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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1686307888.jpgEvery day, there seems to be a new kind of digital asset making the news. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and non-fungible tokens are just two examples of digital financial assets that we commonly associate with money. But other digital assets must be divided as well - personal photos and videos that exist on each spouse’s phone, streaming accounts, and even purchased media like downloaded videos all need to be dealt with. During the Illinois divorce process, all marital assets must be divided fairly - even the ones that only exist on the internet. If you are getting divorced and wondering what will happen to your digital assets, read on. 

Pictures, Videos, Movies, and Streaming Services

Couples can spend thousands of dollars on downloaded videos, games, and other online entertainment over the course of a marriage. If a couple has amassed a valuable digital library of content, this will need to be divided in the divorce decree. Because online content is usually associated with a specific account and these accounts must only be owned by one partner after the divorce, spouses will need to agree about how to split them. 

Personal pictures and videos are easy to transfer, but they also need to be addressed in the divorce decree. Otherwise, years of precious moments with children, pets, and extended family can be lost to a spouse forever. 

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wheaton divorce attorneyMany divorcing parents feel as though creating a parenting plan is inevitably a win/lose situation. If one parent does not get to spend time with their children, it is because their [insulting adjective] ex is with them instead. Depending on how someone feels about their ex, this can be an inconvenient or irritating fact or a complete disaster. 

However, even when divorced parents dislike each other strongly and find it difficult to get along, they still have to deal with each other and their children still have to deal with the consequences of their relationship. Finding an appropriate balance is crucial for creating a parenting plan, yet this can be the hardest thing in the world during a contentious divorce. If you are struggling to cooperate with your spouse about a parenting plan, here are five tips that may be helpful. 

Strive to Understand Your Child’s Best Interests

Sometimes warring spouses may find it easier to cooperate when they shift the focus from each other to their child. Ultimately, a child did not choose her parents’ relationship and it is not her fault that she is stuck in the middle of a divorce. It is her needs that should be met first. 

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dupage county divorce lawyerParents frequently disagree about issues related to the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time during their divorce. When parents cannot reach an agreement or create a parenting plan, mediators or a collaborative divorce team may be able to help. However, if other methods fail or if a case is extremely contentious, parents may end up litigating their custody dispute in an Illinois family law court. Although there is no failsafe way for a parent to ensure they get what they want in a court hearing, there are certain mistakes that parents should try to avoid. 

Sharing Details of the Dispute on Social Media

Nearly everyone uses social media, but during a contentious divorce, putting too many details on social media accounts can have negative consequences. Even with the most private account settings, information can be obtained and used as evidence in court. Trash-talking the other parent, posting pictures of late-night parties, and even photos of fun but risky behaviors with children may be used to try to prove lack of parental fitness in court. When in doubt, less is more when it comes to social media use. 

Trying to Get Revenge on an Ex

Parents who use court disputes to hash out resentments over their relationship issues look petty, mean, and even potentially uninterested in what is best for their children. Although spouses may have very good reasons for disliking each other once a divorce has begun, allowing that bitterness to influence negotiations over the children will get in the way of discovering and pursuing the children’s best interests. Judges have seen many parents arguing over their children, and can tell when one spouse is trying to get back at the other. Save frustrations with a spouse for a therapist and use the court to find a good solution for the children. 

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chicago prenuptial agreement lawyerAlthough prenuptial agreements are famously used by people with high-worth assets, the truth is that prenups can protect many different people in many different situations. One of the best uses of a prenuptial agreement is when a parent of children from a previous marriage in Illinois  wishes to get married again. 

Having a well-written, legally enforceable prenup can save a parent’s children and second spouses from fighting over assets in court if the marriage ends in divorce or if the parent passes away. A great prenuptial agreement can bolster a will and trust, and is an important part of financial planning before getting married again. 

Using Prenuptial Agreements for a Second Marriage

When a parent dies, it is always a tragedy - but the sadness can be made much worse when a second spouse is fighting over assets or inheritance with children. A great prenuptial agreement that details exactly how belongings, savings, and other assets will be allocated in the event of a parent’s death can save children and second spouses from the time, expense, and heartache of fighting over assets in court. This is also true if the second marriage fails and a couple disagrees about how their assets should be divided. 

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lombard divorce lawyerSame-sex couples in Illinois get married with high hopes of long-term marital success. Unfortunately, staying married forever is not always possible and divorce becomes necessary. Since same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, the divorce process for same-sex couples is usually the same as ending a marriage for heterosexual couples. 

Regardless of the gender of your spouse, it is important to understand the divorce process so you can make your divorce as smooth and fair as possible. 

The Divorce Process in Illinois 

Before a couple can get divorced in Illinois, one spouse must be a resident of Illinois. To be a resident, a person must have lived in Illinois for the past 90 days or, if they are an active duty member of the military, must have been stationed there the past 90 days. If children are involved, the children must have been residents for at least six months. 

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