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Elgin Illinois Family Law Blog

A parenting agreement can save you time and stress

As you move through the divorce process, you'll turn a good portion of your attention to child custody related matters. With a parenting agreement in place, both you and your ex-spouse will have a clear idea of how to best parent your children in the future.

While creating a parenting agreement is easier said than done, once you have this in place you'll have greater peace of mind. Your agreement can outline things such as:

  • Where your children will live
  • If one or both parents have legal custody of the children
  • A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
  • A schedule outlining where children will spend vacations, holidays, birthdays and other special events

How to prepare to tell your children about your divorce

Going through a divorce is one of the most challenging times of your life. If you find yourself in this position, you need to protect yourself and your children.

The first step in helping your children through the divorce process is explaining to them what's happening.

Do you know how to ask your spouse for a divorce?

Let's face it: There's nothing simple about asking your spouse for a divorce. Even if your marriage has fallen apart, this conversation can bring forth a variety of challenges and quite a bit of tension.

While there's no right or wrong way to ask your spouse for a divorce, there are some tips you can follow to ease the stress and ensure you have a meaningful conversation.

  • Prepare for everything: In addition to knowing what you want to say, think about how your spouse may react. This allows you to prepare for every possible situation, ensuring that you're not caught off-guard.
  • Your safety is top priority: Yes, you want to discuss your feelings with your spouse, but you should never take a risk with your safety. For example, if your spouse has the potential to become extremely angry, it's best to ask for a divorce in a public place or over the phone.
  • Don't focus on the details of your divorce: This conversation is a good time to discuss your feelings and let your spouse know of your intentions. It's not a good time to discuss the details of your divorce, such as who will stay in the family home and which parent will have physical custody of your children. These details are best left for the actual divorce process.

Are you finding it difficult to make child support payments?

There may come a point in your life when you're no longer able to make child support payments as required by the court. If this happens, you need to take formal action, as opposed to making the decision to stop paying on your own.

Here are the most important steps to take if you require a child support modification:

  • Don't wait any longer: The court expects you to pay your child support in full until they grant a modification. Remember, there is no way for the court to know your financial situation has changed unless you tell them.
  • Ask the other parent for help: Explain your situation and let them know that you're going to file for a child support modification. They may agree to a change until you get back on your feet, improving the likelihood of the court following suit.
  • Document your financial change: You must be able to show the court that your financial situation has changed to the point of not being able to make your payments in full. A good reason for this is a job loss, demotion at work or a serious illness that is keeping you from earning a living.

What makes divorcing a narcissist a nightmare

Divorce is a terrible reality for many people. The process of separation and finalizing the divorce process is often one of the most difficult experiences for many people. When children are involved, it makes the emotional strains even more difficult to overcome.

Most divorces are settled outside the parameter of the court. However, when divorcing a narcissist, you are likely to have a more difficult divorce process overall. The road towards the single life is wrought with more obstacles when your partner is narcissistic.

How can I tell if I am headed for divorce?

The day that you exchange vows is one of the happiest days of your life. Then there's the day you finalize a divorce. This is not a guarantee to happen, but it has become more and more common of late. Is your marriage struggling? Are you at a loss as to how to fix it? How can you tell if your marriage is headed for divorce? Let's explore some warning signs in today's post.

When one spouse has unrealistic expectations of the marriage this can be disastrous for the relationship. The most common unrealistic expectations include who will work, who will be responsible for household chores, who will manage the money and much more.

Education plans must be considered carefully in child custody

Deciding on the education plans for your children can be difficult, but it is an important aspect of child custody when you and your ex aren't in a relationship any longer. In some cases, this needs to be addressed right away because a decision about the school district is going to have to be made. This is often the case when both parents live in different districts and the time the child spends with both parents is equal.

We know that you probably have your ideas about what needs to happen for your children's schooling. Your ex might have some ideas, too. When these are the same, things are easy. You have to tread carefully when the ideas are different. We can help you figure out what options you have so that you can try to find one that meets your children's needs.

Child custody agreements can come about in various ways

Child custody is often difficult because parents might have different ideas about what is best for the children. It can be hard to find a common ground that you can both agree upon in these cases. When this happens, you must ensure that you are doing what is best for the children. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in your own feelings that you forget they are the focus.

It is usually best if the parents can come to agreements together. Not only do you know exactly what is going on, you probably know how different options will affect your children. In order for this to work, both adults will have to make the decision that they are willing to compromise. Trying to remain hard-lined on your position will make it impossible to negotiate. Of course, you should stand firm if the issue is one regarding the safety or health of the children.

Child support: Know your personal responsibilities

Just because you aren't in a relationship with your child's other parent doesn't mean that you don't have to support your offspring. The state's child support laws are set up to ensure that noncustodial parents are covering some of the expenses of raising the child. Because your children deserve your support, you shouldn't try to shirk these payments. Plus, you can face serious penalties if you don't make them as the court orders. We can help you learn about your responsibilities in these matters.

Parents who work for an employer have it easy in a way. Their child support payments are usually taken directly out of their paycheck and sent to the state. The money is then disbursed to the custodial parent to use as they see fit for the child. In this case, you never see the money, so you don't have to worry about using it for something else. You do need to ensure that it is coming out of your check as ordered by the court.

Start 2019 off by re-evaluating custody plans

The start of a new year is a good time to ensure that you are doing everything you can in your parenting arrangement to help your children thrive. There are many things that you might be able to tweak that can make the situation better for your kids. It is imperative that you make efforts to make improvements that you can carry into 2019.

One of the best things that you can do in this situation is to renew your commitment to be a good co-parent. Even if you and your ex don't really get along, you can still use a professional approach to your parenting agreement. This enables you to communicate about the children in a respectful manner. Seeing you do this might encourage your ex to follow suit.

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