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Elgin Illinois Family Law Blog

Avoid divorce drama with these 3 tips

No divorce is simple, even if both parties are willing to work together to resolve it. While many couples are able to avoid divorce court and settle through mediation, arbitration or their own negotiations, others run into trouble with disputes they simply can't get past.

If you are going through a divorce, there are some tips that can help you avoid disputes like those, so you can move on. Here are three tips to help you negotiate and end your divorce more quickly.

Divorcing? Here are the basics of what you should know

If you've decided to get a divorce from your spouse, you may be ready to separate but not know how to go about doing so. The steps you take next could impact your case over time, so it's smart to do what you can to prepare.

Usually, people discuss the idea of a divorce before going to their attorneys, but it can be more beneficial to you to seek support from an attorney before you speak with your spouse about divorce. Why? Once you speak with your spouse, they could make it harder for you to access your bank account or shared accounts, limit access to certain assets or even hide assets that you don't have proof of existing. Taking the time to collect documents and speak with your attorney first helps avoid that situation.

How can you ease the tension of your custody arrangements?

Child custody can become a contentious topic for some couples, and it is easy for you to shut down and stop listening when your ex-spouse gets angry or frustrated with the situation. For your own sanity and the sake of your children, it's important that you and your ex-spouse are able to be civil with one another.

Being reasonable is possible, even if you and your ex-spouse don't get along. Some easy ways to help ease the tension of your custody arrangements include:

  • Trying to give plenty of notice if you need changes made to the schedule for special events
  • Allowing for reasonable changes if and when necessary
  • Considering third-party safe drop-off points for your child if you and your ex-spouse argue or fight in person
  • Speaking directly with one another to address issues
  • Doing your best to respect your ex-spouse's parenting, whether that means upholding a reasonable punishment or sticking to a bedtime routine that works well for your child

Paying child support helps create equal home environments

Child support is typically paid by the parent who has visitation (but not primary custody) and sees their child less often. Their child may live with them only a couple days a week or just as often as with the other parent.

For parents who have custody more often, child support can be a helpful benefit. It's there to provide additional funds for raising the child, much like in a two-family household. Some people argue that this places an unfair burden on the other parent, but the goal is to make the situation fairer for the child at both homes.

Setting up a flexible custody schedule helps during a school year

There's no question that it can be difficult to set up a child custody arrangement that works for you. Even though you and the other parent have raised your child together in the past, it's far different to do so in two different households.

It can be particularly difficult to come up with a schedule during the school year. For children who are young, schooling is fairly straightforward. They leave in the morning and return in the afternoon. This simple schedule rarely changes and makes it easier for parents to schedule around their children's schooling.

Get a better understanding of child support in Illinois

Child support is sometimes viewed negatively, but the truth is that it's important for providing a supportive home to a child. When one parent out-earns the other, child support can be a way to boost the quality of the child's living environment with a lesser-earning parent. It's also a payment that shows that the parent who does not have primary custody is focused on providing stability for their child.

Children in Illinois have a right to support from both parents. A noncustodial parent has to pay support to the custodial parent. The way that the state comes up with the amount owed can be complex, with many factors being considered. Some factors that play a role in determining the amount of child support to be paid include:

  • How often the child stays with each parent
  • Each parent's income
  • The child's health

Child support mismanagement should be reported

Child support is a payment that is usually paid monthly by a higher-earning parent to the other, lower-earning parent. The support can be used for many things, including expenses that both directly benefit the child (like school clothing) and indirectly benefit the child (like the cost of a home in a better neighborhood in which the child can thrive).

What happens, however, if you're paying support and you firmly believe that your child's other parent is wasting the money on unrelated expenses? In those cases, it's fair to talk to your attorney about seeking a modification in custody or support.

What to know about prenuptial agreements

Boiled down, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short, is a private, documented and signed agreement between a couple before marriage. The prenup dictates how their assets will be allocated upon death or divorce and each state has differing laws on how to enforce and validate a prenup.

Other factors to understand regarding prenups include fairness, full disclosure, counsel, planning, premarital assets, setting alimony terms, property division and child support and rights; all of which will be discussed further below.

An attorney's importance shouldn't be overlooked during divorce

Every divorce has four main issues that need to be discussed, even if they don't necessarily apply to your case. Most attorneys will bring up property division, spousal maintenance, custody and parenting time as well as child support during your first consultation.

Without children involved in the divorce, you won't have to worry about custody or child support, so those two factors will quickly fall to the wayside. The other factors, however, will remain important in your divorce discussions.

Here are 3 tips to help your child during divorce

For young children, routines are very important. Unfortunately, with divorce, routines are usually ruined. New routines have to be put into place as you begin working with a custody schedule and have different homes for your child to live in.

The trouble with breaking a child's routine is that it can take time for them to adjust, and they could act out or struggle psychologically with those changes. Though you and your ex-spouse are not living together, there are some things you can do to help.

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