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DuPage County family law attorneySummer is quickly approaching, and while this summer may be a little different with the pandemic still ongoing, it is sure to be more hopeful than the last. This may mean that parents make plans that include their children, whether that is going on a trip or even just keeping their child for an entire week instead of just for two days on the weekend.

Summer schedules are typically very different than they are when school is in session, and that is not usually a problem when the two parents are married. After a divorce, on the other hand, this can become a much bigger issue. If you have gotten a divorce and are trying to determine what your summer will look like, below are some tips that can help.

Summer Co-Parenting Tips

Co-parenting with your former spouse during the summer may seem like a challenge, but following these tips can help make it easier. This summer, make sure to:

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DuPage County divorce mediation lawyerIf you are going through a divorce, you may fear a long and bitter courtroom battle. Fortunately, this is not necessary for all divorce cases, and some couples find that choosing mediation is a much better option. During the mediation process, each spouse will meet with a mediator that is a neutral third party. The role of the mediator is strictly to foster compromise and communication to help the couple reach an agreement on their own without the need for a divorce trial.

Mediation holds many benefits, including the fact that it can be less costly and take less time than a divorce trial. Spouses may also be more likely to comply with the agreement because they had a hand in creating it. Still, if you are considering mediation, it is important to know how to properly prepare so you get the most out of it.

Identify Your Goals

All divorce cases require some give and take by both parties. When entering into mediation, it is important to remember that you likely will not secure every favorable term you are hoping for. Once you understand this, you can then identify what is most important to you, and what terms you are willing to compromise on. Understanding your goals, as well as those of your spouse, can help during settlement talks and can result in your divorce being finalized sooner.

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Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County parental relocation attorneyAs a parent, after you get divorced, it can be difficult to adjust to spending less time with your kids. You will want to do everything you can to prevent the possibility that you will be required to limit your parenting time further, including addressing situations where your ex plans to move to a new location that is farther away from your home. In cases involving parental relocation, you should be sure to understand your rights and how these matters are addressed in court.

Parental Relocation Under Illinois Law

Divorced parents who live in DuPage County and other counties in the greater Chicago area will need to meet certain requirements if they are planning to move to a new home that is at least 25 miles away from their current home. If a parent who has the majority of the parenting time with their child, or who shares equal parenting time with their former partner, will be relocating, they are required to notify the other parent at least 60 days before the date of the planned move, or at the earliest possible date if they make relocation plans within 60 days of moving.

If you have received a notification from your ex-spouse stating that they plan to relocate, you will want to determine whether their move will require a modification of your parenting plan. A greater distance between your homes may make it difficult or impossible for you to follow your regular parenting time schedule, and transportation arrangements may need to be modified. Child custody could also be affected, since you may be unable to visit your child’s school, attend or participate in their activities, or go to their doctor appointments and stay abreast of their medical needs.

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DuPage County divorce lawyerWhen things are going well in your relationship with your spouse, it is almost impossible to consider that he or she would ever hurt you, let alone be unfaithful. In all honesty, instances of cheating are not often the result of one spouse trying to hurt their partner. Instead, infidelity is usually a manifestation of deep, serious relationship issues, such as poor communication, overall discontent, and feelings of loneliness. An episode of infidelity, however, could be the proverbial last straw that prompts the offended partner to file a petition for divorce, sometimes with the expectation that the unfaithfulness will afford the filer additional benefits during the process of divorce.

Legal Considerations Regarding Infidelity in Divorce

If your spouse has cheated on you, it is entirely understandable for you to feel angry and betrayed and to hope to hold your spouse responsible for his or her hurtful choices, especially if you feel that his or her actions are responsible for destroying your marriage. However, unless you have a valid prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that includes an unfaithfulness clause, you will probably not receive any extra considerations under Illinois law.

Unlike some other states, Illinois no longer allows for infidelity to be listed as grounds for divorce. In fact, all fault-related grounds were eliminated in 2016, and the only acceptable grounds for divorce is a marital breakdown due to irreconcilable differences between the spouses, no matter what else might have happened during the course of the marriage. Illinois law also expressly forbids the court from taking “marital misconduct” including infidelity into account when deciding on spousal support or allocating marital property. However, it is possible that you could recover marital funds that your spouse spent on an affair by filing a claim of dissipation.

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Wheaton IL divorce attorneyFrom a legal standpoint, a divorce is in some ways similar to a business deal. Marital assets are dissolved and/or equitably split between the invested parties, and even the creation of a parenting plan can start to feel like an exercise in scheduling. Underneath it all, though, there are emotions, including hurt, anger, betrayal, a sense of loss, and grief. At times, this can lead to post-divorce depression. Taking the time to acknowledge the emotional aspects of divorce and address them in healthy ways can help you cope with the stress on your mental health.

Learn to Recognize When You Need Help

Too often, people coming out of a divorce feel ashamed of their perceived “failure.” As a result, they may shy away from asking for help. Reframing your divorce as the end of a journey rather than a shortcoming can allow you to move past it, and a strong support system can help you to do so. With this in mind, seek help when and where you need it. You might consider talking to a grief counselor, the pastor at your church, a friend who has gone through divorce, your family, or a divorce support group.

Many of these options are readily available and waiting for an opportunity to show their love and support, so let them. Ask for your mom to pick up the kids from school if you are stuck at work or just need an afternoon to sit with your emotions. Go to the movies with your best friend. Give yourself permission to lean on the people who love you most, and never be afraid to ask for professional help.

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