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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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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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Mokena parental relocation attorney

It is not uncommon for a person to move after they have finished with a divorce. While this can be a fresh start for many people, relocating can prove to be a challenge if you are a parent. When you are a parent and you get a divorce in Illinois, you are required to submit a parenting plan to the court before your divorce will be granted. In that parenting plan, the terms of your parenting arrangement, such as how parenting time is split between you and your ex-spouse, are clearly laid out. One of the things that is also included in the parenting plan is how parental relocations will be dealt with, which can become a complicated issue if one of you objects to the other’s planned relocation. 

Notifying the Other Parent

Before you do anything, you should first determine whether or not your move is considered a relocation. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), you must follow certain requirements if you plan to move with your child more than 25 miles away from your current home if you currently reside within DuPage, Cook, Kane, McHenry, Will, or Lake counties, or if the new home is outside of Illinois. If you currently live anywhere else in Illinois, a move is only considered a relocation if you move more than 50 miles away from your current home.

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New Lenox divorce lawyer for credit issues

It should come as no surprise that a divorce comes with a lot of emotional baggage and worries. During your divorce, your living situation may change, prompting a transitional period as you readapt to your new arrangements and your new, single-income household. You may worry about your children and how they will react to the divorce. In addition to these concerns, you may also need to address your credit score and financial health. Though the act of getting a divorce does not inherently affect your credit score, the way you handle your finances during the divorce can. Here are a few ways in which a divorce can impact your credit score in a less-than-favorable way:

You Did Not Account for the Loss of One Income

One of the most drastic financial changes you will experience during a divorce is the loss of an entire income to your household’s funds. Many people underestimate the impact this can have on their financial health, especially when they have been used to running a household on two incomes for a long time. Budgeting is key when making sure you have enough money to pay for all of your monthly expenses.

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Will County fathers’ rights attorney parenting time paternity

If you are the father of a child, you may worry about what your parental rights are under Illinois law. Unmarried or divorcing fathers are often especially concerned about their parental rights and responsibilities. Although mothers often have the majority of parental responsibility and parenting time, fathers have just as many rights under Illinois law as mothers do. The law treats mothers and fathers equally, but fathers may have unique family law concerns related to paternity and other matters.

The Right to Establish Paternity

When a woman gives birth to a child, she automatically becomes the child’s legal mother. The same is not always true for a child’s father. Unmarried fathers may need to formally establish paternity in order to become their baby’s legal parent. There are three ways to establish paternity in Illinois. First, both parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) at the hospital where the baby was born or at a later date. Paternity can also be established through a court order or through a hearing with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Establishing paternity is the first step in gaining the parental rights afforded to fathers under the law. However, you will still need to file a separate petition for the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time with the court after establishing paternity. You will also be subject to Illinois law regarding child support.

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