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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law attorneysIn Illinois, divorcing couples have a few options when it comes to how they reach a resolution on issues including property division, parenting time and responsibilities, and child and spousal support. Perhaps the first option that comes to mind is a court trial in which each party is represented by an attorney, but this is not actually the most common method for resolving a divorce. In fact, the large majority of couples are able to settle their divorce out of court. In many cases, it is a good idea to consider whether an uncontested divorce would work for you before exploring other alternatives.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the two spouses agree not only on the decision to get a divorce, but also on all important matters that must be resolved for the divorce to be finalized. However, it is rare for a couple to reach this agreement without going through significant discussions and negotiations to figure out the details. Both parties can also choose to hire an attorney to advise them and help them protect their interests, but the right attorney can do so without escalating conflict in a way that may lead to litigation. After creating a written agreement, the couple can submit it to the court for approval so that the marriage is legally dissolved and the agreement becomes legally binding.

Is an Uncontested Divorce a Good Decision?

An uncontested divorce can be a good decision for many reasons. For one, it can help you and your spouse keep conflict to a minimum and avoid the public spectacle of a trial. You also have far greater control over the outcome in an uncontested divorce, as you and your spouse are able to agree on your own decisions rather than leaving them in the court’s hands. In many cases, an uncontested divorce can be resolved more quickly and with fewer expenses than a divorce trial.


How Mediation Helps You Make Important Decisions in Your DivorceFor many couples who are preparing to divorce, one of the biggest concerns is the stress and conflict that can arise throughout the divorce process. It is true that almost no divorce is easy, but you may be able to avoid much of the hardship by pursuing the option of divorce mediation, which allows you and your spouse to work together to make important decisions on a number of issues.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

For a mediated divorce process to work, you and your spouse must be willing to cooperate and communicate with each other, whether that is face-to-face or through some other means. The two of you maintain control over all of your final decisions, and each of you will have the opportunity to express your perspectives throughout the deliberation process. A trained mediator, who is often an attorney, will be present as a third party to guide the process and ensure it proceeds smoothly without taking a side or attempting to influence the outcome. When mediation is successful, a couple may be able to avoid a trial entirely, which can save time and money and allow them to maintain greater privacy.

Decisions to Address During Mediation

Unlike a trial in which the judge issues a final ruling, mediation allows couples to reach an agreement tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Mediation can assist with all elements of your divorce agreement, including:


DuPage County divorce attorneysDespite common misconceptions, divorce does not have to be a contentious matter. In fact, it is entirely possible to effectively and amicably communicate with your spouse during your separation. Check out these tips, and discover how our seasoned divorce lawyers can assist you with the process, regardless of which divorce path you choose. 

1. Establish Boundaries and a Preferred Method of Communication

When it comes to communicating with your ex, you need boundaries and a plan. Set limits on topics (i.e. do not discuss why your marriage ended or your personal lives; focus instead on discussing the legal details of your separation and any child-related matters). Also, choose a method of communication that will allow you disengage, if necessary. Text, email, and phone calls are some of the most commonly used (and potentially the most effective). Avoid in-person conversations, if necessary. 

2. Focus on the Issues at Hand 

The need for avoiding unnecessary topics cannot be overstated; do not discuss matters related to your spouse’s personal life, the reasons for your divorce, or any other topic that is not pertinent to your divorce. To do so could jeopardize your goals of having an amicable, low-stress divorce. 


Wheaton divorce lawyersDivorce has seen a lot of changes since its peak in the United States. Whereas courts used to almost always award custody to the mother, with fathers being afforded very few rights, the system now recognizes that children need and deserve the love and support of both parents. Developmental and behavioral studies on children have been integral to these changes, but parents themselves have helped to pave the way as well. 

Divorcing Parents Have Created a New Trend 

While some divorce cases involving children remain acrimonious, the majority of parents recognize that their child is extremely vulnerable to behavioral and emotional trauma during parental separation. Moreover, parents are becoming more knowledgable about the negative effects that a bitter divorce can have on the future and overall development of their child. As a result, many are intentional about the way they conduct themselves during the divorce process. 

