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Fighting in Front of the Kids

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Parenting

fighting, parents Arlington Heights family law attorneyAs a divorced parent, you understand how difficult it can be to deal with your ex-spouse at times. No matter how amicable your split may have been—and may even still be for the most part—you are going to have disagreements from time to time. It is simply a part of life. Perfectly rational adults can have different viewpoints on certain issues, especially when it comes to what may or may not be best for children. Along those lines, you have probably been told that it is always a bad idea to fight in front of the kids; but that may not necessarily be the best advice. In fact, fighting the right way can even offer your children some insight into responsible problem-solving.

Of course, nobody is suggesting that a knock-down, drag-out fight between parents is a good thing for a child to see. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with letting your child witness an occasional—and rational—exchange of differing opinions between you and your ex-spouse. It is important, though, to keep a few guidelines in mind to be sure that your child is not adversely affected in the process:

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Can You Win at Mediation?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Mediation

mediation, Illinois family law attorneyMediation is an important part of family law in Illinois. In cases involving children, other than child support issues, mediation is often mandatory. Mediation is also commonly used to settle other kinds of family law disputes including property division and spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, in divorce cases.

Purpose of Mediation

The idea of winning at mediation seems strange to many. The entire purpose of mediation is to encourage two sides to settle their differences with the help of a neutral third party instead of going all the way through the court process.

Neither side is required to agree to anything in mediation. When meditation is made mandatory, the only thing required of the parties is that they make a good faith effort to resolve their differences. However, when two people come to mediation, they are often able to find a solution that makes both of them satisfied, if not happy, and is better than what a court would have imposed.

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College Savings Plans and Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

college savings plans, Arlington Heights child support lawyerIf you are going through a divorce or anticipating one, it is no secret that the financial considerations can be the most difficult to make, after emotional fallout and childcare arrangements. There are several different financial aspects that a couple must take into consideration when considering divorce, and they are not always things that are in the immediate forefront of your attention. The idea of selling a family home and splitting assets such as retirement funds and 401k plans may be obvious, but there are other financial concerns that must be addressed as well, even if they will not immediately affect either spouse. One of these is what to do about a child’s college education plan.

Save Up for Your Child&s College Fund

If you began saving for your child’s college education as early as birth, this could be even more difficult to begin to sort out. It is not only the money that you had already put away that is in question either, but also who will bear the brunt of the financial burden in the future even that your child goes to school, whether you had put away savings for it or not. Who will save for a child’s college education can and should be considered at the onset of divorce. It is not impossible, just as it is not impossible to co-parent, to co-share money toward a common goal.

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Taxes, Children, and Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

divorce, taxes, Illinois family lawyersFinancial concerns, including taxes, and issues of family law are known for causing frustration and confusion. When you combine the two of them, it can really cause trouble. A married couple may be used to claiming their children as dependents on their taxes and enjoying the dependency exemption they get. Subsequent to a divorce, however, only one of them can claim the children on his or her taxes.

The Default Rule

The IRS has a set of rules and regulations to deal with claiming dependents after divorce. The default rule is the custodial parent gets to claim the children on the taxes. While, Illinois may no longer use the terms "child custody" or "custodial parent", the IRS still does. The IRS considers the parent that lives with the children most of the time to be the custodial parent.

The Non-Custodial Parent

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Tips for Helping a Friend Going Through a Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

help, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysIf you have a friend going through a divorce, you probablywant to be there to support them, but knowing what to say and do can be tough. You may see your friend in pain, sadness, or depression, but have no idea how to best offer your support to them without invading their personal space. It might seem like a good idea to back off and allow your friend time to process and heal on their own, but in reality, the opposite is often much better. During the difficult divorce process, having the help of a close friend or family member is extremely beneficial. Here are a few tips to help you be the best friend to your friend during their divorce.


Your friend is facing a barrage of emotions. The simplest thing you can do for them is listen to them. Knowing what to say can be tough at times. He or she may be angry one day, then sad the next, the completely frustrated later. Rather than trying to think of the perfect response to each of their moods, simply listen to them. Venting is a healthy part of coping with and recovering from a divorce, so allowing them to express their emotions is one of the best things you can do. Let your friend lead the conversation, giving them room to discuss anything that is on their mind, and simply listen empathetically and provide help if you can. Also remember to avoid sharing your opinions. You may think that your friend’s divorce is a bad idea, or have some gossip on your friend&s soon-to-be ex, but your goal here to listen and provide support when possible, not weigh in with your personal thoughts.

