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IL divorce lawyerFamily vacations are a common occurrence in the summertime. Your children have time away from their academics and the beautiful weather typically motivates families to spend time away from their home state. Whether or not you and your family regularly took vacations, your summer will probably look different post-divorce. It is important to reflect on summer plans in light of your divorce with summer vacation beginning in a few weeks. Continue reading to help plan your summer and spend quality time with your children.

What You Need to Consider

  1. Financial Planning: For most families, money is set aside to pay for family vacations. The planning is done well in advance to avoid budget issues and travel restrictions. Family vacations after divorce will problem happen less frequently due to the supply of funding coming from a single income rather than two. If you would like to take a vacation, it would be advantageous to plan it out well in advance.

  2. Look at your Parenting Plan: You will now have to verify your plans with your former spouse if you share custody. Most parenting plans will have specified rules about which holidays are spent with which parent. The plans also have legal requirements on how much time must be spent with each parent. If you plan on taking your child for more than your usual time allotted, you will have to run this by your former spouse. This can typically be done without the intervention of an attorney depending on your relationship.

  3. Traditions May Be in the Past: Many families have the family tradition to go on one vacation every summer. This can be difficult to let go of but is not always feasible for divorcees. A good outlook on things is to end old traditions and start new ones. You may have to trade in your tradition vacation spot for a newer, more economical option. Not only will this be helpful for your wallet, but it can also feel like a fresh start for many parents.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney for Help

Family vacations may not be on your mind while you are involved in the divorce proceedings; however, this can be very important for some families. Discussing this with your spouse during the divorce process can help alleviate the stress once the paperwork is finalized. It can be helpful to divide holidays and vacations in the contract to avoid discussing this afterwards. If you are considering divorce and need assistance, contact our experienced St. Charles, IL divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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 IL family lawyerParenting is one of the most difficult jobs a person can have, whether or not they have a partner by their side. It can be a tough transition moving from a two-parent household to trying to balance parental responsibilities solo after going through a divorce. Although the initial transition can be difficult, many families are in the same boat. It is more common for children to be raised by single mothers rather than fathers.

According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, one in four children is being raised without a father. This means that out of about 12 million single-parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Whether you are a single mother or a single father, balancing a full-time job and a full-time parenting job is extremely strenuous. Read the following tips to help you save time on an everyday basis:

  • Identify Time: Wasters and Address Them: Create a “key bowl” to avoid struggling to find your keys every morning or use the time spent waiting for your children in the parking lot to catch up on your favorite Netflix show. It is better to utilize this time for your benefit rather than wasting the extra five minutes every day.
  • Use Your Commute Rather than Lose Your Commute: Sitting in the car or on the train ride back from work is a good time for moms and dads to take time for themselves. Listening to an audiobook or podcast on the way home from work can help parents decompress before arriving home to their children.
  • Prepare For Tomorrow, Tonight: Making lunches and setting out clothes for tomorrow can save you ample time in the morning. This is also a good way to eliminate stress about arriving at school or work late.
  • Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep: The activity known as meal prep has gone viral with the use of social media. Making meals on the weekends then packing them away in Tupperware can save you lots of time each night, even if you only meal prep one dinner per week. This can save you time grocery shopping at night, the time spent thinking of which recipe you can whip up the fastest, and the actual cooking time. Meal prep allows you to skip the stress and enjoy dinner with your kids.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois Divorce Attorneys for Help

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone’s life, especially for those who have children. Your life and parenting schedule turns upside down as soon as the signatures are on the paper. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that going through a divorce puts additional stressors on each individuals' lives which is why we strive to take the legal pressure off of your shoulders. Contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

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 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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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyJust about everything we hear regarding comparing our divorce to someone else’s is overwhelmingly unanimous - and understandably, accurate. Experts galore emphasize the dangers of comparing our own divorce experience to our friend’s, neighbor’s, or co-worker’s. After all, everyone’s circumstances are drastically different, on many accounts. From finances and settlements to motivators for the split and the portrait of post-divorce life, everyone has their own horror and success stories to share, and two portraits rarely ever look alike.

