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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce mediation lawyerWhen you choose to pursue a divorce, your biggest fear may be that the process will become a destructive fight that harms you, your ex, and your children. It is true that some divorces are contentious, and almost all divorces are stressful, but many of them can proceed amicably. 

If you are able to cooperate with your spouse throughout the divorce process, you can often avoid a trial and reach an efficient resolution that satisfies both sides. If you are hoping for an amicable divorce, you should make sure to approach it in a way that prevents conflict from taking over.

How to Keep Your Illinois Divorce Amicable

Your chances of an amicable divorce often rest on the behaviors of both you and your spouse. Here are some things you can do to make an amicable divorce more likely:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton, IL family law attorney for divorce or legal separationWhen you and your spouse have children together, you may feel pressured to stay in an unhappy marriage for their sake. Perhaps you fear that your children will be caught in the middle of a messy divorce process, or you may be worried about how their lives will change if they no longer live in a two-parent household. These are certainly valid concerns, but staying together may have negative effects on your children as well. Rather than delaying the inevitable, it may be best to consider your options for a divorce that leaves both you and your children in a better place.

How Staying Together Can Harm Your Children

You may have good intentions for attempting to stay together, but this can be harmful for your children in ways that you may not expect. For example, if you and your spouse are frequently angry with each other and engaging in destructive conflict, you may be modeling an unhealthy relationship in a way that affects how your children approach their own relationships. This is especially true if there is physical or emotional abuse in your household, not to mention the fact that your children may be at risk of physical or mental harm. If you are preoccupied with conflict in your marriage, you may also be unable to devote the time, energy, and attention to your children that they need.

Alternatives That Can Help Your Children

If your marriage is struggling, there are often more productive options than simply trying to ignore or cope with the problems. Some alternatives that can help both you and your children include:

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Wheaton property division lawyer for financial restraining ordersWhen most people hear the term “restraining order,” they assume that the order prevents physical abuse or stalking. However, this is not the only type of restraining order that may be necessary in an Illinois divorce. A temporary financial restraining order is one that protects a divorcing spouse’s financial assets from being misused, wasted, or hidden by the other spouse. In some states, an automatic financial restraining order is issued when spouses begin the divorce process. However, if you plan to divorce in Illinois, you will need to petition the court in order to gain protection through a financial restraining order.

Prohibiting Spouses From Certain Financial Activity During Divorce

Financial restraining orders are commonly utilized in high asset divorce cases, but spouses of any income level can benefit from this type of protection. A temporary financial restraining order may be used to prevent divorcing spouses from:

  • Closing bank accounts

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Wheaton divorce lawyer for collaborative lawWith so many Illinois residents out of work or working from home due to the pandemic — and no real end in the immediate future — many couples are delaying divorce plans simply because of the expense. While it is true that the legal fees involved in a divorce can add up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars once the divorce is finalized, this should not be prohibitive to either of you, especially if you both know a divorce will help you and your family during this time of reduced/lost incomes and staying at home together more often than usual.

Collaborative Law as a Potential Cost-Saver

There are plenty of ways to make a divorce more affordable, including pursuing an uncontested divorce or determining whether the court may require the wealthier spouse to cover the other spouse’s attorney’s fees in a more fiercely litigated contested divorce or an otherwise complex divorce. In many cases, collaborative divorce can be more affordable than a divorce that involves litigation.

In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their attorneys agree to cooperatively negotiate a divorce settlement without resorting to litigation, while also making the commitment to be open and honest with each other at all times. Collaborative divorces allow both parties to work together outside of court through this increasingly popular alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method to reach a more agreeable resolution to the issues in their divorce. In addition to securing the terms of a divorce decree that benefits both sides fairly and equitably, collaborative divorce can also foster and maintain civility throughout the divorce process, helping spouses ensure that they can have a more amicable divorce.

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DuPage County paternity attorney DNA testingYou might think being able to use science to determine paternity with absolute certainty through DNA testing would make family law cases much easier, especially when it comes to defining child custodychild support, and parenting time. However, the truth is that it can actually complicate things even more than intended. Here is how introducing DNA testing into the legal process has changed paternity, fatherhood, and father's rights:

Why Paternity Is So Complex, Especially Now With DNA Testing

Paternity has always been a complex issue, but before DNA testing, according to the law, it was relatively simple: if you were married, and your wife had a baby, you were considered the father. However, as many people know—and even knew then—it is rarely that simple in actuality. Now that medical technology has caught up with the dilemmas surrounding paternity, DNA testing has provided the courts with an exact, indisputable science to determine the identity of a child’s father.

You might think this has made things easier, but it has actually caused great cognitive dissonance for many fathers. A father may spend years thinking a child was his and raising that child as his own, only to discover during the divorce process that he is not the child’s biological father. He would not want to disrespect and lose that beautiful relationship with his son or daughter just because he did not want to be responsible for child support payments. At the same time, he may feel a sense of resentment when paying support for a child that was not even his. What is a father to do?

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