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Posted on in Child Custody

Using Provisions to Strengthen Your Parenting PlanYour parenting agreement is the document that determines your rights and responsibilities as a co-parent, such as when the children will be with each parent and who has the authority to make parenting decisions. However, there are many other aspects of parenting that co-parents need to agree on. Adding provisions to your parenting agreement can clarify how you will raise your children and how you will make decisions with your co-parent.

What Are Provisions?

Provisions refer to the terms of a parenting plan that address decision-making responsibilities and parenting time schedules. It is best to wait until you have completed the basic structure of your parenting plan before you start adding additional provisions. Provisions in a parenting agreement are helpful because they can create:

  • Guidelines for how you will raise your children, which creates more consistency between the two homes
  • A system for when and how you will communicate with your co-parent
  • A process for making temporary adjustments to the parenting agreement when circumstances require it

Examples of Provisions

The provisions in your parenting plan can be as specific as you want, as long as they do not violate state parenting laws. Common examples of provisions include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Recovering When Infidelity Leads to DivorcePart of your recovery during and after your divorce is moving past the emotions that led to divorce. Unfortunately, acts of infidelity can be difficult to reconcile. If your spouse had an affair during your marriage, you may feel hurt and spiteful towards them. It is unhealthy to let spite drive your decisions during divorce because creating a divorce agreement is not about punishing a cheating spouse. You should focus on reaching an agreement with your spouse that benefits you. If you are a co-parent after a divorce, holding a grudge against your former spouse may impede your ability to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. Healing from an affair may take time, but you can start the process with these steps:

  1. Honestly Assess Your Marriage: Learning about your spouse’s affair may have directly led to your decision to divorce, but that does not make it the sole cause of your divorce. It is possible that your marriage was already in danger due to a lack of communication and trust. Divorce may have eventually happened, regardless of whether your spouse had an affair.
  2. Do Not Play the Blame Game: It is natural to blame your spouse for their affair, though some people also blame themselves. Blaming someone for the divorce is counterproductive to the divorce process and to your emotional health. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses can claim only irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce. Once you have decided to divorce, the blame is irrelevant.
  3. Move Beyond the Victim Label: Your spouse chose to be unfaithful during your marriage, knowing that it would hurt you if you found out. However, labeling yourself as a victim is telling yourself that you are powerless against your spouse’s actions. Divorcing means your spouse no longer defines who you are and how you live.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

As difficult as it is to believe now, you may eventually forgive your former spouse for their affair. You will be the one who benefits the most from that forgiveness because you are releasing yourself from the pain of the affair. However, you cannot force forgiveness and are unlikely to reach that point during your divorce, when the pain is still fresh. A divorce coach can help you channel your emotions into positive and constructive action. Goostree Law Group has an in-house divorce coach that works with our St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorneys in providing comprehensive divorce services. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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How Bonuses, Commissions, and Stock Options Are Treated During DivorceThe income you earned before you filed for divorce is considered marital property, which is part of the division of property. Your income after your divorce is used to calculate child support and spousal maintenance but is otherwise yours to keep. The structure of your pay has little consequence on your divorce if you receive a straightforward salary or hourly wages. With other forms of compensation, the timing of your divorce could determine whether your spouse can claim a portion of that income:

  1. Bonuses: In most cases, a work bonus qualifies as marital property if you received it before you filed for divorce. You must make sure that your spouse does not double count the bonus by claiming it as marital property and including it as part of your income when calculating support. An exception may be a bonus with a clawback provision, which states that you must return the bonus if you are no longer with your employer before a set date. You could argue that you should not include the bonus in the division of property because you could lose it. If it is part of the division of property, you should include a section in your agreement stating that your spouse must repay their share of the bonus if you are forced to return it for reasons beyond your control.
  2. Commissions: Some employees receive a commission for work completed in place of or in addition to their salary. If you know that commission pay is coming, you can try to file for divorce in advance so that it is not marital property. However, your spouse may argue that the commission is marital property because you completed the work related to the commission while you were still married. If you cannot agree with your spouse, a divorce court will need to decide whether the commission is marital property.
  3. Stock Options: Illinois divorce law states that stock options that you receive during your marriage are assumed to be marital property, regardless of whether they are vested or if you know their actual value at the time of the divorce. A divorce agreement can set a provision that you will pay your spouse a share of these stocks when you exercise your option on them. Stock options are not marital property if they were a gift or part of an inheritance, which does not apply to stock options you received through work.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Much of your negotiating during divorce will focus on identifying your marital properties, determining their value, and dividing them between you and your spouse. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can ensure that your division of property is accurate and meets your needs. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Child Support

Child Support Variables That You Will DecideDivorcing parents in Illinois do not negotiate child support payments in the same way they may negotiate spousal maintenance. With spousal maintenance, you may need to decide whether payments are necessary and how long they should last. With child support, those issues are predetermined. Child support is mandatory and will last until all of your children have turned 18 or graduated from high school. The formula for calculating child support is also set because the income shares table will tell you the base child support obligation that you share. However, there are still factors regarding child support that you can control.

Establishing Your Income

When calculating child support payments, parents may disagree on their respective incomes. Your income level affects the total child support obligation between the two of you and how much of that obligation you will pay. You need to accurately report your income while making sure that your spouse is not underreporting their income. Your spouse may accuse you of misrepresenting your income. If you cannot agree on each other’s incomes, a divorce court will examine your case and decide for you.

Division of Parenting Time

The child support formula changes if you have what Illinois classifies as a shared parenting arrangement, which is each parent having at least 146 nights with the children. This is a 60-40 division of parenting time. The revised formula increases the overall child support obligation but expects both parents to pay for most of their own child-related expenses. As a result, the child support payments between parents are less than with parents who do not meet the requirements for a shared parenting arrangement.

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Posted on in Divorce

Avoiding an Addiction Relapse During Your DivorceAddiction comes in many forms, whether it involves alcohol, drugs, sex or other excessive behavior. People dealing with addiction can become abusive towards the ones they love and betray their trust. It is commendable if you have recovered from an addiction, but your spouse does not have to forgive you for your past actions. You may end up divorcing despite your efforts to improve yourself. While this may be a devastating turn of events, you cannot let yourself relapse into your addiction.

Addiction and Divorce

Your marriage and your family may have been your primary motivations during your recovery. You want to be someone that your spouse and children can rely on, and that idea gave you the strength to seek help and change yourself. The divorce takes away your spouse as a pillar of support. It is also possible that the divorce court will view your history of addiction as a potential danger to your children, which could affect the allocation of parental responsibilities. Divorce is a stressful and sometimes frightening process for anyone. You may be tempted to return to your addiction because it feels comfortable and will take your mind off your anxiety. A relapse would be disastrous for yourself and your divorce. It would likely limit your parenting time with your children and distract you from what you need to accomplish in your divorce.

Preventing Relapse

You should realize the risk of relapse during your divorce and take steps to protect your health:

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