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Arlington Heights family law attorney

It is no secret that divorce is tough on a family. Although a husband and wife no longer want to be married, they both will continue to share a relationship with their children. After a divorce, one parent often moves from the family home, which can be difficult for children to begin with, but it can also change their daily routines or schedules. When addressing issues such as when children will have quality time with either parent, Illinois law allows families to complete a parenting plan, which must be in writing and signed by both parents to be considered legally binding.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

Since 2016, Illinois has removed terms such as “custody” and “visitation” from state family laws in an attempt to better address the roles that parents play following divorce. Now, such matters are referred to as “parental responsibility” and “parenting time,” respectively. A parenting plan is what puts decisions about these issues into action after a divorce by dictating how parental responsibilities will be allocated or shared between parents and when each parent will spend time with the child. 

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Barrington dissolution of marriage attorney

divorce is a difficult time for many couples. Whether you have been married for one year or 20 years, the divorce process can be long and stressful. Once the complicated steps such as property division and creating a parenting plan are over, it is time to begin moving on with your life. Although a divorce may be finalized, you may still have lingering feelings about the marriage or your ex-partner. Divorce can be a big lifestyle change, and this transition can prove challenging. 

Grieving the Loss of Your Marriage

Getting a divorce means losing an important person in your life. It is normal to grieve this loss. Mourning the relationship with your ex-spouse can be cathartic. However, while contemplation is good, dwelling on the past can hinder you from moving on. A person getting a divorce may go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Schaumburg paternity and parentage attorney

When a baby is born to a married couple, the mother’s husband is assumed to be the father of the child. Paternity is the legal definition of a father’s relationship with the child. When a father establishes that he is legally the father, he has rights to the child, such as parenting time. This is what legally differentiates him from anyone else, such as a family friend or other father figure. Establishing paternity not only strengthens the relationship between father and child, but the child will also benefit.

Ways to Confirm Parentage

The only way paternity is automatically established is through marriage. Even if the parents of a child live together, or are engaged to be married, paternity will need to be established another way. The only exception is if the mother was married, or in a civil union, at least 300 days before the birth. In these cases, her partner or former partner will be assumed to be the child’s father. 

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Palatine divorce lawyer

The divorce rate is currently at its lowest in 40 years, and this decrease in divorces is widely attributed to younger generations delaying marriage. In fact, 15- to 24-year-olds have contributed the most to this average decrease, with a 43 percent drop in divorce rates for this age group. As societal norms change, younger people are waiting longer to get married. A lot of couples choose to live together for a number of years before entering into a legal union. Although the overall percentage of divorces has decreased recently, many couples still choose to end their marriage after careful consideration. 

Issues That Can Destroy a Marriage

Most couples do not enter into marriage expecting to get divorced. However, it can happen due to various factors that cause the breakdown of the relationship, such as:  

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Schaumburg family law and divorce attorney

A person will likely experience many changes after getting a divorce. One spouse may move to a different city or state to get a fresh start. If children are involved, a parenting plan will be created to allocate parental responsibility and scheduled parenting time, among other things. Also, finances will be affected, since the spouses will no longer be sharing incomes. Another adjustment for a newly single person will be how he or she files taxes at the end of the year. An individual’s tax filing status will be different after a divorce, especially if children are involved. 

Filing Status

Depending on when the divorce is finalized will determine how a couple can file. If the divorce is final before December 31 at 11:59 p.m., each party must file their own individual tax return for that year. However, if the couple remains married at this time, they may choose whether to file taxes jointly or individually. A single person often can only claim one allowance, but a married couple has access to several. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Palatine parenting plan lawyer

Any person who grew up with divorced parents will tell you it is not easy. Although the divorce rate in the United States has decreased, slightly less than half of all marriages still end in divorce. Traditionally, two people get married and then start a family, so children are often caught in the crossfire of a divorce. Studies have shown that children of divorce are more likely to marry another person with divorced parents, and those couples are more likely to get a divorce themselves. If the cycle of divorce continues, it is important for parents to learn how to communicate with their children about the end of their marriage. 

Open Communication

How the discussion of divorce should be handled will depend on the age and emotional maturity of a child. If there are multiple children with significant gaps in age, it may be best to individualize these discussions. Some of the most important aspects of these conversations include being open and honest while talking to children about divorce. Expect a wide range of reactions and emotions, which could go on for a period of time, even after the divorce is final. Some tips for discussing divorce with children of different ages include:

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Palatine parenting plan attorney

Before a divorce, most parents care for their children together under one roof. Once a divorce is finalized, parents will need to continue providing the same level of care for children while living in separate households. This can be a difficult adjustment for parents, especially if there is bad blood between them. The goal for successful co-parenting is for a child to be minimally affected by a divorce, and a parenting plan can help achieve that. 

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, when adults with children get divorced, how the child is taken care of after the split is determined by a parenting plan. This plan is a court order signed by a judge, to which both parents agree. The parenting plan dictates who has parental responsibilities for the child (custody), as well as parenting time with the child (visitation). For example, a parenting plan may state that the child will spend the weekdays with one parent, and the weekends with the other. No matter how it is organized, a judge will only sign off on the plan if it is believed to be in the best interests of the child. 

