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DuPage County family law attorneyGetting divorced in Illinois presents unique challenges for every couple, but a couple who shares a child with disabilities will need to be prepared to handle common divorce scenarios with a little extra flexibility. Because the needs of a child with a disability are often more complex and demanding, parents will need to adjust their parenting plans accordingly. If you have a special needs child in Illinois and are preparing to get divorced, here are three areas you will need to negotiate. 

Parental Responsibilities

Rather than use the term “custody,” Illinois now uses “parental responsibilities” to describe the rights of each parent to make decisions on behalf of a child. Children with special needs often require intensive, regular intervention from parents about essential issues like medical care, school choices, aftercare programs, and more. Parents often make these decisions together during marriage and shared parental responsibilities are common for special needs children following divorce.

Parenting Time

Like parental responsibilities, parents of special needs children often manage a child’s supervision needs together. But once a couple gets divorced, they no longer live in the same household and may require extensive supplemental childcare and support. Negotiating a fair and appropriate parenting time schedule is essential, not only for the child’s well-being, but also so parents can get the rest and support they need. Parents who work together are much more likely to find a satisfactory parenting time arrangement than parents who leave this decision to an Illinois court. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneyWhile divorce rates in the United States are notoriously high, at up to an estimated 40 percent, the reasons behind the divorce rates are more complex than initial statistics suggest. Social scientists have long studied the complex human relationships that form love and marital bonds, and while certain factors can contribute to divorce rates (like early marriage or cohabitation before marriage), people who have gotten divorced have directly shared their reasoning as well. Here are six of the most common reasons that people in Illinois get divorced. 

Lack of Commitment

While couples will often give different reasons for why they got divorced, lack of commitment is frequently cited by both spouses as the reason the marriage ultimately fell apart. Lack of commitment can manifest in other ways, such as cheating and not being willing to work on the relationship, but many people feel as though the true issue underlying these other problems is a lack of commitment to the marriage itself. 

Growing Apart

It can be a good thing or a bad thing, but people change as they grow older. The passage of time, the death of loved ones, and major life events like retirement can dramatically shift our perspectives and priorities. Sometimes, these differences are significant enough to break down a marriage that was built on formerly shared commonalities. 

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Naperville divorce attorneyIn addition to the many challenges divorce brings, such as negotiating property division, determining who will move out of the family home, and making parenting arrangements, spouses must figure out how to pay for divorce. This can present particular challenges for spouses who are unemployed or homemakers, but financing divorce can be difficult for everyone. 

However, lacking a clear path towards paying for divorce should not compel anyone to stay in a relationship that has irretrievably broken down. With careful planning, financial conservation, and the help of an experienced Naperville divorce attorney, you can make your divorce work for you. Here are a few things you can do to bring down the cost of divorce in Illinois. 

Consider Doing Some of Your Divorce Yourself

Certain parts of divorce, such as filling out paperwork and delivering it to the appropriate county courthouse, may be easier with the help of an attorney but spouses who are under financial constraints can do it themselves. Limited scope representation is a form of legal representation that allows an attorney to provide assistance to a spouse in the areas where they need it most - without breaking the bank. If you can assess the overall divorce process and determine where you really need help and where you do not, you may be able to reduce your legal fees. 

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