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Kane County Parenting Time LawyerIn 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were getting divorced using a very particular phrase: “Conscious uncoupling.” The couple faced widespread public derision over the term, which was seen as snooty and foolish. However, in the years that have followed, the public at large has begun to recognize the values embedded in the idea of a conscious uncoupling: That parents of minor children, even if they decide to end their marriage, can still be committed to divorcing carefully and co-parenting in a way that puts their children’s interests first. 

One strategy under Illinois law that allows parents to do exactly that is a concept known as the “right of first refusal.” This idea, while not for everyone, can allow two ex-partners to continue co-parenting peacefully while maximizing the amount of time that each parent gets to spend with their child. To learn more, read on and then contact a team of Illinois divorce attorneys who are committed to helping you get peacefully divorced while protecting your child’s future.

Understanding the Right of First Refusal

The right of first refusal is simply the idea that parents will use each other as backup childcare providers before seeking help from babysitters, family members, or other sources of childcare. Parents can set the parameters under which the right of first refusal will kick in, and these can be different for each family. Some things to consider as you determine whether the right of first refusal makes sense for you include: 

Kane County Divorce AttorneyMost people getting divorced are doing so for the first time. Uncertainty is normal and having questions is common. Even if you are sure that you want to get divorced and have a sense of what you want to get out of the process, you may be unsure of how to choose the right divorce attorney. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know what to look for and even what questions to bring to your first meeting. At Goostree Law Group, our Illinois divorce attorneys are prepared to guide you throughout your divorce - including a few things you should discuss with your attorney in your first consultation. 

Am I Likely to Reach a Settlement With My Spouse?

Many, if not most, divorces can reach a settlement before going to trial. If you and your spouse can negotiate a settlement, even if you need the help of a mediator, you can avoid the time and expense of courtroom litigation. However, settlement negotiations are not reasonable or safe for everyone, so talking to your attorney about your situation should help you better understand whether negotiation is the best path for you to pursue. 

What is My Financial Situation? 

Understanding your financial situation is essential for preparing for divorce. However, having questions about the financial aspects of divorce is normal, especially because things like child support and spousal support can be hard to predict. An attorney can help you understand whether you are likely to make or receive support payments, as well as how the process of dividing the marital estate works in Illinois. An attorney can also help you estimate the cost of a divorce and whether their services fall within your budget. 

What Happens During a Child Custody Evaluation? 

Posted on in Child Custody

Kane County Child Custody lawyerChild custody issues can be complicated. Emotions are often running high and the parties involved are looking for a fair outcome. In many child custody disputes, each parent has a very different idea of what is best for their child.  This is why many courts use a child custody evaluation.

A child custody evaluation is an assessment of each parent's ability to provide for their children and the best interests of the children involved in the dispute. The court will appoint a neutral, third-party evaluator who has experience in family law or mental health counseling. 

Child Custody Evaluations in Illinois 

A child custody evaluation is conducted by an experienced, impartial professional who has expertise in both family dynamics and psychology. The purpose of the evaluation is to help the court make an informed decision about the best interests of the children. 

Kane County divorce lawyerDivorce involves much more than a couple merely deciding to end their marriage. To complete the divorce, the spouses must address several crucial issues, including the division of their shared assets and debts, child custody, spousal support, child support, and more. Most of these issues involve finances, so one of the first steps in any divorce is to complete a financial disclosure.

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act requires both spouses to provide full and accurate financial information to each other and to the court. This is accomplished through the use of a Financial Affidavit, which lists all income, debts, assets, and liabilities. The purpose of the financial disclosure is to give both spouses and the court a complete picture of each person's financial situation so that an equitable division of property can be achieved and support orders, if any, can be accurately calculated.

Some spouses are less than forthcoming with financial information. In cases like these, discovery tools may be used to obtain the necessary information.

What Can I Do If My Ex is Stalking Me During Divorce? 

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerDivorce can bring out the worst in people - especially in a high-conflict divorce. Sometimes, antagonistic behavior during a separation or divorce escalates to stalking. Following someone to school or work, calling obsessively, monitoring their social media, or showing up uninvited at their home are all examples of stalking behaviors. If your ex is stalking you during divorce, it is important to take action to protect yourself and your children.

How to Handle Stalking During Your Illinois Divorce

Stalking can involve many upsetting, unnerving, and even frightening actions and behaviors. Some people cannot accept that their marriage is ending and act out in inappropriate, threatening, and unlawful ways. If your divorce has turned nasty and you are dealing with a stalker, here are some things you can do to protect yourself: 

  • Keep a Stalking Log - Keep track of every instance of stalking behavior, no matter how small. Note the date, time, location, and what happened. This will help you identify patterns and document the severity of the stalking for future reference.

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