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How to Know If You Need a Divorce CoachMany people approach their divorce by hiring not just a divorce lawyer but a divorce team, which could include a divorce coach. Divorce coaching is a fairly new profession that works with people on the personal side of dealing with divorce. This allows the divorce attorney to more efficiently focus their efforts toward the technical side of divorce. You may wonder whether you need a divorce coach for your divorce. The truth is that a divorce coach can benefit anyone, but we understand that many divorcees are concerned about the cost of hiring additional professionals for their divorce. Here are three signs that you may need to hire a divorce coach:

  1. You Are Struggling to Adjust to Divorced Life: Getting divorced will change most aspects of your personal life and add new responsibilities. You are now solely in charge of your household and your children when they are living with you. You may also be living on a tighter budget and need to adjust your expenditures. It can be difficult to balance these responsibilities with your professional life and your ongoing divorce case. A divorce coach will teach you ways that you can stay organized during and after the divorce process.
  2. You Do Not Know Your Post-Divorce Goals or How to Reach Them: The divorce process is most successful when you have a plan, but how do you create that plan? A divorce coach will work with you to identify your goals and then create a plan for how you will achieve those goals. For instance, one of your goals following divorce may be to start a new career. You must consider whether you will need to go back to school and how your divorce agreement could help you pay for it.
  3. You Are Feeling Discouraged About Your Divorce: It is common to feel doubts about yourself and your divorce with all of the uncertainty that you face. Sometimes, what you need the most is the reassuring voice of someone who understands what you are experiencing. A divorce coach has seen numerous cases and may have gone through a divorce themselves. Part of their responsibility is to encourage you throughout the process and keep you focused on your goals.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

When choosing a divorce coach, it is important to find someone who is trained in the profession and works well as part of a team. At Goostree Law Group, we have a divorce coach on staff who is ready to work with you from the start of the process. Schedule a free consultation with a St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney by calling 630-584-4800.

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Answering Common Questions About an Adoption Home StudyOne of the requirements for anyone in the U.S. who wishes to adopt a child is to participate in a home study. The purpose of a home study is to evaluate the home environment that the adopted child would be joining and to educate the prospective parents about raising an adopted child. If you are adopting by using a public child welfare agency, the study helps the agency match you with a child. You may have questions about how a home study is conducted and whether it will be a major obstacle to your plans to adopt. The following answers can help you prepare for a home study:

  1. What Happens During a Home Study?: Most home studies include multiple interviews with a social worker, a visit to your home, a background check, and orientation to prepare you for adoption. How your home study is conducted depends on the service you use and the type of adoption you are pursuing. For instance, additional training may be required if you are adopting a child from a foreign country.
  2. What Are They Looking for in the Home Study?: The study is evaluating whether you will be able to provide a good home for the child you wish to adopt. Much of the evaluation will be about your capability as parents, such as your income, health, beliefs, social life, and parenting style if you already have a child. They will also consider your home environment, support system, and neighborhood you are living in.
  3. How Long Does a Home Study Take?: On average, a home study takes three-to-six months, but there are many variables that will determine how long your study takes. One of the variables that you can control is how quickly you are able to provide the personal records that the study requires.
  4. How Much Does a Home Study Cost?: Once again, the cost of your home study will depend upon the service you use and the type of adoption you are pursuing. If you are using a public adoption service, the study could be free or cost a minimal fee. If you are using a private adoption agency, the study could cost thousands of dollars.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Adoption Lawyer

Adoption is a long process that involves a lot of paperwork that may seem confusing or overwhelming. You need to work with a Kane County adoption attorney at Goostree Law Group, who has the experience to guide you through the process. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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What Happens If Your Ex-Spouse Files for Bankruptcy?Completing a divorce will drain your personal finances to a certain extent. You are giving up a portion of your marital assets and losing your spouse’s income as a means of helping pay expenses. Some people’s debt problems following a divorce become bad enough that they need to file for bankruptcy. You can work with your divorce attorney to try to avoid this outcome by ensuring that you receive a favorable division of properties and debts, as well as spousal maintenance if your spouse has a greater income than you. However, your former spouse may have their own financial struggles that lead to them filing for bankruptcy. Even though you are no longer married, it is possible that their bankruptcy could leave you liable for some of their debts.

How Does Bankruptcy Work?

To understand how your former spouse’s bankruptcy could affect you, you first need to know what the bankruptcy process entails. A person files for bankruptcy when they believe they are incapable of repaying their debts and are in danger of losing assets to their creditors. An individual will use either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on which one they qualify for. At the end of the process, the filer is allowed to discharge most debts that were not repaid during the case. Discharge means that the filer no longer has any obligation to repay the debt.

How Might You Be Liable After the Bankruptcy?

While the creditor cannot collect from your former spouse after a bankruptcy discharge, they can still collect from you if you are also liable for the debt. Dividing debt in your divorce agreement does not remove your legal liability for the debts that your spouse agreed to pay. To eliminate your liability, you need to modify the debt agreement to remove you from it. The creditor may not want to modify the agreement if it thinks your former spouse does not have enough income to repay the debt on their own. The creditor may understand that one of you is taking sole responsibility for making debt payments, but that will not stop the creditor from turning to you if your former spouse has stopped paying the debt. In the case of bankruptcy, you may be the only person that the creditor can attempt to collect the debt from.

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How COVID-19 Has Affected Phone Call Etiquette for Divorced ParentsThe public response to the COVID-19 pandemic has required people to change the ways in which they communicate with each other. In-person visits are being replaced with phone and video calls in order to limit travel and contact with other people. Video chats on your phone or through an application such as Zoom have become a popular way for family members to stay in contact with each other – including divorced parents contacting their children. Some parenting agreements will set a limit for how often one parent is allowed to call their children when they are staying with the other parent. With the extraordinary circumstances that we are currently living in, it may be time to add a provision regarding phone calls to your parenting agreement or modify your existing provision.

Call Etiquette

Co-parents may set limits on calls if they are concerned about the other parent interrupting their parenting time. For instance, the parenting agreement can say that a parent may initiate contact with the children once per day or every other day when the children are with the other parent. The children can contact the parent on their own but should be encouraged to focus on the parent they are with. Frequent or long calls with a child can be harmful to them because:

  • The calling parent may be trying to alienate the child from their other parent
  • The child is not able to adjust to living with the parent if they are constantly being reminded of their other home
  • The calls may make the child anxious but they are afraid to upset their parent by telling them

Changing Circumstances

It may be appropriate to adjust your normal call etiquette because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas daily calls may have seemed intrusive before, you should consider that:

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Who Can You Subpoena During Your Divorce?Filing a subpoena for a witness to testify in court is rarely necessary in a divorce case. A subpoena for documents, known as a subpoena duces tecum, is used frequently. Character witnesses were more common before Illinois became a no-fault divorce state, which made it so that couples no longer needed to cite issues such as infidelity as a reason for divorce. Now, financial records are the most vital evidence you can obtain with a subpoena, and documents can give you all the information you need. An experienced divorce lawyer knows who you need to subpoena to find that information.

Your Spouse

When gathering information in preparation for your divorce, you may realize that there are vital documents that you do not have access to, such as:

  • Financial statements
  • Receipts
  • Contracts

Your spouse may possess those documents and would ideally be willing to share them if you ask. If your spouse refuses to share the documents, you can obtain a subpoena requesting the documents, which would force them to comply.

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