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Lombard divorce lawyerOver the past decade or so, one of the more common scenarios that have emerged in family courts across the country is where one or both spouses who are going through the divorce process make the decision to represent themselves instead of hiring an attorney. This is known as a pro se divorce.

Going Through It on Your Own

Couples who decide for forgo the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney may do so for a number of reasons, including:

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amicable divorce, divorce law, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyA few weeks ago, a post on this blog talked about "divorce selfie" trend that seemed to exemplify the amicable nature of many modern divorces. For many couples, the decision to end their marriage, while difficult, does not end their ability to work together toward a common goal. An amicable, uncontested divorce can save a couple the hassle and expense of having to sort out their differences in court and greatly streamline the entire process. Regardless of how cooperative you and your spouse can be, however, it is still important to seek the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney for a number of reasons.

Divorce Is Often Complicated

Even though you and your spouse may agree on most of the concerns inherent to the divorce, spelling out an acceptable divorce agreement can be difficult. The division of property, for example, is just one area that can be incredibly complex, with valuations needed for homes, vehicles, retirement accounts and more. While you may not have any disagreements over who is getting what, an attorney can help you develop a legally sound arrangement that clearly designates each and every allocation.

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divorce process, divorce responsibilities, Kane County divorce attorneyHiring an attorney to handle your divorce can be among the best decisions you will ever make. However, hiring an attorney and not investing yourself in the process can be among the worst decisions you will ever make. Divorce, obviously, can be very difficult under the best of circumstances, but by being an active participant along with your lawyer, you may find the effort to be reflected in the final result.

During your initial consultation and meetings, your attorney will likely ask you to take responsibility in certain areas. Doing so can make the entire process easier and more efficient, no matter the challenges that your case presents. Whether explicitly requested or not, your attorney will appreciate that you:

  • Communicate with Your Lawyer: Your attorney is a legal professional, not a mind-reader. You must understand what your goals and values are and communicate that to your lawyer so that you are working in the same direction. In addition, maintain regular contact and provide pertinent personal updates throughout the process. A clear understanding of your situation can help your attorney best represent your position.
  • Be Organized: This includes keeping records of the divorce proceedings, as well as carefully organizing financial statements or other documentation necessary to the process. Handing your attorney a stack of jumbled papers rather than an itemized list of expenses and income, for example, does not do anyone any good.
  • Show Up and Be on Time: At this particular point in your life, your divorce needs to be a high priority. Skipping appointments with your attorney is not a good idea, while being late for or missing scheduled court proceedings can be devastating to your intentions for the case.
  • Comply with All Court Orders: Whether they are related to child custody, support, or anything else, an order from the court must be obeyed. Failure to do so can have a serious impact on the ultimate outcome of your divorce.
  • Pick Your Battles: You may be inclined to fight over every detail with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and while you may be legally entitled to do so, prioritizing what is most important to you may be a better option. Be willing to let certain things go and focus your energy on the most critical issues. The process will often move faster, resulting in lower stress in addition to lower attorneys’ fees and court costs.
  • Be Respectful: Do your best to maintain a high level of civility at all times. This includes the court staff, attorneys, and even your spouse, no matter how difficult it may be. Your approach to the case can directly impact the attitude of the court and the overall outcome of your divorce.

If you are considering divorce and would like more information about taking control of your case, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, our compassionate legal team is prepared to work with you in providing the best professional representation available. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Family Law Attorneys, Reasons to Hire a Lawyer, Lombard Divorce LawyerThe process of divorce can be daunting one. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, the proceedings can time-consuming and wrought with complexities at every turn. When added to the emotional stress and contentiousness common in a failing relationship, divorce can be nearly overwhelming. Despite the potential pitfalls, many people still attempt to complete their divorce without the help of a qualified divorce attorney.

Of those choosing to do so, divorcing individuals typically forego hiring a lawyer for  two simple reasons. First and foremost, they are looking to save money and believe that an attorney’s services are too expensive. Additionally, they do not believe their situation is complicated enough to require representation, or at least not complicated enough to justify such a cost. However, despite these common misgivings, there are a number of reasons you may wish to retain an attorney to assist with your divorce.

Improved Communication

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Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage

Planning on petitioning for a divorce or dissolution of marriage depends on which state you call home. If you are an Illinois resident consulting with a qualified divorce attorney under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) the proper terminology is the dissolution of marriage.