The Good that Can Come from Comparing Divorce Experiences

While it is true that many negative results can spring from comparing the end of our marriage to someone else’s, like the bolstering of unrealistic expectations and greater emotional turmoil, there are a few benefits to making comparisons that can actually help, not hinder us. It is all a matter of perspective. Before you shut yourself away from conversing with fellow divorcees and turn off the urge to compare your split to your neighbor’s, consider the following:

1. Comparing allows you to discover you are not alone - One positive advantage of comparing your experience and listening to the various accounts of divorce from others is that you quickly discover you are not alone in your difficulties. While it is never fun to see someone else in pain or to witness their struggles firsthand (as it can easily add to your own divorce anxieties), some comfort can be drawn from observing one major similarity: No matter the circumstances, everyone experiences unique obstacles, financial challenges, and emotional battles. Do not compare your experience in order to measure your divorce against another, but instead compare to gain insight and a fresh perspective on the loss you are grieving.

2. You have the opportunity to strengthen your support system - Therapists stress the importance of seeking out and building an emotional support system throughout the divorce process. A part of building such a support system often includes speaking to others who have been through what you are now going through. Discussing the experience with others and comparing their struggles to your own can help you relate and at the same time also strengthen the bonds you’ve made with those in your support network by building a sense of trust and safety.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family attorneyRegardless of where you stand with money matters throughout the course of your marriage, the moment your relationship comes to an end, your financial security can change drastically, in a short period of time. Whether you have been accustomed to a very comfortable life or have always struggled to make ends meet, the moment you undergo divorce, your financial well-being is exposed to a number of risks, and many of those risks have the potential to affect your bank account and the overall quality of your life for many years to come.

Thinking Ahead

Many individuals are able to prepare for the financial implications of divorce well ahead of time, months before they even begin divorce proceedings. Others are left scrambling at the last minute or after the split to figure out how to put the pieces together and provide for themselves. Whatever your divorce circumstances, planning is key. Here are some ways you can take steps toward successfully standing on your own feet once your marriage is over:

1.Explore potential maintenance options - Once referred to as alimony, maintenance is a form of spousal support that requires the spouse who earns the larger income to provide payments to the other spouse. In the state of Illinois, not all lesser-earning spouses are guaranteed maintenance, and granted maintenance is usually temporary, but it is important to at least speak with an attorney to inquire about your potential options for receiving payments to ensure you aren’t missing out on funds that could help you provide for yourself. The court will look at a number of different factors when deciding whether or not to award maintenance payments, so do not rule out pursuing a maintenance order until you get all the facts.

2. Create a financial snapshot - In order to know where you stand before and after your divorce, it is essential to create a general snapshot of your finances. This means gathering as many details as possible and assembling lists of any and all debts, assets, and newly opened accounts. You will need a clear picture of what you owe versus the income you will bring in on your own, without your spouse, in order to sit down with a financial planner and create a new budget for your post-divorce lifestyle.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyFor many couples who decide to end their marriage, the idea of bouncing back after the split is a daunting one. Regardless of how long you and your spouse were together or whether or not the divorce was a peaceful, mutual decision, saying goodbye to the relationship is an emotional journey that unfolds over time. Much like other losses in life, divorce brings about its own form of grief, which naturally slows down the rebound process.

Studies Show You May See an Improvement in Mental and Physical Health after You Leave a Poor Marriage

Although everyone needs time to work through the aftermath of the separation, moving on is not an impossible feat, as much as it may feel like it in the midst of the divorce process. A research study from the Journal of Family Psychology shows that those who have poor marriages generally do better after the divorce, and the overall satisfaction of individuals who divorce depends greatly on their perception of the relationship during the marriage. For example, if you and your spouse were fighting constantly and you experienced ongoing arguments and bouts of depression as a result, chances are you are going to benefit from the separation and all it entails.

Kick-Starting Your Goal to Move On

While you cannot force the healing period that follows divorce, you can be on your way to feeling better sooner, rather than later, by practicing the following:

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family attorneyFor many, recovering from the emotional onslaught of divorce is a long, uphill battle, full of turbulent disagreement and ever-mounting tension. Others feel the same emotional weight in terms of loss, but experience a much smoother transition when it comes to the technicalities behind the divorce. When couples are able to work together and remain civil, keeping one another’s best interests at heart, they tend to bounce back with more ease than couples who exchange a lot of animosity and spite, and their overall ability to move on and let go is greatly improved.