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Barrington divorce attorney

Planning a wedding requires a lot of work, but getting a divorce has just as many challenges. After being served with divorce papers, it may be difficult to know what to do next. If you and your spouse were married for a long time, going through a divorce means figuring out how to split the life you two created together. Although it is possible to go through a divorce without legal representation, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer to leave the marriage confidently. There are many variables to a divorce, and if your spouse has an attorney, you will be at a significant disadvantage if you do not. An experienced divorce lawyer will know which questions to ask and the necessary actions to take to ensure you get the most out of your divorce settlement. 

Marital Issues That Need to Be Addressed

When sitting down with a lawyer, be sure to discuss the following topics regarding your divorce:

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Arlington Heights divorce and property division lawyer

When two people decide to get a divorce, it is not only their marriage that is splitting. Everything that a couple built together will be divided. In regards to assets, Illinois is an equitable division state. Unlike a community property state, which splits marital assets 50/50, Illinois divides property based on what is fair. When it comes to the family home, it will be given to whomever the court deems is deserving based on certain factors surrounding the marriage. The other spouse will likely move to another location, and the couple's children will usually split their time between the parents' homes.

Factors Considered for Division

  • Contribution to the marriage: When dividing marital assets, such as the home, the court will review and consider what each spouse contributed to the marriage. If one spouse gave up his or her career to raise children, that can be considered a significant contribution. In many cases, the other parent may have traveled for work and was gone for long periods at a time, so one parent staying home was a necessity to maintain the household. The court also considers economic circumstances such as employment-related issues such as income earned or the income-earning potential of each spouse. This factors into whether or not a person can afford to make mortgage and property tax payments on a house. 
  • Child status: Courts attempt to disrupt a child’s current lifestyle as little as possible. Decisions are made with the best interest of a child in mind. That being said, when possible, a court will try to keep a child in the marital home. This also allows them to remain in the same community and school district. The parent with the most parental responsibility, in turn, may get the family home because it is the best choice for the child. 

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Lawyer

The family home is filled with memories and it is where your child is likely the most comfortable. When going through a divorce in Illinois, determining which spouse gets to keep the house is based on what is considered “fair.” The skilled legal team of Anderson and Associates, P.C. has handled many divorce cases, and we understand Illinois divorce and family law matters. For any asset or property division concerns, contact an experienced Barrington division of marital property attorney to learn about your rights and options in regards to the family house. Call our office today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

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Palatine parenting plan lawyer

Divorce brings changes to all members of an immediate family. Instead of giving custody to one parent over the other, Illinois allocates parental responsibility and parenting time through a parenting plan, which is a court order that maps out how a child will be taken care of after divorce. This schedule includes details such as when a child stays with each parent. The parenting plan will also specify how decisions are made for education, religion, and medical care are covered, as well as who has the authority to make these decisions. Things like school and extracurricular activities will be taken into consideration when creating this plan, and it is best if co-parents can communicate with each other about expectations during the school year. 

School Issues to Consider  

When creating a parenting plan, it is best to avoid disrupting the child’s life as much as possible. There are a couple of things to keep in mind regarding education:

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Arlington Heights divorce attorney

Many married people fear getting divorced, especially if they have been together for a long time or have children. If someone has been divorced once before, the stakes can seem even higher if he or she is contemplating a second divorce. It is often stated that half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce. However, the actual statistic is less than half, with first-time divorce rates decreasing since the 1980s. However, the rate for second marriages to end in divorce is between 67-80 percent. Third marriages end at an even higher rate. Even if someone has gone through a divorce before, it is important to seek legal guidance, because each marriage and divorce is unique. 

The Divorce Process in Illinois

Everyone has their own reasons for deciding to get a divorce, but some common reasons include infidelity, different life goals, unmet expectations, or falling out of love. People sometimes marry after a brief courtship, and they do not have time to discuss important issues involved with marriage, such as career goals or having children. 

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Barrington parental responsibility lawyer

When parents decide to get divorced, the future of their child will be one of their primary concerns. No parent wants to give up time with his or her child, but when a couple splits up, changes to parent-child relationships are inevitable. During their divorce, parents should be sure to understand how Illinois law will affect decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities.

What Is Parental Responsibility?

In 2016, the word “custody” was removed from Illinois family law and replaced with "allocation of parental responsibility." Another common term, “visitation,” was replaced with "parenting time." Parental responsibility includes the right to make decisions for a child, and it is usually shared by both parents in some capacity, unless one parent is seen as unfit. These decisions involve religion, education, medical care, and other important choices a parent makes for a child. 

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Schaumburg divorce lawyer financial issues

It is no secret that getting a divorce is expensive. Not only can you lose money in the process, but the time and energy required can also take a toll. A divorce can compromise your finances, so it is important to be smart about money during this time.

During divorce, marital property is divided between spouses, and this property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. When property is divided between divorcing spouses in Illinois, this division should be done in a fair way. This is referred to as equitable distribution. However, each spouse's share of the assets is rarely equal, as decisions about the division of assets are based on many factors, such as the length of the marriage and the couple's standard of living. 

