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Chicago Family Law Blog

Start planning your holiday custody schedule now

One thing that parents in the throes of a divorce need to understand is that they will have to devise a separate holiday custody schedule in addition to the schedule they will follow the rest of the year. This holiday parenting plan will need to reflect both the needs of the children and the availability of the parents to provide care and supervision of the kids over holidays and extended breaks from school.

Problems develop when both parents quite naturally want their children with them on all the major holidays. But this is not going to be possible when custody is split between the two parents. Below are some suggestions to help you reach accord on your holiday parenting schedule.

Would your ex stash assets in a divorce? Document them!

The only way that divorcing Chicago couples can get parity in their divorce settlements is if both spouses play fair with the division of marital assets and debts. The problem is that by the time one spouse files for divorce, the couple's relationship has already tanked — at least from one partner's perspective.

The other spouse may be so emotionally wounded by the pending split that they lash out to hurt the other. One way to do that is to attempt to hide some of the marital assets or convert them to personal assets. But that is not just an immoral choice, it's also illegal, although some spouses still try it anyway. Read on for ways to prevent that from happening and some other tips when going through a divorce.

Co-parenting post-divorce presents special challenges

Married couples whose parenting styles differ must find a way to balance their differences and reach a compromise. But when parents are divorced, if they have wildly disparate parenting styles, this can create all sorts of problems for them as well as for their offspring.

Sometimes, conflicts in how the parents discipline and parent their children can actually be contributing factors in their decision to split. It can be very challenging if one or more children has a learning disability, psychiatric diagnosis or other special needs that make them less able to respond appropriately to typical parenting techniques.

Review your prenuptial agreement before you use it

Creating a prenuptial agreement is one of the best ways for couples to protect themselves and each other when they marry. However, creating a prenuptial agreement does not guarantee the strength the agreement, particularly if it contains errors or unlawful terms.

When a couple chooses to divorce, many of them assume that their prenuptial agreement will hold up to scrutiny and allow for a smooth divorce process. Unfortunately, it is difficult to create a completely "bulletproof" agreement and many couples who do not examine their agreements closely realize too late that some or all of the terms do not hold up in court.

Tips to raise kids when you don't agree with your ex

Raising children is hard enough. When you throw parental disagreements into the picture, it gets far tougher. As a divorced couple, you still have to work together when it comes to your children. But what if you don't agree on how you should do things?

Maybe your ex doesn't think that school is all that important. He or she lets the children stay up late, doesn't make them do their homework and sometimes doesn't send them to school at all. You, on the other hand, think school is incredibly important for their future, and you feel like your ex is undermining your efforts.

Questions to ask regarding your family home during divorce

Getting divorced forces you to ask yourself a lot of questions about what you want for your future. Ideally, you will plan for your future even during the divorce process, trying to put yourself in the best position you can. This type of proactive approach can help you work toward the results that you want.

One thing you need to figure out is what you plan to do with your family home. Maybe you and your spouse have been together for 10 years, you have two kids, and you bought a home with a mortgage eight years ago. Now what?

Creating a workable parenting plan during an Illinois divorce

Protecting your children during a divorce can feel like an uphill battle. Both you and your ex are likely striving to shield the children and also to demonstrate your love and affection for them during this tumultuous time. You may be so focused on dealing with the immediate circumstances of your family during the divorce that you put off or fail to give proper attention to one of the most important ways to protect your family in a divorce.

The parenting plan that you and your ex negotiate during the divorce will guide the way that your family interacts for years to come. You should begin thinking about the creation of a parenting plan as soon as you realize that divorce is likely part of your family's future.

Are you interested in a prenuptial agreement? Learn how to ask

As you learn more about the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, you may come to the conclusion that it's an absolute must before tying the knot. While you're sure that it's the right thing to do, your soon to be spouse may not have the same idea.

It's one thing to be interested in a prenuptial agreement, but another thing entirely to ask your spouse to get on board with the idea. Remember, you can't force your partner into signing a prenuptial agreement.

Child support in Illinois: Know what you could owe

A child has the legal right to receive child support from both parents in one of two ways. The child can either receive it directly or through payments. That means that the parent who primarily has custody may not need to pay, but the parent who does not have primary custody will need to pay monthly installments.

Child support calculations are unique to each case, but there are basic guidelines. Illinois uses an income shares model. The model includes guidelines based on a table that shows the percent of income typically spent on children when parents live together. When a child stays overnight for at least 146 nights per year, basic child support obligations are multiplied by 1.5 times, and this is also factored into the payment along with the amount of time each parent spends with the child.

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O’Connor Family Law, P.C.

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Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312-445-0577
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