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How to Survive a High-Conflict DivorceAny divorce professional will tell you that it is beneficial to have an amicable divorce. You save money by having quicker negotiations and feel better about the process after it is over. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will have an amicable divorce because you are only half of the equation. There is little that you can do to change the behavior of a spouse who is hostile towards you from the start of the divorce. Though your divorce will not be amicable, you can still try to make the best of the situations by controlling your own behavior.

Recognizing a High-Conflict Divorce

High-conflict divorce is often characterized by constant combativeness that prevents you from having reasonable discussions with your spouse. The combative spouse could be outwardly angry or silent and uncooperative. People in a high-conflict divorce often:

  • Get into arguments over basic issues
  • View negotiations as all-or-nothing
  • Resort to personal attacks
  • Seem to focus as much on punishing their spouse as benefiting themselves

The stress of divorce can cause people to behave in unusual ways, such as being more emotional and defensive. Some people have pre-existing personality disorders that are worsened by divorce. If you are struggling with feelings of anger and hostility during your divorce, visiting a mental health professional or support group may help.

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Coordinating Christmas Gifts for Children After DivorceYour first Christmas after a divorce can be a difficult adjustment for yourself and your children. Parents’ main concern is usually how they will divide parenting time during the holidays so that they both can enjoy it with their children. Gift-giving is another topic that co-parents need to discuss leading up to Christmas. Do not assume that your co-parent has the same idea about what is appropriate regarding the types of gifts you will get your children and their value. You should share your gift-giving duties in the same way as you share other child-related responsibilities and expenses.


Newly divorced parents can make a mistake by going overboard with Christmas gifts because they feel guilty about putting their children through the divorce. Exceeding your normal budget for your children’s gifts can have harmful consequences:

  • You are setting a new expectation for the value and quantity of gifts that your children receive.
  • You are teaching your children that they should expect gifts as compensation if you do something that upsets them.
  • Your personal budget after a divorce may be unable to afford more expensive gifts.

You and your co-parent should set a budget for your combined gifts for your children that is similar to what you spent when you were married. This means that each parent will give fewer gifts on their own but their combined gifts will be consistent with what the children usually receive on Christmas.

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Posted on in Divorce

Why Hiring a Divorce Coach Is Worth the CostGetting divorced involves expenses that are necessary for completing the process in a way that meets your needs. For instance, you need to hire a divorce attorney so that you have an experienced legal professional who makes sure that your divorce agreement takes full advantage of the law and does not contain errors. Hiring a divorce coach may seem like a less necessary expense, especially if you are worried about your budget. However, there are several reasons why a divorce coach is worth the investment:

  1. A Divorce Coach Can Focus on Your Personal Life: Who should you contact when you have pressing questions about how your divorce will affect your personal life? Friends and family can be compassionate but likely do not have the experience to provide you solutions. Your attorney’s primary job is to work on the legal aspects of your divorce. Asking them to also be your divorce coach is not the best use of their time or your money. Your divorce coach is trained to be your resource for how to handle the personal and emotional aspects of your divorce.
  2. A Divorce Coach Is a Voice of Reason: Getting divorced can cause people to think irrationally and make decisions that end up hurting themselves. When you are blinded by emotions, you need someone who is objective and able to guide you towards better decisions. Friends and family may be uncomfortable confronting you because they are afraid to damage your relationship. Your divorce coach can give you the advice you need while also being sensitive to your emotions.
  3. A Divorce Coach Builds You into a Better Divorcee: It is difficult to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for divorce, which will affect your life in ways that you may not anticipate. It helps to have someone who knows what to expect and can work with you to create a plan for how you will handle these challenges. This is one of the major benefits of having a divorce coach. They do more than react when a problem arises. As the word “coach” suggests, they teach you how to overcome the challenges you will face and approach your divorce with a healthy attitude. 

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Coach

Once you have decided that you need a divorce coach, your next step is to find one. Luckily, Goostree Law Group has a divorce coach on staff who works with our Kane County divorce attorneys on cases. To learn more about our divorce coaching service, schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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Withholding Parenting Time Can Violate Civil and Criminal LawsWhen one spouse believes that the other spouse wronged them during their marriage, they may want their divorce agreement to be a way to punish their spouse. Illinois divorce laws do not assign blame to either party for actions such as infidelity, but the court may favor the “victim” spouse when dividing marital properties if the cheating spouse used marital assets to pay for the affair. Parenting time is not a commodity that you withhold from your spouse to punish them. You must base all of your parenting decisions on what is best for your children, and obstructing parenting time without court approval can have civil and criminal consequences.

Allocating Parental Responsibilities

When you try to punish your co-parent by limiting or denying their access to your children, you are also punishing your children by hurting their relationship with their other parent. Denying parenting time is appropriate only when you can prove that your co-parent is a danger to your children. Abusive behavior by your co-parent is the most obvious example of proof, but your co-parent’s infidelity is not evidence by itself that they are a bad parent. 

Violation of Parenting Time

When a parent is dissatisfied with the outcome of their parenting agreement, they may try to get back at their co-parent through parental alienation or obstructing parenting time. Attempting to alienate your children from your co-parent will cause them pain and likely damage your own relationship with them. Withholding your children during your co-parent’s parenting time is a violation of a court order that can result in:

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How to File for Divorce in Illinois When You Were Married in Another CountryMore than a million people from around the world immigrate to the U.S. and become permanent residents each year. Many people are attracted to the opportunity for a better life, while others may be following a job offer or looking for a change. It is common for couples and families to make the move together with no intention of leaving the U.S. What happens when a couple who was married in another country decides to divorce while living in the U.S.? The divorce laws of the state in which they live will determine how the divorce will proceed.

Where Do You Divorce?

You file for divorce with the court system of your permanent residence and not the court system of the country where you were married. This applies when you immigrated to the U.S. from another country and when you emigrated from the U.S. to another country. For people who have moved to Illinois from another country, you should understand these rules about divorce:

  • You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to file for divorce in Illinois.
  • You do need to be a permanent resident of Illinois and have maintained a residence in the state for at least 90 days.
  • Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not have to present a reason for divorce other than that you have irreconcilable differences.
  • Though you need to know the basic information about your marriage, you typically do not need to provide a copy of your marriage license from the country where you were married.
  • You can still divorce your spouse if they do not live in the U.S., but you must send them a notice of your petition to divorce.
  • If your spouse refuses to attend the divorce hearing, the court may issue a default judgment in your favor.
  • Whether the country where you were married recognizes your divorce judgment will depend on the laws of that country.

Serving notice to a spouse living in another country can be complicated, especially if that country does not have a treaty with the U.S. that recognizes each others’ court orders. You can serve notice to your spouse by mailing it to their address, using a foreign agent to deliver it, or posting a notice in a publication of record for where they live.

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