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DuPage County family law attorney child custody

During a divorce, one or both spouses may seek counseling or therapy. Due to the universal Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Agreement, patients are reassured that the sessions are private. However, it is possible your therapy records could end up in the courtroom during your divorce proceeding. When this occurs, it is important to hire a family law attorney to protect your rights. 

Record Contents

Typically, if you are attending therapy or seeking the help of a professional counselor, you may have overwhelming issues that affect you psychologically and hinder your daily activities. Discussing them with an unbiased individual can be comforting and allow you to process your emotions. Problems may involve alcohol/drug addiction, a tragic event, or mental health issues. Within a divorce proceeding, these issues may negatively affect spousal support, and/or the allocation of parental responsibilities.  

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Wheaton divorce attorney

When a couple decides to call it quits, one or both spouses may file for divorce. However, in some cases, one spouse may walk out without an explanation, leaving the other spouse to wonder about his or her whereabouts. If you wish to get a divorce but are unsure where your spouse is, be sure to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney to help resolve this complex situation.

Publication Divorce 

If a spouse would like to get a divorce but is unable to find their spouse, Illinois law allows “divorce by publication.” Publication divorce occurs only after a judge has been convinced that the divorcing spouse is unable to find the missing spouse after extensive searching. Extensive searching may include:

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Wheaton family law attorney

Going through a divorce can significantly disrupt your life. Not only does it affect your mental and emotional health, but it can also wreak havoc on your financial situation. It may be hard to maintain the same standard of living once you and your spouse part ways. However, you can still obtain a sense of financial security. In some cases, you may be awarded spousal support or child support payments, or you may be required to pay support to your former spouse. To alleviate some of the stress, it is important to be hands-on and in control of your assets, income, debts, and expenses. A skilled family law attorney can guide you through the legal proceedings and help ensure that you are positioned for success once your divorce is complete. 

Here are a few steps to regain financial stability after a divorce:

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Lombard, IL child support attorney

Child support refers to the money paid by one parent to the other parent to help financially support their child after the parents get a divorce. However, these types of payments may also be appropriate for couples who never married but had a child together. Typically, child support is paid to the parent who was allocated the majority of the parenting time with the couple's child. In Illinois, child support is based on both parents' net incomes, and an “income shares model” is used to calculate the amount of the payments. Child support arrangements must be approved by the court. Payments are typically made on a monthly basis, and a parent can face penalties if the support payments are late or if support is unpaid.

Child Support Uses

Overall, child support is intended to maintain the child’s well-being and guarantee all of his or her basic needs are met. The basic child support obligation determined using the income shares method is meant to cover the following types of expenses:

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Wheaton divorce attorney parenting time

If you are a parent who is divorced or legally separated, you are likely familiar with the court-approved parental responsibilities you and your ex may have spent hours trying to resolve. A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines child-related issues such as with whom your child will live, who has decision-making authority regarding issues such as children's education and medical care, and more. Unfortunately, your child may not be too happy about the decisions made during your divorce, and they may state that they do not wish to spend parenting time (visitation) with your ex-spouse. However, even if your child is reluctant to spend time with his or her other parent, you will be required to follow the parenting time schedule set down in the parenting plan, and you may face penalties for failing to fulfill the court's orders.

The Reasons Behind the Refusal

Understanding why your child does not want to visit the other parent is the first step in addressing the issue. During this time, it is important to keep these tips in mind:

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Wheaton spousal maintenance attorney

The decision to end a marriage can be emotionally, financially, and even physically devastating. A trusted therapist may help ease emotional stress, but what about the worries regarding finances? Regardless of whether your divorce is amicable or tumultuous, you will need to understand how to protect your rights to the marital estate. If you are facing a divorce and are unsure how to protect your financial interests, you should speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney to explore your potential next steps. In the meantime, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about finances during divorce:

How Much Will a Divorce Cost?

