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Palatine divorce attorney parenting planEveryone knows that divorce is hard on all of those who are involved - especially the kids. Even if you try to keep them out of the fighting and the negotiations, you may not realize how much your children actually pick up on. They can sense when there is tension between their parents, but they often do not know what to do about it, and this can cause them a great deal of stress. One way that divorced parents may be able to help their children cope with the changes to their lives is by using a unique co-parenting arrangement called “nesting.”

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

This type of co-parenting agreement occurs when a divorced couple keeps the family home, and the children reside there 100 percent of the time--it is the parents who come and go. A separate living space, such as an apartment, is rented so the parents have somewhere to go when the other parent is at the house with the children. Or, in some cases, each parent will have their own living space to go to. This type of arrangement puts the focus on making the children comfortable with the parents’ divorce and alleviating the stress that children feel when they are constantly hauled back and forth between residences.

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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington divorce attorneyBreaking up is hard to do, and when you have been married and spent years of your life with another person, ending your relationship can be even harder. Divorce can leave many people with feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, but there are things you can do to help yourself through the transition period after a divorce:

1. Allow Yourself to Grieve

This is probably the most important step to healing after a divorce. While you are not mourning the loss of your spouse’s life, you are mourning the loss of a relationship. Your marriage was a very significant relationship, and ending it will require you to completely reconfigure your life. Even if you were the one who wanted and initiated the divorce, you still should allow yourself time to fully comprehend the changes you are experiencing.

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Palatine divorce attorneyFirst comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...divorce? When you got married, you might have thought you would live happily ever after, but the truth is, divorce is not uncommon, especially in the United States. Though divorce happens for myriad reasons, and no one couple’s relationship is the same as the next, there are some interesting trends to note in divorce and marriage.

1. Divorce Rates Have Actually Decreased

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marriage rates have actually decreased since 2000, when the rate per 1,000 people was about 8.2. In 2016, the U.S. marriage rate was at 6.9 per 1,000 people. Divorces have also been decreasing steadily since 2000, when the divorce rate was at 4.0 per 1,000 people. In 2016, the U.S. saw one of the lowest divorce rates ever at 3.2 per 1,000 people.

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Rolling Meadows adoption attorneyFor some people, having a child naturally is not in the cards. Many married men and women have trouble conceiving and turn to adoption as a choice for starting a family. Many gay and lesbian couples also choose adoption as a way to grow their family, rather than using other methods, such as a surrogate or donor sperm. However, a bill that is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives could result in gay and lesbian couples, among other groups, having a more difficult time finding a child to adopt.

Bill Disallows the Federal Government to Discriminate Against Agencies

The 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill is in its drafting stages right now, but a recent amendment to the bill, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee, says that state and local governments cannot discriminate against child welfare service providers based on their religious beliefs or moral convictions. Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt introduced the amendment, which was passed on a vote of 29-23.

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Rolling Meadows step-child adoption attorneyOne of the most common forms of adoption in the United States is step-parent adoption. This type of adoption takes place when either the child’s biological mother or father is married to someone other than the child’s biological parent and that person wants to assume legal rights and responsibilities of the child. Step-parent adoption can be a step that some families take to solidify their relationships with one another, or to establish two parents for a child if one biological parent is not involved in the child’s life. 

Factors to Consider

It is important to understand that a related adoption is a little different from an unrelated adoption. In some ways, it can be easier to adopt a child that is related to you, but it can also have its challenges. Some factors to consider in step-parent adoptions include:

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Palatine finances and divorce attorneyOne of the most common things people worry about when they are going through a divorce is how it will affect their finances, and for good reason. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, women experienced a significant drop in their income after divorce--nearly 41 percent, on average. This can be due to a number of factors, but there are dozens of mistakes you can make when getting a divorce that could negatively impact your finances. Here are some common mistakes you should be sure to avoid:

1. Not Being Prepared

One of the most common mistakes that people make with their finances during divorce is not being prepared for the divorce itself. Divorce is a long and demanding process, so being prepared is crucial. Before you begin the process, you should consult with both financial experts and an experienced attorney to make sure you are making the best decisions.

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Rolling Meadows divorce asset division lawyerDivorce is an emotionally daunting experience, but it can also be financially daunting, especially when it comes to the assets you own. Splitting your assets during divorce can be a lengthy process, and it can become frustrating if you and your ex-spouse get into bitter arguments about who gets what or how certain property should be allocated. Illinois law dictates that marital property is subject to equitable distribution, and non-marital property is not. In a nutshell, marital property includes any assets that were acquired during the marriage. It is important to understand how to divide certain assets, including the following types of marital property:

1. The House

The easiest way to divide this real estate asset is to sell your house and split the money. This works if neither spouse has a particular attachment to the home, and it offers an easier, less stressful way of dealing with what is often one of the most valuable marital assets. Before you sell your home, you should get the house appraised, ensuring that you know exactly what your property is worth.

