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Naperville family law attorneyStarting a new life after divorce can be tough for everyone, but for children, the adjustment can be especially challenging. Kids are accustomed to having both parents constantly in their lives and any change can be difficult. They thrive off of stability and permanency, which is why co-parenting arrangements can sometimes be disruptive to children. One alternative solution to the traditional co-parenting structure is called a “nesting” plan. This type of plan does not work for every family situation, but it is an option worth considering.

What is a Nesting Plan?

A nesting plan is a type of alternative co-parenting arrangement in which the children remain in the family home and the parents take turns living in the home with them. This type of arrangement allows children to have minimal disruptions in their everyday lives and continue to live under the same roof at all times. Rather than requiring the children to pack up and move between two households, the parents take on that burden for the benefit of their children. 

Considerations for Nesting Plans

As with anything, there are pros and cons to a nesting plan. Many families believe this alternative arrangement is beneficial because it takes a more child-centered approach to co-parenting. The children remain in the family home longer and continue to see both parents within that home, just not at the same time. Nesting plans are typically temporary, but they provide a secure way for children to transition into life with two unmarried parents.

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DuPage County divorce attorneyDivorce is considered to be one of the most stressful life events you can experience, and almost 50% of married couples go through it. One of the factors that contributes to the stress of a divorce is the financial aspect. It has been estimated that divorces can cost anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to almost $100,000, depending on the couple’s situation. While getting a divorce is never free, there are certain things that you can do to help keep your divorce costs reasonable.

Come Prepared to Meetings With Your Attorney

While your attorney will play a crucial role in your divorce case, you want to make the best use of their time and avoid paying for unnecessary attorney's fees. In order to cut back on the amount of time spent in legal meetings, come to your appointments organized. If you know that you will be meeting to discuss property division, make sure you come prepared with a list of your marital assets and debts and any other relevant financial documents that may be useful to your attorney.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

Nobody ever gets everything that they want in a divorce. It is important for you to have a realistic idea of what is and is not possible when it comes to a divorce settlement. The most expensive divorces are those that go to trial because the spouses cannot reach a settlement outside of court. It is important to know when to compromise to save you time and money.

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DuPage County parental relocation lawyerFor some, relocation can be a necessary step after divorce. There are many reasons why divorcees would want to move after the divorce is finalized. Some wish to be closer to family members, while others move for a new job. Regardless of the reason, a parent must have primary or equal custody of the child in order to submit a relocation request. In Illinois, relocation includes any move that is at least 25 miles from the child’s current home for those that live in Will, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or McHenry County or moves outside of Illinois state borders. If the child lives in a different county than those listed above, relocation boundaries increase to 50 miles from the current residence to any other part of Illinois. Moving with your child can be stressful, especially if your ex-spouse does not approve of the relocation.

Notice of Relocation

Before you are able to do anything, you must provide your former spouse with notice that you intend to relocate with your child. In the notice, you must include the date of your intended relocation, your new address, and whether or not the relocation is permanent. If the other parent signs the notice, it can be filed with the clerk of the circuit court, and if the judge agrees that the proposed move is in the child's best interests, the parenting plan will be modified. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, the parent seeking to move must file a petition with the court requesting to relocate.

Deciding Factors

If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own, they must take the issue to court. A judge will review the petition for relocation and the other parent's objections to the planned relocation to determine whether the move is in the child's best interests. When the judge is making the decision about the relocation, he or she will consider a variety of factors. These include:

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Naperville divorce attorneyDivorce is full of difficult situations. Even making the decision to get a divorce can seem impossible. Perhaps one of the hardest situations that you will have to deal with during your divorce is breaking the news to your children. Depending on your circumstances, your children may already suspect that something is awry. If there has been constant fighting in the house, your children are likely aware of the fact that you and your spouse are unhappy. There is no way to predict how your children will react to the news of a divorce; each child processes and copes with the news differently. Though this can be a difficult time for everyone, here are a few tips to help you tell your children that you and your spouse are getting divorced:

Act as a Team

This may be difficult for some couples, but telling the children about your decision as a team can make a world of difference. Even if the decision to divorce was not mutual, it is important that the children see that you and your spouse can still work together. After all, you will always have a common connection -- your children. 

Plan What You Will Say

This is one conversation that you do not want to make up as you go along. You and your spouse should sit down and plan out some talking points that you want to get across when you tell the kids that you are getting divorced. You both should be sure that your child understands that the divorce is not their fault, but rather a matter between you and your spouse. You should also remind your kids that you both love them very much, regardless of your marital state.

