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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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Frankfort divorce attorneyNobody gets married with the belief that their relationship will end in divorce. Even so, more than 20 percent of marriages end within the first five years of marriage, and nearly 48 percent of marriages end within 20 years. Any divorce is difficult, and the process of dissolving your marriage can be very emotionally taxing, especially if you have been married for a long time. It is not uncommon for couples to be at odds with each other when they divorce, but it does not have to be that way. Though it may seem unlikely, it is in fact possible to have a peaceful and stress-free divorce. Here are a few ways you can complete the divorce process in a healthy and positive manner:

Make an Effort to Cooperate and Communicate

One of the most important things to remember is that communication and cooperation are two of the most crucial components of a peaceful divorce. When you and your spouse are both willing to work together, the stress of the situation is lowered significantly. Even if you are more willing than your spouse to keep the peace and work to reach a positive resolution to your case, you will be in a much better place.

Do Not Obsess About the Effects on Your Children

When parents get a divorce, they often worry about how the divorce will affect their children. While it is true that a divorce will require your children to make changes to their lives, they will probably not be as affected as you might think, and they can even experience positive effects because they will no longer be exposed to arguments or conflicts between parents. Though it is natural for you to be concerned about your children, you should not fret too much. Studies have shown that children of divorce tend to fare better than children whose parents stayed together in a loveless marriage.

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Mokena child custody lawyer for right of first refusalIf you are getting a divorce in Illinois, and you have children, you will automatically have more things you will have to do before you can complete the process of legally ending your marriage. When Illinois parents get divorced, they will be required to come up with a parenting plan, which will contain information on how parenting time is allocated between the parents. The parenting plan will also contain other information, such as how decisions will be made about the child’s life, how the child will be raised, and protocols to follow if there are ever any changes to the parenting plan. Though it is not required, the right of first refusal is also something that can be included in a parenting plan.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

The right of first refusal addresses situations in which a parent is unable to care for a child during his or her designated parenting time. In these cases, the parenting plan would require the parent to contact the other parent to ask if he or she could take care of the child before attempting to make arrangements for alternative care. In cases where the parents can cooperate enough to create their own parenting plan, they can choose whether or not to include information about the right of first refusal. If the court must intervene, it can also determine whether or not the right of first refusal is in the child’s best interest. 

It is widely accepted that a loving relationship with both parents is important for a child’s healthy emotional development. In situations in which one parent has a majority of the parenting time, the right of first refusal allows the other parent to have as much parenting time with the child as possible.

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Will County divorce lawyerOne of the hardest decisions you may have to make in your life is deciding whether or not you should stay in a married relationship that is no longer working for the sake of your children. This type of decision does not come easily and should not be taken lightly. It can take months or even years to finally feel comfortable enough to act on your decision once you have made it.

Many people believe that a divorce is the worst thing that could happen to a family that has children. While a divorce does indeed have negative effects on children, those effects are usually short-term and can be mitigated if a divorce is smooth and minimally stressful. Studies have shown that staying with your spouse when you do not love each other anymore can actually be more detrimental to children than divorce. Here are a few ways in which staying together for the kids can cause more harm than good:

1. An Unhappy Home Can Lead to Low Self-Esteem

Studies have shown that children living in an unhappy household tend to have lower levels of self-esteem. This is because children absorb everything that they experience and can feel the unhappiness between parents. Often, this manifests as feelings of rejection and unworthiness in children, which can follow them into their adult life.

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Mokena high conflict divorce attorneyEven if you and your ex are on the best of terms, your divorce will still probably involve at least a little bit of conflict or disagreement. For couples who did not end their marriage on great terms, the stress and complexity of the divorce can increase significantly, which can affect the entire family, including your children. In high conflict divorces, one spouse will typically want to end the marriage in an equitable and calm manner, while the other spouse may not only refuse to cooperate, but they may also make it their priority to wreak havoc through the entire process. It may seem like there is nothing you can do in situations like these, but there are some steps you can take to diffuse the situation. Here are a few tips that can be helpful when dealing with a toxic ex during your divorce:

Keep Records of Everything

Divorcing a spouse who has decided that his or her goal is to make your life difficult can be frustrating. Often, a spouse will do everything they can to get their way, including taking your words and twisting them around or even flat out lying about certain things. The best way to deal with this kind of behavior is to keep records of everything that you do throughout the divorce. Keep logs of all of your finances and even your communication with your spouse. Try not to do any talking unless it is through text or email, so you have a hard copy of what was said.

Try to Separate Your Emotions From Your Divorce as Much as You Can

A combative ex will often try to make your life even more difficult by attempting to manipulate your emotions and attacking you where they know you are weak. Though a divorce is an extremely personal event, it is important to try as hard as you can to take your emotions out of the mix. Remember that your ex is doing many of these things just to hurt you, but you can rise above their tactics and work to address issues as calmly and practically as possible.

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New Lenox divorce attorney for asset and debt divisionOne of the more contentious issues that may arise during your divorce is how you and your spouse will divide your assets. In Illinois, all marital property is divided between divorcing spouses in an equitable manner, which may not always result in an “equal” division. Spouses often go head-to-head to gain ownership over assets such as the marital home, savings accounts, or other valuable belongings.

What you may not realize is that you must also divide your marital debt during the divorce process. Marital debt is any debt that you and your spouse are both legally responsible for. Figuring out what to do with marital debt can be stressful, especially because debt is one of the few things you will not be trying to keep. Here are a few tips on how you can handle debts intelligently during your divorce:

Pay Off Debts Before You File for Divorce

Regardless of what happens during your divorce, you will still be held responsible for any joint debts that were taken out in your name during your marriage -- even if your spouse is ordered to pay off certain debts. Creditors are not required to follow the decisions made in divorce decrees, and they may still hold you liable for any debts in your name. Because of this, it is advised to pay off as much of your debt as possible before you file for divorce. This is the easiest way to protect yourself from being held responsible for debts that your spouse has been ordered to pay.

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