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Wheaton IL divorce attorneyThere is little question that a divorce can be a difficult and taxing experience. It can be especially tough when one or both spouses refuse to communicate or only communicate in ways that add to the tension of the split. When couples already had communication problems long before the separation, the potential for a breakdown in overall communication or a discussion that turns toxic may be even greater during the divorce process. 

Common Communication Issues in the Divorce Process

Psychology experts indicate there are specific behaviors that many people exhibit while interacting with their spouse during the divorce that are often responsible for unproductive—and sometimes hostile—communication. These problematic communication patterns can quickly sabotage even the simplest of discussions, making the divorce process that much harder for both parties.

If you want to see better results when talking to your former spouse throughout the divorce, experts suggest practicing the following tips:

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Wheaton IL divorce lawyerDivorces can drag on for many months, if not longer. If proceedings stall, it can be difficult to get through the process alone. Men and women both face the temptation to date before they are officially divorced, even though this can lead to potential problems with their ex-spouses. There are positives, such as companionship during what can be a trying time, but the social and financial negatives tend to outweigh them. In fact, many divorce attorneys will advise you to wait before beginning a new relationship.

Spouse and Child-Related Issues

Despite your best intentions, it can seem like a slap in the face to your ex-spouse if you cannot wait to date a new person until after the divorce is concluded. While in theory, it has ceased to be their business, in practice, a jealous or bitter ex-spouse can drag out proceedings, costing you significant time in court and money in attorneys’ fees. While there are limits as to what a party can do to hold up the process without facing potential sanctions, it is very possible for a divorce to drag on exclusively due to one party’s intransigence.

Dating during your divorce can also affect your children, especially if your new partner is very different from your former spouse. Child psychologists urge maintaining a routine for children during divorce, especially younger children, and seeing their parent with someone new is the antithesis of routine for many. Depending on the nature of the relationship, it may even provoke a response from your ex-spouse if your children experience adverse reactions. It is possible that your parenting time or the amount of parental responsibilities you are granted will be affected by introducing a new person into your children’s lives, especially if that person may be considered unsafe, perhaps due to past criminal convictions on their record. 

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Posted on in Divorce Finances

Wheaton division of debt lawyerIllinois couples who are considering a separation or divorce should also begin the process of evaluating their debts. When couples elect to divorce in Illinois, the partners are required to divide both their debts and assets. If the matter of debt and asset distribution is left up to the court, the state’s equitable distribution guidelines will be utilized. In most cases, these rules are not conducive to the wide variety of financial situations couples may be contending with. Also, it is important to understand that the state’s equitable distribution guidelines do not mean that all debts and assets will be divided equally. Instead, they will be divided in a manner that the court deems to be fair and just based on the circumstances.

Prenuptial Agreements Often Fail to Address Marital Debt

In many cases, even if the couple had executed a prenuptial agreement that outlines the distribution of separate and marital assets, the issue of debt accumulated during the marriage is not included in the agreement. Many couples find that the best solution to amicably resolve the issue of debt accumulated during marriage is to work together to pay it off before beginning the divorce process. If this is not possible, each partner must be proactive about making sure that they do not take on more than their fair share of the total debt load.  

Consumer Debt From the Marriage

Consumer debt such as credit cards can become a particularly contentious issue in a divorce. It is important to understand that, with regard to joint accounts, the credit card company is under no obligation to recognize your divorce agreement. This means that no matter how you and your partner divide the debt, both of you may still be liable if the other defaults on their payments, just as if you were still married.

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Wheaton divorce lawyerOne of the biggest worries and fears that parents have during a divorce is how the end of their marriage will affect their children. While it is no secret that divorce can put children through some stress and uncertainty, it is often the best action to take for the sake of the family. Children who are raised in unhappy households are more likely to have self-esteem problems, trust issues, and in some cases, even behavioral or emotional issues that can follow them for the rest of their lives. Telling the children about your divorce can seem like a daunting task, but these tips can help you have a meaningful and productive conversation.

Tip #1: Tell All of Your Children at the Same Time

Many parents make the mistake of not talking to all of their children together when breaking the news of their divorce. They may think that younger children should be sheltered from the news of a divorce, while older children can be trusted with this information. This often puts unfair and unnecessary stress on older children to keep the secret of the divorce from younger children. It is often best to gather your children together and tell them all at the same time to avoid any unnecessary difficulties.

Tip #2: Talk in a Way Your Kids Will Understand

Each child is going to be different when it comes to how much they understand about the divorce and what it all means. Younger children typically have a more difficult time understanding what a divorce is, so simple and clear messages usually work best when explaining things to them. Older children and teenagers tend to need more information about the news of a divorce, but you should still use caution when revealing details about why the marriage has broken down.

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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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