For Illinois and fellow dissolution states, the view on marriage is a legal contract between two people, and filing for divorce is the act of legally requesting the dissolution of a contractual agreement.

Since divorce procedural law is not governed at the federal level, individual state law requirements are enacted and expected to be strictly followed. After consulting with your Illinois divorce attorney, you will become well-versed in Illinois dissolution law as it pertains to your personal situation. Discussions involving the discovery and division of marital assets, continual maintenance (alimony), child support and visitation will be addressed as you move through the dissolution process.

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dating after divorce, children of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Lombard divorce attorneySounds a bit strange, does it not? You are an adult, you have been married and you have been divorced. Currently you are on your own and now feel you are ready to take a chance on dating. Be prepared; your children may not be supportive of your decision.

According to Constance Ahrons, Ph.D, family therapist and author of "The Good Divorce" and "We’re Still Family," your decision to begin dating, no matter how long after divorce, is probably going to be received by your children with chilly resistance. It may also stir up a whole new cauldron of feelings for your offspring. In fact, your decision to begin dating may even be as traumatic an event as the divorce.

So how do you approach the subject? Try the following these tips and remember you are an adult and you are capable of making an informed decision.

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cohabitation, marriage, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attonreyCohabitation before marriage is becoming more common than in the past. Nearly 50 percent of all women have chosen cohabitation, often putting off marriage for up to two years, according to US News & World Report.

Studies have shown that for some, this living arrangement has proven to be a better option. Today Health reported that cohabiting couples appear happier and hold greater self-esteem than their married counterparts. Why? It is believed that cohabitation allows for increased independence and personal growth while in a committed relationship.

Of course in any relationship, ground rules are important. If you are opting to cohabitate, these quick tips may establish your personal boundaries, leading to a healthy and happier existence.

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adultery, infidelity, divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyHas the time come to change our western views on adultery and marriage? According to a recent article published by The Huffington Post, perhaps it has. No longer does the act of adultery result in the offending spouse strolling through town with a scarlet letter sewn to her bodice or does the adulterous male receive a good flogging but are we truly ready to alter our thought process when it comes to marital deception?

It is estimated that 30 to 60 percent of all couples in the United States will deal with some form of infidelity at one point in their marriage. David M. Buss and Todd K. Shackelford, University of Texas, Austin, co-researchers responsible for this data, also believe these numbers may be conservative since the act of adultery resulting in divorce can still taint the marital waters with a shade of crimson. Is Adultery Inevitable? Perhaps. As we evolve, marriage has also evolved. We are living longer than previous generations. As the vow states, "till death do us part", but will we remain satisfied with our partners on all levels, emotionally and physically? Or do we tread on dangerous ground resulting in adultery and possibly divorce? East Meets West?

Being married is highly vital to secure one's social status in Eastern culture. Love is not necessarily part of  the marital equation, especially when there is a booming adultery inspired industry. In some eastern cultures, marriage is viewed as vehicle to secure your social standing. Without this collaboration, you could experience difficulty with obtaining employment and the opportunity of climbing both the social and corporate ladder. Clearly a different viewpoint from traditional Western culture.

Evolutionary Thinking? With the continual expansion of the Western melting pot, perhaps differing cultural influences may infuse our long-standing marital philosophy. Perhaps East may meet West for future generations. Will we celebrate a long term marriage as maintaining a strong sense of open communication rather than remaining physically faithful. Will future couples define what is expected and acceptable as terms of a successful marriage? For some the evolution of marriage may not be terms they are willing to accept. For many, infidelity is an issue. It will remain an issue although there is evidence of a lack of marital communication that may have led the offending spouse to his or her decision to stray. Most couples continually cite infidelity as the determining factor of filing for divorce, primarily due to an emotional disconnect from their partner. Luckily for Western culture we still have the opportunity to define our own marital commitment and decide when and why we may choose to dissolve our marriage. The family law team at A.Traub & Associates understands the emotional and financial importance of a divorce for whatever the reason. We will work diligently to ensure an open line of communication as we meet your legal needs and a fair and equitable resolution of your marriage.  Contact us today at 630-426-0196 to learn more about your options and our dedicated legal team.

in-laws, lawyer, attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois family lawyerWith summer drawing closer, many families are considering taking vacations to see their in-laws. While this would ideally be a happy, carefree time for families, unfortunately these visits are often the source of conflict as parents feel pulled in different directions. In fact, toxic relationships with the in-laws may lead to divorce in some cases.

