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Tips for Surviving the Holidays After a DivorceGoing through a divorce is tough, but going through a divorce during the holidays can add to the hurt.

If this is your first holiday season since separating from your spouse, it is natural to feel lonely and sad. It is important to not let these emotions control you and prevent you from enjoying the holidays. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maintain your mental health and manage your stress throughout the holidays:

  1. Take It One Day at a Time: It is only natural to want to rush through a time in your life that you would rather not be present for. Remain focused on the here and now, and take each holiday as it comes.
  2. Do Not Skip Out on Spending Time with Family and Friends: As much as you want to spend time alone, your family and friends are your support system and people you should lean on during this hard time. If an invite is offered, take it.
  3. Volunteer Your Time: The holidays are about giving, and volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter will take your focus off of your problems. Helping others who are less fortunate than you will make you realize how much you have to be grateful for.
  4. Make New Traditions: Avoid dwelling on the traditions you lost or will lose because of the divorce, and make some new ones. There is no better time than the present to begin anew.
  5. Take a Break from Social Media: Scrolling through social media and seeing other people’s “perfect lives” will only make you feel worse. Delete any social media app you may be tempted to use, and enjoy your mini social media cleanse. 
  6. Do Not Numb the Pain: Indulging in drugs or alcohol may seem like a quick and easy way to forget what you are going through, even if it is for a short amount of time. When emotions are high, mixing pleasure and pain can lead to tears, angry outbursts or worse. If you plan to drink, set a limit and stick to it. 

According to the American Psychological Association, there is a difference between being sad during the holidays because of personal issues and a serious emotional or mental condition. If you believe your holiday blues are lasting longer than the holiday season, immediately contact a healthcare professional.

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Top Ten Things You Should Never Do During a DivorceDivorce is a common challenge that people face in their lives. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 75,131 couples got married, while 26,132 got divorced in 2016. 

Tensions run high, and it is easy to find yourself doing or saying things that can cause additional issues. Listed below are the top ten things you should steer clear of doing during your divorce: 

  1. Do Not Post on Social Media: Nothing is private on the internet. Avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media outlet during your divorce, as anything and everything can be used as evidence against you.
  2. Do Not Take It Out on Your Child(ren) or Family Members: It is important to keep your behavior and attitude in check during this tough time. Your friends and family are your biggest support.
  3. Do Not Neglect Getting An Attorney: A divorce attorney can help file paperwork, review and explain anything you may not understand, and direct you through the court system. Do not handle it on your own.
  4. Do Not Try To Hide Money Or Assets: Being petty and hiding money and/or assets can hurt your case and ruin your chances of getting what you want in the end.
  5. Do Not Forget About Your Taxes: A divorce will change your tax-filing status. Before you file after the divorce, you must come to an agreement with your ex-spouse on how to file and what each of you will claim.
  6. Do Not Jump Into Another Romantic Relationship: Bringing a new love interest into your life during a divorce can further complicate things. Remaining single during this tough time is best for your emotional and mental health.
  7. Do Not Rack Up Debt: Divorce is not cheap. Purchasing things to start over will not be cheap. Be sure to budget your money wisely and set some aside for future purchases. 
  8. Do Not Get Pregnant Or Impregnate Someone Else: This should be a no-brainer, as it can complicate issues regarding child support and the allocation of parental responsibilities.
  9. Do Not Turn To Drugs Or Alcohol: Numbing the heartache with substances may seem like a good option but can ruin your chances of receiving fair parenting time if it impairs your ability to be a responsible parent.
  10. Do Not Refuse To Communicate With Your Ex-Partner: Additional legal fees can arise if the silent treatment persists. As a result, decisions may need to be made by a third party.

Contact a Will and DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

You need someone who will protect you, your child(ren), and your assets during your divorce. Schedule a consultation with a Joliet, Illinois, divorce attorney at The Foray Firm by calling 312-702-1293.