There are many expenses associated with the divorce process. You will be required to pay a variety of court costs and filing fees, and the costs of hiring and working with an attorney throughout the divorce process may add up to several thousand dollars or more. In addition, there are a variety of other ways that legally ending your marriage can impact your finances, including:

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Wheaton high-conflict divorce attorney

When it comes to divorce in the family, no one is fully immune to its emotional effects. Even the most civil of interactions between divorcing spouses can be deceiving. What might seem at first to be a friendly, mutual agreement may actually be subtly rife with tension. Conflict can simmer, and it may surface over time as the divorce proceedings unfold. By nature, divorce is a very emotional event in one’s life, and it tends to stir up a myriad of feelings for both parties, especially as the experience begins to feel more real and moves closer to its final stages. 

Common Triggers in High-Conflict Divorces

Conflict in divorce often stems from sensitive issues like money and child-rearing. These topics can be very touchy for everyone involved, even when both parties are working together to resolve the problems. Here are some of the most common sources of conflict for divorcing spouses:

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DuPage County divorce lawyer

The difficulties that accompany divorce can be vast, leaving you to face a major learning curve as you navigate your life without your ex-spouse. From new living arrangements and daily routines to possible career changes and less quality time with your children, divorce in the family unleashes a whole range of uncomfortable emotions for everyone involved. Eventually, though, the healing process begins, and with time and experience comes the ability to adapt to post-divorce life. 

Paving the Way for Recovery

Psychologists remind those grieving from a divorce that human beings are incredibly resilient, but research also shows just how hard the recovery stages of the loss can be. The divorce process looks different from person to person, and each separation has its own set of challenges and heartaches. If you feel you are having an exceptionally hard time kick-starting the healing process, or if you feel stuck in the attempt to move on with your life, experts recommend the following:

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DuPage County child support modification attorney

As a parent pursuing child support following a separation or divorce, it is not uncommon to encounter various roadblocks. The process can bring all kinds of questions and concerns to the surface, and parents will need answers to these questions sooner rather than later. They need to know how much support they qualify for, how that support will be provided, and the certainty that funds are not only available but reliable on an ongoing basis. Additionally, those paying support are entitled to know how their obligations are calculated and what is expected of them by law.

Income Shares Approach

Whether discussions about support arrangements have turned tense between you and the other parent, or you simply feel overwhelmed as you begin your attempt to secure the means needed to care for your child, consider the following tips to better understand the “Income Shares” method in the state of Illinois:

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When Can I Adjust My Parenting Plan?In every divorce involving children, parenting plans must be formulated. Parenting plans, commonly known as custody arrangements, divide responsibilities between each parent. They define responsibilities such as the time each parent is scheduled to spend with their child, who should be the one taking the child to medical visits, and which house the child will reside in. These are just a few of the many responsibilities required of a parent as well as those that are defined under parenting plans. While parenting plans are legally in place until the child turns 18 years old, it is almost impossible for them to last that long without a need for adjustments – situations change and so do children’s needs. 

Which Situations Warrant an Adjustment?

As with any legally-binding contract, there must be legitimate proof that an adjustment is necessary. Judges do not simply change parenting plans for the convenience of the parent. There are certain situations that will allow, and even prompt, judges to modify a family’s arrangement. The following are common examples:

  • The child is not safe, especially in their residence;
  • A parent is moving or relocating;
  • The child is older and has asked for adjustments to be made;
  • A parent’s work schedule has changed, affecting their ability or flexibility to care for the child;
  • The family’s situation has changed, specifically their financial stability; and/or
  • Their current arrangement is not being followed.

Some families have a combination of the circumstances mentioned above, while others have different reasons altogether. Regardless, each decision is situational and is dependent on the child’s best interests.

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How Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Payments in Illinois?Child support laws vary from state to state, especially in situations where one spouse remarries. Illinois uses an income shares model to calculate how much each parent must contribute to child support. The parents’ combined net income and the number of children will determine their combined child support obligation. Then, each parent will pay a percentage of the obligation that is proportionate to their percentage of the combined incomes. For example, a parent who makes $70,000 of a $100,000 combined income would pay 70 percent of the child support obligation.

