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St. Charles high-conflict divorce attorneyThe divorce process is rarely, if ever, a pleasant experience, but not every divorce is an extraordinarily contentious fight. Even if your spouse has a tendency toward creating drama and conflict, there are a few things that you can do to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. Keeping your divorce as civil as possible is in your best interest, as well as that of your spouse, because with more conflict comes more time, energy, and money spent on resolving the issues at hand.

Think Before You Speak

When you are going through a divorce, you and your spouse will each go through a wide range of emotions, and you are likely to be at different points on the emotional spectrum at any given time. There is a good chance that your spouse will say or do at least a few things along the way that upset you, some of which may even be intentional. The same is probably true in reverse. Before reacting, however, it is a good idea to pause and take a mental step back.

By taking the time to slow down and look at the situation from your spouse’s perspective, you might gain a better understanding of what he or she is saying and trying to accomplish. You might not agree, of course, but by taking some time to collect your thoughts, you can respond calmly and logically instead of responding emotionally and making the situation worse. If you are talking on the phone or in person, take a few deep breaths before you say anything. If the conversation is via email or text, wait a few hours rather than firing back an angry response.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerIn the state of Illinois, the only way to get legally married is by obtaining a marriage license and having a legal ceremony before a duly appointed officiant. However, other states still allow for the practice of common-law marriage, and if a couple moves to Illinois after being married under common law in another state, Illinois will recognize that marriage as legal. Regardless of how a couple was legally married, the only way to end a marriage in Illinois is through the legal process of divorce, and this can raise some unique complications for couples with common-law marriages.

Illinois and Common-Law Marriage

Generally, a common-law marriage is a situation in which the couple holds themselves to be married in public, has lived together for a substantial amount of time, and has acted in ways typical of a legally married couple, such as owning property together, filing taxes jointly, or taking the partner’s last name. This list of states that still allow such marriages is small, but in those states, a couple that becomes married under common law has the same benefits and responsibilities as a couple who was formally married in a legal ceremony. These benefits and responsibilities can be upheld even when the couple moves to a state such as Illinois that does not allow common-law marriage.

Divorce After a Common-Law Marriage

While some states have common-law marriages, there is no such thing as a common-law divorce in any state. This means that a divorce must take place through the court system. If you met all the requirements for a common-law marriage in another state and then moved to Illinois, you would need to follow Illinois’s legal process for getting a divorce if you wish to end your marriage. Keep in mind that you must reside in Illinois for at least 90 days in order to file for divorce in Illinois.

Kane County parenting time lawyerThe COVID-19 health crisis has affected the lives of virtually all Americans, closing down businesses, schools, and even courthouses across the country. Health experts have long indicated that the shutdowns were and are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but the response has forced many Illinois parents to amend their existing parenting plan and left significant questions about handling shared parental responsibilities.

For example, if you are subject to a shared parenting time arrangement, you may be wondering how you are supposed to handle a situation in which the other parent is not taking social distancing, self-isolation, or mask-wearing directives as seriously as you are. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast answers to be found during this unprecedented situation, but there are a few things that you should try to do if possible.

Follow Your Existing Order If You Can

For some parents, the thought of their child contracting or spreading the coronavirus is scary enough that they want everyone to simply stay at home until the threat is no longer as serious. Concern over your family’s health is reasonable, but when your children are accustomed to dividing time between two parents’ homes, expecting them to stay in one home throughout the pandemic can put significant strain on their relationship with the other parent and cause major co-parenting conflict. With this in mind, it is a good idea to follow your existing parenting plan to the degree that is safely possible, and try to work with the other parent to promote the health and safety of everyone involved.

St. Charles IL family law attorneyFollowing a divorce, if you had previously assumed the surname of your spouse, you have the option of returning to your birth or maiden name. This request can be included in a divorce petition, and it will typically be approved by the judge.

To change your name later on, or to change the last names of your children, a separate court order must be filed. Changing the names of your children you had with your ex-spouse is more complicated than changing your own, and having an attorney with experience in name change cases can help immensely.

Name Changes for Minor Children

According to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5), a request to change a minor’s name will be approved only if a judge finds that changing the child’s name is necessary to serve the child’s best interests. This means that the name change will not automatically be approved simply because you want your child to share your last name. The Illinois Parentage Act (750 ILCS 46) also contains a provision that allows a name change for a minor if both of the child’s parents agree to the change, but this statute is usually reserved for cases involving unmarried parents or if the child’s parentage is disputed.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County uncontested divorce attorneyDivorce does not have to be bitter and expensive. In many cases, a couple has the basic agreement worked out before the divorce is even filed. This is generally known as an uncontested divorce, and such a resolution may be possible if you and your spouse are able to work together amicably. It is a good idea, however, to ask a qualified divorce attorney to at least review your agreement before you submit it to the courts.

Advantages of Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce means that the two sides have no issues to argue over. They file jointly for a divorce and ask the court to approve the agreement they have already worked out. In some cases, the agreement may need to be amended slightly to address minor details, but the spouses have agreed in principle to make it work.

The main advantages of an uncontested divorce are that the two sides save themselves time, frustration, and money by agreeing to everything in advance. While both sides should have the help of a lawyer in drafting and reviewing any agreement, the attorney fees will often be much lower than in cases with multiple court hearings and piles of legal documents drafted.

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