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How Does Mental Illness Affect Parental Rights in an Illinois Divorce?Many adults experience mental illness during their lifetime. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in any given year. While mental illness can be naturally occurring, it can also be triggered by major events in your life, such as divorce. Mental illness will not typically factor into divorce decisions, but it can be an issue to address when making decisions related to children, namely, decisions about parenting time or decision-making responsibilities.

Elements to Consider When Making Child-Related Decisions

Any child-related issue that must be settled during a divorce is made in the child’s best interests. If the parents disagree on what is in the child’s best interests, then a judge will have to intervene and make decisions about the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities for the parents. When making these decisions, the judge will look at various factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate with each other
  • The level of conflict that may exist between the parents
  • The wishes of each parent
  • The needs of the child
  • The ability and willingness of both parents to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The mental and physical health of both parents and the child

It is the judge’s job to understand the family dynamic as accurately as possible so that he or she can ensure the child has a happy and healthy life.

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What Should We Do With Our Family Home During Our Divorce?If you are one of the lucky people who get to live out the American dream by buying and owning your own home, you know how rewarding it can be to have a place of your own. When you are married, real estate property becomes more than a house – it becomes a home. Dealing with your family home can be one of the toughest decisions you will make when dividing your property during your divorce. In many cases, the family home is the most valuable asset a couple owns, both from a financial and sentimental perspective.

Generally, three basic options exist when it comes to dealing with your marital home. You and your spouse can choose to sell the home, one of you can keep the home, or you can both keep the home. Each family situation is unique, so what may be right for one family may not necessarily be right for another. 

Sell the House

The easiest way to deal with your family home is often just to sell it. If you and your spouse both agree to sell the home, you can take the equity you have in the home and split it, leaving each of you with part of the profits. The downside to selling your home is that you may owe capital gains taxes on the home if it has appreciated in value. If your home has depreciated in value, you might want to consider a different option.

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How to Help Your Adult Children Deal With Your DivorceWhen you think of divorce, you might picture a family with younger children who will have to shift from household to household for the rest of their childhood. However, while a divorce can be hard on children who are still growing up, it can also be difficult for adults whose parents are splitting up.

Most of the time, when a couple who has adult children gets divorced, they are ending a marriage that has lasted for years, or maybe even decades. Divorcing after a long marriage can be difficult for both the couple and the rest of the family, due to increased financial issues and the amount of history and memories made together. If you are a parent of adult children, and you and your spouse are getting a divorce, here are a few ways that you can help your children cope with this major life change.

Time the Announcement Right

Once you realize that you are definitely getting a divorce, and there is no turning back, you should begin to think about how you are going to break the news to your family. An announcement as big as this should come directly from you, not from another family member who heard it first. In some cases, you may want to gather all of your children together to let them know about your divorce, but this may not always be feasible due to busy schedules or because you live in different geographical areas. In any case, you will want to have an adult conversation where you can inform each child about the end of your marriage, answer their questions, and ensure that they understand what is happening in your life.

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4 Things That Might Surprise You About Your DivorceAside from the death of a loved one, getting a divorce is the most stressful event that is likely to happen in a person’s life. This is because a divorce encompasses almost everything in your life, from where you live and how much time you spend with your children, to your monthly expenses and tax implications. The process of divorcing your spouse is not just a legal one; it is as much an emotional process as it is anything else. While people may tell you that you will be much happier after your divorce is over, there are plenty of realities that nobody really talks about. Here are a few things that you may not be prepared for when it comes to life after your Illinois divorce:

#1: You Will Probably Feel a Sense of Loss, Even If You Initiated the Divorce

Getting a divorce is a huge change in your life. Even if you were the one who wanted the divorce because you believed that your marriage had broken down beyond repair, you will still probably feel a mix of emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and loss. Getting a divorce is a major life transition, and you not only lose your spouse as a life partner, but you may also lose your relationships with others who are associated with your spouse, such as their family and friends. Adjusting to this loss can take time.

#2: You Might Get Mixed Reactions From Family and Friends

Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out the worst in people, including your loved ones. You may find that some people in your family treat you differently and that some of the people that you considered to be your friends will not be there for you when you need them. On the other hand, you may also find that some people that you were never really close to before may step forward and offer the love and support that you need.

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What Should I Expect From an Initial Consultation With a Divorce Attorney?If you have made the decision to pursue a divorce, the first few steps of the process can be frightening and overwhelming. It is understandable that you would not know exactly what to do or what you should expect. You could also just be emotionally drained from trying to handle everything on your own. The good news is that a qualified divorce lawyer can help. Your attorney is an ally who is committed to protecting your rights and best interests while he or she guides you through the divorce process — and it all begins with your initial consultation. Before you go in for your first meeting, you should have an idea of what to expect and how to make the most of your time.

Understanding the Reason for Your Consultation

Many people assume that an initial consultation with a lawyer is basically a glorified sales pitch, but this is quite far from the truth. A legal consultation is not the lawyer’s attempt to sell you a service that you do not need. Rather, it is an opportunity to see if you and the lawyer — or the law firm as a whole — are a good match for one another. This is important because the attorney you choose will be your advocate and partner in the very serious matter of your divorce.

One thing to look for in your consultation is whether the lawyer is willing to listen and to make you feel protected. You should also feel that your attorney is knowledgeable in the areas that are likely to be points of contention in your divorce. For example, if your divorce involves particularly complex financial concerns, you should hire a lawyer who knows the laws as they pertain to identifying, evaluating, and dividing marital property and who has experience with complicated financial situations. If during the consultation you feel that the attorney is not up to the task, you should be willing to think about hiring someone else.

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