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Belleville Family Law Blog

Five reasons to hire a divorce lawyer

In today's modern age, the "do it yourself" (DIY) craze is in full swing. From home improvement projects to estate planning to divorce, many people assume they can tackle complex projects and issues on their own.

A DIY divorce is never a good idea, as there is a lot you don't know about the law in Illinois. Rather than go down this path, it's best to hire an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process from start to finish.

5 ways to help your children during the early stages of divorce

Not only will divorce change your life in many ways, but it will also do the same to your children. Fortunately, with the right plan in place, you're able to help your children through this difficult time.

There are many steps you can take to help your children get through the early stages of divorce, with these five among the most powerful:

  • Show your love. Let your child know that you love them. Just the same, let them know that their other parent is there for them as well. If you do nothing else, let it be this.
  • Be honest. There's no good reason to lie about your divorce or the future, as the truth will eventually come out. Tell your children what they need to know in an honest manner.
  • Stick to a schedule. Divorce is difficult enough. You don't want to make it worse by jumping from one parenting or custody schedule to the next. Giving your children structure during divorce is vital.
  • Encourage communication. You need to communicate with your children before, during and after your divorce. You're not finished after one conversation.
  • Tweak schedules in the future. The visitation schedule you use today doesn't have to be the same as the one you rely on next year. As long as you and the other parent are on the same page, you can always settle on a schedule that's best for your children.

What does divorce mediation entail?

Once you decide to divorce, don't assume that you'll face off against your spouse in a family law court. While litigation is necessary at times, you'll first want to experiment with mediation.

Through mediation, you maintain a high level of control over the process. Rather than rely on a judge to make final decisions, you can negotiate with the other party to work toward a mutually beneficial agreement.

You can benefit by following these co-parenting tips

When it comes to co-parenting, there will be times when you're stuck and looking for answers. This isn't a fun place to be, but it's important to remember that there's a solution to every problem.

Here are four co-parenting tips that will change your approach for the better:

  • Be flexible with scheduling: Scheduling conflicts are common when co-parenting, so keeping some level of flexibility is a must. Don't let the other person walk all over you, but do keep an open mind.
  • Think about the other parent's feelings: Yes, you need to do what's best for you and your children. However, this doesn't mean you should go out of your way to harm your ex-spouse.
  • Don't look for an argument: There are times when you'll argue with your ex-spouse. It's a given. What you want to avoid is turning every small disagreement into a blowout argument.
  • Communication is key: An open line of communication improves the likelihood of staying on the same page. This doesn't mean you have to talk every day. It doesn't mean you have to discuss your personal life. You simply want to find a way to effectively communicate, as it makes it much easier to coordinate on a variety of details.

How should you tell your family about your divorce?

Many people spend so much time thinking of a way to tell their children about their divorce that they overlook the rest of their family.

From your parents to your siblings to your extended family, there's a good chance you'll want to inform these people about what's happening in your life.

Consider including these things in your prenuptial agreement

Many people find it difficult to create a prenuptial agreement, as it has you thinking about divorce before you ever walk down the aisle. The creation of a prenup does not mean you'll get divorced in the future. It simply means you're preparing yourself in the event that it happens.

Here are some of the many things you should consider including in your prenup:

Asking for a divorce is easier said than done

In your mind, you have everything planned out. You know that you want to ask your spouse for a divorce, and you have a clear idea of the approach you'll take.

But then something happens. You're face to face with your spouse and you freeze. You don't know what to say or do.

How are you planning for the financial side of divorce?

When you first decide to divorce, you do so because your marriage is no longer working. You realize that maintaining your relationship into the future is not in your best interest.

Once you understand the personal impact of divorce, it won't be long before you're learning more about planning for the financial side of things.

How to handle the divorce process in regard to your job

Going through a divorce will change your life in many ways, such as the way you raise your children and how you budget your money in the future. It's important to focus on yourself during this difficult time, but don't overlook the impact your decision will have on others. For example, you must know how to handle the divorce process in regard to your job.

Here are four tips to help you keep your career in order, despite your divorce:

  • Talk to your boss: You don't have to go into details, such as explaining why you are getting a divorce and what you hope to accomplish by doing so. Stick to the facts as to let your boss know where things stand. This is important as you may need to take time away from work in the future to deal with your divorce.
  • Contact the HR department: Most importantly, they can guide you with respect to any changes you should make to your benefits. For example, you may need to remove your ex-spouse from your health insurance coverage. You may also need to change your life insurance beneficiary. Let your HR department provide guidance on all the changes you need to make.
  • Review your job responsibilities: Now's a good time to take a close look at your job responsibilities, as your personal life may dictate what you can and can't take on in the future. For instance, if you'll have sole custody of your children, it may not be feasible for you to travel as much in the future. This will lead to your having an important conversation with your boss.
  • Take care of yourself: There may be days when going to work will cause more harm than good. Divorce can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so taking breaks from work to care for yourself is critical.

Will asking for a prenuptial agreement lead to a breakup?

Once you decide to tie the knot, you don't want to do anything to rock the boat. While everyone argues from time to time, you want to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding.

If you're interested in asking your partner to sign a prenuptial agreement, you may have concerns that it could lead to a breakup. Rather than take a risk, there are a few things you can do to reduce the tension and work together on how to best move forward.

  • Have an open conversation: Don't issue demands, tell your partner what they have to do or make them feel bad. Instead, have an open conversation about the pros and cons of creating a prenuptial agreement.
  • Talk about your fears: You have a reason for wanting to create a prenuptial agreement, so bring it to light early on. There's nothing wrong with discussing your fears and your many reasons for wanting to go down this path. This is much better than hiding your true feelings.
  • Ask and answer questions: You're sure to have questions for your partner, especially if they're opposed to a prenuptial agreement. Just the same, your partner will have questions for you, so answer these to the best of your ability.
  • Don't rush: You want to get this out of the way as quickly as possible, but that doesn't mean you should rush the process. Doing so increases the likelihood of a mistake.

When you are ready to discuss your legal issue with an experienced Illinois lawyer, we will be here for you.

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Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan
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Belleville, IL 62220

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