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Barrington divorce lawyer parenting planDivorcing with children can be difficult. Their living arrangements will change drastically, and this change can be hard on them. Children thrive off of predictability and routine, which is why it is important that you establish a parenting plan prior to finalizing your divorce. Even if things are friendly now, and you and your spouse agree on the parenting situation, having a plan in writing can save you unwanted costs and headaches later.

How Will Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time Be Allocated?

One of the first things you need to determine in your parenting plan is how parental responsibility will be shared and parenting time will be divided between you and your ex-spouse. There are a few different types of parenting arrangements that are common:

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Palatine child custody lawyerA new and increasingly popular trend for child custody arrangements after a divorce is co-parenting, in which both the mother and father play an active role in their child’s life, even though they are no longer together. This ensures that children can still have close relationships with both of their parents after divorce. Joint custody arrangements can be exhausting and riddled with stress, but co-parenting arrangements can benefit children greatly. These tips can help you become a great co-parent after divorce:

Aim For Consistency

Divorce can affect children just as much as it affects adults. Now that both parents are not around at the same time, and the child may be moving from household to household, consistency is key for raising your children. You should try to maintain the same rules, expectations, disciplines, and schedules in both parents’ homes to avoid confusion. Rules about homework, curfews, and things the child is and is not allowed to do should be kept the same, along with the consequences for breaking those rules.

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Schaumburg mediation and collaborative divorce attorneyDeciding to get a divorce is a process in itself, but once you have decided to end your marriage, the next step you must take is to determine what kind of divorce you want to get. Couples who are hostile to each other and are not willing to cooperate often must resort to a litigated divorce where arguments are made in court and a judge makes decisions about issues such as how assets are divided and how child custody arrangements are made. However, if you and your spouse are on good terms, or if you are at least willing to work together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, you may be able to go with an alternative dispute resolution option such as a collaborative divorce or a mediated divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce Process

Collaborative divorce is a way that couples can get divorced without having a court intervening in the process. At the beginning of the collaborative divorce process, the divorcing couple and their respective attorneys will sign an agreement stating that they plan to resolve their divorce disputes without the need for litigation in court. Collaborative divorce allows spouses to have control in decisions made regarding marital property, allocation of parental responsibility, spousal maintenance, or any other issues that must be resolved before their divorce can be complete.

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Barrington divorce attorneyGetting a divorce is a challenging time in many adults’ lives. Not only are there things to settle financially and assets to divide, divorce brings much emotional confusion into the picture. Once you have decided that a divorce is your best option, you should become prepared for the long and winding journey that is the divorce process. These 8 things can help you get a head start on your divorce even before the legal process gets started:

1. Determine the Type of Divorce You Want

Often, people think that a divorce is a divorce. In reality, there are many different types of divorce. In Illinois, the types of divorce recognized are:

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Barrington DCFS adoption attorneyAdditions to your family can come in many forms, and adoption is one method that is beneficial for both parents and children. One great option for many families is adopting a child through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). However, a DCFS adoption is a bit different than other types of adoption. Before beginning the process, you should determine if a DCFS adoption is right for you and your family.

DCFS Adoptions Are Unique

One of the basic differences between a DCFS adoption and a private agency adoption is that children who are adopted through DCFS are in the foster care system. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, there were 117,794 children in foster care throughout the United States who were waiting to be adopted in 2016. Children who are placed in a foster home have been removed from their families for a variety of reasons, including abuse or neglect, which may have resulted in trauma. These children also range in age from babies to teenagers, and if they are available for adoption, their birth parents’ rights have already been terminated.

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Arlington Heights collaborative divorce attorneyWhen you think of the word divorce, you probably think of scenes in movies and television with couples screaming at each other over their issues and sitting in the courtroom while a judge decides their fate. However, the reality is that many couples seek a calm and refined dissolution of their marriage--this is where collaborative divorce comes in.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a way that a couple can get divorced without the stress or intervention of the court system. The point of collaborative law is to avoid litigation and keep control over the outcomes of certain divorce issues, such as the division of assets and property, child custody and support agreements, and spousal maintenance. Each spouse will work with their own attorney who is trained in collaborative law, in addition to a team of professionals from different fields to come to an agreement. The process begins when the couple and their attorneys sign a legally binding contract--called a participation agreement--to agree to resolve their marital disputes outside of the courtroom.

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Rolling Meadows prenuptial agreement attorneyWhen you are engaged, there are so many things to talk about--the honeymoon, the dress, the reception--but one of the not-so-fun things that you should discuss is getting a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. Doing so may save you in the event your marriage does not work out.

