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lombard divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced but the thought of spending hours in court negotiating with your spouse makes you queasy, there are other options. In fact, only a small percentage of Illinois divorces are actually litigated in court because the alternatives to litigation have so many advantages. 

This article looks at the two primary alternatives to divorce litigation: mediation and collaborative divorce. Although they are similar, mediation and collaborative divorce are not the same, and it is important to understand their differences, so you know whether one of these options is right for you. 

What is Mediation? 

In an Illinois divorce, mediation is a negotiation process involving two spouses and an impartial third-party mediator. Mediators are trained professionals who can guide spouses through negotiations about important issues such as the division of marital property, parenting time, and spousal support.  Mediators are skilled in conflict resolution and can help spouses keep hostility to a minimum. Although each spouse usually still has an attorney, the attorneys are not a part of the mediation process. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_149602157.jpgGetting used to parenting with your kids in two separate households is a difficult but necessary task for many families adjusting to life after divorce. The start of a new school year puts additional responsibilities on parents as they try to arrange schedules, buy supplies, and manage expenses.

Thinking ahead is crucial for creating an adequate parenting plan. Having a plan in place can help a family transition into the academic year much more smoothly. Whether you have been divorced for years or are still going through a divorce, here are some things to consider addressing in your parenting plan as your children start school. 

Share Unexpected Expenses 

Child support is generally expected to cover a child’s cost of living at one home, but school can add extra unanticipated expenses. Extracurricular activities, books, and fees for tests and college-level courses can add up quickly. 

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lombard divorce lawyerIf you have decided to get a divorce, the next step is to choose an Illinois divorce attorney. But what makes a good attorney? Out of the myriad of options, how do you know what to look for, or even where to look?

Choosing a divorce attorney is an important part of the divorce process. The right attorney can make the divorce process smoother, less stressful, and will avoid unnecessary delays and mistakes that can cost you valuable time and money. This article discusses the process of choosing a divorce attorney, as well as some of the things you should look for. 

Where Should I Search for a Divorce Attorney? 

First, begin by speaking with trusted friends and family. If you know anyone who has recently been through a divorce, ask them how they felt about their attorney. You may be surprised to find that some people will even recommend their ex-spouse’s attorney rather than their own, simply because the attorney did such a great job of advocating for their client. 

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lombard child custody lawyerIn 2016, a new law came into effect changing the way that Illinois’ courts handle child custody issues during and after divorce. Rather than calling a parent’s time and decision-making authority “custody,” the new law divides the parental relationship with a child into “parenting time” and “allocation of parental responsibilities.” 

Parents going through a divorce may find these phrases confusing, especially since parenting time and parental responsibilities are often still colloquially lumped into the word “custody.” However, there are important differences. This blog post will define and discuss these terms. 

Why Did Illinois Stop Using the Term “Custody”? 

Finding the old terms “custody” and “visitation” to be too vague and old-fashioned, Illinois law replaced them with phrases that are more specific and reflect modern reality. “Custody” and “joint custody” are no longer legally recognized at all, and “visitation” is only used in the context of third parties, such as grandparents’ visitation rights. Although the words “custody” and “visitation” are no longer meaningful in the legal sense, the concepts they described are still very much relevant.

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IL divorce lawyerTechnology has enabled us to do amazing things. We can now talk face-to-face with each other, anywhere in the world, at any time. Medical advances are moving forward in leaps and bounds, and if Jeff Bezos can go into space in his own brand new spacecraft, surely you can get divorced online, right?

Are There Any Advantages to Online Divorce?

“Do-it-yourself” divorce, or online divorce, can seem like a good option for a number of reasons. They advertise low costs, and they seem faster and less complicated than a normal divorce – no trial lawyers, no discovery, no fighting. If you do not have children or own property together, DIY online divorce can seem like a great alternative to the traditional courtroom divorce process. Just fill out the online forms, print them out, and send them to the family court in the county you live in. But is it really that simple?

What Are the Disadvantages of Online Divorce?

Unfortunately, the appeal of online divorce quickly fades as the real complications of divorce come to light. Using an online service to end your marriage opens the possibilities to mistakes and errors. Legal paperwork is technical and must be done correctly; even if a mistake was completely unintentional, if the paperwork is not done right, it cannot be filed.

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