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Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.
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Lombard collaborative law attorneyWhen a couple makes the decision to get married, the union is a truly beautiful thing. However, the stresses of life, ranging from financial security to parenting disputes, can bring a marriage to a screeching halt. When a marriage is no longer healthy, a divorce can represent an opportunity to start anew. While most people think of divorce as a heated and contested process that is navigated through litigation in court, many divorces can be resolved in an amicable fashion. Collaborative divorce is one alternative method used to resolve the issues couples must address when dissolving their marriage. 

Understanding Collaborative Divorce 

Through collaborative law, a couple looking to end their marriage will work with their respective attorneys in reaching a settlement that is agreed upon by both parties. Typically, a couple will agree to fully disclose all necessary information to each other over the course of their negotiations, and their attorneys will agree to withdraw from the case if an agreement cannot be reached. A collaborative divorce can resolve issues ranging from the division of marital property to child custody. If you decide that you want to pursue a collaborative divorce, it is important to fully understand that the process will require patience and trust in both your former spouse and the legal professionals you are working with. 

The benefits of a collaborative divorce are numerous. The collaborative process enables you to work with your ex-spouse and develop a new relationship. By avoiding litigation, you can finalize the divorce in a timely fashion, and keep your family matters private. Financially speaking, a collaborative divorce will enable both parties to agree upon a settlement that will ensure equity and financial security. Due to the general speed of most collaborative divorces, the process can result in savings in attorney’s fees. 

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Naperville divorce attorney appealWhen a couple pursues a divorce, the ideal situation revolves around securing a mutually beneficial settlement. When a couple can work together, either through a collaborative divorce or the assistance of a mediator, issues can be resolved on the couple’s terms. However, in some cases, couples are unable to work together to find a resolution, and litigation is necessary. 

Your divorce will affect a wide variety of issues, ranging from child custody to the division of marital property, and a judge’s decisions can have a monumental impact on your life. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case, it may be possible to pursue an appeal. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options for appealing a divorce judgment and represent the best interests of your family throughout the legal process. 

Understanding the Appeals Process in Illinois 

The first thing to understand is that an appeal will only be warranted if some sort of error was made during the trial. Examples of legal errors could include an instance in which the judge did not have access to all necessary information, or if the decisions made did not follow the law correctly. Once your attorney has established that your appeal is based on reasonable grounds, it is important to act quickly. Appeals must typically be filed within 30 days after the divorce judgment.

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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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