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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 In Illinois, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.”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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Posted on in Divorce

moving on after a divorce schaumburg divorce lawyerPeople get married intending to spend the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately, not all relationships work out, even after having been committed to the partnership for a long time. A divorce is a stressful life event to go through, especially after years of commitment and having children together. After the legal process, it may take time to get over divorcing your spouse. 

Why Do People Get Divorced?

Each couple is different, and the specific reasons for divorce vary, but there are several common reasons a couple will decide to end their marriage. Infidelity is one of the most common reasons a marriage ends. An unfaithful spouse has traditionally been a standard legal grounds for divorce, as they are breaking their marital vows. Other reasons for divorce include different aspirations, financial difficulties, or the loss of love for each other. 

A divorce can be the most painful break up a person will face. An attorney will assist with creating a parenting plan for your children or dividing assets with your spouse, but how to continue after the divorce is up to you. It is essential to take care of not just your physical and financial well-being, but there are steps you can take to be emotionally healthy as well:

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Posted on in Divorce

Barrington spousal maintenance attorneyChange is once again coming to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), and this time it is taking aim at the calculation method for spousal maintenance, formerly known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is governed by Section 504 of the IMDMA and is the contribution that one party (the “Payor”) gives to the other party (the “Payee”) based upon a calculation which is currently dependent upon the GROSS* incomes of the parties. 

In order to determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate, the court will first make a determination using the facts of the case and applying them to various factors that they deem to be relevant. If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, they will then move forward and determine the guideline calculation.

Generally, guideline maintenance is awarded if the parties’ combined GROSS annual income is less than $500,000.00, and the Payor has no obligation to pay child support, maintenance, or both from a prior relationship.

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg divorce lawyer parents children holidaysThe leaves are starting to change colors, and now that it is October, your child is likely to be gearing up to go trick or treating this year. If you have recently gotten a divorce or are in the midst of the divorce process, holidays will be handled differently than when you were married. However, planning for successful co-parenting will ensure that your child has as good a time as they did in previous years. 

Trick or Treat?

While your child may choose to dress as Batman or their favorite Disney princess, you and your ex-partner should be completely transparent about planning family holidays. Communicating details and keeping your child out of any crossfire will allow him or her to focus on getting candy and not on dealing with mom and dad’s separation.  

If your parenting plan does not account for Halloween, it is important to communicate with your ex before the big night and make sure your plans are clear. Scrambling to make plans the night before Halloween will put unnecessary stress on everyone. 

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Rolling Meadows marital property division lawyerWhen a married couple decides to get a divorce, their assets will be divided between them. In Illinois, this can be done between the two parties out of court, but if an agreement cannot be reached, then the court steps in with a system called equitable distribution. This system intends to divide properly fairly, but it does not mean that all assets are divided equally. Some of the factors used to determine how to divide marital property include:

  • The distribution of wealth
  • The length of the marriage
  • The couple’s standard of living
  • Future parental responsibility 
  • The health, income, and age of the individuals 

With these factors, it is still important to take action before your divorce to protect yourself financially, because the outcomes of these decisions are often uncertain. 

Know Your Finances

Before the divorce process begins, it will help to learn as much as you can about your personal finances. Begin tracking how much you earn, how much you spend, and any future expenses. Start creating a budget focused around necessities such as food, shelter, and medical care for yourself and your children. Use previous statements, bank records, and records of expenses to plan for the future. All of this information will not only help you, but it can be used to demonstrate your financial needs to the court when dividing marital property. 

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Working With Your Ex-Spouse to Parent Your Children After Divorce

Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer co-parentingIt is normal for relationships to change, but it is when they change too much that couples may consider getting a divorce. Not all married couples decide to have children, but if they do, a divorce can become much more complicated. You may be able to resolve the various legal issues that must be addressed during divorce, but when it comes to the relationship with your ex, that is up to you. It is, however, in the best interests of your children to remain civil with each other while raising them together. 

Positive Relationships in Sole or Joint Custody Situations

Following divorce, parents may have joint custody of their children, or one parent may have sole custody. With sole custody, one parent is granted primary responsibility of the child, and the other has visitation rights (known as parenting time in Illinois). With joint custody, both parents share decision-making responsibility when raising their children. 