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Posted on in Divorce

Filing an Uncontested Divorce in IllinoisContrary to what you see in movies and television shows, settling your divorce case in court is almost always a last resort. Illinois courts highly encourage couples to try to make decisions pertaining to their divorce on their own without outside intervention. Not only does that save you time and money, but it also allows you to keep the control in your hands and enables you to decide your own future. Some couples have tried to avoid going to court and are unable to come to their own resolutions, but most couples see the benefit of settling their divorce outside of court or filing for an uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Almost all divorces contain the same issues that must be settled before the divorce can be completed. These issues include:

An uncontested divorce occurs when couples can come to an agreement on these issues without having to go to court multiple times and involve a judge. Therefore, in the simplest terms, an uncontested divorce is a divorce that is settled without the intervention of a judge or court.

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What Are My Options if My Ex Does Not Pay Child Support?Child support is relevant in any case involving a child whose parents are not married or in a relationship. Many times, the parent who takes care of the child a majority of the time will receive child support and use it to help cover some of the costs associated with raising a child, like clothes, food, healthcare, and schooling or extracurricular expenses. Both the courts and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can issue orders requiring a parent to make support payments, but that does not always mean that the parent will obey. Unpaid child support can be frustrating for the parent who relies on it and can spell out serious trouble for the parent who will not pay. Fortunately, there are things you can do if your ex is not paying the child support that he or she is required to pay.

What is Failure of Support?

If a child support order is entered into by either DCFS or a judge, it has been determined that the parent has the financial resources available to pay the child support. If that parent refuses to make the support payments or does not make the payments, he or she can be considered to have failed to pay a support order. The Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act states that a person can be held in contempt of a support order if they:

  • Refuse to pay spousal maintenance
  • Refuse to pay child support and have the ability to pay such support
  • Have not paid their support obligation for longer than six months or have accrued more than $5,000 in unpaid support
  • Have fled the state to avoid paying support or owe more than $10,000
  • Have not paid the support obligation for longer than one year or owe more than $20,000 

Steps You Can Take

Child support orders are court orders, meaning your ex has a legal obligation to pay the order or they could face consequences. This also means that you have the right to pursue legal action against your spouse for not paying the support. While you can work directly with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) to take legal action against your ex, working with an attorney is faster and can produce better results.

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How to Have a Happy and Successful Step-FamilyIt is not uncommon for people to get remarried after they have ended their first marriage. Remarriage is a second chance at happiness for many people. When you get remarried, you often bring many things with you from your previous life, including your children. Creating a blended family can be extremely rewarding, but it comes with its challenges. Remarriage itself can be difficult, but you can overcome its challenges by preemptively planning your future with a skilled family law lawyer. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful and happy blended family:

  1. Help Your Children Adjust to the Changes: There are a lot of changes that come when you create a blended family. For children, these changes can be difficult, but there are things that you can do to help them adjust to their new family. When it comes to helping your own children, you should remind them that they are still loved and valued. You should also make sure they have access to their other parent. Allow your stepchildren to set the pace of the relationship; it can often take years for everyone to feel comfortable in a blended family.
  2. Carefully Consider Your Options Before Pursuing Step-Parent Adoption: Many parents want to solidify their relationship with their stepchildren by completing a step-parent adoption, but there are many things you have to consider before you choose to go ahead with a step-parent adoption. Illinois allows a child to have only two legal parents at one time. This means you would have to get your child’s other parent to relinquish their parental rights or have their rights taken away from them before your new spouse could adopt your child. You should also consider how doing this might upset your children.
  3. Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement: If you have previously been married and you are planning to get married again, you should seriously consider getting a prenuptial agreement beforehand. A prenuptial agreement can help you make sure your assets are protected for your own benefit and ultimately the benefit of your children in the event that you get divorced from your new spouse.

Get in Touch With a Skilled Will County Family Law Attorney Today

Before you get too far ahead, you should consult with a knowledgeable and compassionate Joliet, IL, family law lawyer to make sure you are covering all of your bases. At The Foray Firm, we can help you take care of all of the pre-planning matters before you get remarried, such as drafting a prenuptial agreement, ensuring your parenting plan is up-to-date and helping you pursue a step-parent adoption. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

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BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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