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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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 Will County child custody attorney nesting parenting arrangement

Divorce is the legal process of separating yourself from your spouse, but as much as it is a legal process, it is also an emotional one. Though you may be feeling stressed, angry, and sad, your children are also feeling the pressure -- perhaps even more than you are. Many children do not understand divorce, especially if they are young. One of the hardest things for children is adapting to all of the changes that take place so quickly during a divorce, such as their living arrangements and shared parenting time. One type of parenting agreement that many modern parents have flocked to is called a “nesting” parenting arrangement.

What Is a Nesting Agreement?

Nesting arrangements are aptly named; in one of these types of parenting agreements, the “nest” is the family home. The children continue to reside in the family home like they did while the parents were still married, and the parents are the ones who take turns coming and going. Nesting arrangements allow for minimal disruption to children’s lives and are most commonly used as a transitional type of parenting arrangement until the parents agree on a more permanent schedule.

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 Orland Park divorce lawyerUnless you have gone through the divorce process before, you probably do not know what truly happens when a person decides to legally end their marriage. Most people’s understanding of divorce is taken from movies and television shows or pieced together from things they have heard from friends and family who have gone through the process. This can result in some less-than-accurate understandings about divorce and how the process works. However, it is important to have a realistic idea of what to expect if you are thinking of getting a divorce. Here are a few common divorce myths and misconceptions and the truths behind them:

  1. You Have to Have a Specific Reason to File for Divorce

Since 2016, Illinois has been a purely “no-fault state” when it came to divorce. Before that, Illinois law provided 10 possible grounds for divorce, and a person would state one or more of these as reasons their marriage should be dissolved. The old grounds for divorce included things such as mental cruelty, adultery, habitual drunkenness, and abandonment. Now, the only grounds recognized are irreconcilable differences, which simply means that a marriage has broken down beyond repair.

  1. Spouses Can Be Punished if They Committed Adultery

While adultery used to be one of the grounds for divorce, infidelity in a marriage will typically not play a role in most divorce cases. In fact, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifically states that the decisions made during the divorce about issues such as the division of marital property should be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” This means that an ex-spouse cannot be financially penalized or lose parental rights simply because they had an extramarital affair.

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 Mokena divorce attorney for emotional issuesSome things we just know to be true, like the fact that the sky is blue or the grass is green. Another universal truth is that divorce is going to be stressful, no matter which way you look at it. In fact, some have said that divorce is the most stressful life event a person can go through, right after the death of a loved one. While we all understand that this situation is going to be difficult, it does not have to be excruciatingly so. There are things you can do to make the divorce easier on you and give you a little bit of peace during this hectic time. If you are feeling stressed out about your divorce, try following these simple tips:

  1. Do Not Fight Your Feelings

One of the most important things you should remember is that everything you are feeling is normal. You may be feeling sad, depressed, angry, bitter, or even hostile, but it is important that you allow yourself to feel these things. Emotionally healing after a divorce is a process, and going through your emotions is part of that process.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Though you may not feel like it, making sure you are taking care of yourself physically is just as important as taking care of yourself mentally. You should make sure you are eating healthy foods, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. When you feel good physically, this also helps you feel good mentally.

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 Mokena divorce attorney for children’s college expensesEvery parent only wants what is best for their child. For parents, divorce can be incredibly complicated and stressful, since not only do the decisions made affect one’s own future, but they will affect children’s futures too. Divorce does not always come at the best time, and parents with teenage children may worry about the upcoming costs of their child’s higher education. Normally, child support payments only last until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. A parent may worry about covering the costs of a child’s college education, and it is important to understand how Illinois law addresses these expenses.

Parental Contributions Toward College Expenses

Illinois courts understand how expensive college can be, and they recognize the importance of a college education for children’s success. Illinois law provides guidelines for how parents may be required to contribute toward children’s college expenses, which expenses are covered, and how they will be paid. Educational expenses must be incurred before the child turns 23, or, if good cause is shown, no later than the child’s 25th birthday. Contributions to educational expenses can be awarded out of the property and income of both parents and can be made payable directly to the student or to the school. Prior to awarding money toward the child’s education, the court may require the family to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What Expenses Are Covered?

If the court decides that the parents are able to provide for some or all of the costs associated with the child’s education, the expenses will be allocated between the parents. Expenses that parents may be responsible for covering include:

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 Mokena, IL divorce attorney for marital asset dissipation

Not all divorces are amicable. Sometimes, a divorce is very one-sided, meaning one spouse wants to get divorced while the other does not. Other times, both spouses agree that they want to get divorced, but they have ill feelings toward each other. In situations like this, a spouse may try to do whatever they can to hurt their former partner in any way. Sometimes, this manifests as keeping their spouse from receiving a fair share of the marital property. One common way this is done is by wasting marital assets, which is referred to as “dissipation.”

What Is Dissipation?

The Illinois Supreme Court defines dissipation as the “use of marital property for the sole benefit of one of the spouses for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown.” This basically means that a spouse dissipates assets if they intend to deprive the other spouse of certain marital property by spending, destroying, or otherwise wasting marital property during a period in which the marriage was falling apart or during the divorce.

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