What Is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple signs prior to getting married that lays out terms for how certain matters will be handled in the event of a divorce. The agreement may state how couples will split their finances, what each person owns coming into the marriage, and how property acquired during the marriage would be divided. A prenup can cover everything from debt to retirement funds and how those are allocated.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney equal parenting timeIn today’s families, parents often function as equal partners when raising their children, and both mothers and fathers are highly involved in decision-making and day-to-day care. Close relationships with their parents are beneficial for children, and these relationships should continue even if parents decide to end their marriage through divorce. 

In recent years, the divorce laws in Illinois have been updated to reflect the nature of modern parenting. The presumption that one parent will have custody of children has been replaced with the allocation of parental responsibility between parents, and rather than granting temporary visitation for a non-custodial parent, each parent will have parenting time with their children. 

Some advocates are pushing for additional changes to the law that they believe would protect parents’ rights. Currently, the Illinois House of Representatives is considering a bill which would change divorce laws to presume that it is in children’s best interests to have equal amounts of parenting time with both parents.

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Schaumburg division of marital property attorneyThe process of divorce can be lengthy and complicated, and issues related to the property that a couple owns can often be very difficult to resolve. When determining how to divide property during divorce, couples should be sure to consider the following:

  • Marital property - Any property that a couple acquires during their marriage is considered marital property, and Illinois law states that these assets should be fairly and equitably divided between divorcing spouses. However, “fair and equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal;” rather; each spouse should receive a “just proportion” of the marital assets.
  • Non-marital property - Property which a spouse owned prior to the marriage or which they received by gift or inheritance is not subject to equitable division during divorce. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may also state that certain property is non-marital property. However, marital and non-marital property can become commingled, making it difficult to determine ownership. In some cases, non-marital property may be converted to marital property, or one spouse may be obligated to repay the other spouse for improvements they contributed to non-marital property.
  • Real estate - The marital home may be one of the most valuable assets owned by a married couple, and determining how to divide it may be difficult. Spouses may choose to sell the house and split any profits from the sale, or one spouse may purchase the other spouse’s share of the equity in the home.
  • Debt - In addition to the assets a couple owns, the debts they owe (such as credit card debts or automobile loans) must also be divided equitably between spouses. However, spouses should be aware that if their name is on an account, a creditor may attempt to collect debts from them if their ex-spouse fails to make payments.
  • Family businesses - The assistance of a business appraiser is often required to determine the value of a family-owned business. One spouse may wish to purchase the other spouse’s interests in the business in order to ensure that the business will be able to remain operational after the divorce. If this is not possible, the spouses may wish to continue co-owning the business and working as partners after their divorce, with the option for a spouse to “buy out” the other’s share at a future date.
  • Retirement plans - The balance of retirement savings accounts should be divided between spouses, and a person may also be able to receive a portion of their ex-spouse’s pension benefits. When distributing these assets between spouses, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order can be used to avoid penalties or taxes for early withdrawal.
  • Social Security - Spouses who were married for at least 10 years may be able to receive half of their ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits when they reach the age of 62, as long as they have been divorced for two or more years. A person can only receive benefits from one source, so if their own Social Security benefits are larger than half of their ex-spouse’s benefits, receiving their own benefits would be a preferable option.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

During divorce, it is important to consider every aspect of your property division settlement to ensure that assets and debts are divided correctly, providing you with the resources you need in the future. If you need help resolving issues related to the division of marital property, the attorneys at Anderson and Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our Palatine divorce attorneys at 847-995-9999 to arrange a free consultation.

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Palatine divorce attorney financial planningThe end of your marriage is likely to be a traumatic, chaotic time, but taking the time to prepare for your life after divorce will help you begin the next phase of your life on the right foot. One of the key concerns you should address is your finances, making sure that the decisions made during divorce will protect your financial security and ensure that you will be able to provide for yourself and your family. Here are some tips for financial planning during divorce:

  • Gather documents - Be sure to obtain complete records that will give you the full picture of your and your spouse’s finances. These documents may include bank statements, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, investments, mortgages, automobile loans, pay stubs, tax returns, and appraisals of items you own. Fully understanding your financial situation will ensure that assets and debts are divided equitably, and it may help identify any hidden assets.
  • Avoid hasty decisions - It can be easy to make decisions based on emotion during divorce (for instance, one spouse may insist on ownership of real estate because they have an attachment to the marital home), but it is best to take a step back and consider things rationally, ensuring that you are making the right choices to protect your financial interests. It is also a good idea to wait to make any big purchases or changes to your life that may affect your finances.
  • Create a budget - Finances can be strained following divorce, so you will want to be sure to fully understand your income and expenses and prepare for a lifestyle that will meet your family’s needs without causing you to go into debt. If possible, leave yourself some room for flexibility, in case you experience any unanticipated expenses.
  • Speak to a financial advisor - The financial issues that arise during divorce can be complex. An accountant or financial analyst can help you understand the full ramifications of your decisions, including the tax consequences of property division and the best steps to take to protect your financial health.

