Affording a New House as a Single ParentWhen parents divorce, at least one of them must find a new home for them to live with their children. In some cases, both parents are searching for a home if they sell their marital home. It can be difficult to purchase a house as a single parent. You must find a home that is within your price range but still meets your family’s needs. It may also be more difficult to receive a mortgage as a single parent. To purchase a home, you will need to plan ahead and use the resources available from your divorce agreement.

Assess Your Situation

Before hitting the housing market, you must identify what you need and what you can afford. Your needs may depend on how many children you have and their ages. Young children of the same gender may be fine with sharing a room, but older children need more privacy and space. Your housing expenses are a major component of your budget after divorce. Besides your job income and living expenses, you must consider divorce-related assets and expenses, such as:

It may be unwise to devote all of your available assets toward purchasing a home if you can find an acceptable home at a lower cost.

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Why Parenting Time Is Different from VisitationThe terms “parenting time” and “visitation” are sometimes loosely interchanged with each other when discussing the allocation of parental responsibilities after a divorce or separation. When the children spend the majority of their time with one parent, the other parent may feel like they are seeing the children only during weekend visits. However, visitation is different from parenting time, both in legal definition and concept. Saying that your children visit you is demeaning to your relationship with them.

Legal Meaning

Illinois revised its Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to replace the words “child custody” with “the allocation of parental responsibilities.” Parental responsibilities are made up of:

  • Decision-making, which is the right to decide important issues regarding the children; and 
  • Parenting time, which is the regularly scheduled time in which a parent is responsible for caring for the children.

The written agreement that divides these parental responsibilities is called the parenting plan. There is a separate section in the law for visitation, which is defined as the time spent between a child and a nonparent, such as a grandparent, stepparent, sibling, or other designated parties. Nonparents can petition for visitation with a child if they can prove that it is in the best interest of the child or the parent has unreasonably denied them visits.

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When Your Spouse Impersonates You Online During DivorceA bitter divorce can cause spouses to be angry and vindictive towards each other. Some spouses try to hurt each other in ways that range from petty to criminal acts. A common way to embarrass a spouse is to have the divorce notice served to them at their work, which is not illegal but still humiliating. A spouse may violate the law by posting “revenge porn” on the internet, which is a class 4 felony. From a legal perspective, online impersonation falls somewhere between the previous examples. Your spouse may not always be breaking the law by impersonating you, but catching your spouse in the act will hurt them during your divorce.

Online Impersonation

Illinois is not one of the few states that have created criminal laws that specifically prohibit online impersonation. Illinois has laws against identity theft, which is a form of impersonation that is used to steal assets or defraud others. Cases of online impersonation during a divorce often involve:

  • Someone claiming to be their spouse through a website or social media account in order to ruin that spouse’s reputation; or
  • Someone impersonating another person in order to contact their spouse and obtain private information.

Your spouse may have committed a crime if they used your identity to steal your assets or impersonated someone else in order to harass you. Defamation of character is a civil offense but is protected from criminal charges by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A court can order your spouse to take down untruthful information, and you can file a lawsuit against your former spouse to seek compensation. A divorce court may also punish your spouse for their unethical actions.

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Avoiding an Emotional Collapse During Your DivorceThere are times when going through your divorce may test the limits of your patience, energy, and sanity. No one experiences divorce within a bubble. You are balancing your divorce with your personal and professional lives and trying not to let any of them collapse. If you fear that your divorce may overwhelm you, you should consider hiring a divorce coach to help you through the personal side of your divorce. Through your coaching sessions, you will learn several important facts that may help you cope:

  1. You Need to Share Your Feelings: Suppressing your emotions builds up stress and may cause a breakdown. You need an outlet to talk about what is making you worried or upset. The trick is finding the right person to talk to. You want someone who is sympathetic yet emotionally detached from your divorce. A divorce coach or therapist is the ideal choice. If you want to talk to a family member or friend, make sure it is someone who has a calm and compassionate temperament. Your children should never be your outlet.
  2. It Is Okay to Ask for Help: In fact, it is smart to seek help before the stress from your divorce becomes a problem. For instance, you should tell your boss that you are going through a divorce, which will at times require your attention. With this knowledge, your boss may be able to help you with your workload or understand if you need to take time off. If you do not tell your boss, he or she cannot help you and may assume the worst if your work performance suffers.
  3. You Should Allow Yourself to Grieve: You may experience conflicting emotions about your divorce. You are glad to be leaving a bad marriage, yet you are also sad about it. It is natural to regret and grieve the end of your marriage while also understanding that it is necessary. Allowing yourself to experience the natural grieving process will eventually lead to acceptance.
  4. You Must Accept What You Can Control: With a process as consequential as divorce, you may worry about whether your spouse or a court will prevent you from getting what you need to support yourself. It does you no good to worry about things that are out of your control. You can control only your own approach to the divorce negotiation and your own decisions. Trust that your lawyer will advocate for your best interest and help you reach a beneficial agreement.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

A divorce lawyer and divorce coach compliment each other to address a client’s legal and emotional needs. Contact a Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group to learn more about our staff divorce coach. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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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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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 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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