Avoid Feeling Guilty During DivorceThere is an important difference between feeling regret and feeling guilt during your divorce. With regret, you are thinking about the mistakes that lead to your divorce. It is best not to linger on regrets, but identifying them can help you learn from your divorce and heal. With guilt, you are blaming yourself for the divorce occurring, even though such a feeling is often inaccurate and unproductive. People who believe they are to blame for their divorces may want to punish themselves during the divorce negotiations. Divorcees must separate feelings of guilt from how they reach a settlement on financial issues and the allocation of parental responsibilities.

Reasons for Guilt

It helps to identify why you feel guilty when you are blaming yourself for your divorce. Understanding the source of your guilt allows you to rationalize whether it is fair to say you are at fault for the divorce. There are various reasons people may blame themselves for their divorces, including:

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Resolving to Improve as a Parent for the New YearNew Year’s resolutions are about finding ways to improve yourself, with the noticeable passage of time as the impetus. If you are concerned about your deteriorating relationship with your children after your divorce or separation, you can resolve to be a better parent. You have a finite amount of time to form an emotional bond with your children while they are still at the age when they look towards you for guidance. Here are five tips that may help you improve as a parent for the new year:

  1. Increase Contact: Your children need to notice your presence in order to develop a relationship with you. You can try to increase your share of parenting time, though it may be impractical depending upon distance and schedules. There are alternatives to physical contact with your children, such as phone calls, video chats and emails. Electronic communication allows continued interaction without worrying about transportation or clearing your schedule for most of the day.
  2. Show Interest: When you are with your children, focus on activities or interaction that they want. Ask them questions about themselves and listen to what they say. Encourage them to come to you if they are worried about something and need advice or support. You will have more success trying to integrate into their lives than forcing them to do what you want.
  3. Be Persistent Yet Patient: Your children may not immediately respond to your efforts to improve your relationship, particularly if they are approaching their teenage years. They may be unfamiliar with your new attitude and unsure of how to respond. Keep trying to reach them, while figuring out which interactions are most successful. However, do not be overly aggressive. Trying too hard may drive them away.
  4. Play Nice with Your Co-Parent: If the children primarily live with the other parent, he or she will largely affect their opinion about you. Be cordial and accommodating with your former spouse, and he or she will hopefully reciprocate by encouraging your children to maintain a relationship with you. Cooperating as parents will help you both in successfully raising your children.
  5. Follow Through: The biggest problem with New Year’s resolutions is that people tend to forget about them after a couple of months. You cannot afford to do that with your children because they would feel betrayed and may never again trust you enough to have a close relationship. Once you have established a new pattern of contact and interaction, you need to continue it.

Building a Relationship

Adjusting your parenting agreement can grant you more time with your children. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you petition to modify your parenting agreement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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How Divorce Affects Disability BenefitsWhen one person in a marriage is eligible to receive federal disability benefits, both spouses may come to rely upon the payments. The benefits are meant to make up for the spouse’s inability to secure employment. If the couple divorces, the disabled spouse will likely see his or her disability benefits unaffected or increased. The non-disabled spouse may individually receive benefits, depending on which program the disabled spouse is using.

SSI vs. SSDI

Any person age 65 or older or an adult with a qualifying disability may apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). The difference between the two has to do with work experience and financial need:

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Learning from Divorce Before RemarryingAfter finishing your divorce, you likely feel that you never want to go through that experience again. Divorce is naturally cumbersome, uncomfortable and depressing. However, many divorcees have not given up on the institution of marriage if they meet the right person. You may feel more cautious about getting married, which is actually a smart approach. Something went wrong in your first marriage, and you want to avoid making the same mistakes. Your divorce should serve as a lesson if you plan to remarry.

Be Patient

The reasons for your failed marriage should give you a better idea of the qualities you are looking for in a partner and what you want to avoid. With this profile in mind, you may feel emboldened to enter a serious relationship with the first person who checks all of those boxes. However, your first marriage taught you that it takes time to learn someone’s true nature. You likely felt that your first spouse was a perfect match before you married. Be more patient in getting to know your partner in a new relationship before entering a commitment.

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New Pet Custody Law Goes Into Effect in 2018Determining pet custody is complicated in a divorce because it involves aspects of the division of marital property and traditional custody concerns. Illinois’ divorce laws define pets as property, which can be marital or non-marital depending on when ownership started. However, most owners think of their pets in a way that is similar to children. A new Illinois law, going into effect at the start of 2018, changes how pet ownership is treated in a divorce to more closely align with how many owners think of them. Pets are a responsibility that can be shared between divorcing spouses, instead of merely a property that one party gets to keep.

Terminology

The law introduces terms that are important to understanding the nature of pet custody during a divorce:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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

 630-584-4800

 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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