The parent who has a majority of the parenting time will receive child support payments from the other parent, regardless of who has a greater income. However, a minority parent with a lesser income is not required to pay as much towards the children’s expenses as the majority parent with a greater income. The equation can change in a shared parenting agreement, which Illinois defines as each parent having at least 146 days with the children during the year. There are also situations in which a parent can request a modification of the child support payment. 

How Does Remarriage Tie In?

Illinois allows a parent to petition to modify child support when there is a change of circumstances that affects either:

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What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that works for many couples seeking to end their marriage but wanting to skip the typical divorce proceedings. This type of alternative resolution becomes somewhat of a conversation between the spouses and a mediator. After the mediator explains the process, they will act as a neutral third-party. The session will typically last a few hours as a group, followed by the mediator meeting with each party individually to speak with them. This will allow the spouse to tell them anything they feel that they left out or any information that they felt uncomfortable sharing with their spouse in the room. 

A second session will be scheduled to make final decisions. Issues discussed are uniform to that of a divorce; however, there are supposed to be little to no arguments done in the mediation process. The allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, division of assets, and spousal maintenance are the main topics that are deliberated. The mediator will then draw up the plans based on the conversation between the spouses that lays out their divorce in front of them.  

Advantages of Mediation

Divorce mediation requires an amicable relationship between both spouses as the purpose of the alternative dispute resolution is to avoid conflict. While it does not work for all couples, many prefer mediation over typical divorce proceedings for a variety of reasons.

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Mistakes to Avoid in Your Parenting HearingWhether the allocation of parental responsibilities determinations are done by negotiating with your spouse or become a “battle” in front of a court, this portion of divorce is often the most difficult. Every parent wants the best for their children, and it can be difficult to figure out what is “best” when you and your spouse are accustomed to co-parenting under one roof. Parenting cases can get ugly even when divorcing couples are on amicable terms.

Common Errors

The determination of your parenting plan is an important part of the divorce process to prepare for. An experienced attorney should warn you of the following mistakes:

  1. Talking About the Case with Others: While it may be an instinct to confide in friends, this can lead to your demise in the end. You and your spouse probably still have mutual friends or friends that know each other, and gossip spreads fast. It is important to keep the details of your case confidential to avoid accidentally informing your ex about your defense tactics.
  2. Letting Your Emotions Make Your Decisions: The purpose of the allocation of parental responsibilities is to put your child’s best interests forward regardless of your relationship with your spouse. The reason for your divorce does not necessarily reflect on their parenting ability or style. Friends or family members will frequently take your side and provide you with a multitude of reasons to fight for sole responsibility. However, it is important to remember that what is best for you may not be best for your child.
  3. Using Your Children: Many parents can fall into the trap of hearing their ex’s business through their child or using their child as a messenger between parents. Placing your child in the middle of your divorce is an easy way to lose their respect and damage your relationship. This will be seen as bad parenting by a judge and can land you in hot water with your parenting arrangements.
  4. Social Media As an Outlet: In the digital age, many people turn to social media for comfort or for a sense of validation from friends. The worst time and place to talk about your new life or vent about your old one is on social media. Your account can be used against you in multiple areas of your divorce proceedings.  

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The errors listed and explained above can hurt you in your divorce case, but the biggest mistake of all is failing to hire an experienced attorney for the allocation of parental responsibilities. No matter how many tips and tricks you follow, having a professional on your side is the best way to fight for your child.  At A. Traub & Associates, we will provide you with the legal advice you need while fighting for you throughout your divorce proceedings. If you are searching for help in your parenting case, contact our Arlington Heights family law attorneys at 630-426-0196.

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Summer: Wedding Season or Divorce Season?When most people think of summer, they imagine attending weddings and enjoying time spent with their families. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many couples. According to research conducted by University of Washington sociologists between 2001 and 2015, there is a biannual pattern for divorce. The months of March and August have been found to have high volumes of divorce. While it may seem like a coincidence, there are actually reasons for this spike in ending marriages.

 

Why the Divorce Pattern?

All relationships are different thus making each divorce case unique. Despite the individuality of each couple, studies have found a few common denominators that may contribute to this seasonal divorce pattern.