According to The Washington Times, spouses across the country have tough relationships with their in-laws. In some cases, in-laws may use guilt and manipulation in order to coerce their children into following their wishes when it comes to visitation time with grandchildren. This can leave couples scrambling as they try to divide time equally between sets of grandparents. Unfortunately, all of this pushing and pulling can cause marital troubles if not handled correctly. It is important to discuss vacations and visitation schedules with your spouse in order to determine what will suit you best as both a family and a couple. In cases where your spouse may want to make one decision, while your parents or in-laws are pushing for a different choice, it is important to put the needs and wishes of your spouse first if you want your marriage to stay healthy. It may be helpful to come up with compromises ahead of time. You might consider rotating holidays between sets of grandparents, for example, or consider hosting your in-laws for a visit instead of traveling. Setting boundaries for visits may also help things go more smoothly. Unfortunately, sometimes the conflict caused by toxic in-laws can become too much for a couple to overcome. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, it is important that you have an attorney to help you through the process. Contact the experienced professionals at A. Traub & Associates today for a consultation on your case. They look forward to helping you ensure your divorce moves as smoothly as possible.

divorce settlement, social media, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, divorceWhen you are filing for a divorce, it can be tempting to frequently explain your reasoning. However, it pays to be careful when discussing your marital troubles publicly. In a recent court decision, a woman was stripped of a large portion of her divorce settlement as a result of her negative comments regarding her ex-husband.

Janice Schacter certainly never expected that complaining about her soon-to-be ex-husband's abuse and financial expenditures on social media would result in a judge stripping her of a large portion of her divorce settlement. Schacter had been complaining that her now ex-husband was both abusive and had spent more than $200,000 on an engagement ring for his new fiancee while refusing to pay for hearing aids for his daughter. As a result of her outspoken comments, Ira Schacter was named as a contestant for the website abovethelaw.com's sarcastic "Lawyer of the Month" award, significantly damaging his business. Ira Schacter's lawyers argued in court that the daughter had in fact received the hearing aids, though there was some contention over which party would pay the bulk of the expense. According to Justice Laura Drager, the misleading reports had a significant impact on the value of Ira Schacter's partnership in the legal firm where he worked. As a result, she determined that Janice Schacter would only be awarded 17 percent of the $5 million partnership value, or around $855,000. According to Drager, though Janice Schacter was within her rights to speak publicly about the domestic violence she may have experienced, "the incessant postings and discussions about the husband went beyond any reasonable discussion of this very serious issue." Filing for divorce can be a very distressing experience, and it can be tempting to speak openly about the issues that have lead to your decision to file. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help prevent any situation that may diminish any alimony or other property that you may be entitled to in your divorce settlement. If you are filing for divorce in Illinois, contact A. Traub & Associates, Attorneys at Law today for a consultation.

cohabitation, cohabitation agreement, lawyer, attorney, divorce, divorce rate, cause of divorceIn the past, cohabitation before marriage has often been linked to couples filing for divorce. New information, however has shown that this is incorrect. In fact, in certain cases, living together before getting married may actually improve the chances of a marriage succeeding.

New research conducted by Dr. Arielle Kuperberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has shown that for women who have personal circumstances that may, in many cases, indicate a higher risk for divorce, cohabitation can actually improve their chances at a successful marriage. This includes:
  • Women who have had a premarital birth;
  • Women who have had more than the average number of sexual partners;
  • Women raised in single parent families;
  • Women raised in stepparent families.
Dr. Kuperberg’s research found that previous studies linking cohabitation and divorce consistently overstated the risk, ignoring other issues that may have also increased the risk of an unsuccessful marriage. For example, poorer couples have a tendency to cohabitate, and a lower economic status often leads to divorce. These studies also compared couples by the ages at which they married, instead of their ages when they moved in together. When Dr. Kuperberg compared these couples at the age when they moved in together, she found no difference in the divorce rate. Instead, couples who married or cohabitated at ages younger than 23 were the ones at a higher risk for divorce. Of course, the cause of a divorce is rarely simple. In most cases, the reasons behind a divorce cannot be traced to a single factor. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, your first step should be to obtain the services of a qualified attorney. The professionals at A. Traub & Associates have years of experience, and will do their best to ensure that your divorce moves as smoothly through the system as possible. Contact us today for your initial consultation, and let us help you get started on your way to a new life.

divorce, Illinois divorce, divorce rate, divorce lawyer, divorce attorney, DuPage CountyAccording to Variety, the American entertainment trade magazine founded in 1905, NBC hit a ratings gold mine by enticing 25.9 million viewers to tune into the winter games of the XXII Olympiad.

