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Wheaton divorce lawyer contempt of courtIt is true that divorce is a stressful process that is wrought with emotions. Divorcing your spouse is a serious life change that can cause distress for the whole family, but it is not just an emotional process. First and foremost, divorce is a legal process that comes with certain legal requirements. There are many times during a divorce that the court may order you to do things, and these orders are not suggestions — they are legally-binding and required by law. In some cases, refusing to cooperate with the court’s orders can result in jail time until the orders are followed. 

What Is Contempt of Court?

Being in contempt of court is something you should do your best to avoid. If you are considered to be in contempt of court, you either did something that the judge specifically told you not to do or you did not do something that the judge ordered you to do. For example, a parent may be held in contempt if they refuse to follow their court-ordered parenting time schedule or if they do not meet requirements for paying child support.

To be held in contempt of court, a judge must prove that you willfully and knowingly violated a court order. To do this, the court must prove the following:

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Wheaton uncontested divorce lawyerWhile it is true that some couples do not end their marriages on the best of terms, many divorces are amicable, with both partners knowing that divorce is the best option for everyone. Getting a divorce means you will have to make some difficult decisions about your life and your children’s lives. Even though you may not agree on everything, your divorce does not have to be a strenuous process. An uncontested divorce can be preferable and beneficial for everyone involved -- that is, if you are able to cooperate and negotiate with your spouse.

Understanding an Uncontested Divorce

In the most basic of definitions, an uncontested divorce is simply one that is able to be negotiated and settled without the intervention of a court or a judge. There are certain things that all divorcing couples will have to decide before they can complete their divorce. These issues can include:

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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