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naperville divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is never easy, even when you have decided that it is the best choice for you and your children. No matter the circumstances that brought you to this point, the divorce process is often a painful one and you may find yourself dealing with anger, stress, sadness, and even grief. While you work through the emotional issues of divorce, there are also legal issues that must be dealt with. Having a skilled Naperville divorce attorney looking out for your best interests is crucial during this time.

Choosing Your Divorce Attorney

Once you have made the decision to file for divorce, it is important to discover and understand what all of your legal options are. Some people do consider filing for divorce without an attorney, however, if you and your spouse have children, property, and/or debt, it is best to hire an attorney to handle the divorce for you. 

It is also important to hire an attorney who specializes in divorces and other Illinois family law issues. An attorney who does not regularly handle divorce or child custody cases may not recognize certain common divorce or custody issues that could come up in your case and this could result in a negative ruling against you. Attorneys have areas of specialty just like doctors do. You do not want to go to an attorney who usually only handles personal injury cases or estate plans to handle your divorce.

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Lombard family law attorney for child custody evaluationsChild custody is comprised of two main components in Illinois. “Parental responsibilities” refers to a parent’s authority to make major decisions about the child. “Parenting time,” which used to be called visitation, is the time that a parent spends with their child. Many parents disagree about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. In some cases, a child custody evaluation is used to gather information about the situation so that the court can make an informed decision regarding child custody. In these cases, parents will want to do the following:

Cooperate With the Evaluation Process

For some parents, being the subject of a child custody evaluation can feel like their parenting skills are being called into question. Some parents may even feel like their love for their child is being questioned. Understandably, this can lead to strong emotions. It is important to remember that the purpose of a child custody evaluation is to gather information about the child’s best interests. You are not being accused of anything. It is best to cooperate with the child custody evaluator and remain respectful.

Freely Provide Information and Answer Questions Truthfully

The child custody evaluator may require access to medical records and financial documents. He or she may ask you personal questions about topics that you rarely discuss with strangers. If you are a private person, you may feel uncomfortable about some parts of the evaluation process. While this is understandable, it is important to provide the information and documents that are requested. Answer the evaluator’s questions honestly and show that your child’s well-being is your top priority.

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Oak Brook family law mediation attorneyGetting divorced involves much more than deciding not to be married anymore. Most divorcing couples will need to address several issues before they can finalize their divorce and officially end their marriage. Spouses will need to decide how to divide their jointly held property and debts. Parents must create a parenting plan that describes the parenting time schedule and other important child-related concerns. Some couples will need to address spousal maintenance or alimony. One option for reaching an agreement about divorce issues such as these is family law mediation.

Advantages of Using Mediation to Resolve Your Divorce

Some couples voluntarily attend family law mediation to discuss divorce issues. Other couples are required to attend mediation by the court. During mediation, the mediator helps the couple negotiate the unresolved divorce issues and find common ground. The mediator uses his or her dispute resolution skills to deescalate emotional conversations and help the couple discuss difficult topics calmly and productively. The mediator’s ultimate goal is to help the couple reach a mutually beneficial agreement on the terms of their divorce so that they can avoid taking the case to litigation.

Limitations of Using Mediation to Resolve Divorce Issues

Mediation can be a great way to discuss divorce issues and reach an agreement. However, mediation is not without its limitations. Mediation alone may be insufficient if a divorcing couple is contending with:

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