Either arrangement requires communication between you and your ex. These suggestions can aid in improving your relationship as you work together to raise your children:

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4 Tips for Back-to-School Time for Newly-Divorced Parents

Arlington Heights divorce lawyer back to school“What did you do this summer?” This question is often asked when children go back to school, but for some children, summer was not all pool parties and playgrounds. For a child whose parents got a divorce over the summer, this question can be intimidating and stressful. A child who has divorced parents can exhibit certain behaviors and symptoms in school which can affect their education if not handled properly. The logistics of having a child in school can be complicated for any family, and a family with divorced parents can experience more stress and trouble than others. However, by following these tips, you can help your child’s school year go more smoothly:

1. Determine Who Will Pay for School Supplies

A new school year means new school clothes, shoes, uniforms, backpacks, and lunch boxes--not to mention the long list of school supplies. These costs add up quickly, so you should determine how they will be divided between you and your ex. If you already have a preset arrangement, stick to that. If not, dividing the cost in half is usually a good way to meet your child’s needs without causing conflict.

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Could a “Nesting” Parenting Plan Be Your Best Choice After Divorce?

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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Creating a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce

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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Factors to Consider When Dividing Property During Divorce

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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Making Good Financial Planning Decisions During Divorce

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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What Is Parental Alienation, and How Does it Affect Divorce Cases?

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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Resolving Ownership of a Marital Home Through a Divorce Lien

Rolling Meadows divorce lien attorneyWhen a couple decides to end their marriage and get divorced, there are a wide variety of legal issues that must be resolved. Determining how to divide marital property is often one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce, especially when spouses own a home together

In some cases, a couple may decide to sell their home and divide the proceeds, but often, one spouse wishes to retain ownership of the home, especially when they want their children to continue living in a familiar environment and avoid having to transfer to a new school district. If a spouse does not have the financial resources to purchase their former partner’s share of the home, they may want to consider a divorce lien.

Understanding Divorce Liens

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Helping Your Adult Children Cope With Your Divorce

Arlington Heights divorce lawyer adult childrenWhen parents of minor children decide to divorce, they will often put a great deal of thought into how the end of their marriage will affect their children and do everything they can to ease children’s transition into a new situation in which they live in two separate households. However, parents should realize that their divorce can also make a big difference in the lives of their adult children. Even though parental responsibility, parenting time, and child support may not be an issue for parents of children who have moved out of their childhood home and begun to support themselves, it is still important to understand how divorce affects adult children.

Protecting Adult Children of Divorce

After their parents’ divorce, adults are often reluctant to make commitments in their own relationships, or they may stay in a bad relationship in hopes that they can avoid repeating their parents’ mistakes. If you are the parent of adult children, you can help them deal with your divorce by following these tips:

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Changes to Illinois’ Spousal Maintenance Laws in 2018

Barrington alimony lawyerWhen a married couple dissolves their marriage through divorce, they should both be able to continue living at a standard that is similar to what they enjoyed while they were married. Unfortunately, some spouses do not have the financial resources that will allow them to do so, perhaps because they earn less than their former partner, because their family obligations prevent them from working a full-time job, or because they passed up job opportunities during their marriage while supporting their spouse’s career advancement. 

In cases when a spouse is at a financial disadvantage following divorce, they may be able to receive spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) from their former spouse, especially if they made sacrifices to their own earning ability during their marriage or contributed to the education and training that allowed their former partner to increase the income they earn. However, divorcing spouses should be sure they understand recent changes to the law that affect spousal maintenance awards.

Updated Maintenance Laws in Illinois

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7 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting During and After Divorce

Palatine divorce parenting attorneyWhen a couple’s relationship breaks down and they decide to end their marriage, they are likely to experience a number of strong emotions which may make it difficult to remain civil with one another. However, when spouses have children together, they should remember that divorce is not the end of their relationship, since they will both be parents of their children for the rest of their lives. By taking steps to establish a good foundation for co-parenting during divorce, they will be able to provide a good environment for their children for years to come. Here are some helpful tips for working together with your ex to co-parent your children:

