Recent Blog Posts

Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Can Protect Their Rights Following Divorce

 Posted on March 17, 2017 in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyAs a parent undergoing divorce, you have your work cut out for you. Not only do you need to address the legal technicalities of the split in the midst of experiencing the grieving process, you also need to tackle all the issues that accompany the end of a marriage, including everything from the division of assets and parenting time (visitation), to parenting plans and inventory of your personal finances. For the stay-at-home parent, divorce requires a complete lifestyle overhaul, which can trigger a number of concerns for the spouse who has been the primary caregiver at home.

Safeguarding Your Rights as a Stay-at-Home Parent

The idea that the stay-at-home parent will be able to continue to live the lifestyle they were originally accustomed to prior to the divorce is sadly not always a realistic one. While there are laws that vary from state to state that allow certain protections for the stay-at-home spouse, the parent’s lifestyle will inevitably change as their financial circumstances evolve due to the divorce. Parents used to staying home to raise their children can still make the effort to safeguard their rights during the transition in the following ways:

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How Does Relocation after Divorce Impact Your Children?

 Posted on March 10, 2017 in Visitation and Parenting Time

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois custody lawyerThere are countless aspects surrounding the divorce experience that parents are faced with when raising children throughout the separation process. Studies show that children are especially prone to the negative psychological effects that accompany the end of their parents’ marriage, due to the fact that they are still developing and learning to process - and cope with - rapidly changing emotions and circumstances. It is understandable, then, how something as anxiety-inducing as moving during or shortly after divorce can trigger a significant psychological struggle for children.

Moving and Divorce: A Psychological Toll

Recent divorce law changes in the state of Illinois now allow the primary residential parent to relocate with their child after divorce, as long as the move is made within a 25-mile radius. Because of this new guideline, that 25-mile radius can actually mean a jump over the state line, depending on which county you live in. Whether you are moving one neighborhood away or using up those permissible 25 miles, studies indicate that moving after divorce can be unsettling for children and can reap long-term psychological effects.

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College Costs after Divorce

 Posted on February 27, 2017 in Child Support

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois child support lawyerBeing hit with the realization that you may be responsible for college expenses for your child on your own following your divorce can be an unsettling experience, especially when there are already so many other financial issues that must be addressed at the end of the marriage. Often, who will pay for your child’s college tuition is the very last thing on your mind in the midst of a separation. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can properly prepare to fund your child’s college education after you are divorced, beginning with tackling the subject in your divorce decree.

Law Changes that Affect College Financial Responsibility after Divorce

Since 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has evolved to clarify which costs actually qualify as expenses in the state of Illinois, and how those expenses should be handled between divorce parties in a court of law. For example, the newer version of the law includes the cost of up to five college applications in its educational expense standards, and puts a stop to any contributions made to college expenses when the student turns twenty-three years old, with certain exceptions, which must be deemed “good cause”. This means if you are required to contribute to college costs for your non-minor child, the expenses will be justified and limited.

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Illinois Legal Separation Process

 Posted on February 20, 2017 in Divorce

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse find yourselves in the midst of separating, you, like many couples, may be pondering the advantages and disadvantages of legal separation before divorce. Legal separation serves to outline the rights and responsibilities of each spouse when they are living apart, but are not yet divorced. Living apart for a period of time can be helpful for the couple who wants to try a trial separation before making the decision to call it quits, but doing so can bring about certain financial risks if not addressed properly early on.

Making It Official

If you choose to go the trial separation route, there are certain stipulations that must be met in order to make the separation official by law. Ensuring your separation is legal will help prevent any potential financial risks associated with living apart before you divorce.

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Money Management Problems often a Contributor to Divorce

 Posted on February 13, 2017 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_money-issues.jpgMultiple studies conducted by various experts, over many decades, have revealed the sad truth that serious financial trouble is an overwhelming predictor for separation and divorce for couples around the globe. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports a number of studies that have proven the stress brought on by financial struggle can cause even the strongest relationships to fall apart, making it crucial for everyone, regardless of their income level or line of work, to address their money management habits early on in a marriage.