  1. Post-Holiday Blues: Holiday season is charged with excitement and fun activities to attend. Whether it is Christmas dinner or a Fourth of July barbecue, families spend a lot of time together throughout the holidays. This brings many families together but can also drive some apart. It is common for all of this “family togetherness” to cause emotions to rise and friction to occur. Most couples will wait for things settle down after the holidays before officially deciding to go separate ways.
  2. Back to School: Many parents will wait until the end of the summer before disclosing their decision to divorce to their children. Going to school is a good distraction for children, eliminating large amounts of time that could be spent at home, worrying about their family’s relationships. Having children in school throughout the divorce process also makes it easier to get legal processes done without childcare responsibilities interfering.
  3. Vacation Stress: Family vacations are more common in the summer due to the nice weather and time off from school. Similar to holidays, vacations can bring on more problems than good memories. Traveling is stressful, especially with a spouse that you are unsure about. Traveling difficulties and a large amount of time spent together can ultimately lead to conflict and a solution of permanent separation.

Contact a Lombard, IL, Divorce Attorney for Help

Filing for divorce is difficult, regardless of how much conflict exists between you and your spouse. Parting ways with someone you thought you would spend a lifetime with is not easy no matter the situation. At A. Traub & Associates, we take on the legal process to give you time to focus on your emotional well being. If you are filing for divorce, contact our Glen Ellyn divorce attorneys at 630-426-0196. 

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Filing for DivorceWhether it is a long time coming or a recent revelation, divorce is difficult. Leaving someone you have been with for years is difficult regardless of the quality of your relationship due to the familiarity in having a constant presence by your side. It can be challenging for people to separate their current reality from a nostalgic past. Because filing for divorce is one of the most serious decisions you can make, it is important to be absolutely sure that this is what you want and that this is what is best for everyone. Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before signing official documents:

  1. Have You Fully Communicated Your Concerns with Your Spouse?: As years of marriage continue on, communication can often get lost in translation. One spouse assumes that they know what the other is thinking due to past experiences. If divorce is on your mind, you should ensure that you have expressed your concerns with your spouse in order to avoid making a rash decision. Disclosing that your unhappiness has led you to consider divorce can sometimes be the wake-up call that spouses need after years of marriage.
  2. Have You Tried Counseling?: Many married couples view seeking out counseling as a weakness. While it may cost your momentary pride, marriage counseling is an effective solution for many couples. Discussing difficulties within your marriage while a third-party is present can help provide another perspective and keep emotions in check. Counseling is often seen as a last-ditch effort but can be effective for many couples.
  3. Why Do You Fear Ending Your Relationship?: One of the most common reasons for avoiding divorce is fear for the future. For some, potential loneliness keeps them from leaving. For others, their physical and financial dependency on their spouse forces them to stay. Identifying these fears is a step in the right direction to understanding why you are hesitant about filing for divorce.
  4. Am I Using My Children as an Excuse?: Couples that have children often put off divorce “for the child’s sake.” Some believe that they are actually helping their children while others use this as an excuse to avoid confrontation and life changes. Studies have proven that staying together for your children’s sake can often be more detrimental to them than getting a divorce. Children are happier when they are in a healthy and happy household. Getting a divorce may be difficult for the child to adjust to, but this is often a healthier lifestyle than living with parents who are clearly unhappy together.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney for Help

Finally making the decision to file for divorce takes lots of self-reflection and consideration of the future. This decision can sometimes take years to make. For a complete life change like divorce, it is important to have experienced attorneys on your side. If you are considering divorce, contact our Lombard, Illinois, attorneys at A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196.

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Lombard divorce lawyersOnce you have reached the decision to end your marriage, the real work must begin. You and your spouse will need to decide how to divide your property, how to make arrangements for your children, and how to adjust to your new post-divorce lives. Before you can get there, however, one of you will need to start the legal process of divorce by filing a petition for the dissolution of marriage at the county courthouse. Many clients approach us with questions about this, often wondering how important it is to be the one who file for divorce and whether it makes any difference at all.

