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Help your kids get through divorce by being proactive


If you ask most parents who are going through divorce what their top priority is during the split, they will tell you that priority is the welfare of their children. It makes perfect sense and in general, most people agree that the children should be the top priority. But as we know, things don’t always turn out as planned, especially when emotions and stress overtake us.

4 changes to make to your estate plan after divorce

Divorce is widely recognized as one of the most stressful events a person can go through, as is the death of a loved one. Death and divorce are both topics that can be incredibly difficult to discuss, but they both have a considerable legal impact on our loved ones. Because of this, it is important that people have in place tools like estate plans that are updated in light of events like divorce.

As this FindLaw article states, some states automatically revoke or invalidate elements of an estate plan that involve an ex, though this is not always the case. In order to be sure that your estate planning documents reflect your current situation and relationships, it can be crucial that you consider making some of the following changes to your estate plan if you are getting divorced.

The evolution of fathers and their parental responsibilities

The father’s role in their children’s lives has significantly evolved. Yet, state family laws that divide parenting responsibilities seem to be stuck in the time of black and white sitcoms where dad left for the “salt mines” every day while mom stayed home.

Even today, the assumption continues that the father may not know best.

Mediation: Bringing Calm to an Otherwise Contentious Moment

Divorce mediation is an important element of family law. Not every divorce or issue can or should be addressed in the courtroom. A growing number of people choose to circumvent the courtroom for their most private, personal and difficult dissolution decisions. Mediation is an excellent choice for those who want to find common ground on issues and resolve them without the anxiety and public discord that is often associated with litigation during a divorce.

The Legal Utility of Prenups and Postnups

When you consider that approximately 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce, the discussion around prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements can be framed from a very different viewpoint than one might expect. For many years the discussions around pre and post nups were considered socially taboo topics. As a result, many people who were preparing for their big day simply ignored, disregarded or glossed over the prospect of signing a prenuptial agreement.

What to expect if you face pay child support

Too many moms and dads see a child support obligation as a parenting penalty. They think that the courts are out to get them, or that the receiving parent is getting a reward for being a better parent. 

But the fact is that calculating child support is a fairly straightforward, mathematical process. Payments take into account specific factors, not perceived wrongs you might have committed in the past, and they are not intended as a means of punishing you. For instance, in order to calculate child support payments, the courts will consider the following factors:

Divorce is much more difficult without an attorney

Divorce is an emotional time. Splitting spouses will feel a wide range of emotions, and the divorce itself could take months to complete -- meaning you are likely to keep feeling those emotions, and others still, throughout the process. As complex as a divorce can be emotionally, it is just as complex legally. There are a lot of moving parts to a divorce that need to be sorted out appropriately to ensure that you are in a good position when the dust settles.

There are matters of parenting time and responsibilities. You could have spousal maintenance involved in your divorce. There are other financial support factors to consider, as well as property division. There could be prenuptial or postnuptial agreements involved. The spectrum of elements that can be involved in a divorce is quite diverse.

How are the child's best interests linked to parenting time?

Illinois parenting time can be complex and difficult. Naturally, both parents will want to adhere to the child's best interests, but certain issues can come to the forefront and result in a parenting time dispute. When this happens, it is wise to examine state law and see how the court decides on the issue, whether a parenting time modification will be made, and how the best interests of the child will be served.

The court will consider what each parent wants; what the child wants with the child's age and maturity taken into consideration; how much time the parents spent caring for the child in the two years before the filing; any agreement that was made between the parents; what interactions and interrelationships the child has established with the parents, siblings, or any other person who might have an impact on the child; how the child is adjusting to the new home and community; and the mental and physical well-being of everyone involved with the case.

Track your spousal maintenance after a divorce

Spousal maintenance (or alimony) can play an important role in any divorce. But it is not guaranteed. The state of Illinois looks at many different factors when considering the topic of spousal maintenance, and based on these factors, it will make a decision about whether this form of financial support should be awarded and, if so, for how long and how much.

If spousal maintenance is awarded in your case, then it is imperative for you to keep detailed records of the support payments -- regardless of whether you receive the payments or make the payments. Failing to track alimony in the wake of a divorce can be an egregious error that can cause legal problems for you at a later date.

Testimony continues in asset division of high-profile couple

An Illinois divorce with substantial assets will have a great number of complications that can be difficult to navigate. While most workaday people might have trouble understanding how a high-profile couple and a high asset divorce compares to their situation, there are similarities with any divorce. Examples such as asset division, property and support are topics in dispute with many divorces. In any case, it is imperative to have legal advice from the beginning of the process onward.

In the case between a wealthy founder of a cancer treatment center and his ex-wife, the determination as to how much he will have to pay her as part of the settlement continues. The woman states that her poor credit score as well as accrued debts including fees for her attorneys and taxes on the maintenance she is supposed to get but is not receiving are causing her problems. The woman gave this testimony in court. The couple separated in 2007. The marriage was legally ended in 2016, but the case continues since a financial settlement has yet to be completed.

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