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Recent Blog Posts

4 Ways to Be a Good Divorced Parent

 Posted on November 05, 2018 in Divorce

Oak Park IL divorce lawyer parent childrenNo one gets married thinking they will get divorced someday. But when a divorce occurs, former spouses may feel like they are lost in a new, unfamiliar world, and may allow the stress of a divorce to impact how they treat their children, or they may feel that they are involved in a competition for a child’s love now that they do not see them all the time. Sometimes, adults alter their parenting in ways that do not help their children or themselves. 

Here are four ways to approach parenting which will protect important parent-child relationships and allow your family to heal from the difficulties of divorce:

1. Do Not Try to Buy Affection

When splitting custody for the first time, it is understandable for parents to want their children to enjoy their time with them to the fullest. Unfortunately, this can turn into a spending war to see who can give the most gifts or plan the most expensive activities. If your ex takes your children to an expensive amusement park or buys them a new gaming system, do not feel like you have to top that the next week. The best thing you can do is provide the stability and support they need and appreciate.

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3 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting on Halloween

 Posted on October 18, 2018 in Divorce

Hillside divorce attorney holiday parenting timeHalloween is not a major holiday, so it is a day that often is not listed in parenting agreements, but it can be one of the biggest days of the year for young children. Divorced or separated parents should respect what should be a great time for their kids. Here are some ways parents can work together on Halloween, even though they are no longer together:

1. Remember Who Halloween Is For

Halloween is about the kids, not about you. If you are early in the divorce process, and emotions are still raw, you may prefer to step away for the day if you think you cannot handle the situation properly. As with the other holidays, it may be best to divide Halloween between parents on alternating years. If you can participate in Halloween activities together with your children, that is great. If not, do not force it and ruin what should be a good time.

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Common Parenting Mistakes to Avoid During Divorce

 Posted on September 27, 2018 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce lawyer parents childrenThe end of a marriage is frequently painful for everyone involved, including parents and children. Parents may not always understand the effects that divorce can have on their children. Kids rarely fully grasp the reason for the split, but they may find themselves acting as the middlemen between feuding parents. By the end of the divorce process, many children experience stress and anxiety, and the emotional scars can follow them well into adulthood, and into their future relationships. 

If you are planning to get divorced, you can help your child cope with the decision by avoiding these common parenting mistakes:

Do Not Make Your Child The Go-Between

Although you may not want to speak to your spouse, you are the adult in the situation. Do not give your children messages to be passed back and forth with your spouse. Being the messenger puts unnecessary emotional stress on children, and it can negatively impact their relationship with both parents. If you do not want to have a phone conversation with your ex, consider texting or emailing them - find another solution for communication that does not involve putting your children in the middle of a possible dispute.

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What Is a Will, and How Can I Create One in Illinois?

 Posted on September 14, 2018 in Estate Planning

Oak Park last will and testament attorneyFor any person over the age of 18, there is no better time than the present to create a Last Will & Testament. Nobody likes to think about what will happen after they pass away, but a Will is a person’s way of ensuring that everything they leave behind (their estate) is handled the way that they prefer.

In the unfortunate event that a person passes away without a Last Will & Testament, their estate (the sum of their assets minus any liabilities/debts owed at that time) will be divided up according to the laws of the state of Illinois, which means the estate may be divided up in a different way from what the person actually wanted.

Whether you want to leave assets to your children or distribute your property to various friends and family members, a Last Will & Testament will ensure that your remaining funds and property are handled the way you wish.

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Signs of a Successful Marriage

 Posted on August 24, 2018 in Divorce

Hillside family law attorneyEven the healthiest and most stable marriages have times of doubt. Feelings of stress and uncertainty arising out of an argument, for example, can lead to one party or both parties questioning if the marriage is one that will last. However, no couple agrees on every minute detail of everything, undoubtedly each of you will go to bed angry at least once, and you will not always do everything together. In many cases, those “tried-and-true” adages your friends and family tell you on your wedding day are unrealistic and can leave you questioning the success of your marriage after any unresolved argument. However, before you consider divorce, review these proven signs of a successful and thriving marriage:

You Have Fun Together

Not every marriage will be the ideal, picture perfect, Hollywood-ready love story one of you or both of you might have expected when you walked down the aisle. The romance and glamor which may have been associated with the dating, engagement, and honeymoon phases of your relationship will eventually fade. However, the relationships of couples who make it a point to spend time together and who enjoy each other’s company frequently last longer than many other relationships.

