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Recent Blog Posts

Is birdnesting custody a good idea?

 Posted on April 14, 2023 in Child Custody

When a marriage or relationship ends in divorce, sometimes the thought of two homes and empty arguments over who gets which days with the kids can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there is an alternative: birdnesting.

In this arrangement, children stay put in the family home while one parent rotates out to accommodate the time between both parents. Instead of upheaval and resentment, this situation can create a respite for all parties involved.

Benefits and drawbacks of birdnesting

The idea behind birdnesting is to provide stability for the children by allowing them to remain in the family home and maintain their routine. This way, the children don't have to adjust to a new environment or be uprooted from their familiar surroundings. It also allows them to spend time with both parents in one place without switching between households.

There are both pros and cons to this type of arrangement. On the plus side, it can help reduce stress and anxiety for children during a difficult times. It also allows them to stay connected with both parents while having some sense of normalcy. Additionally, it can help reduce conflict between parents since they don't have to worry about exchanging kids back and forth between homes.

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Could a job loss lead to divorce?

 Posted on April 03, 2023 in Divorce

Divorce happens for many different reasons, and every couple’s case is unique. It could be something simple, like discovering that your spouse was having an affair. But it could also be something more complex, like getting married too young and then drifting apart over time as your brain continues to develop and you change as a person.

One thing that people often note as a reason for divorce is job loss. In fact, studies have found a correlation. Those who lose their job see an increase in the odds that they will also end up getting divorced. This doesn’t guarantee it, of course, but simply means that it is more likely for someone who suddenly becomes unemployed.

Why does this happen?

The big reason that this happens is simply that a marriage is likely to be more stable when there is financial security. If the couple can make ends meet and pay other bills easily, it removes a lot of potential stress from the relationship. When someone loses their job, it calls this stability into question and it creates a lot of financial stress. That can take a toll on the relationship.

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2 steps to preparing your finances for the divorce

 Posted on April 03, 2023 in Divorce

When all reconciliation attempts fail, a couple might have no choice but to divorce. This is a tough undertaking – both financially and emotionally.

Divorce comes with several elephants in the room. One of these involves untangling the couple’s finances. Long before the subjects of child and spousal support come up, you will need to prepare your finances for life after the divorce.

While each divorce is unique, the following tips can help you prep your finances for your impending divorce:

Keep an eye on your income and expenditures

As soon as it becomes clear that you are headed for a divorce, it is important that you start tracking your income and expenses. This is crucial for two reasons:

  • It will help you accurately disclose your marital assets for purposes of property division per Illinois equitable distribution laws.
  • It will help you create a working post-divorce budget

Tracking your income and expenses is crucial for litigating child support and alimony awards.

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Illinois divorce: 3 don’ts to improve your post-divorce life

 Posted on March 31, 2023 in Divorce

Some in the middle of a divorce do not look far past the end of their ordeal. In other words, they want to complete their divorce as fast as possible so they can start building a new life.

Unfortunately, a favorable divorce settlement is usually a prerequisite for successfully starting over. The following divorce “don’ts” could significantly improve your post-divorce economic circumstances.

1. Don’t discount spousal support

No matter how proud or bitter you may feel, do not dismiss the prospect of seeking alimony without careful consideration. Most people underestimate how expensive it is to survive on one income after combining economic resources with another for many years.

Even a short-term spousal support award can do much to improve your post-divorce financial circumstances. For example, it can help support you while you seek career training or education.

2. Don’t give in to unfair property demands

During property negotiations, you may feel tempted to agree to your spouse’s requests or demands to ward off an argument. While understandable, doing so could significantly harm your future finances. Look closely at any assets your spouse fights for aggressively.

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How to share a home with your spouse during divorce

 Posted on March 27, 2023 in Divorce

When a marriage is no longer tenable and you decide to divorce, one of the biggest issues you will contend with is whether you should leave the family home or not during the divorce process. Of course, either decision has repercussions. Sharing the same living space with your spouse can be quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, moving out could impact your property division goals.

If you decide to live together during the divorce process, it is important that you come up with some ground rules. Here are three helpful tips that can help you share the home with your soon-to-be ex while working out the terms of your divorce.

Establish a personal space

Even if the divorce is amicable, it is important that each spouse has a space they can call their own. This includes having separate bedrooms and closets. Additionally, you need to discuss how you are going to share common spaces like the kitchen, washrooms and living room. If you have shared computers or had similar passwords, you may want to set boundaries here too.

