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Is there a right time to inform kids about a divorce?

 Posted on January 13, 2023 in Child Custody

Going through a divorce with kids involved can make issues more complicated. This is because you need to tell them about this significant change and watch them go through different emotions. Thus, you should approach the subject carefully to avoid negative effects.

However, besides being strategic in conveying your message, you need to know the right time to do so. Here is when to consider having a divorce conversation with your kids.

Not too soon or late

Once you and your spouse have decided to divorce, it will help to wait a bit longer before informing the kids, perhaps after you have figured out major issues like when the separation will occur or which parent will move out. Telling them months before separation may make things odd in the house, and your kids may overthink things.

Nonetheless, you don't want to do it late. Don't wait until one parent has moved out to inform them of the divorce. This may surprise your kids.

It will be best if your kids have a brief transition time. Not too early to increase their worries or too late to create an unexpectedness that makes it hard for them to adjust to their new life.

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3 self-care tips for parents during divorce

 Posted on January 06, 2023 in Divorce

Divorce is hard on everyone in the family. The primary concern of any parent is how to safeguard and provide for their children. However, doing so frequently can result in you neglecting your own needs.

Despite the fact that it may seem like you don't have the time or energy, prioritizing your needs and engaging in self-care can enable you to better care for the children.

1. Make time for yourself

If you're just getting the hang of co-parenting and giving your kids emotional support too, you might find that you're busier than ever. Make sure you give yourself some breathing room and schedule time each day to do something just for you. There are a lot of free self-care choices accessible, so it doesn't have to be pricey.

2. Accept that your decision is necessary

You are neither a bad person or a bad parent if you get divorced. In fact, even though it's difficult to realize now, it might be the best choice for you and your family. There will be difficult periods, but you must always keep in mind to be gentle with yourself at these times. You're making the best of a challenging circumstance.

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Can therapy help your children during your divorce?

 Posted on December 30, 2022 in Divorce

Divorce is never easy and can be tough to navigate if you have children. While you work through the details of your divorce and begin rebuilding your life, it's crucial to consider the impact it will have on your children. Too often, the focus is on the adults during a divorce, and the needs of the children are overlooked.

However, therapy can be a helpful tool for both you and your children as you go through this difficult time.

Divorce can be traumatic for children

Divorce can be a difficult and trying time for children who are involved. Many children have to adjust to a new home, say goodbye to extended family, and cope with the ever-changing dynamics between their parents.

Therapy can help children regulate their emotions by teaching them healthy coping skills during this tumultuous period in their lives. Participating in therapy provides a child with an unbiased environment in which they can openly discuss their feelings without being judged. It also helps them understand that all of us experience challenging times throughout life, helping to build resiliency. Furthermore, therapy helps to affirm that no matter how hard the divorce may be, it is possible to come through on the other side feeling fulfilled and valued.

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3 “don’ts” for divorcing parents with adult children

 Posted on December 29, 2022 in Divorce

If you’re in your 50s or older and divorcing, you may be grateful that your child is an adult so you don’t have to deal with things like child custody and support agreements and making sure their life isn’t upended any more than necessary. There are still things you need to be mindful of even though your child is on their own and maybe living hundreds of miles away.

Parental divorce can have a serious effect on adult children – particularly if the parent-child bond is strained by parents who see them as confidantes rather than the product of both parents who likely cares about both of them. Here are a few ways to prevent that.

Don’t talk to your child as you would a friend

If you and your child have a close relationship, you may feel comfortable sharing the details of what went wrong in the marriage and more specifically what your spouse did wrong. However, doing that crosses a line and can potentially damage your relationship with your child. While your child has a right to know, at least in general terms, what happened, the details should be saved for friends, therapists, siblings and attorneys.

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Should you stay on the mortgage with you ex after divorce?

 Posted on December 27, 2022 in Divorce

Generally speaking, when two people get divorced, they will sell the house so that they can split any profit that they make from that sale. They can then use this money to buy new houses or apartments for themselves. They don’t stay on the mortgage together for their family home.

However, there are some cases in which couples will consider doing this. Perhaps the market is down, and they want to own the house for a bit longer to see if the value goes up. Perhaps the children don’t want to move out of the house, and they’re considering keeping it until the kids are done with high school. There are reasons that this happens, but is it something you should consider?

Remember your financial obligations

The big thing to consider here is that if you’re not going to be living in the house, staying on the mortgage with your ex means that you are still obligated to make those mortgage payments. Both you and your ex will continue to have that liability.

If your ex is staying in the house, they may tell you that they’ll have no problem paying the mortgage on their own. In fact, some people don’t want to refinance in their own name because they wouldn’t be able to qualify for the mortgage, even though they think that what they’re paying currently is affordable. However, if your ex is wrong and they start to miss payments, remember that you could end up having to pay what they can’t or see your credit rating suffer.

