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Wheaton family law attorney legal separation

The term “separation” holds a certain negative connotation when explained to family or friends. If you and your spouse decide that you both need some time apart, others may jump to conclusions and assume that this is your first step toward divorce. While this may be the case for some couples, experts have shown that time away from your spouse can often help you make a better decision about how you would like to proceed. Some may simply live separately while others may file for a legal separation agreement. There are benefits and drawbacks to separation, some of which may bring you closer while others could drive you apart. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you navigate the legal process of separation.

How to Facilitate a Healthy Separation

Living apart from your spouse for a period of time does not have to end in divorce. In fact, many psychologists and marriage counselors actually encourage time apart if you are struggling to make things work. Once apart, you may recognize how much you miss and rely on your partner and decide to put in the additional time and effort to improve the relationship. In order to be productive while you are separated, here are a few things that experts suggest:

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Naperville holiday parenting time lawyerIn the midst of the holiday season, families across Illinois are planning how to spend time together during Christmas and New Year's. In addition to the vacations surrounding these days, there are plenty of other holidays and special days throughout the year that can be fought over by parents who are no longer married. Parenting plans are required by all Illinois couples who are divorced and have children. These legal plans must contain a parenting time schedule that is followed throughout the year. Also included in the parenting plan is how holidays will be spent between the two parents. The holiday parenting time schedule will usually supersede the normal parenting time schedule, so it is important for you and your ex to agree on one that works for you.

Examples of Holiday Parenting Schedules

There are a few ways that are commonly used to distribute holiday time amongst parents who are divorced. The Illinois Supreme Court has published a sample parenting plan that is accepted in all Illinois courts and provides more than one way to settle holiday parenting time issues. For simplicity, you can choose their premade holiday parenting plan, or you can determine which specific holidays each parent gets to spend with their child. Many parents choose to personalize their holiday parenting plan so they can create an arrangement that both parents agree on. Common holiday parenting time schedules include:

  • Alternating Years: One of the most common ways parents agree upon sharing holidays is by celebrating them on a rotating schedule. For example, if mom gets the kids for Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Halloween in even years, then dad gets to spend those holidays with the children in odd years. In such an arrangement, you are guaranteed to spend time with your child for almost every holiday on a semi-annual basis. 

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