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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton IL divorce attorneyDivorce is always an incredibly emotional process, but many people do not understand the legalities that go along with it. With so many important details to attend to, it is easy to make mistakes that can result in forfeiting your rights or making the divorce more expensive than it needs to be. If you are about to go through a divorce, it is important to avoid these common mistakes so you can protect your best interests while completing the process as quickly as possible.

Arguing Unnecessarily

It is not uncommon for couples to argue when they are going through a divorce. While an argument may arise between you and your spouse during the process, it is important to remember you should only engage in these disputes when necessary. Even then, you should only do so through your divorce attorney and not directly with your spouse.

For example, you may want to keep certain property in the divorce not because it is important to you, but because you want to spite your spouse. An attorney will advise against this, as it will only lengthen the process and cost you more in the end. Still, there are times when you may have to become more assertive and fight for what is rightfully yours, which a lawyer can also advise on.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton IL divorce attorneyFor many people, their name is a crucial part of their identity. Recently, it has become more common for women to keep their birth name when getting married to maintain this part of their identity. Those who do take their spouse’s name in marriage may wish to change it back if the marriage ends in a divorce.

Legally changing your name after a divorce is a valid option. However, there may also be disadvantages to doing so; for example, if you are professionally known by your spouse’s last name, or if you share the name with your children from the marriage. It may be easier to wait on changing your name legally until after you are retired or your children have started lives of their own. It is important to know that there are no legal requirements to change your name when getting married or divorced; it is a matter of personal preference.

Including a Name Change in the Divorce Process

To return your name to what it was before, the easiest way is to include the name change request in your divorce filing. This is then signed by the judge as part of the final divorce agreement. You may be asked to explain why you wish for a change of name to ensure there is no malicious intent in regards to fraud. An amendment to your divorce petition can be filed if you decide to change your name after your initial filing.

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Wheaton filing for divorce attorneyThe divorce process is likely to be rife with challenging decisions and difficult considerations for you and your spouse to manage. The two of you will need to deal with both your current situations, as well as your expectations and plans for the future, especially if you have children together. Among the myriad concerns that most couples face is the decision regarding who should be the one to file the formal divorce petition and when the petition should be filed. Is there an advantage to filing before your spouse does, or does it really matter who files first? The answer, as with most divorce-related questions, is that it depends on your unique circumstances.

Are There Legal Advantages to Filing First?

For the majority of divorcing couples in Illinois, filing first does not offer any special advantage from a legal perspective. The titles that will be used in your proceedings will be different depending on who filed first. The filer is referred to as the “petitioner” or “plaintiff,” and the other spouse is known as the “respondent” or “defendant,” but both parties have equal rights and responsibilities during the proceedings. You will have opportunities to bring up issues and express your objections whether you are the petitioner or the respondent.

The ability to allege and prove a claim against your spouse is also not contingent on which party filed for divorce first. For example, you can raise a claim of dissipating assets, or be required to defend against one, regardless of who filed the initial petition for divorce.

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Wheaton IL collaborative divorce lawyerStudy after study over the past several decades has documented the effects that hostile divorces have not only on the couple who is breaking up, but also the children of those marriages. A contentious divorce can have an impact on both emotional and physical long-term health for all involved. With almost half of all first-time marriages ending in divorce, and even more second and subsequent marriages not working out, it is hard to avoid being affected by divorce one way or another, whether it is your own or that of your parents or your adult children.

However, not all divorces have to be quite so difficult. More and more law firms are offering clients the option of collaborative divorce, and many of those clients are choosing that option as the more peaceful way to end their marriages.

What is a Collaborative Divorce?

Unlike traditional, litigated divorce, where parental responsibilitiesdivision of assets and debts, and other marital issues are determined by a judge following a trial, collaborative divorce does not involve litigation. Instead, couples agree to work through these issues and come to an agreement on how they should be resolved. This is done with the help of attorneys representing each of the spouses. Many collaborative divorce teams also include a financial advisor, as well as mental health professionals and other experts whose input may be useful in the divorce process.

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Wheaton, IL divorce law firmOne of the most important decisions you will make when going through a divorce is choosing who you will retain to be your divorce attorney. Having the right attorney—one who is not only skilled at his or her craft but also one who you feel comfortable and confident with—is crucial to having a successful divorce.

When meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time, there are several areas that you should make sure you find out information about. These areas include:

Attorney and Legal Fees

The amount an attorney charges, including their hourly rate, any required retainer, and other possible attorney and legal fees, is something that every attorney should be forthcoming with. No one needs any surprise fees, especially while going through such a life-changing event. Although an attorney cannot predict the exact amount your divorce may cost, he or she should be able to explain the standard charges, as well as situations that could come up which could cause those costs to increase.

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