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DuPage County divorce attorneysJust as every marriage is unique, every divorce is unique as well. There is no perfect way to end a marriage and spouses should choose the divorce options and resources which fit their particular needs. Some couples are able to get a divorce without any help resolving divorce issues such as disagreements regarding property division, child custody, or other concerns. However, many couples need help in order to come to an agreement about these issues. In situations such as these, divorcing individuals in Illinois may benefit from alternative dispute resolution in the form of mediation and collaborative law.

Mediation Can Help Couples Communicate About Divorce Issues

Understandably, it can be very difficult for divorcing spouses to come to a resolution regarding divorce issues. They may have feelings of resentment, anger, or blame toward each other which make it hard to discuss issues without the discussion collapsing into arguments. During the mediation process, divorcing spouses work with a qualified mediator who acts as a neutral third party to facilitate productive conversations.

Mediators will help the spouses identify the issues they agree on as well as those which they disagree on. Through a series of meetings, the mediator helps the spouses reach an agreement about the remaining divorce issues. Mediation is generally much more cost-effective than divorce litigation through the court. It is often a better way to resolve issues when children are involved because mediation proceedings are confidential unlike a public court feud.

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Naperville family law attorneysIf you are a parent who is considering divorce, you are probably worried about how the divorce will affect your children. While having divorced parents is not unusual these days, the transition from a one-house family to a two-house family can be rough on children. There is no perfect way to share custody of children as divorced parents. Some divorced parents choose to stay highly involved in each other’s lives and even take family vacations all together after the divorce. Other divorced parents choose to lead completely separate lives and only communicate when absolutely necessary. Your personal co-parenting strategy will depend on your unique circumstances and what you believe is best for your children.

Create a Detailed Parenting Agreement

Anyone getting divorced in Illinois who wishes to share parental responsibility with their child’s other parent must create a parenting agreement. Illinois law requires that certain items be included in this agreement. For example, parents must include a schedule for sharing parenting time (formerly called visitation) and parental responsibility (custody) as well as provisions for how the children will be transported between the households. Of course, there is no need to only include the minimum requirements in your parenting agreement. In fact, being more detailed and including agreements specific to your family is a great way to make sure you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse are on the same page. Including these agreements in writing helps ensure that they are followed by all parties after the divorce.

Vow Not to Put Children in the Middle

It can be incredibly stressful for children to have to play “messenger” for their parents. While it can be tempting to use your child as a means of checking up on the other parent, experts warn against this. Do not ask your children to relay messages to the other parent. Also, try not to speak negatively about the decisions your child’s other parent is making. This can make the child feel like he or she has to choose sides, which can be very upsetting. In extreme cases, talking negatively about your child’s other parent can be considered “parental alienation.” Parents who purposely tear down their child’s relationship with the other parent can have their own parental responsibilities limited by Illinois courts.

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerA trend that has become more apparent with each passing year in the last decade is the rising divorce rate for couples over the age of 55. The overall divorce rate in the United States has continued to drop over the last several years, after years of decline, but the rate for seniors has steadily increased. It is important to be able to spot the signs in your own marriage, and if divorce happens, to be able to adjust to it with minimal pain.

Statistics and Trends

The U.S. Census’ American Community Survey reports that since 1990, the so-called “gray divorce” rate has almost tripled, going from one in 10 to approximately 28 percent of recent divorcees being over the age of 55. Given that the nationwide trend has been to stay married, it is worth noting the significant uptick in older couples separating. This is especially true considering that divorce has been linked to potential health issues, financial strain, and other problems that can pose significant risks for those over a certain age.

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