 Over five time zones and 18 spectacular evenings we explored the foothills and mountain tops of Sochi, Russia. We cheered on athletes, applauded victories and witnessed the agony of defeat as 88 nations came together to celebrate the uniqueness of each nation. One may choose to believe that with so much cultural diversity, the participating nations held nothing in common except the hunt for gold. As athletes stepped on the podium, it may be interesting to note that both the host nation, Russia and the United States vied for standings on a totally different event. The Top Ten Nations with the highest divorce rates. Russia achieved the gold medal standard for the highest divorce rate while the U.S.claimed bronze, with the remaining top ten taking their respective place on the podium:
  1. Russia
  2. Aruba
  3. United States
  4. Panama
  5. Ukraine
  6. Belarus
  7. Moldova
  8. Cuba
  9. Czech Republic
  10. South Korea
The Huffington Post, responsible for publishing these recent rankings, mentions that higher divorce rates of these Top Ten contenders can be contributed to educational differences, financial instability, social standing and infidelity. No matter the country or the reason, deciding to file for a divorce can be a decision of Olympic proportion. For those facing this life changing event, working with an experienced coach, or in this instance, an experienced divorce attorney can make all the difference in the world. To achieve your gold standard in your divorce settlement, the experienced legal team of A. Traub & Associates is available to coach you through the uncertainty of your upcoming event. For over seven years we have offered our clients award winning service. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your initial consultation today.

American divorce rateBy sampling our social group or shaking the family tree, we can easily make the assumption that divorce is as common as marriage. Seems we can not always have one without the other.

 As published by nationalaffairs.com, a quarterly online journal of topical essays highlighting domestic policy and societal issues, only 20 percent of couples married throughout the 1950s filed for divorce. A sharp contrast to the divorce rate of 50 percent for all couples jumping the broom between 1960 up through the end of the 1980s. Did they know something that we may have lost in translation? Did Mr. and Mrs. "C" find the true secret of Happy Days? Perhaps a journey back to our future can shed some light as to why divorce may not be as strong as an institution today as it once was. Plain and simple. It was a different era for both men and women. Divorce found no comfort in the family home. Men succumbed to peer pressure. A stand up guy included a Missus and a growing family. Everyone expected it of him, his boss, his neighbors and his family. By an early age he had it all. For his bride, her trip down the aisle also began quite early, quickly accepting the role as the matriarch of the all American post war family. The housing market was also booming. Home ownership of a two parent home was on every young married couple's agenda. Families communicated daily at the dinner table and with only one television in the home, often spent the early evening hours watching Ozzie and Harriet. All was well with their world. Perhaps not entirely true. Couples experienced the same summer of discontent as married couples do today. So why the low divorce rate? Once again, peer pressure was influential. You stayed married till death do you part. Divorce carried a social stigma and unless you were married to Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde, you stayed for better or worse. End of story, end of an era. If you find yourself conflicted about filing for divorce and disappointing your Baby Boomer parents, take a moment and remember it is your marriage, your divorce, your time. We are not your parent's attorneys. At A. Traub & Associates we are a different type of law firm. We apply a human approach to each case but will work diligently to reach a resolution to your divorce concerns swiftly and professionally. If you reside in DuPage, Cook, Kane or Will Counties, contact us at 630-426-0196 and let us help bring your future into today's prospective.

Posted on in Uncategorized

Filing for a divorce can release a flood of emotions that can quickly catch you off guard. While these feelings are completely normal, they can make it difficult to proceed with the divorce in a calm manner. Luckily, the American Psychological Association has put together a few tips to help you have an emotionally healthy divorce.

healthy divorceDivorce Counseling

While sitting down together to talk about what you’re thinking and feeling is likely the last thing on your mind as you file for divorce, taking this simple step can help ensure that both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse remain emotionally healthy throughout the divorce process. Investing in a few divorce counseling sessions may help to keep your relationship amicable, which may make the process more comfortable and less traumatic for children in the marriage as well.