Contact a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

Divorce does not have to mean financial ruin or mountains of debt. If you need help reaching a resolution to your divorce that protects your financial security, the skilled attorneys at Anderson and Associates, P.C. can work with you to negotiate a settlement that meets your needs. Contact our Arlington Heights divorce lawyers today at 847-995-9999 to set up a free consultation.

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Barrington divorce attorney parental alienationChildren deserve to have a good relationship with both their parents, but this can sometimes be difficult after parents decide to divorce. Children often struggle to understand the reason for the end of their parents’ marriage, and they can have difficulty adjusting to dividing their time between two homes. Unfortunately, the emotional distress they experience is sometimes made even worse when one parent attempts to negatively influence their children’s relationship with their other parent. This is known as parental alienation, and it is important for divorcing parents to recognize when it is occurring and understand their legal options.

Forms of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs whenever a parent attempts to influence their children’s feelings about the other parent, and it can take a variety of forms, including:

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Schaumburg divorce attorney parent child issuesWhen parents decide to divorce, both they and their children may have difficulty adjusting to the major changes they will be experiencing in their lives. Some growing pains are inevitable as children become accustomed to dividing their time between two separate homes. However, parents can work to provide a good environment for their children by avoiding the following mistakes:

  • Involving children in conflict - Even though parents will likely not get along very well during divorce, it is important to avoid arguing in front of children or exposing them to disagreements. This can be very damaging to children, so parents should work to resolve their disputes when children are not present.
  • Inconsistency - Parents should work to maintain consistent rules and schedules at both their houses, which will provide children with a sense of security and help them avoid feeling anxious about what to expect. 
  • Competition - Parents should avoid trying to win their children’s affection by overindulging them or giving them everything they ask for. It is also important for a parent to avoid speaking negatively about the other parent or blaming the other parent for the divorce.
  • Sending messages - Parents should communicate with each other directly rather than sending messages through their children. Making children act as messengers can put them in the middle of conflict and cause them anxiety.
  • Spying - While a parent may be tempted to ask children about their former spouse’s emotional state, the condition of their home, or their dating activities, it is important to avoid doing so, since this can place a great deal of stress on children.
  • Forcing children to choose - Children should never be asked to make decisions about where they should live or choose sides in parental conflicts. This places children in a difficult position, and it can lead to a great deal of emotional difficulty for everyone involved. Parents should work together to make decisions or reach compromises without involving their children.

Contact a Palatine Divorce Attorney

During divorce, it is important to put children’s best interests first, and both parents should work together to resolve their disagreements in a way that creates a good foundation for an ongoing co-parenting relationship. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., we can work with you to resolve your divorce disputes through negotiation or mediation, and if necessary, we will advocate for your parental rights in court. Contact a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

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Palatine divorce settlement attorneyDuring divorce, spouses will work to resolve a wide variety of legal issues through negotiation or mediation, and ideally, they will be able to resolve these issues without the need for litigation in court. At the conclusion of the divorce process, a couple’s final decisions about these issues will be set down in a marital settlement agreement which will be incorporated into their divorce decree. In Illinois, a marital settlement agreement should include the following:

  • Division of assets and debts - A settlement will specify how any marital property will be divided between spouses, including real estate property, physical possessions, automobiles, the balances of bank accounts, business interests, and retirement funds or pensions. It should also specify who will be responsible for marital debts. 
  • Parenting plan - This portion of the settlement will specify how parents will share decision-making responsibility for their children or whether one parent will have sole responsibility in certain areas. It will also detail each parent’s parenting time schedule, including where children will stay on holidays, who will provide transportation, and any other relevant details.
  • Spousal maintenance - If one spouse will be paying spousal support (alimony) to the other, the settlement will specify the amount of these payments and when these payments will begin and end. It should also include details about when these payments should be reviewed, adjusted, or terminated.
  • Child support - The settlement will detail the amount of a parent’s child support obligations, as well as when these payments will begin and when they will be terminated. It may also specify how parents will divide the costs of their children’s medical insurance premiums, dental and orthodontic care, child care, extracurricular activities, or college expenses.
  • Tax information - A settlement should specify which parent will be allowed to claim children as dependents on their taxes. It may also address whether the spouses will file a joint tax return if they were still married during the previous year and how any tax refunds or taxes owed will be allocated between the spouses.

Contact a South Barrington Divorce Attorney

The details included in a divorce settlement are often very complex, and it is important to have an attorney on your side who can ensure that your settlement which protects your rights and meets your needs. Whether you are beginning the divorce process or need to review your marital settlement agreement prior to finalizing your divorce, Anderson & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the legal help you need. Contact our Schaumburg divorce lawyers today at 847-995-9999 to set up a free consultation.

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