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DuPage County divorce attorneyFor many people, divorce is an uncomfortable topic. In the 1980s, the divorce rate was as high as 40 percent in the United States. While this rate has been on the decline over the past few decades, this is small comfort to those who are going through the difficult process of ending their marriage. There are many factors that may make you want to leave your spouse, and informing your partner about the desire to get a divorce is never an easy task.

Why Do People Get Divorced?

In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, there were more than 780,000 divorces or annulments in the United States. While infidelity is a common reason couples choose to end their marriage, many people are able to repair their relationship through marriage counseling. Here are some other factors that tend to contribute to couples getting divorced:

  • Getting married too young - Research shows that the “best” age to get married is between 28 and 32. People who get married before the age of 25 are more likely to get a divorce.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton IL family law attorneyA divorce is the end of a marital relationship, but if you have children, your final court date is most likely not the last you will see of your ex-spouse. Though you and your spouse may not live together anymore, you still have to figure out how you will share parenting responsibilities and duties. These tips can help you increase your chances of successful co-parenting after a divorce:

Tip #1: Keep Your Emotions Under Control

If you are recently divorced, it is not unusual for you to still have lingering emotions about the end of your marriage, but it is important that you put those emotions aside for the benefit of your children. Anger, resentment, and jealousy have no place when it comes to parenting your children. Keeping a level head is one key to successful co-parenting.

Tip #2: Improve Communication With Your Ex-Spouse

Though it can seem impossible, making sure you have healthy communication with your spouse is crucial to co-parenting success. Treat your new relationship like a business partnership and meet or correspond consistently with your ex-spouse to discuss your children and make sure that you are both in the loop about what is going on in their lives.

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Wheaton IL family law attorneyChristmas is just a few days away, and a week after that, 2020 will be over. This year’s holiday celebrations are likely to be different than most of us have ever experienced, as many families will only be able to get together through telephone calls or video chats. For parents who are subject to shared parenting arrangements, the holidays can be difficult enough already. Add in this year’s unique challenges, and things have the potential to be even tougher. As you look toward the approaching holidays, it is important to work with your co-parent, if possible, to help your children have the best experience you can offer them.

Communication and Compromise

If you normally share parenting time for the holidays, you and your child’s other parent should do what you can to be patient and kind to one another. Family celebrations—including video calls—may run long, and if families are getting together in person, the weather in Northern Illinois is often unpredictable. It is a good idea to plan your days out in advance, including which of you will be picking up and dropping off if there will be travel between homes, but be courteous and gracious to the other parent if things do not go exactly according to plan.

Be an Example for Your Children

It is not uncommon for family holiday celebrations to include wine, beer, and festive alcoholic beverages. For some individuals and families, however, overindulgence can be a real problem. If you plan to celebrate the holiday with your children this year, be sure to put their needs ahead of your own. Demonstrate to your children that you can celebrate with alcohol in moderation, even in the midst of one of the most difficult years most of us can remember. If you choose to drink, do not drive. Set a positive example for your children—one that you would be happy to see them follow as they become adults.

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DuPage County property division attorneyThe distribution of assets is an important element in most Illinois divorce cases, and it can often lead to misunderstandings and arguments between the spouses. Items with sentimental value may cause even more disagreements than higher-value assets such as the marital home or vehicles, as both spouses might have an emotional attachment, making them less agreeable to parting with a particular piece of property. If you are interested in keeping a family heirloom, a specific work of art, or any other item with sentimental value, there are some ways you might be able to do so.

Is the Item a Marital Asset?

Whether or not a sentimental item is considered marital property depends on several factors. The two most important factors are when and how the item was acquired. Under Illinois law, an asset is generally considered marital property if it was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. If the item in question was yours before you got married, you typically have the right to keep it following your divorce.

It also matters how the item was acquired. Property acquired during the marriage can be considered non-marital if it was received as an inheritance specifically to one spouse. This means that if you inherited an heirloom from a family member, it is likely to be considered yours and not subject to being divided in the divorce process. The same is true of a gift if it is made to just one spouse.  

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DuPage County parenting agreement lawyerThe issue of child custody—officially known as the allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law—is often among the most difficult concerns to resolve in a divorce. Parents who have spent years raising their children together may suddenly be arguing over the role that each of them will play in the lives of their children. A dispute over parental responsibilities can quickly become a very stressful and emotional situation for both the parents and the children. In some cases, extended family members are affected as well.

Every case is unique, and parents facing such a dispute should not make any assumptions about the level of responsibility that they will be granted. Instead, they should keep in mind a few important factors that may influence the outcome.

The Importance of Both Fathers and Mothers

In the past, mothers were often the primary caretakers of the children in a marriage, and were therefore commonly awarded primary or full custody of the children in a divorce. Today, things are largely very different. Evolving social norms and the realities of life have led to an increase in families in which both parents work, and more fathers play a prominent role in the day-to-day lives of their children. Such changes are being reflected in court decisions as well, as family court judges tend to lean toward shared parenting arrangements whenever possible.

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