Clashing Money Management Styles

Looking at the way you and your spouse spend, save, and budget money before the marriage and in the early stages of your union can make a significant difference in how well your relationship fares over time. This is especially important when you and your spouse experience additional stressors throughout the course of your marriage, adding more pressure to the existing tension. Such issues can increase the number of arguments between you and your spouse, and ultimately affect the longevity of your relationship.

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Details You Cannot Afford to Neglect When Arranging a Prenup

 Posted on February 13, 2017 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_prenup.jpgAlthough the subject of prenuptial agreements spark ongoing controversy, the reality is such agreements can offer a range of benefits for both parties involved, should a divorce ever take place. When both parties are open and willing to discuss the potential advantages of arranging a prenup, the outcome can bring great peace of mind and provide a clear, organized game plan in the event the marriage comes to an end.

Key Areas to Address

The purpose of a prenup is to prepare for the management and protection of your assets, especially in the event that you and your spouse have difficulty agreeing on the division of those assets during a divorce. Due to the important nature of the agreement, it is crucial to identify which areas require attention as you begin the process of creating the contract. Some areas every couple needs to address include the following:

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Child Support: Who Pays College Expenses?

 Posted on January 27, 2017 in Child Support

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyWith the multiple issues that must be addressed during the divorce process, it is understandable that tackling the subject of your child’s future college expenses can feel overwhelming, especially when such educational concerns are not immediate. Preparing to fund an education set to take place in the very distant future may not be the first priority on your list while going through a divorce, but it is still an important task when it comes to securing the proper financial means for your child to expand their education down the road.

Who Is Responsible After the Split?

In many states across the nation, Illinois included, courts recognize a child’s need for a college education. This means the courts may have the right to order one or both parties in the divorce to pay for an array of college expenses for the child they share together. They may do this by tapping into the property and income of each parent, or even through the estate of a deceased parent. The law requires the petition for these funds to be raised within a certain timeframe.

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Three Sources of Marital Dissatisfaction that Can Lead to Divorce

 Posted on January 20, 2017 in Divorce

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyerAlthough divorce is extremely common and many couples go through mutual, civil splits that result in healthier, happier lifestyles, the experience itself is never something we hope for as we begin the marriage journey. Sadly, many marriages fall apart due to a number of external and personal reasons, many of which are at times simply out of our control. According to the American Psychological Association, various psychological studies reveal that stress due to such factors can cause even the strongest relationships to unravel.

Factors that Contribute to Marital Dissatisfaction

Findings from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report that women have a 52 percent chance of making it to their 20th wedding anniversary, while men have a 56 percent chance. With odds like these, how do we know which marriages will survive and which ones won’t make the cut? Studies show that the answer to this question is rooted deeply in our behavioral patterns. How we fight, communicate, and address conflict all contribute to the chances of our marriage working out.

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Four Common Predictors of Divorce

 Posted on January 14, 2017 in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyAs we work through the everyday bumps that come with navigating a relationship, it can be difficult to recognize whether the problems we face are typical roadblocks that every couple experiences - those that can be overcome with time and effort- or whether those problems are indicators of much larger issues that can lead to divorce. It is typically these larger, foundational conflicts that create greater risk for potential separation down the road.

Cold Feet or Something More?

According to the American Psychological Association, up to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, making it apparent that the odds don’t always end in every couple’s favor when it comes to marital longevity. Being able to recognize the signs that indicate trouble early on can go a long way in addressing and managing any existing or looming problems that may eventually lead to separation.

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Key Factors that Influence Your Child’s Post-Divorce Adjustment

 Posted on January 13, 2017 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_children-divorce.jpgNavigating the adjustment period after a divorce is a challenge for everyone at the end of a marriage. Depending on the level of tension and conflict in the relationship, the final unraveling of the union has the potential to wreak a significant amount of emotional damage on each party, and it is only natural for even the most peaceful splits to leave some sort of emotional scarring by the time the divorce is official.

The Psychological Effects

The psychological effects of divorce are just as impactful for children, and in some cases, even more so. This is due in part to the critical developmental periods children go through, such as the early teen years, when their minds and bodies are changing rapidly and drastically. The American Psychological Association reports research that indicates children from divorce tend to experience less financial security and have lower academic achievement, tend to drink and smoke more, and have a harder time finding and keeping jobs.

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