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Oak Park family law attorneyIf you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you may have ill feelings toward that person. Your anger and resentment may be so intense that you want to bad-mouth your ex-spouse every chance you get. However, doing so will likely only serve to perpetuate a hostile situation. It can also be damaging to your children, and it can even affect the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

The Downsides of Bad-Mouthing Your Former Spouse

Speaking poorly about your former spouse can be harmful to both you and your kids. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent. Just because you no longer get along with your ex, that does not mean he or she is any less of a parent to your children. Your children still love your ex-spouse and look up to him or her. It will be hurtful for your kids to hear you speaking poorly about someone they care about, and they may feel forced to take sides. Being caught in the middle like this is a lose-lose situation for a child, who will likely feel guilt and shame because they are unable to make both parents happy. Children may even feel that they are doing something wrong themselves, which can lead them to develop self-esteem issues.

Bad-mouthing your former spouse can also negatively impact your standing in disputes over the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts decide on these issues based on what is in your children’s best interests, and one factor that they consider is each parent’s willingness to support their children’s relationships with the other parent. If you show that you will remain hostile toward your former spouse and endanger these relationships, you may be granted less parenting time and decision-making authority.

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Oak Park IL divorce lawyerIf one were to ask, say, 10 married couples if they have ever hidden any type of financial information from each other, how many do you think would say that they have? Chances are, there would be a good number of them that answer, “yes.” According to a new survey from CreditCards.com, around 40 percent of respondents of all ages who are currently in serious relationships admitted that they were actively hiding a credit card, checking or savings account from their partner. Financial infidelity is common in marriages, but it can come back to haunt the guilty party during their divorce. A partner who commits financial infidelity during a marriage is also likely to affect the financial aspects of the divorce.

What is Financial Infidelity?

There are various definitions of “financial infidelity,” but most commonly it refers to any type of lying or deception about money matters between romantic partners who have combined finances. Many actions and behaviors can qualify as financial infidelity, and all of them can have a significant impact on their partner’s financial situation. Examples of actions that can be considered financial infidelity include:

  • Hiding debts that you currently owe

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Oak Park IL divorce attorneyOne of the first questions most people have when they find themselves beginning to look into the possibility of divorce is how much the divorce process will cost. One of the well-known facts about divorce is that it is not cheap. According to a recent article in USA Today, the average cost of a divorce ranges from $8,400 to $17,500, when all factors are accounted for, so clearly, there is no one price tag that you can put on every divorce. The actual final cost of your divorce will end up being based on a variety of factors, with one of the biggest factors being the cost of your divorce lawyer.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Divorce

One of the basic factors that affects the cost of a divorce is simply where you live. In states and cities with higher costs of living, the cost of getting a divorce is likely to be higher. In states that have a lower-than-average cost of living, the cost of getting a divorce is also likely to be lower. Some of the other factors that can affect the cost of your divorce include:

  • Your attorney’s hourly fees. One of the biggest contributors to the cost will be the amount you pay to your attorney. The majority of people who get divorced hire a lawyer, as they can assist you greatly throughout the process. USA Today reported recently that the average rate for a divorce lawyer is $270 per hour.

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Oak Park, IL family law attorney gray divorce

A “gray divorce” is a term used when referring to a couple that gets divorced later in life, typically when they are over the age of 50. Perhaps they were waiting until their children were grown and out of the house, or an extramarital affair caused the split. Regardless of the reasons for the marriage ending, these older spouses will have to make some important decisions regarding their divorce settlement in order to move forward into the next chapter of their lives. One of the major issues with a “gray divorce” is that there can be more assets, and larger assets, to divide, which can cause conflict between spouses. Certain high-value assets can be more problematic when trying to determine which of these assets are marital property and subject to division. Also, often there is the emotional aspect of becoming single again after perhaps decades of marriage to deal with. 

Important Issues to Consider

Every marriage is different, and therefore every divorce is likely to have its own unique issues. Even if spouses are amicable and mutually agree to legally end their marriage, they may find the legal process quite challenging. In many “gray divorce” cases, it can be difficult for one party to think about starting over, moving into a new house, and/or finding employment after years of raising children and not working outside of the home. Here are some of the main elements that typically need to be addressed in a “gray divorce”: 

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Oak Park family law attorney divorce

The end of a marriage can occur for many reasons, including infidelity, abuse, addiction and financial problems. But sometimes, spouses may put off filing for divorce, especially if they have children. Parents often worry about the emotional impact their split can have on their kids in the immediate aftermath of a divorce as well as in the future. However, studies have shown that children can be more traumatized when parents who have a toxic relationship stay together. Constant exposure to arguments is not healthy and may prevent children from having positive attitudes or relationships themselves. Fortunately, there are ways for parents to minimize the negative effect of a divorce on their children so all involved can live “happily ever after.”     

Alleviating the Stress of the Situation 

How children react to a divorce typically depends on their age, personality and the circumstances of the breakup. The initial reaction may be disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiety or worry. During a divorce, kids can also learn valuable tools for dealing with stress, and as a result many children eventually become more flexible, tolerant adults. Navigating this major life change often depends on how the parents handle the process. 

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