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Signs of Emotional Abuse in Your Relationship

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Divorce

abuse, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyIf you have been or are in an emotionally abusive relationship, it can be difficult to pinpoint the actual issues. Victims often feel brainwashed in emotionally abusive relationships, because they are unable to specifically target the lies that they have been told and have become conditioned to believe about themselves and the world around them by their partners.

Control and Manipulation

Unlike physical abuse, which has very tangible, nearly universally-recognized symptoms and signs, emotional abuse is much subtler, and can, in some cases, even be tolerated in certain portrayals of relationships in popular culture. In many cases of psychological or emotional abuse, the perpetrator controls the victim through manipulation—this often manifests through tangible outlets such as a person’s bank account or social behavior. This type of behavior can take a serious toll on a person’s self esteem and overall psychological well-being.

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Negotiating an Equitable Property Settlement

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Distribution of Assets

property settlement, Lombard family law attorneysNo matter how much—or how little—you and your spouse may own, figuring out who should get what during a divorce is probably not going to be easy. You may find that you both have an attachment to certain assets, such as the family home or a particular car, which may not lend themselves well to being divided between the two of you. Regardless of how divorce may be presented in movies and on television, yours does not need to be played out with open hostility in a courtroom brawl. Instead, you can develop an agreement that recognizes the contributions made by both you and your spouse to the marriage and allocates your property in a way that meets everyone’s needs.

Inventory Your Assets

The first step toward a workable property settlement is understanding what is to be included. This means taking stock of everything you own and owe. Assets include real estate, vehicles, furniture, business holdings, investments, and, of course, cash savings, among many others. Debts are also important part of the agreement, as they can follow both of you for years to come if they are not properly addressed.

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Plan for Your Child’s College Expenses in Divorce

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Child Support

college, Arlington Heights family law attorneyWhen you are going through a divorce, there are plenty of pressing matters that require your immediate attention, especially if you are a parent. You will need to decide who gets to keep which assets, establish if there is need for spousal maintenance, allocate parental responsibilities, and develop a workable parenting time schedule. For most divorcing parents, the issue of child support must also be determined, usually based on the supporting parent’s income and the needs of the family and child at the time of the divorce. It is very easy, however, for many parents to fail to look ahead to providing for their child’s college education, particularly if the child is still young. By planning early, you and your spouse can have a better understand of what may lie ahead.

Some, All or None

As part of your divorce settlement, you and your spouse can address how, if at all, you intend to help your child pay for college or other post-school education. You can agree in advance that together, you will assist your child in paying for school, even going so far as to develop a specific savings or contribution plan. Likewise, you may decide that one of you will be responsible for footing the entire bill. Finally, your family’s financial situation may be such that you are unlikely to be able to afford paying for your child’s post-secondary education, and your agreement may reflect that determination.

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Your Ex Is Getting Remarried, Now What?

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Children of Divorce

remarried, Lombard family law attorneyThere are many reasons why it may be difficult for you to see your former spouse on the verge of getting remarried. Some, of course, may be mostly nostalgic—a longing for the "good old days" when you were blissfully happy together. Others may be based on jealousy, if you are being honest with yourself. Your ex has found someone that is not you, and no matter what occurred between the two of you, being replaced hurts. Finally, there may be more practical concerns for you regarding the upcoming nuptials of your ex-spouse, especially if you have children.

No Right or Wrong Answers

The most important thing for you to remember as you think about the impact of your ex’s remarriage on your children and parenting arrangements is that there is no manual for dealing with the issues. Changes are almost certain but they do not need to be seen as negative. As long as you and the other parent can communicate and cooperate, you can continue to provide for your child’s best interests, allowing him or her to benefit from the addition of a stepparent. You will need to find a solution or approach that meets the unique needs of your family, allowing all parties to remain involved as a valuable component of the process.

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Securing Your Rights Begins with Establishing Paternity

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Paternity

paternity, Lombard family law attorneysWhen you are not married to the mother of your child, it may be very difficult for you to exercise your rights as a father. In fact, if you have not established legal paternity, you may not even have any such rights under the law. Your relationship with your child is extremely important, but may be non-existent unless you take action, which begins with establishing paternity.

How Paternity May Be Established

Thanks to the newly enacted Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, you are presumed to be the father of a child if you are or were married to the child’s mother when the child was born or got married after the birth and you are listed as the father on the birth certificate. If the child was born within 300 days of your divorce, you would also be the presumed father. Assuming the presumption of your parentage is not rebutted, you would be considered your child’s legal father, with all of the accompanying rights and responsibilities.

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