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Naperville divorce lawyerThroughout the United States, thousands of people pursue divorce each year, and the process of ending a marriage can be contentious and stressful. Due in large part to the stressors that accompany a divorce, many people make mistakes that can cost them both financially and emotionally down the road. It is important to remember that the first and most important step you can take as you prepare for a divorce is hiring the right attorney. 

Avoiding Costly Divorce Mistakes 

Many divorcing spouses make unwise decisions that are often due to strong emotions or a lack of preparation. Listed below are some of the most common mistakes that can plague a divorce:

  • Forgetting About Finances: As you separate from your former spouse, there are many details that need to be settled. Many of the most complex and important, aspects of a divorce revolve around finances. Failure to focus on the financial side of your divorce can result in the loss of valuable marital assets and a lack of future retirement funds, among other concerns. One of the first discussions you should have with your attorney is a dialogue related to your finances. Disclosing an accurate portrayal of your financial situation and ensuring that your attorney understands your financial goals can make all the difference in your divorce. 
  • Not Thinking About Children: Regardless of why a couple chooses to pursue a divorce, the process can become heated. However, when children are involved, it is important to keep a level head. The easiest and simplest way to develop a parenting plan is through cooperatively establishing a parenting schedule with your ex-spouse. If you are unable to reach an agreement regarding parental responsibilities, matters related to child custody will be settled in court, leaving the ultimate decision completely out of your hands. Putting emotions aside and working with your former spouse in a cooperative manner to reach an agreement can also be a valuable experience that will lay the foundation for your future cooperation as co-parents. 
  • Acting Aggressively: As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for divorces to become hostile. Still, acting in an aggressive or disrespectful manner toward your spouse is likely to have a negative impact on your divorce case. Even if you are justifiably angry at your ex, it is best to avoid criticizing them in public, such as on social media. When you are working with your attorney, your spouse, and their lawyer, it is wise to remain composed. Many issues surrounding a divorce can be settled through negotiations with legal counsel, or with the assistance of a third-party mediator. In the event that your divorce is settled in court, any aggression towards your spouse either inside or outside the courtroom can have a significant negative impact on the decisions made. 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney 

At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand how emotionally trying a divorce can be. As you navigate the difficult process of separating from your spouse, we are prepared to represent you diligently throughout the entirety of the divorce process. Hiring the right attorney can be critically important in protecting your financial health and the well-being of your children. Our attorneys are confident in our ability to help you secure a positive divorce settlement. To schedule an initial meeting with a Lombard divorce attorney, call us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Wheaton fathers' rights lawyerFor parents, the divorce process can be incredibly stressful. Not only are you divorcing from your parenting partner and former spouse, but you are facing a great deal of uncertainty about your living situation and the time you will spend with your children. For fathers, securing a favorable parenting agreement can often be difficult. Whether you are looking to negotiate a custody agreement with your former spouse or planning to fight for your parental rights in court, an experienced attorney can help you navigate your child custody case. 

Winning Custodial Rights

Due to recent alterations to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, divorced parents are no longer defined as “custodial” or “non-custodial.” Under the current law, specific parental responsibilities are allocated between parents through either an agreement between the parties or a court order. Below are some simple steps that every father should take as they look to secure substantial parental responsibilities:

  • Prove Financial Security: If disputes over child custody and parenting time must be resolved in court, it is important to demonstrate that you have the financial stability to provide for your children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, custodial fathers are much less likely to fall under the poverty line than custodial mothers. In 2014, only 17.4% of custodial fathers were under the poverty line. Financial security can prove to a judge that you will be able to handle the responsibilities of independent parenting. 
  • Be Available: In order to secure significant parenting time and parental responsibilities, it is important for you to be as engaged as possible when it comes to your children. Fathers are often viewed as secondary to a child’s development, due to common misconceptions related to their commitment to parenthood. By consistently displaying interest in your child’s academic performance and extracurricular activities and being closely involved in their lives, you can improve your chances of a favorable child custody decision. 
  • Hire the Right Attorney: While custodial laws have changed here in the state of Illinois, the perception of a mother as the primary parent has not. In 2014, only one in every six custodial parents were fathers. Due to the difficulties that fathers can face in securing parental responsibilities, it is crucial to hire the right lawyer. As you select the attorney that will assist you throughout your divorce, you should inquire about their years of legal experience, their prior success in cases, and their ability to aggressively litigate in court. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can make all the difference in protecting your parental rights. 

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Lawyer 

As you navigate the divorce process, it is common to experience a range of emotions. Parents will have to grapple with the reality of separating from someone they once loved and the possibility of losing time spent with their children. Winning custody rights as a father can be especially difficult. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to assisting you in developing a parenting plan that will ensure that you can remain a part of your child’s life. If your ex-spouse is unwilling to work cooperatively to develop a parenting plan that can work for both parties, we are prepared to aggressively represent you in court. To schedule an initial meeting with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney, call us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Lombard parenting plan modification lawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to pursue a divorce, the process can be incredibly complicated. When children are involved, the decisions made during divorce will affect their lives for years to come. However, people’s circumstances may change, and a modification to your divorce decree may be necessary in order to reflect changes in how you and your ex-spouse handle parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you plan to ask for a change to your child custody agreement, it is important to take the proper steps as you prepare for this request.

