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Kane County divorce lawyerIf you have spent any time on social media over the last few months, you have undoubtedly seen your friends and loved ones expressing their displeasure over the challenges that 2020 has presented. Among the most stressful of these challenges are those that are linked to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. As the COVID-19 pandemic made its way across the country, entire cities and states shut down large portions of their infrastructure starting in March. Now that we are in August, things are slowly beginning to open up again—albeit amidst fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Over the last few months, many couples and families have spent a great deal of time in close quarters with one another. For some families, the time together has proven to be a blessing. For others, it has felt like a curse. If you are among the latter group—or if a divorce was already a possibility for you before the COVID-19 lockdown—you may be wondering if you can still file for divorce during these unpredictable times. Presuming you intend to file your divorce petition in Kane County, there are ways for you to get a divorce even as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Kane County Courthouses Are Open

The first thing you need to know about getting a divorce in Kane County is that the Kane County court system is officially open for business. On June 1, 2020, all of the county’s courthouses reopened to provide limited services, which includes family law cases. This means that judges, clerks, and other courthouse personnel have been back at work for over two months and cases that were already in process are now moving once again.

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Three Common Relationship Issues Identified in Couples’ CounselingIt is no secret that marriage is the most difficult and rewarding relationship that one can commit to. All couples have their good and bad days – on some days, you could never imagine being with anyone else, and on others, the fighting seems to never stop. The highs and lows of marriage are unavoidable and many relationship professionals say that the “lows” of the relationship can often bring the couple closer together when all is said and done.

Unfortunately, not all marriages are meant to make it to the lifelong-finish line. The fighting can become too common, you may struggle to communicate, or you may evolve into different people over the years and grow apart. Before making the definitive decision to file for divorce, it is often suggested that couples seek out professional help to try and iron out their issues, if at all possible. Relationship specialists have identified the following common points of contention that they hear from many couples behind closed doors:

  1. Negative Communication: The most common difficulty that couples face is a lack of communication or poor means of communication. This does not necessarily mean that you are not speaking with your spouse, but your tone of voice and level of engagement with your partner can go a long way. Constant negative communication can leave the receiving spouse feeling insecure, depressed, and disregarded by their partner. This negative communication may be unintentional but can often become habitual as life gets busy. Professionals stress the importance of making a ritual to set aside time each day to invest in your relationship. Whether it is having coffee each morning or meeting for lunch, giving your undivided attention to your spouse, even for just five minutes, can greatly improve your communication.
  2. Getting Set in Your Ways: As you and your spouse settle into your life together, you are bound to become accustomed to your daily routine, especially if you decide to have kids. Every day can feel fully booked by going to work, attending your children’s extracurricular activities, and spending time with your kids before putting them to bed and starting all over again tomorrow. When you and your spouse become stuck in the same everyday routine for months, or even years, your romantic relationship can get put on the backburner. It is important to stray from these everyday activities, once a week if you can, to go on a date, watch a movie together, or try something new. Getting involved in new activities together can reignite the spark that you felt when you first started your relationship.
  3. Financial Struggles: Life as a married couple with kids is stressful enough, but adding financial difficulties on top of everything else can put many couples over the top. Financial pressures can bring out the worst in couples, including blaming their spouse for their concerns. If you and your spouse are struggling to make ends meet, it is important that you work together to come to a solution. Whether it is your stay-at-home spouse finding a job, reducing your spending, or creating an updated monthly budget, you can alleviate your stress once you have a plan in place. If this is an ongoing issue, you may consider meeting with a financial advisor to help determine how you can improve your financial situation.

Unresolvable Issues? Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

It is important to take as many preventative steps to divorce as possible, including seeking out professional help. Couples’ counseling will either help you and your spouse resolve your issues or reassure you in your decision to end your marriage. For many couples, the latter is the case. The compassionate team at Goostree Law Group understands how emotionally painful divorce can be, even for those who know this is the right decision. Our Kane County divorce attorneys will work alongside you to determine what is best for you moving forward and construct your divorce agreement with these goals in mind. For help with your divorce, contact us at 630-584-4800 to schedule your free consultation.

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How to Help Your Children Prepare for Relocation After DivorceMoving to a new town or state can be hard for children under any circumstances, as they try to adjust to a new school, new friends, and a new routine. It can be even more difficult after a divorce, since children may be moving a significant distance away from one of their parents. If you are a single parent and your career or personal circumstances require relocation, you should be aware of the potential impact the move will have on your kids and do all that you can to make the situation easier for them.