Knowing the Law

The divorce process in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), which is a comprehensive collection of statutes that address matters from choosing a venue to how parenting time matters will be decided by the court. A divorce, as a matter of law, is essentially a legal action used to dissolve a marital contract between two parties, and, as such, in every divorce, there is technically a plaintiff and a defendant. These terms, however, are far less important in a divorce than in other areas of the law, such as personal injury or criminal law, and, in fact, the IMDMA refers to the parties in a divorce as a plaintiff or defendant in just one paragraph.

The IMDMA does, however, make more references to a petitioner and a respondent. The petitioner is the spouse who initiates the proceedings by filing the divorce petition, making him or her formally the plaintiff. The non-filing spouse is the respondent and is given the opportunity to file an answer to the petition including motions of his or her own. For the remainder of the proceedings, each party maintains equal status as a party to the case, with the ability to file motions, request considerations, and present evidence. From a legal standpoint, therefore, there is little official advantage to filing for divorce before your spouse does.

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DuPage County divorce lawyersThe roles of women and men have changed dramatically throughout the last 100 years. Women have gone from being treated as second-class citizens to earning the same rights as men. Even the last few decades have seen a dramatic increase in women in positions of power and authority. Many more women are choosing to make their career a top priority than in the past, and this has resulted in more families with a female breadwinner. If you are the primary earner in your marriage and you are considering divorce, you probably have many questions and concerns. Every divorce is different, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Know What Your Rights and Responsibilities Are

When we think of divorce, many consider the higher-earning spouse as more of a liability than an asset. After all, the spouse who brings more property and resources to the table has more to “lose.” The law treats marriage as a partnership, and most assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are considered to be marital property. However, many spouses struggle not to feel like certain things, such as retirement accounts or savings, are solely theirs. After all, they earned the money, so they believe they should get to keep it, regardless of the divorce.

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce attorneysThere is some confusion in the general public as to the extent that a spouse’s adultery can affect a divorce case. Television and movies often show an enraged husband or wife discovering that their partner is having an affair and yelling about how they are going to take the house and have full custody of their children. Although adultery is still frowned upon by society, it is usually irrelevant to divorce proceedings.

No-Fault State

Since the beginning of 2016, Illinois has been what is called a “pure no-fault state.” A no-fault state is one which does not require divorcing couples to report the reason or “grounds” that they are seeking the divorce. In the past, things like mental cruelty or adultery could be reported as the official reason that the marriage ended. Today, all divorcing couples in Illinois as assumed to be divorcing on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”  More specifically, a divorce will only be granted when “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”

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Lombard divorce attorneysJanuary is often a popular time for couples to separate or divorce because many people wait until after the holidays to start the process of splitting up. If you are considering divorcing your spouse, or you have already decided to, you probably know you have a long road ahead of you. There is no perfect way to divorce, but following experts’ advice may help save you and your spouse from unnecessary stress and conflict as you end your marriage. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, you may wish to:

Resolve to Communicate Better

Communication is one of the most important aspects to any relationship, and it does not become less important when a couple is no longer romantically involved. In order to undo a marriage, both members of it must be willing to talk to the other about the plans moving forward. Understandably, many individuals who are facing the end of their marriage are emotional. They may feel anger toward their spouse because of the hurtful things that happened during the marriage. Others who get divorced feel so upset that they shut down and stop communicating entirely. While these feelings are natural, refusing to cooperate with your spouse will only prolong the painful divorce process. Be willing to “be the bigger person” and work with your spouse, even if you resent him or her. You will be thankful that you did.

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyerMost of the time, when two people want to get divorced, they simply inform the other person by having a copy of the papers served upon them, usually by hand delivery. However, there are some very rare situations when the spouse cannot be located. When that happens, a suitable alternative must be found. The answer in Illinois and many other states is called divorce by publication.

A “Good Faith Search”

In all cases, your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must be informed of your desire and intention to file for divorce. However, if they have moved or are trying to avoid you and have left no forwarding address, the normal methods of mail or hand delivery are impossible. Yet it is contradictory to public policy to demand that two people remain married when they are not even living together and all communication has broken down. Publication is generally the best possible chance for your information to reach your absent spouse.

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