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Closing a bank account during divorce

 Posted on March 10, 2023 in Divorce

If you and your spouse are using a joint bank account and you decide to get divorced, you will need to close that account. Often, this is just a technical task. Maybe it’s where you get your paychecks deposited, for instance, so you both want to start a new account to split up your future income.

But one thing that is important to keep in mind is that this also can become contentious in some situations. For instance, you cannot simply close a joint account and take all of the money out of it yourself. This could be construed as a form of fraud, in the sense that it appears you were trying to hide those assets from your spouse. They do need to be divided between both of you during the divorce.

So, while closing the account is a good idea, you do also need to communicate with your spouse and do this at the same time. In fact, some banks will require that you are both there or that you at least get the other person’s signature before they will allow you to close the account.

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Why do some divorced couples live together?

 Posted on March 06, 2023 in Divorce

After divorce, many people live separately from their exes, like in a different city, state or even another country. However, some divorced couples opt to live together instead. (There may even be couples who take advantage of Illinois Statutes Chapter 750 Families, Section 5/401 (a-5) (the six-month separation requirement) by living in different areas of the same building.)

You’re probably wondering why some divorced couples live together since there’s usually great tension between them. Here are three common reasons why they share living space.

To save money

Owning a home is expensive — and in some cases — moving out and renting an apartment is just as costly. Furthermore, moving in with a relative or friend isn’t feasible for everyone. Therefore, some exes decide to share the same household, even if it might take extra work to not break into arguments.

To raise any children together

Many divorced couples have minor children in tow. In addition, children with divorced parents typically have to move between houses a few times each week, which can be stressful for them, especially if parents have different parenting styles. Living together to raise children helps exes hold a truce for the kids’ sake. In addition, this arrangement can set a good example for kids to emulate and apply to their future relationships.

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My ex is interfering with visitation plans. What do I do?

 Posted on February 27, 2023 in Child Custody

Every fit parent has the right to spend time with their child regardless of the living arrangements or the nature of the relationship with their co-parent. Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon for a parent to interfere with a court-approved custody and visitation plan.

If your co-parent is stopping you from seeing your child, you need to take specific steps to exercise your rights. Here is what you need to know if your co-parent is interfering with the custody order.

Court orders are binding

Your co-parent might have their own reasons for attempting to interfere with an existing custody order. Perhaps, you are not returning the child in time or they do not approve of your current love life. However, they simply cannot take the law into their own hands. Once a judge approves and signs the custody order, both parties must abide by it if and until it has been formally modified. Any attempt to sabotage it amounts to a violation. And the consequences of a violation can be far-reaching, regardless of a parent’s motivation.

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Which is better for me: monthly or lump-sum alimony?

 Posted on February 25, 2023 in Alimony

Some people receive alimony (spousal maintenance) from their exes during or after a divorce. Per Illinois Statutes Chapter 750 Families, Section 5/504 (b-1)(1)(A), the alimony amount is calculated by taking 33 1/3 percent of the payor’s net annual salary minus a quarter of the payee’s net annual salary.

As a payee, you are probably wondering whether it’s better for you to collect alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. Read over the benefits both options offer.

Monthly alimony advantages

Here are some perks of receiving monthly alimony:

  • Monthly alimony is handy if your spouse was the sole breadwinner: Divorce can be financially devastating for the non-earning spouse. With monthly payments, you receive recurring monetary support until you find work. This is especially useful if you have sole custody of minor children.
  • Those in years-long marriages can receive permanent alimony: If you and your spouse have been married for a couple of decades, then you might be eligible for permanent alimony according to Illinois Statutes Chapter 750 Families, Section 5/504 (b-1)(1)(B).

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A benefit of getting divorced that might surprise you

 Posted on February 21, 2023 in Divorce

The divorce process can be stressful and aggravating sometimes, but you will get through it if you stay focused on your goal: a reasonable settlement that respects your property and parental rights and sets you up well long-term.

Ending an irretrievably broken marriage can be emotionally painful and psychologically turbulent at times. But once it's over, you will be free of the problems that plagued your relationship. For many people in Wheaton, starting the next phase of their lives in this way is a huge relief. They can now focus on their own happiness and raising their children.

Improved work life?

Another benefit that some divorced experience is an improvement in their work life. In a survey published in a scientific journal, 39 percent of divorced people said that ending their marriage positively affected their work. Another 44 percent said that divorce had had a negative effect. Still, the fact that the figures were so close suggests that the effect of divorce on your career depends on individual circumstances.

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