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody in Illinois

 Posted on August 13, 2018 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Oak Park divorce child custody lawyerMany of the most significant concerns at the end of a marriage revolve around the future of the children. These worries often become so great that couples frequently stay in a unhealthy relationship to avoid any discomfort that the children may encounter. However, recent studies have shown that children of divorced parents are resilient, and they can often quickly overcome even the most difficult situations. Often, the adults are more frightened than the children due to the adults’ fear of the unknown. To help alleviate those concerns, we will answer some of the more common questions about child custody, which is now legally called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois.

Will Both Parents Get to Spend Time With Children?

Unless the court finds evidence indicating that the children would be in some kind of dangerous situation, both parents are typically allotted parenting time (formerly known as visitation) with their children. A judge will take into consideration the best interests of the children when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. 

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Enforce or Modify: Exploring Post-Divorce Matters

 Posted on July 30, 2018 in Post-Decree Matters

Hillside, IL divorce decree modification enforcement lawyerThe arrangements agreed upon during a dissolution of marriage, such as the allocation of parental responsibilities or obligations to pay child support or spousal maintenance, will continue per the decree until either a child becomes an adult, or until a specified end date, or indefinitely. However, people’s lives change, and what may work well for both parties during the divorce proceedings may no longer be practical a few years later. Also, an ex-spouse may refuse to comply with the divorce decree. In these situations, you may want to consider modifying or enforcing the divorce decree.

Enforcement of the Court Decree

A divorce decree is an official court order that governs the parenting time with children, child support payments, alimony payments, the division of property, and the division of debt. This order is legally binding, which means any violation has legal repercussions. If your ex is not following the terms of your divorce decree, there are options available to ensure compliance. Methods used in Illinois to compel former spouses to comply include:

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Co-Parenting Tips for Summer Vacation

 Posted on July 11, 2018 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Oak Park parental responsibility attorneyFor divorced parents, sharing parental responsibilities during the summer months is often tricky, despite the relaxed, school-free schedule. Summer is a prime time for vacations, transitions, and being with family. However, the short time period for summer vacation often makes it harder for parents and children to get into a regular routine. Just as soon as you seem to get a good rhythm going, school is back in session, and a new routine must begin. Although they are necessary, changes in routine can often be difficult for kids and parents alike. These tips can help you lessen the anxiety for yourself and your children during the summer:

Avoid Doing Too Much

Although kids seem to have a never-ending supply of energy, they do look forward to the relaxed days of summer. Many parents seek to keep the kids entertained with camps, trips, and other exciting activities. What children do not often tell you is that they are just as happy sitting on the sofa with the family. Enjoy the slow moments while you have them; school will be back in session before you know it.

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Will a Marriage Counselor Ever Suggest Divorce?

 Posted on June 27, 2018 in Divorce

Oak Park divorce mediation attorneyMany couples choose to go to counseling when their marriage is in trouble. Often, counseling/therapy is a last-ditch effort to save the marriage before considering divorce. What many couples do not know is that most counselors/therapists will never persuade couples one way or another when it comes to the ultimate decision about divorce. Whether the marriage survives or not is ultimately in the hands of the couple itself. The only job of the counselor is to help both parties become more in tune with the needs of the other and build communication skills. 

What if the Couple Is Miserable?

Even if a couple is very unhappy in their marriage, a marriage therapist will typically keep their opinion about the relationship to themselves. To actually suggest divorce would raise some ethical and moral concerns, which is why most therapists try not to push the couple either way. Sometimes, one marriage counselor is not enough. The therapist might say, “I have done everything I can for you,” and the couple may then choose to see another therapist, who might be able to offer new techniques which may be key factors in turning the marriage around for the better. 

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Budget-Friendly Divorce Solutions

 Posted on June 18, 2018 in Divorce

Oak Park uncontested divorce attorneyYour marriage is coming to an end. You are about to begin a new chapter of your life, and you would prefer to start it without a mountain of divorce costs. Although the thought of a do-it-yourself divorce has crossed your mind, you know that doing so may complicate matters, drag out the process and often can result in additional, future litigation. Furthermore, if your partner has an attorney, and you decide to represent yourself, the judge may never hear “your side of the story,” and you may lose everything. If you know that having legal divorce help is your best option, but you are wary of the cost, try these budget-friendly divorce tips:

File for an Uncontested Divorce

If you and your spouse agree on most of the significant issues, you may benefit from filing for an uncontested divorce. Uncontested does not mean that your divorce will be free from disagreements; rather, it means that you can resolve them outside of court, allowing you to move more quickly through the court process to finalize your divorce. In an uncontested divorce, you should be sure to address the following issues:

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