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Does alimony last forever?

 Posted on December 15, 2022 in Alimony

If you were ordered to pay child support, you know that it’s probably going to last until your child turns 18 – unless there are other reasons why it should continue. But what about alimony? If you have to pay alimony to your spouse, who is already an adult, then does it just last forever?

The good news is that it does not last indefinitely. When you get divorced, the court will determine how much alimony you have to pay and for how long. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered, such as the length of the marriage, how realistic it is for your spouse to re-enter the workforce and how long that is expected to take.

How do these factors apply?

For example, if your spouse has spent the last 20 years raising the children and hasn’t worked at all, while you have earned millions of dollars per year, you could be ordered to pay a substantial amount of alimony for a significant amount of time. But if your spouse simply makes a little less than you do and you haven’t been married for very long, your obligation shouldn’t be nearly as significant – if it exists at all.

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Learning to set boundaries regarding your co-parent’s dating life

 Posted on December 08, 2022 in Child Custody

Co-parenting with someone for whom you likely have a highly conflicted mixture of feelings can be difficult. Newly separated or divorced couples sharing custody of their children typically do best when they focus more on their children and less on what their former partner is doing with their lives.

That means establishing some boundaries. Of course, that’s easier said than done. There are a lot of things that are no longer any of your business – and that goes for both of you. It’s easy to justify making them your business by saying they affect your child – and anything that affects your child is your business.

One crucial boundary that you both need to respect is your ex’s romantic life. Are they dating anyone seriously or more than one person casually? Have they introduced any new romantic partners to your child?

The less you pay attention to your ex’s social and romantic life, the faster you can move on. That means not looking at their social media pages. It also means not trying to get information from your child.

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Has your ex turned gift-giving into a competition you can’t win?

 Posted on December 02, 2022 in Child Support

This time of year can be particularly challenging for divorced parents. If you’ve got a co-parent who is determined to get your child expensive, lavish gifts that you can’t afford or simply don’t think they need, it can be particularly frustrating.

Divorced parents shower their children with gifts for any number of reasons. Some just want to be the “favorite.” Others are relentlessly competitive. Sometimes, parents who feel guilty about the divorce or not being able to spend as much time with their kids as they’d like try to make up for it by buying toys, games, sports equipment, clothes, vacations and more.

Try to reach an agreement

As with most co-parenting issues, the best strategy is to try to talk about it and come to an agreement. You can ask your co-parent to commit to a spending limit for individual gifts and share the cost (and credit) for larger gifts – unless they’re coming from Santa. See if they’ll agree to a provision in your parenting plan about gift-giving.

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Child custody and relocation in Illinois: What you need to know

 Posted on November 28, 2022 in Child Custody

For some reason, you may want to relocate with the children after a divorce. It could be due to a new job opportunity, remarriage or even a change of environment. However, certain child custody laws might affect your move, and it is prudent to stay ahead of the situation.

For context, relocating does not necessarily mean moving with your children to a different state or country. Changing residence within the state can still be considered relocation if it meets specific criteria under Illinois law. If you share custody of the children, you cannot act alone and move with the children, as explained below.

How the process works in Illinois

Suppose you intend to relocate with the children. In such a case, you must provide written notice to your co-parent and file a copy with the clerk of the circuit court. The law requires at least 60 days' notice unless it is impractical. In such a case, you must inform your co-parent and the court as early as possible.

The notice should provide details of your move, such as the new address, how long you intend to stay and your travel date. Should there be no opposition from your co-parent on your relocation, then you should be able to move without problems. The court will not be involved unless there are modifications to the custody arrangement that needs to be formalized.

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Familiarizing your child with your new home

 Posted on November 20, 2022 in Child Custody

Part of the divorce process involved moving out of the family home. You’ve found a new place and while it is a bit smaller, there is still enough room for you and your child to be comfortable.

You have your child twice a week and they stay with you on those days. They like your new place but admit it feels more like visiting a hotel or guesthouse. You’d like to change this and make it feel more like a second home. How can you go about doing this?

Stick to the routines

One of the most important aspects of settling your child into post-divorce life is keeping up the same routines. The responsibility for this falls on both you and your co-parent. There will be a custody order in place and this has to be honored. Sticking to the same routines is the first step in helping your child become familiar with your new home because visitation days will become more low-key.

Keep it child-friendly

Having your own place is a chance to create something unique to you, but it’s important to consider your child in all of this. Why not decorate and design at least one room together, with the child taking the lead? This way, whatever happens, they always have that safe space to go to that they have designed themselves.

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