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Naperville | Wheaton | St. Charles

DuPage County divorce attorney

Marriage may look bright and shiny on the outside, but it can be a difficult relationship to maintain over the years. As people change, sometimes their partners do not change alongside them. No couple stays the same throughout the entirety of their marriage. For some couples, this can lead to new adventures throughout life’s stages, while for others, it can cause them to grow apart with no hope for reconciliation. Every marriage is unique, but there are a few common denominators that experts have found to be frequent causes of divorce

Money, Money, Money

In the past, many couples got married at a young age, meaning that they often did not have much money to their names. This has shifted in the last decade, as millennials decide to wait a little longer before tying the knot. Money troubles are common for young couples looking to start a life together. Rather than taking the time to build up a fair amount of savings, these couples can find themselves struggling to pay their bills, putting their relationship on the back burner. Although this is common with younger couples, those who get married later are far from exempt from financial issues. Some are used to being independent and find it difficult to share finances with their partner, while others run into hard times financially due to a job loss or medical care costs. Regardless of the reason, disagreements regarding money are common for all couples, and they can sometimes make or break a relationship.

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Naperville property division attorneyGetting a divorce is never easy, especially when it comes time to dividing your marital property and assets. One of the most valuable and treasured things you and your spouse own is most likely your family home. Divvying up such a big and expensive asset can create contention, making the rest of the property division process uncomfortable. For many couples, the family home can be a sentimental asset, especially if you have raised children in the home. When it comes down to it, there are three basic options you can choose from when deciding what to do with the home: continue co-owning the home, sell the home and split the proceeds, or allow one spouse to “buy out” the other spouse.

Co-Own the Home With Your Spouse

For some couples, keeping things just the way they are is the most beneficial option. If you have children who want to stay in the home, it can be helpful to keep the home ownership under both of your names. This can also be an option for spouses who cannot agree on what to do with the home or who want to defer decision-making regarding the home until a later date, such as when children have graduated from high school.

Sell Your Home and Split the Profits

The most popular option that couples choose when getting a divorce is selling the family home and dividing the proceeds that come from the sale. This is typically the easiest way to deal with the home, but it can have certain consequences. If your house has appreciated significantly, you may have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale, which must be paid when you file your income taxes. Divorcing couples who decide that this option is best will also have to take the time to find new living arrangements.

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Naperville divorce attorneyIt is not impossible to have an amicable divorce - some people are able to get a divorce without any major disputes. However, there are many couples whose relationship is so contentious that they are unable to be civil while they are going through a divorce, especially when it comes to child-related issues. Parents can turn into completely different people when there is an issue involving their child. Sometimes during a divorce, parents can lose sight of what is best for their child because of all of the arguing and anger. In cases such as those, the court will often appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to help make sure the child’s needs are being met and decisions are being made in their best interests.

What Is a GAL?

A GAL is an attorney who has been appointed to a case involving disputes regarding children. The attorney has special training in family law and child issues and has two main roles: to determine the best interests of the child and to conduct an investigation and report the findings to the court. In simple terms, the GAL is responsible for reporting recommendations for custody arrangements or other areas of family law.

What Does a GAL Do?

As soon as the court appoints a GAL, they will begin to observe the parents and try to understand the issues that exist in the case. In many cases, parenting time arrangements are one of the main points of contention. The GAL will then begin to conduct their investigation by looking into the parents’ lives and backgrounds. To do this, the GAL will conduct interviews with various individuals, including the parents, the child, and other relevant family members. If the GAL deems it necessary, they may also interview other people such as the child’s teachers, doctors, or the family’s neighbors.

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Naperville divorce attorneyFor some, divorce can feel like a fresh start after being in an unhappy marriage; however, divorce can also bring out the worst in people. Many partners think they know their spouse, but there are times that a divorce can change a person completely, prompting them to act in ways that their spouse never imagined. Some divorcing couples become extremely argumentative and combative, making the divorce more difficult and emotionally stressful for everyone in the family. Whether you anticipated your spouse’s difficult behavior or were surprised by their attitude, here are a few tips to help you get through a divorce with a high-conflict spouse:

Minimize Contact With Your Spouse

One of the most important things you can do to deal with a high-conflict spouse is to limit your contact with them. Avoid speaking to them unless it is necessary for your divorce or for parenting reasons. When you do contact them, try to do so in written form, such as texting or emailing, to make it easy to record the conversation in case it may be necessary to provide evidence of your interactions. 

Remember to Pause and Breathe

High-conflict spouses will often do anything they can to get underneath your skin. They will try to push all of your buttons to get a reaction out of you, because for them, conflict is enjoyable and can be used to their advantage in the divorce proceedings. Do your best not to give them the reaction they are looking for. Take a deep breath, formulate a response, and then talk to them in a calm and collective manner. 

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Wheaton, IL divorce attorneyEvery couple is different, but it is not uncommon for one spouse to have most of the responsibility when it comes to the family’s finances. This can be troublesome during a divorce, because the spouse who did not handle the money during the marriage often gets the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to the asset division process. Divorce can wreak havoc on your financial well-being, especially when it comes to your credit score. If you are getting divorced, it is important to take control of your finances and ensure you come out of the divorce without taking a huge hit to your financial health and credit score.

Tips to Maintain and Improve Your Credit Score

Simply getting a divorce will not affect your credit score. However, other things that happen during a divorce can affect your credit for the worse. To protect your credit score and make sure you come out of the divorce with acceptable credit, here are a few tips you should follow:

  • Joint accounts should be closed. If you and your spouse share any checking, savings, or credit card accounts, you should stop using these accounts and close them immediately, if possible. If your spouse has control over an account with your name on it, you may be responsible for any charges or expenditures they make. Leaving accounts open, especially credit card accounts, is playing with fire.

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