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Four Wellness Tips For Relieving Divorce StressAmid everything you are trying to accomplish during your divorce, it is important to remain mindful of your health. It is not uncommon for people to suffer from chronic pain or sickness following a divorce. They are under a tremendous amount of stress, which is harmful to themselves and can lead to unhealthy habits. This can cause:

  • Bouts of anxiety and depression
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Drastic changes in your weight
  • Substance abuse

Everyone reacts to divorce differently, including the way it affects their health. However, anyone can help themselves during their divorce with these wellness tips:

  1. Make an Effort to Stay Active: Physical wellness and mental wellness have proven to be connected to each other. Physical activity can relieve stress and give you something positive to focus on. Many people choose a fitness routine for their physical activity, but even spending time on a hobby can be a welcome break from the thoughts that have caused you stress.
  2. Maintain Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits: Being busy with your divorce can throw off your normal eating and sleeping routine, which in turn can make you feel sluggish. Your body still needs you to stay on a regular meal schedule and to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. By being fueled and rested, you will have energy at the time of day when you need to be productive.
  3. Find Ways to Ease Workload: A person going through a divorce may feel overwhelmed by everything they believe they must get done. However, there may be ways you can take the pressure off of yourself. This often means asking others for help with your responsibilities at work and/or home. You may be surprised by how willing friends and family members are to help you through this stressful period in your life.
  4. Do Not Hesitate to See a Doctor: There are some health problems that are beyond your ability to handle on your own. Seeing a doctor about your health should always be an option. A doctor can best diagnose your problem and may have remedies that you have not thought of or cannot get on your own.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

Sometimes, what you need most during a divorce is to talk to someone who understands what you are going through and can give helpful advice. A divorce coach is that person for many divorcees. At Goostree Law Group, our divorce coach is available to work with clients on the personal side of divorce. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County divorce lawyer, call 630-584-4800.

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Challenges for Stay-At-Home Parents Who DivorceStay-at-home parents make personal sacrifices in order to focus on raising their children and allowing their spouse to fully pursue their career. The parent at home may have paused or given up their career, as well as their financial independence. If you are a stay-at-home parent who is unhappy in your marriage, you may have several questions about how you could afford to divorce and how it would affect you. Being a stay-at-home parent presents some obstacles during divorce, but they are all manageable if you work with an experienced divorce attorney.

Paying for Divorce

Your first question might be “How can I afford a divorce attorney when I do not have my own income?” It is important that you have an attorney who is independent of your spouse. Some stay-at-home parents have their own savings that they can draw upon. If you do not have enough money, you can petition the court to order your spouse to help pay your attorney fees. You would need to prove that you are at a financial disadvantage and that your spouse can afford your attorney fees.

Childcare

You may also be concerned about whether working on your divorce will interfere with taking care of your children. You will need someone else to be with your children when you meet with your attorney, negotiate your divorce agreement with your spouse, and attend a court hearing. Before you pay for a childcare service, ask family and friends whether they can help you by watching your children while you are unavailable.

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What Issues Do LGBTQ Spouses Face in Divorce?The U.S. has increasingly recognized the rights of couples who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) in the past decade. The national legalization of same-sex marriage was a landmark decision for the LGBTQ community. The normalization of LGBTQ divorce naturally came with the broad legalization of LGBTQ marriage. On a basic level, divorce for LGBTQ spouses is functionally the same as for other spouses. Most divorce laws are gender-neutral, meaning gender identities should not affect how properties are divided or parental rights are allocated. However, LGBTQ spouses may have a different divorce experience than heterosexual spouses:

  1. The Length of Their Marriage May Not Reflect the Length of Their Relationship: The duration of your marriage matters during a divorce. How long you were married determines how long you can receive spousal maintenance. Spouses in a long-term marriage will have more properties that qualify as marital assets. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Illinois for only six years, and Illinois law does not grant shared property rights to couples who cohabit without marriage. LGBTQ couples may have been effectively married for decades, but only a fraction of those years officially count as marriage. Couples who entered a civil union before marriage may be able to count more years towards their marriage.
  2. There May Be Questions About Legal Parenthood: When LGBTQ couples become parents, the child is often not biologically related to both parents. Both spouses should still have equal parental rights during a divorce as long as they are both legal parents to the child. Illinois will recognize non-biological parents as legal parents if the child was born during a marriage or legally adopted. If neither of these applies in your case, you may need to prove that you have a parental bond with your child and that it would be in the best interest of the child to continue to have parenting time with you.
  3. Transgender People Can Face Social Stigmas: In some areas, the public has been slower to accept people who identify as transgender than other members of the LGBTQ community. When a person comes out as transgender to their spouse, it often leads to a divorce. Unfortunately, transgender divorcees sometimes deal with courts that are ignorant toward transgender issues. For instance, your spouse may try to argue that your transgender status should limit your parental responsibilities, even though there is no evidence that being transgender affects your parental fitness.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

There are situations where LGBTQ spouses going through a divorce may need their attorneys to advocate for their rights. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has access to a fair divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Choosing Your Method for Paying Child SupportChild support is mandatory for all divorces that include children. Whichever parent has a smaller share of parenting time will be required to pay monthly child support to the other parent. Illinois bases its child support amount on an income shares model that considers how much raising the children should cost and the comparative incomes of the parents. If you are the parent who is required to pay child support, you have multiple methods by which you can send the payments to your co-parent. It is important to use a dependable method so that the payments get to your co-parent without difficulty and there is a record that you are in compliance with your child support order.

What Are the Ways You Can Pay Child Support?

The method that you use to pay child support may depend on the type of job you have and your personal preference:

  • Withholding income is the preferred method for many because your employer will be responsible for deducting the child support amount from your pay and sending it to your co-parent.
  • If you are self-employed, you will need to send the payments electronically, by phone, or by mail.

Whether it is you or your employer, child support payments should be sent to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit (ISDU), who will transfer the payment to your co-parent. It is possible to pay child support directly to your co-parent, but sending payments through the ISDU ensures that the state knows that you are in compliance with your child support order.

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Reasons to Not Seek Sole Responsibility for Your Children During DivorceIn some divorces, a parent is allowed to have sole responsibility for their child, including complete control over parenting time and decision making. This most often occurs when one of the parents is physically abusive towards the child or shows a total lack of interest in being part of the child’s life. However, most parenting plans will allocate parental responsibilities between both parents. In Illinois, the presumption is that one parent will have a majority but not all of the parenting time. Still, some parents try to receive sole parental responsibility for personal reasons. You should consider whether seeking sole responsibility is a wise decision before you go down that path.

Problems with Sole Responsibility

Illinois prefers a shared parenting plan because it assumes that children of divorce are better off when both parents are active in raising them. The exception is when you can prove a reasonable belief that your children could be in danger if they are left alone with your co-parent. You cannot deny your spouse’s parental rights as a way to punish them for infidelity or because you think you are a better parent. Those factors may help you receive a majority of the parental responsibilities but do not mean that your spouse is an unfit parent. Receiving sole responsibility is usually not in your children’s best interests. Having a strong relationship with both parents is crucial to a child’s development, and they may resent you if you try to deny their relationship with their other parent.

Requesting sole parental responsibility is also impractical unless there is a compelling reason for it. Consider that:

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