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Oak Park parenting time lawyerThe end of a marriage can signify a new start for a former couple. However, divorce can be difficult for any children who are involved, since they then often have to split time between both parents. A new alternative to having children split time between two houses after a divorce is called “bird nesting.” This refers to an arrangement in which the divorcing parents themselves divide their time in a home, instead of the children being uprooted from the home for parenting time. The parents may each rent their own apartment or condo, or they may share a dwelling where one parent will stay even when it is not their parenting time. This type of parenting solution is not for everyone, but if parents do wish to use this option, their parenting plan document can spell out the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time arrangements, and more. 

Pros and Cons of “Bird Nesting”

After a divorce, if either parent has to buy a new house, that is a considerable expense. Renting a small apartment or condo that both parents can share can save a lot of money. Utilities will be less, and there are no property taxes to pay. In addition, there can be emotional benefits to the concept of “bird nesting,” since the children will not have to shuttle back and forth between two homes. Sometimes, this type of situation can even help the parents transition easier after the divorce.

However, there can also be challenges to this type of parenting arrangement. When a couple sells the marital home and go their separate ways, this can provide a clean break once property and assets are divided. On the other hand, if the parents still co-own and live in the marital home post-divorce, the lines in their relationship are often blurred. Basic issues like who pays the utility bills can turn into disputes. If a major home repair or new appliance is needed, the parents do not have a joint account anymore from which to take the money, and therefore, they will each need to contribute to funding the repairs.

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Oak Park divorce mediation lawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, they may expect the divorce process to be hostile and contested. However, many aspects of a divorce can be settled between spouses in an amicable and respectful manner. One of the most effective ways to resolve the issues involved in a divorce case is through mediation. 

What Is Divorce Mediation? 

Here in the United States, mediation is one of the most common methods of dispute resolution used by divorcing couples. Mediation is a process in which the two spouses work together with a third-party mediator to reach a divorce settlement that works for both spouses. 

The benefits of mediating your divorce can be numerous. Most notably, mediation allows you to have some control over the decision-making process. This means that you and your spouse can try to work together to determine what is fair for both parties and reach solutions that ultimately may not have been possible through a standard, court-driven legal process. Because the divorce is settled privately between the two of you, there is no public record of the mediation. This allows for a level of privacy that is not possible in a standard divorce. Mediation may also allow you to complete the divorce process more quickly since you can reach a settlement without the need for multiple court hearings or a divorce trial. 

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Hillside, IL divorce lawyer irreconcilable differencesNo one enters into a marriage expecting their relationship to end someday. When a marriage breaks down, spouses are often lost and confused as to how they got to this point, with many of them proclaiming, “Neither of us believes in divorce!” However, divorce is not an event that “just happens.” Typically, it is the result of a series of missteps which bring a partnership to a point of irreconcilable differences. Sometimes, both spouses see this coming as the inevitable next step. In other situations, the decision is seen as coming from “out of the blue,” leaving the non-initiating spouse reeling and questioning what they missed. Here are a few factors which can commonly lead to the breakdown of a marriage, and to a potential divorce:

Little or No Conflict Resolution

Every time you and your partner disagree, a constructive conversation is vital to resolve the dispute. When one person walks away to “cool down,” and the issue goes unresolved, a piece of the relationship’s communication foundation cracks. Couples who “never argue” do their relationship a disservice by not discussing their issues. Soon, they may find themselves unable to address their concerns at all, with this inability driving a wedge between them.

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Illinois parenting time attorneyDivorcing a spouse that is on the narcissism spectrum is not an easy task. The situation can become even more challenging if there are children involved. Already vulnerable to the potentially harmful effects of divorce, children could be used as pawns by the narcissist, a tool that can be used against the other parent.

This kind of activity, known as parental alienation, can have a lifelong negative impact on every relationship that the child will ever have – and that includes the relationship they have with you. Learn how to reduce the risk of this occurring in your divorce, and discover how an experienced divorce attorney can help.

Narcissism and Parental Alienation

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Illinois divorce attorneyDo-it-yourself divorce, also known as pro se divorce, has become increasingly common over the last several years. In fact, there are now agencies that help divorcing couples complete their paperwork, which the couple must then file themselves. Many pursue this option because they think it will save them time and/or money. Others feel they can manage an amicable divorce better on their own than with an attorney. Unfortunately, both of these approaches often lead to problems.

Why Even Amicable Divorces Need an Attorney

It happens all too often: a couple starts out on their divorce journey amicably enough, but then a sensitive matter comes up. Sparks fly, and the arguments begin. Sometimes, the matter becomes so contentious, it delays the divorce. Other times, couples are so locked in their negotiations, they have no alternative but to hire an attorney – and by that time, things may be a complete mess, and could take more time and money to sort out than necessary. Contention and a loss of time and money are not the only risks that couples face in a DIY divorce, however. In fact, some situations may place the lives of one party, and possibly even children, at risk for significant financial loss, violence, mental health issues, trauma, and more.

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