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Belleville Family Law Blog

Don’t make these mistakes with your children after divorce

Once your divorce is final, you should turn all your attention to creating a better life for you and your children in the future. While it's not always easy to co-parent, dedicating yourself to doing the right thing will ease your stress.

Unfortunately, it's easy to make mistakes with your children after divorce, with these among the most common:

  • Force your children to take sides: Don't ask your children who they like better. Don't prompt your children to tell your ex that they'd rather spend time with you. Putting your children in the middle will increase tension for all parties involved.
  • Assuming you'll never have to see your ex again: This may be possible if you don't have children together, but when co-parenting you'll have to communicate and see your ex from time to time. Showing your children that you're able to get along is healthy for everyone.
  • Attempting to keep them away from your ex's family: It's okay to do this if you have a good reason, but don't get in the way out of spite. For example, it's important for your children to spend time with your ex's parents.

How to tell your co-workers about your divorce

Once you decide in favor of divorce, you'll have questions and concerns about breaking the news to your family, friends and co-workers. While it's often easy to confide in your loved ones, the same doesn't always hold true at work.

Before we go any further, remember this: You're under no obligation to tell your co-workers about your personal affairs.

Watch what you say to your spouse during divorce

Even if you are on speaking terms with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, that doesn't necessarily mean you should communicate during the divorce process. Sure, there are times when this is necessary, such as during mediation. However, you should be careful about what you say at other times.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Anything you say can complicate your situation: For example, if you share too much information on how you're approaching the divorce, your spouse may be able to use it to their advantage.
  • Stay off of social media: It doesn't matter if you're talking in a friendly tone or not, stay off of social media for the time being. Your activity on social media can complicate the divorce process.
  • Communicate for the well-being of your children: If you have children together, you'll probably need to talk during the divorce process. It's okay to do so, just make sure you take steps to avoid trouble. With tensions high, any disagreement has the potential to turn into a serious argument.

How to choose a guardian for your children after divorce

Divorce will alter your life in many ways, including your approach to estate planning. You must consider what would happen to your children in the event that you pass on before they reach the legal age of 18, and your ex is unavailable or unwilling to take on full custody.

You're not legally required to name a guardian in your estate plan, but doing so will give you peace of mind. Answering the following questions will allow you to make the right decision:

  • Does the person have the same parenting style as you? You don't want your children to go through any unnecessary changes, so choosing a guardian with a similar parenting style is a must.
  • Is it okay to consider multiple guardians? If you have more than one child, you may want to consider this idea. It's not ideal to break your children up, but it may be necessary if you don't want to put too much burden on one person or one couple.
  • Is the person financially stable? Raising children is expensive, so you don't want to choose a guardian who's dealing with financial troubles. Adding children to the mix will only put more strain on them.
  • Is the person young and healthy? Choosing a young and healthy guardian is a must, as you don't want to have any concerns about them not being able to take on the duty should the time come. For example, an older guardian is more likely to develop an illness that prohibits them from raising your children.
  • Are you comfortable talking it over with the person? You shouldn't formally name a guardian in your estate plan until you first discuss it with them. If the person is completely on board, you can confidently proceed. However, if they have some concerns, it may be best to consider another route.

Are you familiar with these signs of divorce?

While you never want to admit that you've spotted one or more warning signs of divorce, this may be the reality you're living. This should lead you to consider the finer details of your relationship, with an eye toward taking the right next step.

There are many warning signs of divorce, with these three among the most common:

  • You're unhappy: In simple terms, you're no longer happy with the life you're living. Maybe you argue with your spouse all the time. Or maybe you find it difficult to enjoy the things that once made you happy.
  • You avoid your spouse: There are many signs that you're doing this, such as staying late at work so you don't have to spend as much time at home. You may even get the feeling that you'd rather drive around in your car than go home to face your spouse.
  • Your family and friends have doubts: If others can see trouble with your marriage, there's a good chance something is going on. Get honest with yourself as you evaluate the good and bad associated with your marriage. Furthermore, don't get upset with loved ones for trying to help.

When addiction interferes with child custody

It's hard to reconcile addiction with competent parenting. Many alcoholics and addicts struggle mightily with their demons while retaining custody of their minor kids. But it's a sad fact that those who are most impacted by the struggle are the children.

An addict's struggles may only publicly surface when there is a change in their relationship status. A spouse may file for divorce or an intimate partner may end the relationship over the addict's continuing to use alcohol or drugs. That partner or spouse may then petition the court for custody, citing the addict's lack of fitness as a parent.

3 reasons to talk to your attorney before a divorce

Before you plan to divorce, you will probably have an idea that you want to separate from your spouse. Maybe they're not treating you well, or perhaps you've both just grown apart. Whatever the problem is, the reality is that you're interested in separating and getting a divorce.

While divorces are relatively straightforward, there are a few good reasons to talk to your attorney before you decide to divorce. Here are three reasons to head to your local attorney's office before talking to your spouse about divorce.

How to prevent a summer vacation dispute with your ex

With the school year quickly coming to an end, there's no better time than now to plan a summer vacation with your children. While this sounds easy enough, you could run into custody-related challenges if you and your ex-spouse aren't on the same page in regard to your trip.

Here are three steps you can take to prevent a summer vacation dispute with your ex:

  • Talk about it early on: Don't wait until the last minute to plan a vacation, but instead, get all the details in order as quickly as you can. Once you discuss the trip, you should then stick to the schedule that's in place.
  • Review your custody agreement: It's possible that your custody or visitation agreement has some type of limitation, such as not being permitted to leave the country or state with your children.
  • Let your children stay in touch: Not only will this make your ex feel better about the trip, but it will put your children at ease as well. From texts to phone calls to video chat, there's no point in cutting off communication between your children and your ex. Doing so will raise stress levels for everyone involved.

Social media and divorce: Don’t fall prey to these mishaps

In today's day and age, most people enjoy spending time on social media. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, there's no shortage of content to post and people to connect with.

There's nothing wrong with using social media during the divorce process, but you must be extremely careful about what you share with your audience. Here are three mistakes that many people make:

  • Sharing your private life: It's easy to vent on social media, especially since you don't have to talk to anyone face to face. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to more harm than good, as you're sharing intimate details with people who are close to you as well as those you don't know very well.
  • Posting incriminating information: For example, if you post images of you partying all weekend long, it will look bad on you when fighting for custody of your children.
  • Speaking poorly about your soon to be ex-spouse: Once again, you may be tempted to vent on social media. This is even more so the case if you know the other person will see it. Not only can negative comments impact your divorce, but it could also result in a serious defamation lawsuit if you take things too far.

Does a postnuptial agreement make sense?

As you move toward your wedding day, you may discuss the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement with your partner. If you decide against creating this document, you could regret it at some point in the future.

Fortunately, you have another option to consider: a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, with the primary difference being that you create this after you tie the knot.

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

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