terms and details of the divorce. This includes the division of assets, allocation of debts, alimony, child support, or child custody. Those going through a contested divorce will find themselves arguing in court, in front of a judge. Because of the lack of agreement between the parties, a judge will make the decisions for the couple, by taking all aspects of their relationship, family, and financial situation into consideration. This takes away all forms of decision making from the divorcing couple and places it into the hands of the judge. Often times, couples will begin the divorce process in a contested manner but eventually come to agreement to save themselves from enduring a divorce in front of a court.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one of agreement and compromise. Those going through an uncontested do not necessarily have to “get along” but they do need to be able to come to a conclusion on matters such as division of assets, allocation of debts, alimony, child support, or child custody. Though this may not be an easy task, learning to compromise can save couples from wasted time and money. Many couples going through an uncontested divorce seek divorce mediation. The purpose of divorce mediation is for the couple to decide on the terms of their divorce with the helping hand of a divorce attorney. The lawyer is not there to act as a referee between arguments, but rather to legally record the terms of the divorce while acting as a neutral negotiator between the two parties. Though mediation does not work for all couples, it is a good option for those going through an uncontested divorce. Not only does it save time and money, but it also allows for the couple to sustain an amicable relationship after the ending of their marriage.

Legal Assistance

Regardless of the type of divorce you and your spouse are involved in, an experienced divorce attorney is necessary to ensure fairness and equality in the terms of the divorce. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we have experience with both contested and uncontested divorces. We also have mediation attorneys available to couples seeking a conversational format for their divorce process. Contact our skilled Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation to discuss your options for divorce.

 

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_domestic-violence_20180918-213803_1.jpgBattered wife syndrome, also known as battered woman syndrome, does not only affect women. It can affect any domestic violence victim, male or female, who lives with an abusive partner. Domestic violence knows no gender.

Despite the law and the medical community recognizing that a person of any gender can perpetuate and suffer domestic violence, the term “battered woman syndrome” is still frequently used to describe the psychological effects domestic violence can have on a victim.

The Stages of Battered Wife Syndrome

When an individual faces domestic violence, he or she can internalize it and feel like he or she caused it to happen. This internalization and sense of responsibility for the violence is battered wife syndrome. Generally, it follows this pattern:

  • Denial. The victim refuses to accept that he or she is being abused;
  • Guilt. The victim recognizes the abuse and feels he or she caused it;
  • Enlightenment. When the victim realizes he or she did not cause the violence to happen, he or she is in the enlightenment stage; and
  • Responsibility. In this stage, the victim recognizes that only his or her abuser is responsible for the violence. This is where the victim leaves the relationship.

Not all victims make it to the enlightenment stage. Many stay in the guilt stage, feeling like they caused their abuse to happen and trying to be better partners to make the violence stop.

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_rape.jpgMany people are familiar with the various types of domestic violence, such as physical abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Not quite as many are familiar with the term “spiritual abuse,” which refers to the use of religion as a way to control another individual’s actions and diminish his or her agency. Spiritual abuse can be perpetuated by a church leader against a congregation member, a parent against a child, or a spouse against a partner.

Signs of Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse can be difficult to recognize because it often invokes religious principles as justifications for violence and control. Individuals who practice any religion can face spiritual abuse. In a marriage, spiritual abuse can arise out of the gendered power imbalance many religions perpetuate.

A few examples of spiritual abuse include:

  • Prohibiting a spouse from working, opening a credit card, or accessing funds with religious justification;
  • Using one’s role as the home’s “spiritual leader” to exert authority over how a spouse speaks, dresses, interacts with others, and practices religion;
  • Using religion to isolate a spouse from his or her friends and family;
  • Exerting sexual control over a spouse, citing religious justification for doing so; and
  • Using guilt and shame to coerce a spouse into behaving in a specific way, claiming that he or she is not living according to their religion if he or she does not obey.

