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Will County divorce lawyerFor both parents and children, a divided parenting time schedule is one of the most difficult adjustments to make after a divorce. While Illinois courts tend to prefer arrangements that allow both parents to spend time with their children, this still means that each parent will spend significant time away from them. In many cases, the parenting time balance is at least slightly skewed toward one parent, and this can make the situation even more difficult for the parent with a lesser share.

If you have been granted less parenting time in your divorce resolution, it does not necessarily mean that you are a lesser parent. Often, such an arrangement is simply best for your children so as to provide stability and minimize interruptions to their routine. While maintaining your relationships with your kids under these circumstances may require a little more effort, it is certainly possible.

Keeping Your Relationships Strong

Here are some suggestions that can help you maintain a strong bond with your children, even if you do not see them as often:

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Markham IL divorce lawyerThe financial aspects of divorce can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you do not have much experience managing your own money. If you are uninformed about your finances, you can be left at a significant disadvantage when it comes time to divide your marital assets. The more you can educate yourself about your finances, the more prepared you will be to negotiate or argue for a beneficial outcome to your divorce, and to begin your post-divorce life with a plan to maintain your financial stability and find opportunities for growth.

Gather Information

When you know that a divorce is in your future, you should make a thorough effort to collect all available information about your personal and marital finances. Start with information about your assets, including statements from individually and jointly held bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts, as well as titles to any real estate, vehicles, and other valuable properties you may own. You should also review your credit report to understand any outstanding debts, including mortgages, vehicle loans, student loans, or credit card accounts.

Information about your assets and debts can help you identify your priorities during the division of marital property and better understand what a fair resolution would look like. Your recent tax filings, pay stubs, and other income statements can also provide valuable information to help you manage your finances after your divorce.

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Homewood divorce lawyerOne of a parent’s most important responsibilities and legal obligations is to provide financially for their child’s basic needs. Many Illinois parents who are no longer married, or who were never married to their child’s other parent, rely on court-ordered child support to ensure the other parent’s fair contributions. However, married couples are typically left to manage child-related expenses on their own. This can make things difficult for a parent who is still legally married but in the midst of the divorce process, especially if their spouse is withholding income and assets.

If you are trying to get a divorce from a spouse who has abandoned you and your children, or who has cut you off financially, you may be able to petition for temporary child support before your marriage has been legally dissolved. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand your options.

Petitioning for Temporary Child Support

Providing for your children’s needs during the divorce process can be challenging, especially with the legal costs you are likely to incur. If you are struggling to provide and your spouse is not contributing, you can request a temporary child support order by filing a petition with the court that has jurisdiction over your divorce. Your petition will need to include a financial affidavit using a standard, statewide form, through which you will have the opportunity to explain your circumstances. You should also include any relevant evidence that supports your affidavit, including your bank statements, pay stubs, and recent tax returns.

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Will County family law attorneyFor divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois, a parenting plan is crucial to establish the terms of the co-parenting relationship and ensure that the children’s best interests are protected. Like many other family law orders, the terms of a parenting plan are legally binding once they are approved by the court. Parents should be sure to abide by them, both for their children’s sake and in order to avoid legal consequences. If your child’s other parent has violated your parenting agreement, you can take action to enforce the order.

Parenting Plan Violations in Illinois

Illinois parenting plans must be fairly comprehensive when it comes to addressing parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and communication between co-parents. As such, there are many ways that a parent could violate the terms of the agreement. For example:

  • Keeping the children beyond the end of their scheduled parenting time

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Joliet divorce lawyerGetting a divorce brings so many major life changes that you may find yourself looking for comfort and stability in things that can stay the same. This mindset may have led you to prioritize keeping your marital home in the division of property so that you do not have to worry about moving along with ending your marriage. However, keeping the home is not always the best decision, and it is important to consider your answers to the following questions as you decide how to proceed.

Are You Raising Children?

If you have kids under the age of 18 who are still living with you, especially if you are expecting a greater share of parenting time, staying in your home may be important to help the children adjust and allow them to continue attending the same school. If your children are already grown, however, a divorce may be a good opportunity to sell the home and downsize to a residence that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Can You Afford the Mortgage?

If you and your spouse have not finished paying off your mortgage, keeping the home in the divorce will likely also mean that you become fully responsible for the debt. Homeownership also comes with other substantial costs, including insurance, property tax, utilities, and repairs. If all of these expenses fit into your post-divorce budget, keeping the home may be a good idea, but if you cannot pay them, it may be best to let the home go.

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