Those who struggle to get along often seek out legal support. Parents have also worked to come up with ways to minimize strife and conflict in their divorce cases (i.e. communicating through text or email and minimizing conversations over the phone and in-person). They avoid saying negative things about the other parent in the presence of their child, and they foster a healthy and continued relationship between their child and their former spouse. As a result, divorcing parents are paving the way for a better future for their kids. 


Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyersIn the do-it-yourself culture of today, it comes as no surprise that one can easily research divorce online. If one so desires, they may also fill out and print state-specific forms and file them with the court, pro se (without an attorney). Sadly, many parties who pursue such options end up learning a hard and expensive lesson: divorce should not be a “DIY project.”

The Dangers of a DIY Divorce

DIY divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer to complete the paperwork for you, while others simply offer advice to help you fill out the forms yourself. Either way, you are taking a major risk. Few of these options are state-specific, and that can make a significant difference in the division of your marital estate – especially in Illinois, where assets are distributed equitably, rather than equally. Of special concern are large assets, such as the family home, and retirement accounts, which can be exceptionally difficult to divide without assistance.


DuPage County divorce lawyersDivorce can take a toll on everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical being, but it is children who are typically the most vulnerable to long-term issues. As such, parents are encouraged to do everything that they can to protect their children from the effects of divorce. Learn more, including how an experienced family law attorney can help with the process, using the following information.

Keep the Child Out of the Middle

Parents do not typically place their child in the middle of the divorce intentionally. Instead, they typically make a series of small, seemingly unimportant decisions that can compromise their child’s emotional well-being. They may overshare details about the divorce or the reasons why the relationship failed. Some may find themselves asking about the other parent’s personal life, or they may lean on their child while struggling through the divorce process. All these actions – and any others that place the child in the middle of the relationship – can cause severe and irreparable emotional or mental damage to the child, even if the acts are unintentional.


DuPage County family law attorney, mediation, Illinois divorce caseWhen you think about divorce in Illinois, you may see images of drawn-out, antagonistic legal battles involving repeated court hearings where spouses fight over children, the division of property, and spousal support. However, not all cases are so adversarial and can actually be resolved through mediation under appropriate circumstances.

Many spouses are able to agree on some issues or are close to compromise on disputed matters, making mediation an ideal solution to protracted, expensive litigation. Talk to an Illinois mediation professional about your situation after getting some basic information about the process.

How Mediation Works in Divorce Cases


Posted on in Divorce
talk-to-children-about-divorceDivorce is a very stressful situation to go through, and throwing kids into the mix can make it much, much harder.  For many parents, the most overwhelming part of their divorce is breaking the news to their children.  However, with a few pointers, this talk can be made a lot smoother. Before sitting down to talk with your children, it is very important that you and your spouse agree on what exactly you are going to say.  You do not want to contradict one another while talking to your children, which could make things even more confusing for them, especially if they are younger. In some cases, spouses will have to give the talk separately.  Even if this is the case for you, try your best to still reach an agreed script so as not to send mixed messages to your kids. If your divorce is a relatively amicable one, try and sit down with your kids as a couple.  This will send the message that you are still a family, and even though you and your spouse are separating, you are still their parents.  This will also help assure them that you will both still play active roles in their lives. One of the most important pieces of advice for talking to your children about divorce is to make sure they know it is not their fault.  To do this, you want to give them reasons that they can live with.  Things like “we grew apart” are appropriate.  Your children will automatically assume that because they asked for something at the store, or fought with a sibling, the two of you are getting a divorce.  Assure them that it is nobody’s fault and your love for them will never change. Sitting down to talk about divorce with your kids may seem scary, but it doe snot have to be.  If you are preparing for “the talk” and have any questions, don’t be afraid to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.
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