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lombard divorce lawyerThe issue of inheritance is often a cause of great contention in Illinois divorces. For spouses who have been married for decades, money given from a deceased family member to one spouse may feel like something of a betrayal to the other spouse, especially if the spouse who receives the inheritance decides not to spend it in ways that would benefit the marriage or children. 

In other situations, couples may be very generous with each other’s inheritance, and even count on it as part of their long-term financial planning. No matter how an inheritance has been handled, the issue can get thorny when a couple starts discussing divorce. Deciding how to handle an inheritance in the asset division process can be challenging, especially when inheritance funds have been mixed with marital funds. If you are considering divorce and anticipate dealing with inheritance, consider getting the help of a DuPage County attorney with experience in both family law and estate planning

What is the Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property in Illinois? 

Illinois divorce law requires marital property to be divided equitably. This means the 50/50 split that is often seen in community property states is less common as Illinois judges try to find a balance that is fair, rather than exactly equal. Determining how to split marital property equitably requires that all marital property be fairly accounted for. Usually, assets and debt that were owned by one spouse before the marriage remain the property and responsibility, respectively, of that spouse. In contrast, any income, assets, debt, savings, or investments made during a marriage are usually considered marital property. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1277271616.jpgEven after going your separate ways in an Illinois divorce, your ex will still have a significant impact on your life when you share children. For many divorced couples, raising children after a divorce is a very challenging issue, and finding an arrangement that works can be frustrating and time-consuming. When parents struggle to work within traditional parenting agreement constructs, it may be helpful to get creative and turn to alternative methods of co-parenting. Depending on your needs, one of these three unique co-parenting methods may be helpful. 

Parallel Parenting

For some couples, every point of contact is a fight waiting to happen. When one or both parents are uncooperative or hostile towards each other, they risk constantly exposing their children to conflict. To protect the children from the psychological damage this can cause, parallel parenting offers co-parents an opportunity to treat parenting as a business enterprise. Couples who use parallel parenting strategies only communicate when absolutely necessary, and will usually do so with designated communication channels like a special email address. If you choose to use parallel parenting, be sure to include as many details as possible in your court-approved parenting plan. That way, when issues arise, you already have solutions and can avoid further conflict. 

Living Together

Even after divorce, some couples who can get along well continue living together. They may do this to save money, to provide their children with stability, or to save each other the difficulty of moving children between distant households. Although living together is not a viable arrangement for couples with serious communication issues or difficulty avoiding conflict, it allows some families to meet their needs while causing the children minimal upheaval. 

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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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