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Arlington Heights marital property division lawyer

When a married couple gets divorced, they must split up the life they created together. When it comes to dividing property, there are many factors that determine who gets what during a divorce. However, each spouse is entitled to receive a fair portion of the marital assets. During divorce, it is best to seek legal counsel in order to understand your rights and the best approach to take as you determine how to divide your marital property. 

Equitable Distribution 

In the state of Illinois, marital property is divided using a system of equitable distribution. While this term may lead one to believe that property is divided equally, this is not necessarily true in every case, and property will be divided based on what is fair for both spouses. There is rarely a 50/50 split of property during a divorce. What is determined to be fair by the courts is based on a variety of factors, including: 

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Palatine divorce lawyer adult children

When a married couple decides to get a divorce, a child under the age of 18 is directly affected. In Illinois, the parental responsibilities for a child are allocated between parents during divorce. The living situation of a young child may change as well, since parenting time is also split between each parent. However, once a child becomes an adult and has moved out of the house, the parents' divorce may not change his or her day-to-day life, but it can still have a significant emotional impact. It is important for parents to communicate with their adult child throughout their divorce proceedings, and this can help all family members make as smooth a transition as possible. 

Tips for a Positive Relationship With Your Adult Child

Parents may assume that an adult child will be unaffected by divorce. In fact, a child of any age who is watching his or her parents get divorced is still likely to face a variety of challenges. When living away from home, a divorce may come as a shock, and a child may struggle to adjust to the changes. Although an adult child can, in theory, process the trauma of divorce better than a young child, he or she may not want to deal with the emotional baggage, and this can cause relationships between parents and children to suffer.

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Barrington divorce lawyer for stay-at-home parents

These days, it is more common for both parents in a household to hold a career while raising children together. However, having one parent stay at home to raise children is still a popular option for many families. This choice may be the personal preference of the homemaker, or a couple may find this option to be more financially feasible. Either way, for a stay-at-home parent, getting a divorce can be a difficult and nerve-wracking situation.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, you are likely the primary caregiver for your children. Although you may have had a career or job at one time, being a full-time stay-at-home parent has taken you out of the workplace. It may be necessary to go back to work after a divorce to support yourself and your children, but several post-divorce financial solutions may assist you with getting back on your feet financially.

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Schaumburg paternity lawyer

When a baby is born, the biological mother is already established, but unless the mother is married, the child's father is not presumed to be a legal parent. Paternity is the legal relationship between a father and a child. In cases where paternity needs to be established, doing so benefits the child in many ways. For example, it can foster a positive relationship between the father and child. In addition, the child is entitled to receive certain benefits, such as child support and health or life insurance based on the father’s employment.   

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and DNA Tests

Under Illinois law, if two people are not married or in a civil union, then a form can be signed to identify the father of a child. This is called Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP), and it will ensure that a father can be listed on the child’s birth certificate. The form can be filled out at the hospital or at a later time by obtaining it from a child support office, county clerk’s office, or online. To complete this process, both parents must read and understand their rights upon signing the form. The form is then filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney summer parenting plan

Summer vacation is what students look forward to all year. However, if a couple gets a divorce, there can be much uncertainty around this time of year for parents and children alike. Without school to fill children's daily schedules, an entirely different schedule within your parenting plan may be necessary.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

When a married couple with children gets divorced, they must create a parenting plan. This is a court order that specifies how children will be taken care of after a divorce. The parenting plan will explain the amount of time each parent gets to spend with a child, and how parents will make decisions about raising their children. In Illinois, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Instead of dividing legal and physical custody of children, parents may divide or share decision-making responsibilities, and each parent will typically be given parenting time with the children.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney

The decision to divorce is difficult for any married couple. Whether it is losing the person you love, not seeing your children as often, or adapting to a new lifestyle, everyone has valid fears when the divorce process begins. Another common concern is about personal finances after you and your spouse split. If your spouse makes a significant amount of money, or if you do not have a college degree, giving up that financial support may feel hopeless.

Division of Assets

Unless you signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married, Illinois has a process when it comes to property and debt in a divorce called equitable division. While this does not mean that each spouse gets an equal share of marital property, the division of assets is done based on what is fair, while taking certain factors into consideration. How assets are divided are based on the length of a marriage, how much each spouse contributed to the marriage, economic and health circumstances, and whether children are involved. When it comes to physical property, premarital assets are usually left with the owner, and marital assets are included in the equitable division process.

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Arlington Heights divorce lawyer

While divorce is difficult on the adults involved, it can be especially traumatic for the children a divorcing couple shares. How you handle the divorce can have a lasting impact on your children’s lives.  

One of the biggest concerns parents have when getting a divorce is when they will see their children. In Illinois, there is no longer “custody.” Parental responsibilities are determined and parenting time is decided and maintained through a parenting plan. A parenting plan determines which parent the child spends time with and when. Other details such as school pickups, holidays, and extracurricular activities will also be covered in your parenting plan. 

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