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So you are getting married! Congratulations! Now the whirlwind begins... Appointments with the wedding planner, the florist, the photographer, the banquet manager, the musical director, the clergy, the bakery manager, the dressmaker and the jeweler. Your schedule is filling up fast, so many discussions and decisions, but is there one discussion you may be avoiding on your growing list of "to-dos"?

 prenuptial agreementThe Prenuptial Agreement Not for celebrity use only, the prenuptial agreement has been around as long as couples have been tying the knot. According to a New York Times article, the prenuptial agreement can be traced back at least 2000 years. Ancient Hebrew society drafted marriage contracts known as Ketubahs and the French included an agreement as part of the dowry as far back as the ninth century. Originally, these predecessors of the prenuptial agreement were drafted to protect the wife in case of her husband's death or divorce, as a form of predetermined insurance. Often today, a prenup suggests the protection of sizable wealth, but in all reality, an effective agreement can cover all the bases by eliminating lengthy and costly differences over assets in the event of a divorce. So how do you go about discussing this with your eager fiancee without finding yourself immediately thrown back into the dating scene? As unromantic as it may seem, if you are adamant about drafting a prenup, these tips may help when approaching your unsuspecting fiancee: Yours, Mine and Not Ours This may be the best argument for signing an agreement. For example, if you are still paying off student loans by drafting a prenup you can secure that your future spouse doesn't assume your debt. In the event your intended has investments made prior to your union, you can also ease their worries by legally refraining from any financial control of those investments. Financial consideration also protects both partners from any changes in state law regarding marital property.  Bringing Up the Kids Literally, when the little ones arrive, what's the plan? Will one parent leave the workforce to raise the children? A predetermined agreement can protect asset distribution for the stay-at-home mom or dad in the event of a break-up.  Cents and Sensibility By clearly defining goals, a prenuptial contract can be drafted for less money than the cost of two divorce attorneys in the event the marriage fails.  Mapping the Marital Future A prenup can also secure a standard of living without the many financial surprises a divorce can bring. Having set arrangements for alimony and residence determinations can ease the pain of divorce and the fear of the unknown. Child custody and child support, however, can not be determined in a prenuptial agreement.  The Golden Years If it would ease your fiancee’s concerns, a sunset clause can be added to the agreement. This allows an automatic termination of terms within a specified time period, protecting each person's assets early in the marriage. A prenup can also be terminated at any time if both spouses are in agreement.  Legal vs. Marriage Counseling Once your fiancee is on board, plan on scheduling an appointment with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about all of the options that are available to you. Executing an amicable prenuptial agreement can ease the tensions of constant "what-if's" as well as defining your marital goals. It may also prevent heated arguments about finances and responsibilities and thwart a trip to the marriage counselor. Your wedding day is destined to be one of the most memorable days of your lives, having a strategically drafted prenuptial agreement in place will only be the icing on your wedding cake. We understand the concerns. At A. Traub & Associates we are experienced with working with couples to draft a prenuptial agreement that will best suit everyone’s expectations. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your consultation today.

Posted on in Divorce

In any relationship, there can be ups and downs.  Being in close proximity, such as in a marriage, can exacerbate a volatile situation.  It is difficult to seek a resolution in the heat of the moment.  Certain scenarios may mean that separation is merely a precursor to finalizing a divorce or it can be a start to reconciliation.

There are different types of separation, each of which has specific ramifications.  The first type is just living separately.  Living apart can mean in different houses or even separate parts of the mutual home.  Debts and assets accrued by either party during this kind of separation are considered part of the marital estate.  During a divorce all property and debts are divided according to equitable distribution guidelines of Illinois divorce court.  This can also be seen as a trial separation to decide whether to reconcile or separate completely.

Another kind of separation is called a legal separation.  This is for couples who have irreconcilable differences but may not want to divorce for religious reasons.  A legal separation is filed for in a divorce court.  The court will decide on issues like child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, visitation and division of property.  The only aspect that a legal separation does not achieve is a divorce.  Both spouses are still married.

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Posted on in Divorce

Infidelity doesn’t only pertain to an act of physical cheating. Emotional affairs have long been a major factor in divorce rates across the country, in which one or both partners embark on an intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex outside of the marriage, but in which no actual physical infidelity occurs. According to InfidelityFacts.com, 41 percent of people in American marriages admit to having either a physical or emotional affair. Considering that statistics citing physical infidelity are much lower, one can conclude that emotional or non-physical affairs are a component of thousands of American marriages.

