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Joliet divorce attorneysThe holiday season will look a bit different for everyone this year. With COVID-19 impacting Americans’ ability to host typical holiday gatherings and businesses being limited to help reduce the spread of the virus, the upcoming winter holidays will be different from previous years. For those recently divorced, the pandemic as well as recent life changes can make the holiday season feel especially heavy. 

If you are about to enter your first holiday season single, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Accept that things are difficult: It is not uncommon for recently divorced individuals to try and ignore their feelings and treat the holiday festivities as they normally would. Going into the holidays with these expectations can leave you feeling disappointed when you do not find yourself in the same spirits that you are typically in during the holidays. As the season begins, recognize that this year is unprecedented in a number of ways and that you may not be in the same cheerful mindset as you have been in the past.
  2. Create boundaries: The winter holidays often include family parties and the annual life update that you provide to your extended family members. Some may still have small gatherings with family this year, and if you have not seen them in a while, you could be asked a number of uncomfortable questions about your divorce. Setting your boundaries and preparing your responses before you step into these situations are good ways to avoid any unexpected confrontation or inquiries.
  3. Avoid intoxication: It is no secret that holiday parties are often filled with seasonal alcoholic beverages to set the mood. While a drink or two may help to calm your nerves, indulging too much can bring up unwanted sentiments, such as sadness or anger towards your recent divorce. It may be a good idea to keep the alcoholic drinks to a minimum to avoid any uncomfortable outbursts, conversations, or even a driving under the influence (DUI) charge on the way home.
  4. Remember your kids: Depending on the impact of your divorce, you may wish to cancel your holiday gatherings and traditions altogether. For divorced parents, this is not necessarily an option. It is important to remind your children that life goes on after your divorce, including the holidays. By focusing on making the holidays cheerful and fun for your children, you can help get yourself in the holiday spirit. You may need to update your holiday traditions, depending on the details of your parenting plan and schedule
  5. Steer clear of complete isolation: The COVID-19 pandemic has required Americans to limit social interactions for their health and safety. Depending on your own health and quarantine social bubble, it is a good idea to remain connected to close family members and friends. Whether your gatherings occur virtually or in-person, these interactions can help you remember the good things in your life and avoid getting lost in your old wedding video, romantic movies, or memories of your previous marriage.

Contact a Homewood, IL Family Lawyer

A common issue that recently divorced couples face during the holiday season is how to share their parenting obligations. If you forgot to include these details in your parenting plan or would like to modify your previously outlined parenting schedule, the legal team at The Foray Firm can help. Our Joliet family law attorneys assist families going through transition, no matter the time of year. If you are considering divorce or would like to modify your parenting plan, contact our family law firm at 312-702-1293 for help.

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Posted on in Divorce

Joliet divorce attorneysDivorce can impact everyone in its own way. For some, they may feel an immediate sense of loss for their partner, even if they know they are better without each other. For others, they may feel instant gratification and freedom, only to be hit by negative emotions months later. Divorce is never a one-size-fits all emotional experience, which can make it difficult to know how to cope with your feelings. This is especially true for parents as their focus is divided between comforting their children and themselves. In many cases, parents can make their own emotional healing take a backseat and leave themselves struggling with these emotions for months or even years.

Protect Yourself and Your Children

There is no surefire way to make your divorce easier, but there are some things you can do to help yourself cope. By doing so, you can also put yourself in a better position to help your children.

Below are four tips for parents who are going through a divorce to help them cope with their emotions and move forward with their lives stronger than ever before.

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Joliet divorce lawyersThe legal process of divorce can sometimes make you feel like you are drowning in paperwork. Decisions need to be made regarding spousal maintenance, the division of marital assets, parenting plans, and more, and along with these decisions comes a significant amount of legal paperwork and signing on the dotted line. But, what about when your divorce is finalized—what else needs to be done? Unfortunately, the life updates do not stop when your divorce is all said and done, and the following will need to be adjusted to reflect your new future as a single adult.

Emergency Contacts

Whether it is your kids’ contact information at school or your own personal emergency medical contact, it is important to update this information to be relevant to your current life rather than your old one. Emergency contacts can often get overlooked until an actual emergency is happening, in which case it may be too late to provide the new information.

Tax Information

As a married individual, there are a number of tax benefits allotted to you. Once your divorce is finalized, your tax information will be changed to reflect your new relationship status. For those who have gotten divorced in the past year, you may be able to write off some of the divorce settlement fees when tax time comes around, including spousal and child support. Your attorney should provide you with an itemized list of performed services to attach to your tax documents for proof of your listed exceptions.

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Will County family law attorneyDivorce is an emotionally-challenging life experience that, unfortunately, many couples go through. Regardless of the number of years that you have been married, recognizing that the promise of “till death do us part” has been broken can be devastating. This is especially true for those who share children together. Divorce does not just affect the married couple’s relationship, but also each parent’s relationship with their children. This decision does not need to have a damaging impact on your relationship as a parent, however, and the way that you choose to discuss this decision with your kids can be a key factor in the ramifications of your divorce.

Breaching the Topic

When you and your spouse have made the definitive decision to move forward with your divorce, it is important to be upfront with your children from the start. If they find out about your divorce through the grapevine before you have had the chance to talk to them, this can be damaging to your relationship and their trust in you. If you and your spouse are filing for divorce, it is highly unlikely that your child has not sensed your distance or tension in the past. They may even suspect that divorce is on the horizon. 

Before telling your kids the news, you and your spouse must be on the same page about how the discussion will go. Presenting the news as a united front will send the message that you are both their parents, despite your impending divorce. The details of the conversation will shift depending on your kids' ages, but be sure to stress that your decision to divorce is not reflective of your love for your child or a result of their actions in any way. 

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Joliet divorce attorneysEvery divorce is different, including each spouse’s inclination to be cooperative throughout the process. Though it is easiest and quickest for both parties to be forthcoming regarding their finances, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to attempt to keep a portion of their assets out of the divorce proceedings. As an equitable distribution state, Illinois requires all finances and assets to be disclosed and fairly distributed between both parties, even if one spouse was the primary breadwinner. If you suspect that your spouse is keeping a side-stash of assets, you may consider taking additional action to reveal their true colors.

Common Signs of Hidden Assets

Do you have a feeling that your spouse is not being truly forthcoming about their assets, but are unsure of where to look? Before obtaining a court order against your spouse, you should try to do your own digging. There are four common ways that spouses hide their assets during a divorce:

  1. Denying that the asset exists
  2. Transferring the asset to a third party for the time being
  3. Claiming that the asset was lost or misplaced
  4. Creating false debt

Looking at the details on your tax returns are often the most telling of your true financial situation. The first place that you should look is the itemized deduction section. You can easily detect undisclosed assets or income. For example, a deduction of property taxes could reveal the existence of a hidden property. You can also look at the interest and dividends recorded on the tax return. First, create your own inventory of the assets that you know of, then compare this to your tax return to determine if there are any unknown assets generating interest or dividends. There are a number of other areas that can be useful in locating hidden assets with the help of your attorney, though this is a good place to start.

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