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Wheaton property division attorneyOne of the most difficult issues that all couples have to face when they get a divorce is determining how they will divide the marital property. Most people think that property division only pertains to assets such as the family home, vehicles, cash and other household items, but all of a couple’s property needs to be divided during a divorce -- including assets and debts that are not necessarily tangible. Property division tends to become more difficult the longer a couple has been married because couples that have been together for many years have typically accumulated more together.

Marital and Non-marital Property

Before you go to court, you must first determine which property is actually subject to division. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division and non-marital property is not. Marital property is any property or debt that was acquired by either spouse after the marriage. All other property is considered to be non-marital property.

Factors Used in Making Determinations

If you and your spouse, along with each of your attorneys cannot come to an agreement about marital property, a judge will assign the property to each spouse as he or she sees fit. There are certain factors a judge must take into consideration before he or she assigns the property. These factors include:

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DuPage County Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage lawyerYou have had it up to your ears with your spouse, and your spouse is fed up with you. You both know that you want to end the marriage, but you both also know how stressful, long and drawn out divorces can become. You know you want something that is as quick and easy as possible. 

One option that you may have is to apply for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. This type of divorce is expedited and can allow you and your spouse to complete a divorce much quicker than a traditional divorce. Importantly, there are certain requirements that couples must meet in order to qualify to use a joint simplified dissolution of marriage.

Requirements for a Simplified Divorce

Only certain couples qualify to file for a joint simplified divorce. According to Illinois law, the following requirements must be met before a couple can file for a simplified divorce:

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DuPage County divorce attorneyOne of the things that holds back many couples from divorcing is the children. Many parents worry and wonder what kind of effects the divorce would have on their children, even if they know that a divorce would be best for their personal wellbeing. In reality, many parents do not know that staying in an unhappy marriage can actually be more detrimental to a child’s wellbeing than divorce. Here are a few ways as to how staying in an unhappy marriage could harm your children:

Chronic Stress and Tension

If you are feeling the stress at home, then your children probably are too. Constant fighting or bickering can mean chronic tension in the home and that is not good for anyone. Your children will feel it and will feel uneasy in their own home.

Low Self-Esteem

Children absorb everything around them. When their surroundings are full of fighting and rejection, children tend to internalize that, which turns into low self-esteem. Constantly being at odds with your spouse can cause your child to feel uncertain and rejected.

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Naperville divorce coachIn divorce, sometimes the grief of the loss of a marriage is so overwhelming that clarity and rational thought are difficult to maintain. This period is frequently referred to as an “emotional roller coaster” because emotions run the gamut from sadness to anger and even moments of joy. Brains are unable to act rationally and irrationally simultaneously; therefore, when emotions run high, logic becomes potentially non-existent. Clients coping with a particularly stressful divorce often find relief after consulting with a divorce coach

What is a Divorce Coach?

A divorce coach is a mental health professional trained to assist you and your spouse find effective ways of communicating to nurture healthy discussions regarding children, finances, and other aspects of divorce. A divorce coach is not a therapist, but rather someone that asks questions that help overcome divorce roadblocks.

Although the term “divorce coach” is relatively new, divorcees around the country are singing the praises of the benefits that come with a divorce coach. These are consistently cited as the top three benefits of incorporating one into your divorce process:

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Wheaton divorce attorneyIt is no secret that money and finances are at the heart of many marital struggles. However, a recent study indicates that student loan debt is responsible for destroying a significant number of marriages. If these debts are to blame for a rift between you and your spouse, you are not alone. Fortunately, in marriage, you have a built-in partner to help you deal with the problem.

This article discusses both the statistics of student loan and divorce, as well as how you can avoid becoming part of this statistic:

An Unaffordable Necessity

In the generations before us, college and post-graduate education was an affordable addition to primary education; although, most high school graduates were able to find a stable career right out of school. Today, even entry-level positions may require some higher learning. Unfortunately, when demand increased for knowledge so did the cost. What once was an affordable option, is now an unaffordable necessity.

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Naperville divorce lawyer alimony taxesWhile no two divorces are identical, they all have one thing in common: they are complicated and stressful. Experts suggest that the only event more stressful than divorce is experiencing the death of a spouse or a child. Even if you and your spouse experience an amicable, mutual separation, and there are only minor disagreements, the process itself is made up of many legal facets that must be resolved before it can be finalized. From child-rearing to finances, the division of a marriage into two separate lives can become troublesome. As if that were not enough, some brand-new divorce laws become effective as of January 1, 2019.

If you are considering divorce now or in the future, these new laws may affect your situation:

Spousal Maintenance Will No Longer Be Tax Deductible

Before 2019, spouses ordered to pay spousal maintenance or alimony were given a substantial deduction during tax season. This deduction often eased the sting of a monthly payment. Experts believe that now, spouses may argue to pay less in alimony as a result.

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