Call Us630-871-2400

Recent Blog Posts

Understanding the 80/20 custody schedule

 Posted on June 10, 2022 in Child Custody

Many divorcing parents have nontraditional work schedules or jobs that require long, sometimes unpredictable hours. During the marriage, the other spouse was able to take care of the kids when that parent couldn’t be home. However, after the two separate, that parent can’t very well share custody (or “parenting time,” as Illinois law refers to it) equally. The same is true for parents who are going to be living some distance from their child after divorce.

For families in this situation, an 80/20 child custody arrangement is often the best option. It typically involves the child staying with their primary caregiver most of the time but spending every other weekend with their other parent.

If the parent lives some distance away, it often involves that parent driving, flying or taking the train to visit their child. If the child is old enough, they may be the one to do the traveling, at least occasionally.

Making the most of your limited parenting time

If this schedule is the one you have to choose, at least for a time, you can still make the most out of those weekend visits with your child. Having a communication plan is also crucial so that you can video chat with your child every day or as often as possible. It’s important to have that codified in your parenting plan so there’s less chance of confusion or conflict and your child can count on regularly talking to you.

Continue Reading ››

Why long-distance parents need a communication plan

 Posted on June 01, 2022 in Child Custody

If you’re going to be living some distance from your co-parent and your child after your divorce, it’s crucial to have clear provisions for communication with your child in your parenting plan. Long-distance parents often have to work harder to maintain a close relationship with their kids – especially when they can’t be with them for months at a time.

Fortunately, we have a variety of technology today that allows parents to have “virtual parenting time” with their kids from anywhere in the world. However, the other parent has to facilitate these visits if the kids are younger – or at least not hinder them.

What provisions should you include in your parenting plan?

When you detail your communications provisions, you may want to designate things like how often your virtual parenting time will take place, what time(s) of the day, through what app (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and so forth) and if the other parent will be present during the call. Be sure you allow for time zone differences. You may also want to have provisions for “make-up” time if something comes up that you or your child can’t be available when a call is scheduled.

Continue Reading ››

Never focus on the past in child custody disputes

 Posted on May 26, 2022 in Child Custody

Parents who are going through a child custody matter have to ensure that they’re focusing solely on the children. This can be a very challenging and emotional time because each parent will think that their own way of doing things is the right one.

It’s imperative to put the children first no matter what’s going on. This is usually best when the parents can get along so they can make the decisions that are in the child’s best interests. One thing to remember is that you have to focus on what’s going on now and what needs to happen in the future.

The history between you and your ex doesn’t matter

You and your ex have a history that ended when you split up. That history shouldn’t be a part of the child custody decisions unless it has to do with abuse or neglect. Leaving the emotional side of the divorce or separation alone and thinking only about how decisions affect the kids can help you to ensure that you’re doing what’s necessary for them.

Direct communication is the only option

Direct communication is critical when you’re dealing with child custody matters. Never rely on anyone, including the children, to pass messages back and forth. Parents who can communicate directly can discuss things related to the kids.

Continue Reading ››

Celebrating your child’s birthday after divorce

 Posted on May 18, 2022 in Child Custody

Your child looks forward to their birthday every year. Usually, the whole family gathers to celebrate and shower them with presents and lots of love. This year, however, things are different because of your divorce. How can you make the day special for your child now that circumstances have changed?

There are several ways that this can be handled, depending on the type of relationship that you now have with your ex. If the two of you cannot be in the same room together without an argument breaking out, you’ll have to get creative.

Ways to celebrate your child’s birthday

There are several ways to celebrate your child’s birthday:

  • Continue the same tradition of a family party. If everyone can manage to get along for a couple of hours, this might be your best bet. Choose a neutral location, such as a pizza place or park, and celebrate.
  • Host separate celebrations on separate days. Gather your side of the family for a party, and let your ex do the same at his place. Try to get the child excited about having two parties and plan to have fun!

    Continue Reading ››

Some common causes of divorce

 Posted on May 13, 2022 in Divorce

Marriage can be a rewarding experience but it is by no means easy. Challenges are bound to come up, even for the most solid couples.

The reality is that around half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Outlined below are some common reasons why this is the case.

Disputes over finances

Even if finances played no role in a couple getting to know one another and finally tying the knot, once you’re living together, finances tend to become part of the conversation. One spouse may be a big spender, purchasing extravagant gifts and always looking forward to the next night out. The other partner in the marriage may be looking to save money to purchase a house or start a family. Disputes over finances can ultimately make spouses realize that they have different dreams, goals and visions for the future. Sometimes, these differences are irreconcilable.

A breakdown in communication

All couples argue at some point, this is natural when living in close proximity with another person. However, successful communication skills can overcome such barriers and bring couples closer together. When arguments never get resolved or result in fiery verbal confrontations, it could be a sign that the marriage is in trouble.

