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Posted on in Divorce

What Movies Misunderstand About DivorceOne of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year is “Marriage Story,” which is about a couple with a young son going through an emotional divorce. The divorce lawyers for each side play a prominent role in the film, shining a light on the legal process. Divorce is a common source of conflict for filmmakers wanting to portray a family drama. “Kramer vs. Kramer” won the award for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1979. While movies have helped form the public perception of divorce, it is important to understand that your divorce will be different than the stories you see portrayed on screen:

  1. Divorce Is Not All About Drama: Divorce in a movie often includes dramatic announcements and heated arguments because that is what makes the most compelling story. These things can occur in a real divorce, but your divorce can be peaceful and cooperative if that is what you both want. Most of the “drama” you will experience will be internal as you mourn the end of your marriage and wonder what the future will hold for you.
  2. Divorce Does Not Have to Be Someone’s Fault: A movie character usually asks for a divorce because of something that their spouse did. The spouse may be having an extramarital affair, behaving abusively, neglecting their family, or preventing the main character from pursuing their dreams. In real life, divorce may be no one’s fault. Some couples grow apart over time or were never compatible. Both sides may have made mistakes, but assigning blame does not help you heal from your divorce.
  3. Divorce Can Be a Happy Ending: Some movie couples go through the drama of splitting up but get back together at the end of the movie. Audiences see this as a “feel-good ending” because the main characters’ romance was saved and the family was preserved. While there is nothing wrong with trying to work out your marital problems, a divorce may be the best resolution if you are unhappy in your marriage. Staying in a contentious and loveless marriage makes everyone in your home miserable.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

It may not be a Hollywood ending, but divorce can create new opportunities for happiness by freeing you from an unhealthy marriage. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can explain what to expect from a real divorce and what you can gain from the process. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Child Custody

How Divorce Has Improved for Men in the Past DecadeDivorce in the U.S. has changed in many ways during the last decade. The divorce rate has settled down from the boom the country experienced in the 1970s. Millennials, who were the children of many of those divorces, are waiting longer to get married and start a family. Divorce has also become more amicable because of the rising use of conflict resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce. Women have increasing power during the process and are less likely to be financially dependent upon men. However, men have also seen increased benefits from divorce, thanks to that same trend towards gender equality.

Father’s Rights

The presumption used to be that the mother would have most of the control over the children after a divorce because the mother was the primary caretaker in the family. Fathers would typically have less decision-making power, and equal parenting time was practically unheard of. Now, courts see the importance of both divorced parents having a major role in raising their children. This means that courts:

  • Are more likely to consider a father’s request for equal parenting time
  • May give a majority of the parenting time to a father if it is in the children’s best interest
  • May give more weight to a father’s desire for shared parenting, even if they were less active as a parent during the marriage

It is difficult to obtain equal parenting time in Illinois because courts presume that it is better for the children if one parent has more parenting time. Still, a proactive father is more likely to be rewarded, instead of getting the children every other weekend.

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Costly Mistakes to Avoid in a High Asset DivorceA couple in a high asset divorce has more at stake in the division of property – and more to lose if they make a mistake. A poorly conceived divorce agreement could cost you a small fortune in lost or squandered assets. Once the agreement is approved, you will not get a do-over unless you can prove that your spouse intentionally deceived you during your divorce or you signed the agreement under duress. To avoid having remorse over your high asset divorce, you should do your best to get your agreement right the first time.

Dig Deep

The main way that a high asset divorce is different from other divorces is the number and variety of marital properties. You need to thoroughly investigate your spouse’s finances to see whether there are hidden assets, such as:

  • Undisclosed bank accounts
  • Marital assets within a business
  • Business assets purchased with marital money
  • Secret retirement accounts
  • Secret collections of luxury items
  • Undisclosed real estate
  • Marital assets being loaned to a friend

It is fraudulent for your spouse to hide marital assets if your spouse is actively trying to deceive you. Your spouse might not be at fault if you overlook assets that a reasonable investigation would have discovered.

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Four Ways to Help a Misbehaving Child During DivorceChildren can be unpredictable when it comes to how they will react to major events, such as their parents getting divorced. You like to think that you know your child well enough to be able to anticipate how upset they will be, but there is no precedent for them responding to divorce. If your child’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, that will add yet another concern to an already stressful time in your life. Bad behavior for some children is throwing tantrums or behaving rudely. For others, it may be more serious misbehavior that gets them in trouble with school or the law. You need to address your child’s behavior before it becomes a larger problem that creates consequences for them:

  1. Maintain Discipline: Do not let your child get away with bad behavior because you feel guilty about the divorce. Your divorce may be the reason they are acting out, but being lax with discipline will encourage their behavior. You should maintain the same rules for behavior and may need to punish your child if their actions warrant it.
  2. Show Compassion: There are ways to discipline your child while also acknowledging the pain your divorce is causing them. Try not to show anger towards your child when they behave poorly. Talk to them about how they feel and how you may be able to help them with their struggles.
  3. Pay Attention: Your child may be angry at you for the divorce because they feel you are ignoring them and their needs. You know that your parental responsibilities are one of the most important parts of your divorce, but they may not understand that. Paying attention and listening to your child is the best way you can demonstrate that they are still your top priority.
  4. Work with Your Co-Parent: Whatever efforts you are making to correct your child’s bad behavior, you and your co-parent need to be consistent. Discuss with each other what the rules are for discipline and what is an appropriate response to bad behavior. If one parent has grounded a child for misbehaving, the other parent should continue that punishment when the child is with them.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Many children struggle to adjust after their parents get divorced, which makes the time they spend with each parent important. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will make sure you are able to get enough parental responsibilities to be able to help your child through the transition. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Divorce

How to Set Goals Before You DivorceIt is not enough to wait until after your divorce is over to decide on your post-divorce goals. You should already know what your primary goals are before you start the divorce process so that you can negotiate your divorce with those goals in mind. Once the court has approved your divorce agreement, it will be difficult to modify it if you realize that you missed an opportunity for your agreement to help you achieve a goal. A skilled divorce attorney and a divorce coach can help you identify your divorce goals and plan for how you will achieve them.

Actionable Goals

Most people have a vague idea about what they want from their divorce, but you will be most successful during your divorce if you have specific and quantifiable goals. Saying that you want a “fair share” or a “reasonable agreement” does not tell you how to recognize whether you are achieving your goals. It is more helpful to say that you want:

  • Specific properties from your marriage
  • A percentage of your marital assets
  • A number of hours with your children each week

You can most accurately quantify your divorce goals by consulting with your divorce lawyer and figuring out what you need.

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