  1. Maintain consistency between both homes - Even if your style of parenting is different from your ex-spouse, it is best for children if their parents are on the same page about issues such as rules for behavior, school expectations, and methods of discipline. Work together with your ex-spouse to find parenting strategies you can agree on.
  1. Stick to regular routines - Kids need consistency in their lives, so it is important to follow regular schedules for meal times, bedtimes, and other activities when they are staying with you. This structure will give them stability and reduce their anxiety about what to expect when moving between homes.
  1. Communicate with each other - Make sure the other parent knows what is going on in your children’s lives and is up to date on their educational and medical needs. Let them know if you need their help with anything, if children have a major event or accomplishment to share, or if there is anything else they need to be aware of.
  1. Be flexible - Court-ordered parenting time schedules are important, but either you or your ex may want to deviate from the schedule from time to time, especially when children are involved in events or activities. Be open to accommodating these requests while putting children’s needs first.
  1. Encourage your kids to have a good relationship with the other parent - While you may not have positive feelings about your ex-spouse, they are still your children’s parent, and you should allow and encourage them to maintain a positive relationship with each other. 
  1. Keep kids out of conflicts - Disagreements with your ex are likely, but you should do everything you can to avoid arguing in front of your children. Never ask children to take sides, avoid disparaging the other parent in front of them, and do not use them to send messages to the other parent.
  1. Take care of yourself - Co-parenting means that you will have some free time when your children are with their other parent. Using this time to exercise, eat healthy food, socialize with friends, participate in activities you enjoy, and take care of your own needs will help you be the best parent you can be for them.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

If you need help resolving the outstanding issues in your divorce, the skilled, compassionate attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can protect your rights and advocate for your children’s best interests as you work to reach an agreement that will provide a foundation for ongoing co-parenting. Contact a Schaumburg divorce attorney today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney, high conflict spouse, divorce and communication, divorce process, divorce decreeDivorce is difficult at the best of times, but it can become much more of a headache when one spouse is argumentative and prone to provoking conflict. You are likely ready to move on with your life after the end of your marriage, and the last thing you want is an ex who keeps dragging you back into old arguments and coming up with new things to fight about.

If your ex is making things difficult during and after your divorce, consider the following factors:

  1. You can set boundaries. While you and your spouse were used to being able to confide in each other and talk about anything during your marriage, those days are over. Moreover, if you do not want to discuss your personal life with your ex or listen to their complaints, you do not have to do so. Keeping conversations business-like, avoiding emotional discussions, and hanging up the phone or walking away if things get heated are good ways to keep from letting your ex push your buttons.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney, children and divorce, divorcing parents, divorce and communication, divorce processWhen a marriage is falling apart, every member of the family will be going through a great deal of emotional turmoil, and during this chaotic time, spouses will often be focused on their legal requirements, their finances, their changing living arrangements, and their own emotional needs. However, divorce can be especially hard on children, and parents should be aware of the potential negative effects that the end of their marriage can have on their children, including:

  1. Emotional distress - Children of divorcing parents are likely to experience a great deal of anxiety and stress, especially when they are at a young age. Children often cannot fully understand why their lives are changing, and they may blame themselves for the end of their parents’ marriage. This emotional distress can lead to mood swings, irritability, depression, behavioral problems, and lower academic performance.

  1. Parental relationships - Children who are used to having both parents in their lives may struggle to adjust to a new situation in which they spend less time with each parent. While some couples are able to work out an agreement in which children spend equal time with each parent, in most cases, children will spend the majority of time with one parent, and their relationship with the other parent may suffer.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney, parenting time, shared parenting law, allocation of parental responsibilities, child custodyWhen parents decide to divorce, the ensuing changes to their lives can be highly disruptive and stressful for the entire family. As children adjust to living in two separate households, it is important for both parents to be involved in their lives and provide them with the emotional support they need. Unfortunately, this can be difficult when one parent retains sole or primary custody of children.

Studies Show the Benefits of Equal Parenting Time

For many years, it was assumed that it was in children’s best interests to live primarily with one parent, and that dividing time between two households would cause them stress. However, a number of recent studies have found the opposite to be true. Researchers in Sweden found that children in shared parenting arrangements had less stress, fewer psychological problems, and better physical health than children who lived primarily with one parent.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney, divorce trends, teenage daughters, risk of divorce, divorce statisticsFor many couples, maintaining a good relationship throughout their marriage requires a great deal of hard work. A variety of factors can affect whether a couple is likely to divorce, including the stress of raising children. A recent study looked at the data surrounding marriages, children’s births, and divorces and found some interesting results.

Daughters Increase the Risk of Divorce

Various studies have shown that parents in the United States whose oldest children are female are slightly more likely to divorce. A recent study found that this is true in other countries as well by examining data from more than two million marriages in the Netherlands over 10 years. According to researchers, divorce is equally likely for parents of boys and girls until children are 12 years old. However, when children are between the ages of 13 and 18, parents are more likely to divorce if their first-born child is a girl.

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