Continue Reading ››

Could a prenup make your marriage stronger?

 Posted on May 03, 2022 in Prenuptial Agreement

Many people who are resistant to prenuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements claim that they don't want to use them because it will make it more likely that they're going to get divorced. They feel like having the prenup is going to weaken the marriage because it shows that they are already considering a divorce before they've even gotten married.

But could the opposite be true? Is there actually a chance that the prenup could make you less likely to get a divorce, giving you a stronger marriage?

You have to talk about your finances

One thing to keep in mind is that people often say that the reason they're getting a divorce is due to financial stress. This can take many different forms, such as an inability to talk about money with each other or different ways that the two of you view your shared assets.

Creating a prenuptial agreement or setting up a postnuptial agreement after your marriage forces you to consider your financial situation and talk about it with your spouse. This can be highly beneficial because you may be able to avoid some of these major reasons that people split up. These conversations can be difficult to have, but at least you both know where the other person stands.

Continue Reading ››

Jealousy can weaken your marriage

 Posted on May 02, 2022 in Divorce

Jealousy can arise from a number of factors. Your partner might envy your popularity, looks, professional success, wealth or other characteristics. They may be insecure and struggle with self-esteem issues. Whatever the cause, jealousy is an emotion that, if it gets overwhelming or is illogical, can become an obstacle in your marriage. It may lead to unpleasant or outright abusive behavior. You may need to consider whether you want to save the marriage or pursue a divorce.

A bit of jealousy is human and forgivable. If, for instance, your spouse sees you engaged in an animated conversation with an attractive person at a party, they might have a few twinges of resentment. It might momentarily pique their jealousy. On the other hand, if a jealous spouse has so much fury that they can barely restrain it, then something is out of kilter.

When jealousy becomes a problem

Some signs of jealousy that has turned poisonous are these:

Busy career? You can still have custody

 Posted on April 20, 2022 in Child Custody

When you work many long hours, you may think that it will be impossible for you to have any respectable amount of custody of your children. Realistically, the courts like for parents to split custody as evenly as they can, because they recognize that children need both parents in their lives. Unfortunately, with such a busy schedule, you may not have the time to spend half your week with your child.

Even if you can’t split custody 50-50, you still have a right to seek as much custody as possible. So, for example, if you work four ten-hour shifts from Monday through Thursday, it’s reasonable to ask that you have custody on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Exactly how much time you get on those days may depend on the other parent’s schedule as well as your child’s activities and other needs.

Put your kids first when making custody decisions

It is important to put your children first when you’re making custody decisions. While it would be nice to be able to have your child with you more often than not, is that reasonable with your schedule? You need to look realistically at your work schedule as well as their needs to determine if 50-50 shared custody is possible. If not, what is realistic for you? One day a week? Two? Work this out before talking to the other parent about the custody schedule that you think would be best.

Continue Reading ››

What happens to my pension in an Illinois divorce?

 Posted on April 19, 2022 in Divorce

When we decide to marry our partner, we sign on for a presumably lifelong commitment. We agree to co-mingle our belongings, needs, activities and goals for the future. Our lives can become so blended together that it seems impossible to distinguish between the two.

Until that is, someone opts to file for a divorce. Whether the separation is mutually agreed upon or one party is blindsided, the conversations about how to divide up the accumulated property will likely bring up some sore spots. When looking to the future, you might wonder what happens to your retirement fund during the property division proceedings?

Illinois is an equitable distribution state

As an equitable distribution state, Illinois courts will take many factors into consideration when dividing marital property. They will look at things such as the highest level of education obtained, current income and future earning potential, custody agreements (if applicable) and more. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement or some other legally binding agreement amicably created between you and your ex, you may be at the mercy of the courts when it comes to property division.

Continue Reading ››

How can you save money on your divorce?

 Posted on April 14, 2022 in Divorce

Filing for divorce isn’t something most people expect or plan for when they get married. Unfortunately, for many people, divorce happens.

When it is time to get divorced, the legal process can cost you thousands of dollars or more. Due to the high cost of divorcing, many people want to know if there’s anything they can do to reduce the price. There are a few tips that may help.

Avoid unnecessary conflict

It’s not uncommon to have hurt feelings and big emotions during divorce. This often leads to conflict throughout the process. However, the more arguments you and your spouse have, the more the divorce will cost you.

By avoiding unnecessary conflict, you can reach a settlement faster. This reduces the time you need with your attorneys and the court fees you incur. The sooner you can reach a resolution, the sooner the case can be finalized and the less money you will spend.

Collect all the needed documents early

Going to a meeting or court without the needed documents and paperwork will only slow down your case. Each time your case is delayed, you incur more court and attorney fees. By collecting everything you need for the divorce proceedings ahead of time, you can be prepared to make your case and move on.

Continue Reading ››

badge badge badge badge
Back to Top