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Four Ways to Help a Misbehaving Child During DivorceChildren can be unpredictable when it comes to how they will react to major events, such as their parents getting divorced. You like to think that you know your child well enough to be able to anticipate how upset they will be, but there is no precedent for them responding to divorce. If your child’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, that will add yet another concern to an already stressful time in your life. Bad behavior for some children is throwing tantrums or behaving rudely. For others, it may be more serious misbehavior that gets them in trouble with school or the law. You need to address your child’s behavior before it becomes a larger problem that creates consequences for them:

  1. Maintain Discipline: Do not let your child get away with bad behavior because you feel guilty about the divorce. Your divorce may be the reason they are acting out, but being lax with discipline will encourage their behavior. You should maintain the same rules for behavior and may need to punish your child if their actions warrant it.
  2. Show Compassion: There are ways to discipline your child while also acknowledging the pain your divorce is causing them. Try not to show anger towards your child when they behave poorly. Talk to them about how they feel and how you may be able to help them with their struggles.
  3. Pay Attention: Your child may be angry at you for the divorce because they feel you are ignoring them and their needs. You know that your parental responsibilities are one of the most important parts of your divorce, but they may not understand that. Paying attention and listening to your child is the best way you can demonstrate that they are still your top priority.
  4. Work with Your Co-Parent: Whatever efforts you are making to correct your child’s bad behavior, you and your co-parent need to be consistent. Discuss with each other what the rules are for discipline and what is an appropriate response to bad behavior. If one parent has grounded a child for misbehaving, the other parent should continue that punishment when the child is with them.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Many children struggle to adjust after their parents get divorced, which makes the time they spend with each parent important. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will make sure you are able to get enough parental responsibilities to be able to help your child through the transition. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Divorce

How to Set Goals Before You DivorceIt is not enough to wait until after your divorce is over to decide on your post-divorce goals. You should already know what your primary goals are before you start the divorce process so that you can negotiate your divorce with those goals in mind. Once the court has approved your divorce agreement, it will be difficult to modify it if you realize that you missed an opportunity for your agreement to help you achieve a goal. A skilled divorce attorney and a divorce coach can help you identify your divorce goals and plan for how you will achieve them.

Actionable Goals

Most people have a vague idea about what they want from their divorce, but you will be most successful during your divorce if you have specific and quantifiable goals. Saying that you want a “fair share” or a “reasonable agreement” does not tell you how to recognize whether you are achieving your goals. It is more helpful to say that you want:

  • Specific properties from your marriage
  • A percentage of your marital assets
  • A number of hours with your children each week

You can most accurately quantify your divorce goals by consulting with your divorce lawyer and figuring out what you need.

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Posted on in Over 50

Unique Concerns for Divorcees Over 50Going through a divorce is fundamentally the same process for everyone, regardless of their age. You need to divide the life you shared, including the assets you accumulated and the responsibilities you hold. Getting divorced when you are age 50 or older means you will approach some of these issues differently than if you were a younger couple. Your children are likely either adults or getting close to adulthood, which makes child-related issues less of a focus. However, there are other issues that can be more complicated during a gray divorce:

  1. Health Insurance: Having good health insurance coverage becomes more vital as you get older and your healthcare expenditures likely increase. Divorce may disrupt your insurance if you are on your spouse’s plan. You need to find your own health insurance source until you are old enough to start receiving Medicare. If you are not eligible for Medicare based on your own work history, you can receive Medicare under your former spouse’s plan as long as you were married for at least 10 years and you have not remarried.
  2. Retirement: Dividing retirement assets is an issue in all divorces, but divorcees age 50 and older are dealing with plans that are more mature and closer to being used. If your retirement assets are far greater than your spouse’s assets, you will likely need to share some of its value with your spouse because they are at the age where it may be too late for them to build up their retirement assets on their own. You and your spouse can negotiate whether you will share your retirement assets in one lump sum or through continued payments.
  3. Estate Plan: People 50 and older are more likely to have created an estate plan for how to divide their assets upon their death and who should have the power to make decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. You can update these documents following your divorce to remove your spouse as the primary beneficiary. However, you might not completely cut your spouse out of your estate plan. For instance, you may agree to give your spouse assets upon your death as a replacement for spousal maintenance.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you have chosen to divorce after decades of marriage, you need to work with someone who is experienced in handling cases such as yours. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can handle all of the complicated life issues that come with gray divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Adoption

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in Illinois?Thousands of Illinois residents adopt children each year, providing new homes to those in need of a stable family. If you wish to become an adoptive parent, you should be aware that it is a long and sometimes arduous process. The cost of adopting a child may surprise you. According to Adoptive Families Magazine, the average adoption in the U.S. costs $43,000. However, the cost does not have to be an obstacle in completing the adoption process because there are ways you can be reimbursed.

Adoption Costs

The price of adoption depends on factors such as which adoption agency you use and where you are adopting the child from. Prospective adoptive parents may pay fees for:

  • Adoption agency services, such as home studies, placement, and counseling
  • Legal services and court filings
  • Living and medical expenses for the birth mother if the adoptive parents have arranged to adopt the unborn child
  • International travel if attempting to adopt a child from another country

In Illinois, you can adopt a child through the state’s Department of Children and Family Services or a licensed adoption agency. Illinois requires licensed adoption agencies to be charitable organizations, but the agencies still need to charge fees for the services they provide and their own expenses, such as paying their staff.

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What a Review Means for Your Spousal MaintenanceSpousal maintenance that is awarded during a divorce is meant to last for a defined length of time, usually determined by the length of the marriage and the needs of the recipient. In Illinois, maintenance may be permanent if the couple was married for at least 20 years or the recipient spouse has little chance of being able to support themselves. Sometimes, the divorce agreement may state that the parties will review the maintenance after a certain number of years to determine whether it should be extended or terminated. A recent Illinois case, in re Marriage of Brunke, involved two former spouses disagreeing during their maintenance review about whether the maintenance payments should continue and be increased. The court’s ruling on the case explains which factors a court may consider when reviewing a maintenance agreement.

Rehabilitative Maintenance

One of the most important factors is whether the spousal maintenance agreement included a requirement that the recipient attempt to financially support themselves, which is known as rehabilitative maintenance. The court may terminate maintenance if there is a rehabilitative requirement and the recipient did not make a good faith effort to obtain employment or seek a better-paying job. “Good faith effort” accounts for factors such as whether the recipient:

  • Has turned down reasonable employment opportunities
  • Is in the process of obtaining education or training that would qualify them for jobs
  • Is at an age that would make it difficult to find new employment

In the case of in re Marriage of Brunke, the payor claimed that maintenance should be terminated because the recipient had made little effort to find a job, but the court ruled that the recipient’s age of 68 makes it unlikely that she will ever be able to get a job that would support herself.

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