According to US News and World Report, however, there’s another type of infidelity: financial infidelity. One of the most important foundations in a marriage, according to US News and World Report, is trust. A significant amount of trust needs to come from both sides in a marriage, especially when it comes to shared finances. Marriages are built around shared goals, and usually married couples have jointly made budgetary decisions. "When you discover that your partner has been making financial moves that undermine that hard work and those goals," reports the US News and World Report, "it can be an incredibly bitter pill to swallow."Financial Infidelity Can Lead To Divorce

Financial infidelity can refer to a number of offenses: that one partner is making financial moves of which the other is unaware; that one partner is far outspending the other on personal items such as clothing or recreation; that one partner is not keeping up his or her end of the budgeting bargain, such as a failure to pay bills on time.

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Posted on in Divorce

The holiday season is full of activity and good cheer as people head out to numerous gatherings with family and friends. For people who have recently divorced, however, this season can lead to feelings of alienation, isolation, and loneliness as they try to cope with the realities of being surrounded by loving couples at parties and gatherings. Others may be strained financially due to the legal costs of the divorce process and feeling stressed about buying gifts.

surviving the holidays after divorceIt does not have to be that way, however. According to Forbes, the stigma that once accompanied divorce has all but disappeared. Almost everyone knows someone who has divorced or is filing for divorce, and most people understand both the feelings of relief and the grief as well as the financial strain that can accompany the life change. Instead of lamenting over your single status this holiday season, consider celebrating this chance to start over instead.

There are a number of ways you can keep your spirits up during the holidays. One of the easiest is by finding ways to fill your time. Don’t avoid getting together with friends and family members just because you are newly single. Make arrangements to spend some time with other single or divorced friends, and spend time with supportive family members. If your spouse ended up with many of your household goods, consider throwing a holiday divorce shower. Create a registry for items you now need for your household and when someone asks how they can help, let them know about it. For divorced parents who find themselves without their children, consider using the kid-free time to take a grown up holiday vacation or some other activity that isn’t necessarily kid-friendly.

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Posted on in Divorce

Being divorced is a difficult transition.  It is hard to move on from the life you used to know.  But there must have been some reasons that your relationship with your spouse did not work.  And now that you are single again, there are things you can change the next time around.  And if you are a parent, there is even less opportunity to mess around and take this next step lightly.

The first consideration is to make sure that you know why you’re dating in the first place.  Having a clear purpose in your new life will help you stay on track and eliminate distractions.

But always keep in mind that you are dating again to have fun.  This is not a search for lost keys, so do not make it a job.  It should be a hobby that should be spontaneous and enjoyable.  Hobbies like learning a new language, trying new sports, and other exciting activities will put you in front of new people and new connections.

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Children of divorced parents clearly have more hurdles than those from families whose parents are together. Aside from the winter holiday season, at no time in the year is this more obvious than during the summer. Children whose parents have split are often shuttled back and forth between the parents’ houses, oftentimes over state lines, a trip that can feature solo plane rides or long drives. Psychologist Brian Rooney told the Chicago Tribune that trouble in this scenario can arise for children of divorce because of their expectations. "They can range from realistic ones like, ‘Gee, I can’t wait to get away to Dad/Mom’s house, we’re going to do all kinds of stuff,’ to a feeling of being sent away to serve time." Rooney says it’s important for both parents to address these expectations and consider them when making summer plans with and for children of divorce.

In order to manage these expectations and subsequent emotions, the most important thing to do is to plan ahead, keep promises, and not to overblow or underemphasize the importance of the time apart. According to divorceandchildren.com, talking to your kids—especially if you’re the non-custodial parent who’s spending a significantly increased amount of time with your kids over the summer—is a good first step. If you make plans with them to go on vacation, or even just to the museum for the afternoon, it’s crucial to follow through. "Children need to be able to count on your word," reminds divorceandchildren.com.

Another great piece of advice for the non-custodial (but summer-sharing) parent to keep in mind is to not overdo it. "Sometimes parents may feel guilty about not having enough time with their children. When this happens, they may fall into the trap of trying to pack every moment of their time together with fun-filled, exciting activities," reports divorceandchildren.com. When this happens, the child can actually feel overwhelmed and run-around. The most important thing a child needs is quality one-on-one time with the parent. The time doesn’t have to be filled with activity to make it count.

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