Advice for Helping Your Children Cope

Relocations are usually easier for children if both parents make an effort to help them cope with the situation and maintain consistency as much as possible. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Modify Your Parenting Plan: In many cases, the parenting plan established during your divorce does not account for a relocation. If you are the custodial parent and you decide that relocation is necessary, you are required by Illinois law to notify the children’s other parent. If they agree to allow your relocation, you should work together to legally modify the parenting plan including any changes to parenting time and responsibilities. If they disagree, a court will have to rule on the relocation and updated parenting plan based on whether it is in the children’s best interests. In either case, having a clear parenting plan in writing that addresses the relocation can make it easier to uphold your children’s routine.
  2. Listen to Your Children’s Concerns: Your kids will likely have many questions about your upcoming move, including why it is happening, what their new home will be like, and whether they will continue to see their other parent. Be open to having these important conversations with your children, and do your best to acknowledge their feelings, answer their questions honestly, and help them understand.
  3. Plan for Their Next Stay with the Other Parent: When moving a long distance from a non-custodial parent, children may naturally fear that they will see the parent much less often. You can help alleviate this fear even before you move if both parents have conversations with the kids to plan for their next stay. You can also take advantage of technology to plan for frequent phone or video conversations when it is difficult to have regular time in person.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney Today

At Goostree Law Group, we have decades of experience guiding parents and families through divorce and the accompanying challenges, and we can help you plan for relocation in a way that protects the interests of you and your children. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation with a St. Charles family law attorney who can answer your questions.

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Tips for Co-Parenting After a Contested Divorce in IllinoisAlmost all divorces are challenging, especially when children are involved, but some are more difficult than others. You may find yourself going through a high conflict divorce because of a partner’s cheating or infidelity or because you and your spouse simply struggle to communicate and cooperate. If the two of you have children together, it is important that you find a way to successfully co-parent regardless of how hard it is for you to get along.

Overcoming Your Differences to Co-Parent

It may not be easy, but keeping these suggestions in mind can help you reduce stress and conflict in your co-parenting process and be the best possible parent for your children.

  • Prioritize your children. Remember that your divorce is affecting your children every bit as much as it is affecting you and your ex. Make sure you continue to be present for your children and devote the time to listen to them and care for their physical and emotional needs, rather than allowing conflict with your ex to take over your time and your mental capacity.
  • Respect your ex. Especially in front of your children, make an effort to talk to and about your ex with respect. Bad-mouthing the other parent can put your kids in an uncomfortable position where they feel trapped in the middle of the conflict and can damage their relationships with both you and your ex.
  • Find communication that works for you. If you struggle to maintain composure in face-to-face conversations with your ex, explore alternatives that allow you to have productive co-parenting discussions, whether by phone, e-mail, text, or another means of communication. Never expect your children to be intermediaries or relay messages in conflicts between you and your ex.
  • Maintain consistency. While many things change in a divorce, you should try to maintain as much normalcy as possible in your children’s daily lives and routines. Work with your ex so that your kids can keep up their school-related and extracurricular activities, and try to establish agreement on boundaries and rules that you will both expect your children to follow.
  • Follow your parenting plan. The outcome of your divorce will include an agreement or court ruling on a parenting plan outlining parenting time and parental responsibilities for you and your ex. It is important that you follow the terms of this plan or work with an attorney to seek a modification if necessary because there can be legal and financial consequences for a parent who violates the plan.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Family Law Attorney

Your divorce may only be the start of a lifelong challenge to cooperate with your ex and provide a good life for your children. Goostree Law Group offers experienced legal counsel and representation through your divorce and beyond and can help you navigate conflict and protect your family. Contact a Kane County family law attorney today at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation.

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How Do Remote Hearings Affect the Divorce Process?Courthouses in Illinois are still hearing cases despite the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the way that courts operate has changed for the safety of everyone involved. Mask and social-distancing requirements are in place, and there are limits on the number of people allowed to attend a hearing. Courts are also using video conferencing in order to conduct remote hearings. For instance, Kane County family courts have a mixed schedule of in-person and remote hearings. Even before attending a hearing, many divorce clients are meeting with their attorneys and holding negotiations through applications such as Zoom. After the pandemic restrictions are lifted, some divorce cases may still use video conferencing because people have become more comfortable with the technology.

How Do I Attend a Remote Hearing?

The preparation leading up to a remote divorce hearing is the same as with any other hearing. The way you attend and participate in the hearing is different, and there are some factors involved that you would not normally need to consider during a hearing:

  • You need a digital device with reliable internet access and a camera and microphone. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones can all work.
  • Even though you are attending the hearing from home, you need to dress in appropriate courtroom attire.
  • You must consider the background that will appear in your video, such as not showing a messy area.
  • You need to be careful about the lighting, which can make it difficult for others to see you on camera.

How Well Do Remote Hearings and Meetings Work?

Some people appreciate being able to have divorce hearings and negotiations remotely instead of in-person. It is more convenient for many people to be able to attend meetings without leaving their homes. They also avoid being in the same room as their spouse, which can reduce the arguments between them and make the process more efficient. However, there are disadvantages to not meeting in person. For instance, it is more difficult during a remote hearing for a client and attorney to have a private conversation as they would be able to if they were sitting next to each other. In Kane County, a judge must create a breakout room in order for two people in a remote hearing to have a private conversation.

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