dupage county divorce lawyerAlthough divorce is a heated emotional affair, people who are getting divorced need to be cool-headed and strategic. This can be difficult, especially because most people getting divorced have never been divorced before and have very little experience with the legal system. For some, getting divorced without the help of an attorney is a possibility because their divorce is uncomplicated, uncontested, and reading complex legal content and filling out forms is not intimidating. For others, however, the prospect of getting divorced without legal help is something of a nightmare. Here are three reasons you may want to work with an Illinois divorce attorney. 

Filing Forms

Determining which forms to fill out, which information to provide, and where to submit the forms can be a complex process. The forms need to be filled out correctly and even small mistakes can cause major delays because court dates may need to be rescheduled. Clerks and judges cannot help you fill out forms and cannot give legal advice. An attorney has experience filling out the forms, checking them for errors, and making sure that you provide all the necessary information to the right sources. 

Legal Advice

Your friends and family have your best interests at heart, but when it comes to divorce, you need real, unbiased legal advice. Your situation is going to be just a little different from everyone else’s, and even someone who has been recently divorced cannot give you tailored legal advice. It is easy to make mistakes that have long-term consequences, especially in terms of child-related issues and finances. Avoid these mistakes and others by having the counsel of an attorney who can advise you throughout the divorce process. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheaton-il-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorce is frequently rated as one of the most difficult experiences a person can have - more difficult, even than the death of a spouse. While everybody’s experience with divorce is different, the negative effects of divorce are common enough that research has been done that links divorce with specific negative health outcomes. 

There is some question as to whether correlation equals causation; for example, are people more likely to have heart disease because they got divorced, or did they get divorced because they were high-stress individuals and high stress also correlates to higher levels of heart disease? While more research is needed to answer these questions definitively, it is helpful to understand some of the potential negative health effects of divorce in Illinois so you can prepare yourself to avoid them. 

Physical and Emotional Stress

While emotional health is often discussed separately from physical health, the two are closely intertwined. Experts say that mental stress before, during, and after divorce makes people significantly more likely to develop heart disease. Even when divorced people get remarried, the stress of a divorce can accelerate biological processes that lead to cardiovascular disease. Be sure to exercise, eat well, and practice calming forms of self-care to manage your stress during divorce. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheaton-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorce is hard on adults, but it is perhaps even harder on young children who are not mature or experienced enough to understand why parents get divorced. Children are often trapped in the immediate consequences of their parents’ divorce without foresight about what will come next or whether things will get better. 

As a result, children are often blindsided when either parent begins dating a new partner. Even older children, who could reasonably be expected to anticipate their parents dating again, can have negative emotions about a new partner and may treat the partner with suspicion or even hostility. While all of this is natural, here are some tips from experts about how to help your children get along with a new partner after your Illinois divorce

Do Not Talk to Your Kids About a New Partner Until Things Are Established

Adults frequently date many partners after divorce and it can take some time to meet someone you feel good about. Children should not be introduced to a new partner until you are fairly certain that this partner is likely to be around for the long term. Introducing multiple partners can cause children to feel a sense of anxiety around whether the adults in their lives are likely to stay or leave, especially if a child develops an attachment to a particular partner. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dupage-county-parenting-agreement-lawyer.jpgAs much as most divorcing parents wish they could be rid of each other’s presence in their lives forever, sharing children means constant contact even as both spouses transition away from their marriage. Even when spouses go their separate ways amicably, many events can trigger conflict - perhaps none more so than the presence of a new partner. When someone is co-parenting in Illinois and their former spouse gets remarried, the introduction of a third “parent” requires major adjustments and presents serious challenges. If you are in this situation, here is some advice from experts to help you manage. 

Ensure Your Children Are Safe

Every parent worries constantly about their children, and it is natural to be worried or even paranoid about the presence of an unknown adult in your child’s life. While this worry will probably abate on its own as you get to know your ex’s new spouse, you still need to make sure your children are safe. At the same time, you never want to ask your children leading questions or make them unnecessarily suspicious or hostile towards your ex’s new partner. This can be a tricky balancing act, but use your parental intuition to guide you if you sense something may be wrong. 

Try to Maintain Neutrality

You likely have strong feelings about your ex’s partner, and this is only natural. It is not easy to maintain a neutral relationship with your ex, let alone someone coming into the picture after your relationship fell apart. However, your children need you to maintain neutrality for several reasons. First, they need the chance to make up their own minds about this new person. Second, they need the stability you offer when you show them everything is okay. And third, children have a tendency to feel pressured to take sides in parental differences; research shows this can be harmful. Everybody benefits when heightened emotions are kept to a minimum. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheaton-il-divorce-lawyer.jpgWhile every couple gets married with high hopes of staying together forever, the reality is that life’s daily stresses push many couples to the brink of separation. Whether it is because the stress shows partners that they are not compatible or causes them to slowly grow apart because they have no time and energy for each other, life’s difficulties cause many couples to reach a point where staying married is just not an option. 

A child with autism can contribute enormously to parental stress, so much so that studies suggest parents of an autistic child may divorce nearly twice as often as parents without an autistic child. The unique challenges of raising an autistic child can put more of a burden on a marriage than parents can bear. If you find yourself in this situation, know you are not alone. While your divorce may involve some additional complications to ensure your child is well-cared for, an experienced Illinois divorce attorney can help you every step of the way. 

Common Challenges of Parenting an Autistic Child

Parents of autistic children often say their parenting responsibilities never end, even after a child passes the most traditionally demanding years and enters adulthood. Because autistic children frequently struggle with managing their emotions and often are impulsive, they may require constant supervision. Children with autism also tend not to sleep well, meaning their parents do not sleep well either. All this stress can put an enormous burden on parents who are already struggling with developing their careers, managing their household, and raising other children. 

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