Removing Obstacles

Whatever your personal circumstances are as you wade through the separation process, chances are you will, like most people, experience some bumps as you enter post-divorce life. Learning how to be single again and all the lifestyle changes that come with the transition can make the adjustment period difficult even for those parting on the most mutual of terms.

If you are about to embark on the post-divorce journey or are currently struggling with it, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are on the right path to healing. Remove potential obstacles that can slow down the healing process by practicing the following:

1. Do what you love - Studies show that those who lose or have trouble regaining interest in the activities or hobbies they loved before the divorce tend to get stuck in the grieving process. While you cannot rush healing, it is important to stay involved with the things you love and to nurture your existing routines. It also helps to try new things and challenge yourself; you may discover a new interest along the way, which can help you as you work to re-discover who you are without your spouse.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWhile countless studies have shown that life following a divorce often leads to higher depression rates, more stress, and overall dissatisfaction, those who spend a prolonged period of time in an unhappy marriage to begin with tend to thrive once the marriage is over. Experts have a number of theories for this, most notably the idea that the benefits of leaving behind an emotionally exhausting (and in many cases, emotionally or physically abusive) marriage usually end up outweighing the disadvantages.

Increasing Your Chances of Success

Examining the overall quality of a marriage before calling it quits is important in the overall outcome for each party. Once you’ve decided it is in your best interest to end the marriage, there are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of enjoying a fulfilling, balanced post-divorce life. Channel your energy into the following three areas after the split to ensure a healthier, happier lifestyle:

Finances - Although the divorce process is undeniably an emotional struggle, it can also be incredibly challenging where your finances are concerned. Spending adequate time doing an evaluation of your money matters prior to the divorce and directly afterward can make a world of difference in the quality of your life once the separation is official. This is an important step in creating a secure financial foundation for your future. Do your best to assess debts, a savings goal if your existing savings plan is minimal or nonexistent, and work with a professional attorney to understand the value of your assets.

Family Plans - Divorce can be especially traumatizing for children in the family, which is why it is so important to talk about, create, and follow through with a proper parenting plan once the divorce is final. You can reduce your stress and your child’s stress by establishing routines, making time for fun quality time, and ensuring everyone understands visitation arrangements.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyMaintaining balance and ensuring a healthy lifestyle following divorce has been and continues to be a difficult challenge for many spouses as they undergo the separation process. Divorce is a multi-faceted emotional journey, affecting every part of our lives, and often impacts our children, social lives, and work lifestyles in significant measure.

While there have been many varying opinions from psychologists regarding the best ways to maintain balance and stay well following a divorce, one common theme seems to string all these theories together: Creating balance after a split requires deliberate focus and practice. Here are three practical tips for both creating and sustaining a healthy life balance once your marriage is over:

1. Keep up with your normal routine - People often find themselves in need of some time off after their divorce due to the emotional distress. Divorce undoubtedly takes a big mental toll on everyone involved, but some mental health experts actually endorse continuing your usual activities and routines, including your work schedule. Other experts feel that because divorce is a loss, we understandably grieve that loss, which fuels the need - and desire - to take a break from work, social obligations, and hobbies. However you decide to recover from your separation, it is helpful to scale certain activities back without giving up your routines entirely. Attempt to find a happy medium and you have a better chance at achieving balance you can sustain long-term.

2. Make adjustments in the workplace - Just because you decide to minimize the time you take off from work after your divorce or completely bypass taking time off does not mean you cannot benefit from making adjustments in the workplace once your marriage is over. In fact, making certain adjustments may help you achieve much-needed post-divorce balance in other areas of your life, like your relationship with your children or with your physical health. It does not hurt to speak with your managers about potential scheduling changes, such as switching from morning shifts to evening shifts or telecommuting from home for a while, instead of quitting entirely or taking a prolonged period of time off. The key is to attempt adjustments at the office that will enhance the quality of your life after your divorce and ultimately create a healthier balance in your life as a whole.

3. Make quality time priority - Quality time with yourself, your kids, and other family members is key in creating a healthy life balance after an emotionally draining separation. Simple things can make a huge difference, such as sharing a meal with your children or treating yourself to a relaxing night in with your favorite movie. Make quality time just as much of a priority - and a routine - as your exercise routine or getting to work on time. When you do not neglect self-care, you will find more peace and a sense of stability in your life, which you really need following a separation.

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