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Kane County parenting time attorneyAccording to recent estimates, there are almost 4 million divorced parents in the U.S. today. For such parents, the winter holiday season can be particularly tough to manage, as extended family members often travel great distances to celebrate and to see the children. While far fewer families are likely to travel this year compared to previous years, the holidays are still likely to be challenging for parents who share parental responsibilities.

The first thing you should keep in mind is that, no matter what you do, you will not be able to please everyone. Someone along the way is likely to feel at least a little slighted or disappointed about how your arrangements play out. However, with a little planning and a commitment to being flexible, you can enjoy a happy holiday as a divorced parent.

Take Proactive Steps

Planning ahead is key in making holiday parenting time arrangements. If you and your former partner have a parenting plan in place that specifies where your child will spend which holidays, it is important to be aware of what your plan says for this year. If you are not sure, review your plan and be certain. Your parenting agreement might give you the freedom to set up holiday plans each year by discussing them with your child’s other parent. Once you have established who will have parenting time and when, you can begin planning your holiday visits and other activities. This includes video visits and other arrangements made necessary by the COVID-19 health crisis.

Posted on in Legal Separation

Kane County legal separation attorneyNo matter how mutual the decision may be to end a marriage, choosing to divorce is never an easy undertaking. Even the smoothest divorces mean big changes for both parties, and depending on financial circumstances and whether or not children are involved, those changes can have a ripple effect that impacts everyone in the household for some time to come. Divorce is just as much emotionally taxing as it is financially, compounding the burden for the entire family.

Given the potentially overwhelming nature of ending a marriage, it is understandable why some couples want to avoid the divorce process altogether. In fact, this is often a driving force behind legal separations, although a separation is often only a temporary solution and may not be an effective one for every couple. If you and your spouse want to delay the divorce for more practical reasons rather than emotional reasons, however, you may find that legal separation serves as a productive, beneficial option for both of you. 

Possible Advantages to Legal Separation in Illinois

The following three motivators often encourage couples to pursue separation as a stepping stone or alternative to divorce:

St. Charles domestic violence protection attorneyDid you know that, on average, 24 people per minute are victimized by physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States? This amounts to more than 12 million women and men each year. It is estimated that one in three women and one in four men in this country will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives. In addition, 75 percent of domestic violence victims have children living in the home with them. Efforts have been made to provide better protections from domestic violence, but there is still work to be done.

Domestic Violence Can Leave Victims Paralyzed by Fear

Domestic violence involves complex psychological effects for the women and men who experience it. In many cases, victims do not want their abuser arrested and jailed, they only want the abuse to stop. Fearing that involving law enforcement will upset their lives too much, many victims suffer in silence for years, not sharing with anyone the abuse they have been forced to endure. Orders of protection can be issued to keep abusers away from victims, but victims need to be able to depend on police departments and the court system to uphold those orders.

A Changing Culture

Thankfully, society has changed its attitudes about domestic violence over the last few decades. According to a 1987 survey, 50 percent of Americans thought it was acceptable for a husband to beat his wife with a belt. Ten years later, almost 90 percent said it was wrong—a percentage that largely holds to this day.

St. Charles IL divorce lawyerAfter a divorce, Illinois law permits a parent to move with their children to a new location within 25 miles of their current home in the counties surrounding Chicago, or within 50 miles of their current home anywhere else in the state, in some cases even across state lines. Relocations of a greater distance are sometimes possible with the approval of the court. However, regardless of your intended destination, a move can create significant stress for your children.

Factors to Consider Before Making the Decision to Move

If you are preparing for a divorce and are considering the possibility of moving with your child after the split, it is wise to explore the potential advantages and disadvantages of making yet another big change in the midst of the end of your marriage. On one hand, the idea of starting over and tackling all of the transitions at once can be appealing, but moving directly after the divorce can also trigger some less appealing side effects, especially where the children are concerned. 

Before you commit to moving after your divorce, here are some things to think about: 

Kane County alimony lawyerIn today’s world, many married couples rely on two incomes to live comfortably. Getting a divorce means you are no longer using two incomes to pay bills, as you will likely have to make ends meet with your paycheck alone. For some, this may not be a big deal, but for others, it can make supporting themselves very difficult. This is where spousal maintenance could be very helpful. 

Also known as spousal support or alimony, spousal maintenance is either established by an agreement between the spouses or ordered by a judge based on the circumstances of the situation. Maintenance is typically used to allow both spouses to continue a reasonably similar quality of life compared to what they had when they were married.

Factors in Determining Alimony

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in all Illinois divorce cases. Absent an agreement between the parties, spousal maintenance will only be awarded when it is needed to make a divorce settlement more equitable. When making determinations about spousal maintenance, the judge will examine the marriage and divorce and will use a specific set of factors to make a decision.

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