Read these statements again but this time, remove any reference to religious justification. If something is abusive when it happens without religious justification, it is just as abusive when it is done in the name of religion.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is the legal process of dismantling a marriage, and as such, the divorce process involves many financial decisions like dividing a couple’s marital property and determining whether spousal maintenance is necessary and appropriate. For the individuals getting divorced, the divorce process can be expensive. It also involves individual planning on each partner’s part to ensure that he or she does not face financial hardship after the divorce. Your discussions with your lawyer should cover every financial topic related to divorce, such as the tax obligations that come with certain marital assets and how to divide your retirement accounts through a QDRO. On your end, take the following initiatives to make the divorce process as financially straightforward for yourself as possible.

Completely Sever Yourself from Your Spouse Financially

Before the divorce is finalized, work with your spouse to close all your joint accounts. If he or she is an authorized user on your credit cards, remove him or her from them. You might choose to divide your outstanding credit card debt yourselves by transferring it to two new, separate credit cards. This is also the time to determine how to divide your shared investments.

Determine Your Post-Divorce Obligations and Create a Budget

After your divorce, you will probably be living off just your own income. This significant change in household income warrants a new budget.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerEvery marriage has its ups and downs. Communication differences, differences in life goals and lifestyle needs, infidelity, addiction, and financial distress can all challenge a couple to the point of making them consider divorce. In many of these cases, the couple does divorce. In others, the couple chooses to remain together, sometimes in a miserable relationship and in other cases, happily and successfully after making an effort to resolve the conflicts that drove them apart.

Couples who successfully recover from marital distress do so by employing effective conflict resolution strategies. The most effective way for you and your spouse to learn more about these strategies and how to employ them in your life is to work with an experienced marital counselor.

Actions that Will Not Fix Your Marriage

Some couples attempt to fix their marriages with significant life changes like moving to a new state or having a baby. In most cases, these are not effective ways to resolve marital difficulties because they do not address the couple’s existing conflicts, they only mask them. Additionally, certain life-changing actions like having a new baby only increase a couple’s stress level, pushing their marriage closer to divorce instead of strengthening it.

Actions that Can Fix Your Marriage

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerWhen a marriage ends, both partners can feel a sense that their identities have changed. This can be especially true for individuals, usually women, who chose to change their surnames when they married. Changing your name after your divorce is a personal choice. There are as many valid reasons to change your name as there are reasons to keep it, just like there were when you first married. Think about the following reasons why others choose to keep or change their names after divorce to determine the right course of action for yourself.

Reasons Why Divorced Women Keep Their Married Names

For many people, changing their last name to their spouse’s when they marry is not “taking” the spouse’s name, but creating a new family with the new surname. An individual with this mindset might choose to keep his or her married name after divorce because to him or her, it is as much his or her name as it is his or her former spouse’s name.

Other divorced individuals keep their married names for more practical reasons. These include:

  • Having the same name as their children;
  • Keeping the name under which they established themselves professionally; and
  • Avoiding the legal complexities of changing their name on all their documents, like their passport and driver’s license.

Reasons Why Divorced Women Change Their Names

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Illinois divorce lawyerIn a healthy relationship, both parties can manage their own emotional and personal needs. In a codependent relationship, one or both partners cannot do this for themselves, so they rely on each other to manage all their personal needs. Do not confuse emotionally supporting a spouse with codependency – in a healthy marriage, both partners should be expected to be there for each other. Codependency goes beyond this level of emotional support. Codependency describes a relationship where one partner sacrifices his or her own needs to fulfill the other’s, causing him or her to suffer from the difficulties that come with poor coping mechanisms like internalized shame, people-pleasing behavior, and perfectionism to the point of fearing failure. A codependent relationship is not healthy for either party or if they have children, the children. Often, divorce is an important step toward recovering from codependency.

