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DuPage County divorce parenting plan attorneyBeing a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Cooperatively raising a child with an ex-spouse or former partner can be even harder. If you are a divorcing or unmarried parent who plans on sharing parental responsibility with your ex, you probably have many concerns about how a joint custody arrangement will work out. Effective co-parenting takes patience, perseverance, and planning. One of the best ways to prevent disagreements and problems in a co-parenting scenario is to have a solid strategy for how you plan to share parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Illinois Requires Parents to Create a Parenting Plan

If you are getting divorced in Illinois and wish to share parenting time with your spouse, you are required to submit a parenting plan to the court. Ideally, you and your spouse can agree to a plan, but if you cannot agree, the court will intervene and decide what should be included in the official parenting agreement. This plan will assign important decision-making responsibilities (formerly called child custody) and parenting time (formerly called visitation) to each parent. Additionally, the parenting plan must contain provisions which address:

  • The child’s official residential address

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DuPage County order of protection attorneyAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an astounding 10 million men and women are victims of intimate partner abuse every year in the United States. Data shows that about 20 people per minute are abused by a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse in the U.S. Anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence knows just how terrifying and overwhelming the experience can be. Domestic violence or abuse can also have a tremendous impact on divorce proceedings. If you are considering divorce, and you have been mentally, emotionally, or physically abused by your spouse, there are several issues you need to be aware of.

Negotiation and Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Situations Involving Domestic Abuse

Generally, couples getting divorced are encouraged to work out issues related to child custody, property division, and spousal support on their own or with help from a qualified mediator. However, when there is an imbalance of power between the spouses or a history of domestic violence, this may not be appropriate or even possible. It is highly encouraged that you speak with an experienced family law attorney if you are getting divorced and have been abused by your partner. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and choose the course of action which is best for your unique situation. If you worry about the effect that your partner’s abuse has or will have on your children, your lawyer can also help you determine the steps you can take to protect your children’s safety, including requesting sole custody or requiring that your ex-spouse’s parenting time be supervised.

An Order of Protection May Help

Your safety and the safety of your children should be your top priority if you are planning to leave an abusive relationship. If you have reason to believe that your spouse will harm you in any way during the transition, you may want to consider getting an order of protection. There are three types of protection orders available in Illinois: an emergency order of protection (EOP), an interim order of protection, and a plenary order of protection. An EOP can be obtained at your local county courthouse and can remain in effect for 14 – 21 days. You will not need to notify your spouse if you get an EOP. This emergency order may require your abuser to stay a certain distance away from you and/or your children as well as your place of work, school, and your residence. A hearing will be held to determine whether a plenary order of protection should be issued to provide more permanent protection.

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DuPage County spousal support lawyer

If you are getting divorced and earn a lower income than your spouse, you probably have many concerns about finances. Making ends meet on a single income can be a daunting prospect. This is especially true if you have been out of the workforce for many years because you were raising your children. Spousal support, also called maintenance or alimony, may offer the financial relief you desperately need. However, only individuals meeting certain criteria will be eligible for spousal support in Illinois.

When Is Alimony Awarded in Illinois?

Not every person who gets divorced will qualify for spousal maintenance. The courts typically only award a spouse maintenance if it is “reasonable and necessary.” There are many factors considered by Illinois courts when deciding whether or not maintenance is appropriate. These include but are not limited to:

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Wheaton divorce lawyer for work-related issuesGoing through a divorce can be rough. Not only does it affect your relationship and your children, but it can also have an impact on other aspects of your life. When dealing with legal issues, paperwork, court dates, and financial concerns, it is likely that your divorce will spill over into other areas, and it could become an issue at your workplace. While the end of your marriage is likely to be stressful, the last thing you need is for it to affect your career, and you will want to avoid any threats to your income and financial stability. However, with proper preparation, you can maintain a proper balance between your work and your personal life. By following these tips, you can ensure that your work will not be negatively affected:

Inform the Proper People About Your Situation

Discussions about your divorce are not good “watercooler talk.” You do not want to inflict the struggles you are facing in your personal life on everyone in your office with a listening ear. However, it can be hard to keep all your concerns bottled up inside, especially if you are concerned that the stress you are facing may have an impact on your work performance. Telling your HR manager and/or your supervisor about your divorce will help them understand what is going on, and they may offer compassion and give you more leeway if you need to leave the office early or take the afternoon off in order to go to court. If you are close to one or more of your coworkers, you may wish to confide in them, but it is best to do so in a private setting, either on breaks or outside of the workplace.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Dealing with court dates, paperwork, and legal concerns can be overwhelming. To ensure that you are getting your work done, you should allocate a certain time of the day to deal specifically with divorce matters. This will preferably be during your lunch hour or after your workday is finished. Doing so will help you avoid the need to juggle your regular work activities and matters related to your divorce at the same time. You can also save time and effort and stay more organized by sending your lawyer a list of questions at the end of the day rather than calling or emailing them throughout the day.

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DuPage County divorce attorney for marital assets and debtsThe choice to get a divorce can be a difficult decision to make, but it can ultimately be a positive step that allows you to leave a relationship that is not working and begin a fresh start to your life. As you begin taking the steps to file for divorce, it is important to be prepared for the changes that you will experience in your life. Divorce can cause a variety of difficulties for your personal finances if you are not careful. However, if you go into your divorce with a clear head and a qualified divorce lawyer, you will have a much better chance of coming out of your marriage in a stable position. As you proceed with the divorce process, here are some tips to help keep your finances in order:

Make a Budget

Your life will change in many ways after your divorce has been finalized. You will likely be in a different living situation, and you may need to make adjustments in order to be able to support yourself on a single income. You can ensure that you will be able to maintain financial stability by making a projected budget of your living expenses after the divorce. This should include rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, health insurance, auto or renter’s insurance, groceries, gasoline, and any other regular expenditures. If the income you earn will not fully cover all of your expenses, you may need to find new living arrangements or determine other ways you can cut costs.

Divide Marital Possessions Fairly

During your divorce, you and your spouse will need to determine how to divide your marital property in a fair manner. Illinois is not a community property state, so couples are not required to split assets 50-50. Instead, Illinois follows the principle of “equitable division,” which means that property is divided fairly, based on factors such as the needs of each party and the contributions that each spouse made to the marriage. You should be able to retain ownership of a fair portion of the property you and your ex-spouse own together, and if necessary, you can sell or liquidate some of these assets following the completion of your divorce.

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