Preparing for a Parenting Plan Modification

You may petition for a modification to the parenting plan created in your divorce decree, but when considering these requests, a judge will base their decision on what is in children’s best interests. In order to show that your proposed changes will be in children’s best interests, you can take the following steps:

  • Remain Cordial With Your Former Spouse: The easiest way to modify your parenting plan is through working cooperatively with your ex-spouse to devise a plan that works for all parties involved. If you can show your former spouse that you can work together with them to provide a safe and loving home for your children, they are more likely to work with you in modifying the plan. On the other hand, any aggressive or insensitive behavior is likely to significantly impact their willingness to modify the plan. 
  • Be an Engaged Parent: If your former spouse is unwilling to work with you to modify your plan, even with the help of a mediator or family law professional, you may need to argue your case for a modification in a custody hearing. The best way to convince the court that you deserve more parental responsibilities or parenting time is through being a great parent. Be highly engaged in your child’s life, including staying informed of their academic performance and attending their extracurricular activities. You should also ensure that you have ample space in your home for your child to live, sleep, and play. 
  • Pay Child Support: Proving that you are a responsible parent is incredibly important as you look to modify your parenting plan. If you are responsible for paying child support, it is important that you make each payment in full and on time. Meeting your child support responsibilities can also encourage your former spouse to work with you in developing a mutually-beneficial modification to the parenting plan. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand the difficulties that parents and children face when struggling to adjust to the reality of divorce. If your family’s situation has changed, our attorneys will work with you to modify your parenting plan and help you reach an outcome that is best for you and your family. To schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County child custody lawyer, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Lombard divorce and child custody lawyerAccording to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 40% percent of marriages throughout the United States ultimately end in divorce. Separating from your spouse can be an incredibly turbulent and emotional time in your life, and for parents, a divorce can be especially difficult. As you navigate the divorce process, it is important for you to remain engaged as a parent. Seeking assistance from a qualified attorney can allow you to focus on the well-being of your family as you work to finalize your divorce. 

Divorce as a Parent  

When children are involved in a divorce, it is important to act with extreme care. For children, the divorce of their parents can be uniquely challenging to grasp and cope with. Listed below are a few key steps you should take as you juggle being a parent and separating from your spouse:

  • Remain Engaged: Throughout your divorce, it is critical to reassure your child that you will always be a part of their life. You can do this through fun family activities like going to see a movie or going to the park. It is also important to demonstrate that you are still fully invested in the things that they are passionate about and make sure that you do not miss any important extracurricular activities. It should be noted that many children begin to struggle with academic performance during divorce, so speak with teachers, coaches, and other key figures in their lives as they go through this difficult time. 
  • Talk With Your Kids: Speaking with your children regarding your divorce can be one of the most difficult conversations you ever have as a parent. However, these conversations can make all the difference in alleviating any concerns your child may have about your separation. Be willing to answer difficult questions and remember to remain calm, even if your child becomes agitated or flustered. In a lot of divorces, children will irrationally blame themselves for the divorce of their parents, so open and steady dialogue and reassurance can be key to their mental and emotional health. 
  • Develop a Custody Strategy: As you begin to speak with your attorney about the resolution of your divorce, one of the first things that will need to be addressed is child custody. As a parent, you need to know what your custody goals are. A joint custody agreement is often the best option for children, because it enables them to maintain a relationship with both parents. In other cases, joint custody is not a healthy option, and you may look to secure sole custody. If you look to pursue sole custody, speak with your attorney about the possibility of receiving child support payments from your spouse. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

The emotional aspects of a divorce can be incredibly challenging to cope with, as separating with a spouse is never easy. Unfortunately, divorce can present a number of unforeseen complications that may be completely unrelated to the emotional side of a separation. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our legal team is dedicated to resolving the nuanced aspects of your divorce while protecting your parental rights and your children’s best interests. To set up a consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate DuPage County divorce lawyer, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Lombard divorce attorney teenage child custodyFor children, witnessing the breakdown of their parents’ marriage can be an emotionally traumatizing experience. When teenage children are involved in a divorce, it is especially important to consider their feelings and discuss the separation with them. Navigating the academic rigors and social aspects of high school can be difficult enough, and the challenges of adolescence are often amplified during a divorce. Below are a few ways to assist your teenage child through the divorce process.

Steps You Can Take 

Helping your child understand the reasons behind your separation and the necessity for a divorce can be an incredibly challenging dialogue to engage in. Still, when parenting teenage children, it can be wise to have as many conversations as possible. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Discuss Custody: While decisions about child custody and parenting time are made by the parents or, in some cases, by a judge, children’s wishes may play a role in these decisions. It can be highly beneficial to have discussions with your teenage children about what they would like to happen after your divorce. Ensuring that your child will be able to spend significant time with both parents can help to lower any anxiety they may have about the divorce. 
  • Offer Emotional Encouragement: In many divorces, children will blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. These negative thoughts can lead to academic problems, anxiety or depression, and even abuse of drugs or alcohol. Speaking with your child about the reasons behind your separation can be key to helping them understand that they were not the cause of the divorce. 
  • Speak With Other Role Models: As you prepare for your divorce, it is important to inform other figures in your child’s life about the separation. As mentioned above, it is possible that your child may begin to struggle academically or display erratic behavior. Speaking with your child’s teachers, coaches, or other family members can help them understand why your child may be acting differently. 
  • Remain Engaged: While a divorce represents a time of change, your child needs you to remain a strong parental force in their life. Make sure you are giving your child ample opportunities to speak with you about the divorce and what is going on in their life. Maintaining interest in their scholastic, athletic, or extracurricular activities and their day to day interests can help your child understand that you will always be there for them. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

The divorce process is likely to evoke a wide variety of emotions. When children are involved in your divorce, these emotional struggles can be increasingly tumultuous. Hiring a family law team that you can trust can help alleviate your stress regarding the legal side of a divorce, allowing you to focus on your family’s mental and emotional health. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our team is confident in our ability to assist you in navigating all aspects of your divorce. To schedule a meeting with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer, call our office today at 630-462-9500. 

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