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Three Reasons Why Children Benefit From Shared ParentingIllinois assumes that both parents in a divorce should share parenting time of their child. This may not mean equal parenting time because courts prefer that one parent has the children for a majority of the time to create more stability. Still, both parents are encouraged to be active in their children’s lives beyond child support and basic obligations. Studies on children of divorce have shown that they benefit when each parent has at least 35 percent of the parenting time. They do better in school and are less likely to have long-lasting emotional issues. There are several reasons why shared parenting is more beneficial to children than when one parent has most or all of the parenting time:

  1. The Children Develop Relationships with Both Parents: Conventional wisdom used to be that children primarily need their mothers when growing up, which left some fathers with limited contact with their children. However, a father is also an important figure in a child’s life, and children who do not develop a close relationship with their father may feel abandoned. To develop a relationship, fathers need more time with their children than a visit every other weekend, especially when the child is young.
  2. The Children Receive More Attention: A single parent cannot replicate the positive effect of having two active parents. The parent has work responsibilities and a limited amount of energy to care for all of the children. A shared parenting plan divides the parental responsibilities so that no one parent has to be responsible for all the children at all times. There are two parents to be attentive to the children’s needs and help them if they are having problems.
  3. The Parents Must Work Together: Being “co-parents” means that you are both responsible for the care and development of your children. You need to communicate with your co-parent about what has happened with your children in his or her absence and come to some consensus on how you will raise your children. While it may be difficult, successful co-parenting creates consistency for your children and sets a good example for them. You both are showing how two adults can co-operate towards a common goal, even when they do not get along.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

There are several ways that you can divide your parenting time and schedule the days that you have with your children. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you determine the best parenting schedule for your situation. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Situations That Require Divorce LitigationMost divorces are settled between spouses without the need for a lengthy trial. Divorcees start with out-of-court negotiations because it is more beneficial to reach an agreement between each other than to force a judge to decide for them. Even if you are not completely satisfied with your divorce agreement, it may not be worth going to trial because:

  • Litigation will cost you more time and money;
  • The money you spend on litigation could be greater than what you would have lost by accepting your spouse’s proposal; and
  • You could spend all of that time and money only for the judge to side with your spouse or reach a decision that is worse than your spouse’s offer.

Despite the risks, there are situations when going to trial is unavoidable or worth the expense.

Negotiations Breakdown

You will fail to reach an out-of-court divorce settlement if you cannot have reasonable negotiations. You should enter divorce negotiations with a list of goals and a willingness to compromise if it will help you reach an agreement. It is unlikely that either of you will get everything you want from the agreement, and a divorce court may not accept an agreement that unfairly favors you. However, negotiations will fail if:

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Differentiating Between Individual and Marital Debts in DivorceDividing debts from your marriage can be one of the trickier parts of a divorce agreement. As an equitable division state, Illinois requires divorcees to split their debts in a way that is fair to both parties. Giving each spouse half of the debt may not be an equitable agreement, and a divorce court has the right to divide debt in a way that it deems to be equitable. For instance, a spouse with greater assets after the divorce may also receive a greater share of the debt. Divorcees also must consider whether a debt belongs to an individual or both parties.

Individual Debts

A debt belongs to an individual spouse if the creditor holds only that spouse liable for repaying the debt. You can usually identify an individual debt if:

  • It was created before you were married or after you were legally separated; or
  • The debt contract lists only one person’s name as the owner.

Student loans and individual credit cards are common sources of non-marital debt, as long as they follow the above criteria. You likely want to avoid agreeing to pay for a debt that you are not legally obligated to pay. If one spouse has significantly greater individual debt, he or she may receive a greater share of the marital properties to compensate.

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Four Advantages to Being a Single ParentPeople often think of being a single parent as a hardship that both parent and child must overcome. To be sure, it is optimal for children to grow up in a two-parent household. Being a single parent after divorce means no more sharing parental tasks when the children are with you. You have complete responsibility for the children during your parenting time. You will likely have a tighter budget because you are primarily relying on your own income. Your children may have a difficult time adjusting to living in a different home with each parent. You can help yourself through single parenthood by understanding that there are still some advantages:

  1. Your Home Can Be Less Hostile: A bad marriage puts stress on yourself and your children because there is frequent tension that prevents people from relaxing. Simple tasks can become daunting because they start an argument between you and your spouse. You and your co-parent will each be happier apart, which will create a healthier home for you and your children.
  2. Your Children Receive Your Full Attention: When in a bad marriage, your relationship with your spouse distracts you from your children and takes energy away from your parenting. Though you have more work as a single parent, you can focus more of your attention on your children when they are with you. This may eventually make parenting feel easier for you, and your children will definitely benefit from it.
  3. You Have More Control Over Your Parenting: You and your former spouse may have argued about how to raise your children. While it is important to maintain consistent parenting after divorce, you have more control over the specific rules and expectations in your household. You can choose how strict you are with your children’s bedtime, how often you will go out for meals, and what shows are appropriate for them to watch. Your co-parent is not there to undermine your rules.
  4. Your Children Become More Resilient: One of the keys to being a single parent is sharing some responsibility with your children. They can help you with certain household chores, such as washing dishes or taking out the trash. If you cannot afford to give them the same allowance, they may learn to save the money they receive or earn more money by helping neighbors. It is healthy to take on responsibility as a child, as long as it does not interfere with their education or ability to have a happy childhood.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Being a successful single parent requires more planning and attention than when you were married. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a parenting plan that makes your job more manageable. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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How Unemployment Will Affect Your Divorce ProcessLosing your job while in the middle of divorce will cause great upheaval in the process. Your regular income helps determine many parts of your divorce agreement, such as the division of property, child support, and spousal maintenance. It can be difficult to establish your income when you are still looking for a new job. Sudden unemployment should not halt your divorce process, but you will need to consider how losing your job changes what you need from your divorce.

Impact of Unemployment

While losing your job threatens your financial security, it can give you leverage to ask for more in your divorce agreement:

  • Because Illinois equitably divides marital properties during divorce, you can receive more than half of the marital properties to make up for lost income;
  • A lower income can lower your share of the child support obligation – at least until you get a new job; and
  • A lower income means you may receive more spousal maintenance or may eliminate maintenance if you would have been the payor.

All of these advantages are contingent upon you making a good faith effort to find a new job with a similar level of pay. If the court thinks you are abusing your unemployment status for personal gain, it may settle your divorce agreement using your previous income level. You need to document your efforts to find new employment.

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