How Pregnancy Can Change Your DivorceSome spouses have the unfortunate timing of divorcing while the wife is pregnant. Pregnancy is an emotional time for both expectant parents, though the excitement usually draws them closer. Having a child puts stress on the parents, which their relationship may be unable to withstand. In other cases, the decision to divorce just happens to coincide with the pregnancy. Illinois law does not prevent spouses from divorcing while expecting a child. However, pregnancy can change the nature of divorce, especially if it will be the couple’s first child.

Parenting Factors

Illinois law assumes that the husband is the father of any child conceived or born during a marriage. Only a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity by another man or a paternity test could break that assumption. Because the spouses will be co-parents after the divorce, their agreement must include:

A parenting plan for a newborn child is different than with older children. The mother will likely care for the newborn a majority of the time, but the father also needs bonding time with the infant if he plans on being an active parent. The parents should schedule a regular time when the father can visit and hold the infant. Caring for the infant may affect the balance of incomes that determine child support payments, depending on the type of maternity leave that the mother receives and whether either parent will reduce their work hours to focus on parenting.

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Four Tips for Treating Yourself to a Post-Divorce VacationTaking a vacation after completing your divorce can be therapeutic. You have built up a lot of stress during the process and may need a short period of time when you can relax and enjoy yourself. It is easier to avoid reminders of your divorce by getting away from your familiar home environment. Visiting a new location may inspire a fresh perspective on your life after divorce. You can decide for yourself when the best time will be to take that vacation and where you should go. Here are four tips for making vacation plans after a divorce:

  1. Identify What You Enjoy: Vacations can be very busy or very relaxed. Some people enjoy visiting new places and seeing the sites. Others like physical activities that are intensive or leisurely. You may prefer sitting on a beach or finding a quiet place where you can disconnect. This vacation should focus on what you enjoy, whether that is activity or inactivity.
  2. Vacation Within Your Means: Your divorce will naturally diminish your financial resources because of the requirement to divide your marital property. You should not schedule a vacation that will break your budget. It would also look bad if you receive spousal maintenance and immediately use it on a lavish trip. If your money is tight, be creative in your vacation plans by picking a less expensive destination that you will still enjoy. A weekend trip may be more practical than a week-long stay.
  3. Meeting Your Children’s Needs: Having children will affect your vacation plans. Your children deserve a vacation as well, which may delay your plans until the summer. A family vacation may be less relaxing for you and prevent you from doing some of the activities that you enjoy. You will need to fit your vacation into your parenting schedule, which may involve changing your normal schedule. You can plan a vacation without your children, but that would still require consulting with your co-parent.
  4. Having Company: You have the choice of whether you will vacation alone or with others. A solo vacation gives you more freedom to relax but may be lonely. You can invite friends or family to accompany you on the trip, with the understanding that you want to avoid talking about your divorce. You should consider joining a tour group if you like structure and interacting with people who have similar interests.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

To afford the vacation that you want, you need financial security coming out of your divorce. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you plan for life after divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Positives and Negatives of Changing Careers During DivorceCommon sense says that you should not embark on a life-changing event such as starting a new career at the same time as you are going through a divorce. Doing both will divide the time and energy you need to devote to each, as well as pile stress on yourself. However, one change can beget another, and getting a divorce may cause you to reconsider your current career and whether it is meeting your needs. Starting a career change during a divorce can be good or bad timing, depending on the reasons for the change.

Positives

There are typically three reasons that someone wants to change their career during their divorce:

  • They need a better-paying job in order to be financially independent of their spouse;
  • The work hours of their current job will make it difficult for them to have regular parenting time with their children; or
  • They are unsatisfied with their current career and want a job that matches their passions.

A divorce court may view the first two reasons as positive steps on your part. The court may expect you to attempt to become financially independent as a condition of awarding you spousal maintenance. Seeking a better-paying career shows you intend to become less reliant on your spouse. A career with flexible working hours also shows that you take your parental responsibilities seriously, which may help you receive a fair share of the parenting time.

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Which Circumstances Allow You to Modify Child Support Payments?Due to the overhaul of Illinois’ child support law a few years ago, some divorced or separated parents are working under a drastically different child support system than others:

  • For child support agreements created before July 1, 2017, the non-resident parent pays a percentage of his or her income, based on the number of children; and
  • For child support agreements created since July 1, 2017, the total child support obligation is determined by the parents’ combined incomes, and the non-resident parent pays a percentage of the obligation that is proportionate to his or her share of the combined incomes.

The new child support model would potentially reduce the payments of a parent who was using the previous child support model. However, the existence of the new law is not enough reason to allow a modification of a child support agreement. 

Recent Case

A parent needs to prove a significant change of circumstances to immediately modify a child support agreement, which is usually a change in income or expenses for either parent. In the recent case of In re Marriage of Salvatore, a divorced father thought he had enough of a change of circumstances to allow him to reduce his child support payments. The parents had completed their divorce in 2015, with the father paying $8,100 per month for child support. The mother was unemployed at the time of divorce but had since been employed as an office worker and nurse.

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Can Empty Nest Syndrome Lead to Divorce?Parents commonly experience empty nest syndrome after their children have moved out of the home. They can feel lonely and lacking a purpose or identity. Ideally, their marriage will fill the parenting void, but empty nest syndrome can put pressure on a weak marriage. If your marriage is falling apart without your children, you may need to consider divorce. Starting anew can help you discover the purpose and fulfillment you have been looking for.

Reasons for Divorce

Parenting can hold together a marriage that may have crumbled otherwise. Between your parental responsibilities and your career, you may give little thought to your relationship with your spouse as long as you feel fulfilled in these other areas. The bond you share as parents will never completely disappear, but that by itself does not make you compatible partners. With the children out of the house, your spouse may be the only person that you regularly interact with. When this happens, you may realize that you and your spouse:

  • Share little in the way of common interests;
  • Have different ideas about how active you want to be in your post-parenting lives;
  • Disagree on how active you should remain in your children’s lives; or
  • Feel generally uncomfortable or unhappy with each other.

Some spouses stay together despite these differences, remaining married but living separate lives. For others, divorce is the best way to free themselves to pursue the lives they want.

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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