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Naperville divorce lawyerThe Baby Boomer generation has never been one to follow tradition and maintain the status quo. In past generations, it was often said that the longer your marriage lasted, the less likely you were to get a divorce. Today, things are quite different. A large number of older couples are choosing to divorce later in life, and the divorce rate of those 50 and older has doubled over just the past two decades. For those 60 and older, the divorce rate has tripled. This trend makes sense, however. Many older couples today find themselves with grown children out of the house and realize they are no longer happy in their marriage. It is never too late to take a step towards happiness. Gray divorces, however, do have their unique challenges, and baby boomers themselves are not the only group impacted. The millennial children of the baby boomer generation, most of them now adults, are also impacted by their parents decision to divorce. Changing family dynamics can be difficult for everyone involved, including adult children.

All Grown Up

Adult children often struggle to cope with their parent’s separation, despite the assumption that adults should be able to easily handle the split as they are no longer children tied directly to their parent’s decisions. In reality, specialists say that millennials today are feeling the impact of the increasing gray divorce rate in a number of ways. Firstly, adult children of divorce often feel they have no one to talk to about their parents separation. “There is this message you are getting that you should be doing fine,” says one therapist and divorce specialist. “You are all grown up and this is your parent’s decision. Adult children of divorce feel they do not have anyone to talk to about it.”

Additionally, many adult children of divorce say they are burdened with hearing too much information about their parent’s unhappy marriage. While adult are certainly more easily able to cope with a major life change like a divorce, gray divorcees should avoid over-sharing with their children. Instead, older divorcees should seek other confidants to vent and process emotions with.

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Naperville parenting plan attorneysIf you are a parent who is considering a divorce, there is a good chance that you probably worried about how your divorce will affect your children. While you most likely realize that children are resilient and able to adapt, it is understandable that you might have fears about how your kids will handle your divorce and the related concerns.

One of the best things that you can do for your children is to commit to cooperating with your ex-spouse when it comes to child-related issues. Cooperative parenting—also called co-parenting—starts with a comprehensive parenting plan. A parenting plan is also required under Illinois law for divorcing parents who wish to share parental responsibilities. Your parenting plan must contain provisions for dividing decision-making authority, each parent’s days with the children, and other important matters. It must also address whether one or both parents will have the right of first refusal for extra parenting time.

Understanding the Right of First Refusal

The phrase “first refusal” might sound negative, but the right of first refusal can actually be a very good thing. The right of first refusal refers to the right of a parent to be offered additional parenting time when the other parent requires child care during the other parent’s scheduled time. The parent who is offered the additional parenting time is not obligated to accept it; instead, he or she has the right to refuse it.  

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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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