Recognizing Codependency in Your Marriage

Often, a codependent spouse is known as an enabler. The term “codependency” first arose to describe spouses of alcoholics, because often, they would exhibit this type of behavior and enable their spouses to continue to drink dangerously. Individuals in abusive relationships and relationships with addicts also frequently exhibit codependent behavior.

Codependency symptoms can be seen in the spouse who is not addictive or abusive. It is the enabler who suffers these symptoms, which include:

  • Low self-esteem;
  • Reactivity;
  • Little to no respect for others’ boundaries;
  • Internalized shame;
  • Learned helplessness;
  • Difficulty with communication;
  • A need to control others and situations; and
  • Denial that there is anything unhealthy about their relationship.

Preparing for Your Divorce

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Illinois divorce lawyerSome couples believe they should hold off on their divorces until their children are grown. It can be easy to see why a couple would think this way – divorce can be stressful for children, having a parenting plan means the children do not get to see both parents every day, both parents have to face the stresses of parenting individually, and when one parent finds a new partner, conflicts can arise and create wedges within the family. These are all legitimate challenges divorced couples face, but none of them are a good reason to forgo exiting an unhealthy marriage until one’s children are adults.

Why? Because when a marriage is marred by constant conflict, divorce is the healthiest solution for every member of the family. In fact, it is better for children to experience a divorce and grow up with healthy, functional parents than it is for them to grow up in “intact” families where fighting and stress are the norm.

Constant Exposure to Conflict Is Unhealthy for Children

When there is tension in a household, everybody is affected. Even babies and toddlers pick up on their parents’ conflicts and feel secondhand stress. Children who grow up watching their parents constantly fight and fail to resolve their conflicts appropriately can internalize harmful ideas about relationships and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms for dealing with household stress. If children are not taught how to resolve conflicts appropriately and instead, spend their days watching their parents fight, they can repeat the harmful patterns that drive the conflict in their homes.

Divorced Couples Who Co-Parent Effectively Set a Healthy Example

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Illinois divorce lawyerIt is not always easy to recognize when your marriage has reached a point that divorce is necessary. We become accustomed to certain patterns and over time, can become so used to a certain lifestyle that we cannot see that it is toxic.

Take a step back and look objectively at your marriage. Every marriage has rough patches, but when a rough patch becomes a permanent way of life, it might be time to exit the marriage. If you are not sure if your marriage is a healthy one, discuss it with an experienced mental health care professional to get deeper insight into the difficulties you are facing and possible solutions. You might be able to change your lifestyle to rebuild your marriage, or you might find that divorce is the healthiest choice for everybody in your household. If one or more of the following is true, divorce might be the way to go.

You Cannot Resolve Conflicts in a Healthy Way

If all your attempts to resolve conflicts in a productive way end in screaming matches, slammed doors, and hurt feelings, you are not communicating in a healthy way.

A strong marriage requires clear communication between the partners. Communication skills can be learned, but like learning any other skill, it takes practice. Both partners need to be willing to practice healthy communication skills and hold themselves accountable for their mistakes.

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 Illinois divorce lawyerIf you are going through a divorce, be careful with how you use social media. If you are the type of person who shares every thought and moment of your day with your followers, now is the time to start tapering off your social media usage and getting yourself used to a more private existence. Once you post something on social media, you cannot control where it ends up or how it might be used later. When you are working through the divorce process, keeping tight control on your social media profiles will help you keep your divorce and any “ammunition” your former partner can use against you under control.

Below is a list of what to do, and what not to do with your social media profiles while your divorce is pending. For additional advice tailored to your specific case, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer.

What to Do on Social Media

Take a closer look at your current privacy settings to see who can view your posts. Consider making your privacy settings more stringent and removing friends and followers who you do not want to have access to your content. Remember, though, that removing somebody from your followers list cannot completely prevent him or her from seeing what you post – all it takes is one of your remaining followers taking a screenshot of your content and sharing it with the follower you removed.

If you choose to continue using social media while your divorce is in progress, keep your posts to positive, inoffensive content.

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