Finding Your New Identity After DivorceOf all the costs associated with getting a divorce, a loss of identity may be one of the toughest. There was some comfort in knowing your role in your home, despite the misery your marriage caused you. Without your identity as a spouse, you may be uncertain as to how you define yourself. If you have children, the obvious answer is that you are a parent. However, that identity will lessen over time when your children become more independent. It is healthier when you have a part of your identity that does not depend on others. Being newly single gives you a chance to better define yourself. Here are four types of identities you may discover:

  1. Professional: Whatever skills and experience you have in order to do your work is part of who you are. You should tie this identity to yourself more than a specific job. Employment can vary, but your work skills stay with you.
  2. Hobbyist: The activities that you enjoy in your free time are also part of your identity. Your passions can dictate your personality and the type of people you like being around. Finding a group that shares your hobby will help further cement your identity.
  3. Provider: Some people find their greatest satisfaction in helping others. Your giving nature may have focused on your spouse during your marriage. Now, you can share your kindness with others, such as local charities and community groups.
  4. Single: You can fully embrace the fact that you are single and the positives that come with it. You are free to try new experiences and focus on activities that you enjoy, without worrying about pleasing someone else. You may discover that you enjoy the freedom.

Discovering Yourself

Figuring out your identity after divorce may take some searching because people often forget about their individual identities when they are married. You can start by writing down a list of your interests, skills and defining personality traits. If you are struggling to come up with a list, ask close friends or family members for their opinions. You may need to try different activities and experiences to determine whether they are right for you. Remember that you do not need to go through this experience alone. A therapist or support group can give you guidance and encouragement as you try to define yourself.

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How Your Spouse Not Having an Attorney Affects Your DivorceIf you are asking yourself whether you need an attorney for your divorce, the answer is “absolutely yes.” Representing yourself in a divorce would require learning complex divorce laws and applying them to your marriage. Divorcees may choose pro se representation in their divorce because:

  • They want to avoid the cost of hiring a divorce attorney; and
  • They believe the abundance of internet resources can teach them what they need to know.

Having a lawyer when your spouse does not will give you an advantage during your divorce. However, divorcing someone who is representing him or herself can make the process longer and more frustrating:

  1. Playing Catch Up: People representing themselves in divorces are on their own to learn how the legal process works. Though they may try, they cannot ask judges or their spouses' attorneys for help. The filing of basic forms may be a struggle that takes longer than it would have with an attorney doing the work.
  2. Slow Response: Divorce attorneys representing opposing spouses often must request information from each other. Someone who is not an attorney may be less professional in giving a timely response to requests.
  3. Correcting Errors: A person inexperienced in handling divorce cases is liable to make mistakes and miss deadlines. The case will be delayed as the person representing him or herself fixes the errors.
  4. Getting Through Negotiations: Filing for a dissolution of marriage can be relatively straightforward compared to the divorce settlement that follows. A settlement must determine how spouses will divide properties and parental responsibilities while adhering to divorce laws. The two sides are likely to disagree with each other on many issues. A spouse without an attorney may not know all of the legal solutions available.
  5. Personal Bias: Divorce attorneys can check their clients' emotions when they may interfere with reaching a sensible resolution. A divorcee cannot look at a divorce from a completely impersonal perspective. Thus, a spouse without an attorney may base his or her decisions on emotional satisfaction, instead of logic.

Your Advantage 

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When Parents' Faiths Collide After DivorceFamilies across the country have begun observing Lent, which may include periods of fasting and abstaining from vices. Parents who are serious about their faith choose to observe the Lenten traditions, while younger children are likely following the example of their parents. What if the children's parents are divorced and one chooses to not observe Lent? The parent who does observe Lent may be upset with the other parent for allowing their children to lapse in their Lenten commitments. This is just one example of how different religious beliefs can cause conflict between divorced parents. They may be less willing to tolerate each others’ differing beliefs than when they were married. Divorced parents should try to respect their religious differences for the sake of their children.

Legal Rights

In Illinois, the parent who receives a majority of the decision-making responsibilities is likely to be the one who chooses which religion the children will primarily follow. However, the other parent may still have the right to include the children in his or her own religious activities. A divorce court will not favor one parent’s religion unless it believes the religious practices are harming the children. Examples include:

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Why People With Certain Jobs Have Higher Divorce RatesA person’s job may or may not cause a divorce, but research suggests that there is a correlation. Using data from a 2015 survey, an analyst calculated the occupations that had the highest divorce rates. The leading job was casino gaming managers at 52.9 percent, closely followed by bartenders at 52.7 percent. To put the numbers in perspective, the median divorce rate was about 36 percent. Other occupations near the top of the list included flight attendants, switchboard operators, telemarketers, entertainers, nurses, and various heavy machinery workers. Actuaries had the lowest divorce rate at 17 percent, with scientific and religious occupations also having lower rates. When examining the occupations with the highest divorce rates, there are shared factors that may contribute to divorce:

  1. Low Income: Money trouble is one of the most common conflicts that may lead to divorce. Couples who have low or unstable incomes are more likely to be stressed and question each others’ spending habits. There is less margin for error when someone uses money wastefully or an emergency creates an unanticipated expense.
  2. Long and Odd Hours: It is difficult for a couple to maintain a relationship if they cannot see each other regularly. Most of the high divorce rate occupations involve working nights or long shifts. There is an added risk of extramarital affairs happening at work because people may connect with others who share their irregular work schedules.
  3. High Stress: This may be more of a compounding factor because many of the jobs with low divorce rates are also stressful. A stressful job can seem even worse if it does not pay well or the work is not fulfilling. Low-paid workers may take more verbal abuse because their supervisors and customers do not respect them. Because the person does not want to retaliate at work, he or she may vent that anger at home.
  4. Gravitating Towards Vices: After a long or stressful day at work, some people like to relax by drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs. These habits can develop into substance abuse, which often leads to poor or destructive decisions. In the most serious cases, substance abusers may become violent towards others, including their own families.

Work and Divorce

A change in occupation will not save your marriage. Spouses who have problems in their relationship are likely to divorce, regardless of what occupations they have. All marriages involve some form of stress that couples must work through. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you negotiate a favorable divorce settlement after your marriage has ended. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Getting Through Your First Valentine's Day After DivorceRomantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day can be particularly rough for people who have recently divorced or are in the process of divorcing their spouses. More so than long-suffering singles, the holiday reminds you of the relationship you have just lost. Unfortunately, your loneliness may convince you to make poor decisions in an effort to create some romantic spark. There are healthy ways to avoid depression during your first Valentine’s Day after divorce.

What to Do

  1. Celebrate with Your Kids: This Valentine’s Day, you can shift your focus from romantic relationships to your loving relationship with your children. Purchase them cards and candy. Plan a special, home-cooked meal with them.
  2. Find Other Single Friends: You are not the only person feeling depressed on Valentine’s Day. Hang out with other single friends as you focus on activities that have nothing to do with romance.
  3. Do Something Productive: Working on a project or volunteering for a good cause can take your mind off your loneliness. Afterwards, you will feel satisfied that you did something to help yourself or others.
  4. Use Your Support System: If you are desperately lonely and unsure of what to do, ask for help. There are support groups for recent divorcees that understand how you are feeling and can give you advice.

What to Avoid

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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


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


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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