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Wheaton parenting time lawyersThe process of divorce can be messy, especially when children are involved. Fueled by a desire to ease the transition for their children, many parents are turning to “birdnesting,” a process in which the children stay in the family home and the parents take turns living there. Some say this gives children a more stable environment while the parents trudge through the legal process of divorce, but does it really work? 

Data Regarding Birdnesting is Limited 

Child development experts, healthcare professionals, psychologists, and other child specialists have been compiling and examining data on the impact that divorce has on children for decades now. Because of that, we now know that divorce is not necessarily what hurts children as much as it is the nature of the proceedings. Yet, when it comes to birdnesting, data is still sorely lacking. Quite simply, this divorce strategy has not been around long enough to determine, for sure, that it is beneficial to children during the divorce process. 

Many Families Swear by the Birdnesting Method

Although the birdnesting process lacks any hard data, many families are singing its praises. They claim that their children seem to be more grounded, even if they themselves are struggling to cope with the process. Many of these families also continue on with their regular traditions, such as family dinner nights. These families claim that their children seem to feel more secure in the love that both parents have with them. Moreover, parents say that their birdnesting arrangement is a strong jumping point for the co-parenting relationship ahead. 

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Wheaton family law lawyersFamily law is a broad area of the law with many subsections. However, some issues are more common and complex than others. Learn more about the most common and currently emerging family law courts, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton attorneys can help you manage them and mitigate against any complications that you may be facing in your Illinois family law case. 

Divorce and Legal Separation 

Statistics indicate that the divorce rate has been dropping over the last several years, but it continues to be one of the more common family law matters, both in Illinois and nationwide. Legal separations, though less common than divorce and perhaps even some other family law issues, are also frequently seen issues in family courts.

Child-Related Matters

Child matters are also extremely common in family courts. They include:

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Illinoia family law attorneysPeople do not typically marry with the intention of one day divorcing, but those who have already experienced a failed marriage may be even more adamant to grow old with their new partner. Sadly, the risk of divorce is significantly higher for subsequent marriages. As such, it is highly recommended that parties take proactive steps to protect their assets in a second marriage. Learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can help you do this, and discover how our seasoned family law attorneys can help. 

Know Your Wealth and Assets

Just as it is critical to know your wealth and assets in a divorce, you should know them going into a marriage. Not only does this give you a base to work from in the event of a divorce, but it also enables you to effectively and proactively protect your wealth, long before a divorce occurs. 

Never Enter a Second Marriage Without a Prenuptial Agreement

If you did not sign a prenuptial agreement before your first marriage, it is likely you know just how messy dividing assets in a divorce can be. When you add in the fact that may divorcees also have children from their previous marriage, perhaps even child support and spousal support obligations, the importance of protecting one’s assets in a second marriage becomes even more crucial. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure you have a sound and concise prenuptial agreement before you marry a second time. 

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Wheaton family law attorneysThe decision to get divorced is one you should take seriously. If children are involved, you should be especially diligent in making the right decision for the family unit. Divorce can hurt kids, even when the parents are agreeable, but the effect may far worse if the interactions between parents become toxic. 

In knowing this, most parents put forth the effort to thwart toxicity in their situation. However, that is not always the case. Learn how continued toxicity in your divorce can negatively impact your children, and discover what you can do when faced with a parent who is consistently making poor, selfish, or negative decisions regarding your children and/or matters involving them in your Illinois divorce. 

Examining the Potential Effects of a Toxic Divorce 

While each case may vary based on a range of factors (i.e. the temperament of the child, level of toxicity, the form of toxicity, or whether additional forms of abuse are present in the marriage or family environment, etc.), children who witness a toxic divorce situation often share similar traits and issues. Some of these include problems with:

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Illinois parenting time lawyersIf you are unable to raise your child with their other parent due to divorce, breakup, or any other reason, the state of Illinois will want you to have a legal parenting plan in place. This is a complex, and often emotional process that needs to be handled well for the benefit of your child, and yourself. When working on a parenting plan, make sure to consider the following essential concepts. 

Put Your Child First

The most important thing to consider when working on a parenting plan is that it is all about your children, not yourself. It is tempting to fight to keep your child with you every day and ensure you are able to make every possible decision throughout their childhood. The fact is, however, that in the vast majority of cases it is better for the child to encourage them to have a close relationship with each parent, and for the parents to work together. Putting your child first may be hard, but it will help them to thrive long into the future. 

Be Ready to Make Concessions 

It is almost unheard of for any parent to get 100% of what they want when discussing a parenting plan. This is why it can be so helpful to work with a mediator, arbitrator, or another objective third-party who can help facilitate compromise. When getting ready to discuss your parenting plan, try to have some flexibility so that you can successfully come to an agreement. Of course, this does not mean you have to give up specific things that are extremely important to you!

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DuPage County family law attorneysThanks to mounds of scientific research, the verdict on how to best help children after a divorce is clear: In most cases, children fare best when they have a healthy and consistent relationship with both of their parents. Ideally, that would include a lot of face-to-face time with the child, but not every divorced couple can stay in the same neighborhood, city, or state. 

Just a short few years ago, families who lived far apart had to rely on phone conversations to stay connected. In-person visits, though scheduled as frequently as possible, rarely made up for the lack of face-to-face contact that occurred between the parent and child during their separation. Science says that technology is already starting to fill that gap - and its effect is only expected to improve over time. 

Video Chatting, Texting, and Social Media Helps Parents and Kids Stay Connected 

Parent-child connections can be difficult to maintain after a divorce - and not just because of time or distance. In high-conflict situations (i.e. differing views on hot topic issues, such as discipline, religion, or values), parents may struggle to maintain civil communications. 

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DuPage County parenting time attorneysHolidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but for blended families, the season can be especially trying. There are additional challenges that come with an increasing and revolving number of faces, such as multiple or various family schedules and changing or canceled plans. Thankfully, there are some strategies that blended families can use to minimize stress and encourage bonding and a happier holiday season. 

1. Develop a Plan and Discuss It with the Kids

Even though holiday plans can (and often do) change, it is important for your family to start with a framework. It can give you guidance and allow you to block out time more efficiently. When events conflict, work hard to come up with a compromise. 

Realize that, above all else, what everyone truly wants is for the children to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible. Family times, such as when grandparents are in town, are good to prioritize, as are any holiday traditions that can still be carried out, even after the massive changes of divorce (i.e. purchasing a living tree and then planting it at the end of the season). 

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Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can be a painful and difficult process for all involved parties, but children are said to be at an exceptionally high risk of experiencing long-term consequences. Child experts believe their heightened risk of complications could be attributed to the sense of powerlessness that children often feel during the divorce process. 

Children typically have no say over whether their parents’ marriage continues. In fact, most are unaware that a divorce is even happening until the proceedings are well underway. They are also rarely given a say over the decisions that are made during the divorce process, yet many of them affect the child’s day-to-day life. Examples include where the child will live and go to school and the amount of time that they get to spend with each parent once the divorce has been finalized.

Thankfully, it is possible for loving parents to mitigate many of the issues that children may experience during and after the divorce process. The first (and perhaps most important step) is to ensure that you put your child at the center of every decision you make - especially if it will directly affect them in the months and years to come.

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Illinois domestic violence lawyersAbusive partners have always used methods of control against their victims, but with the latest advancements in technology, they have more tools at their disposal. The abuse of “smart home” devices and cell phones are just two examples that are cropping up in divorces around the nation. Thankfully, victims can protect themselves from a technologically savvy abusive spouse. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned Illinois divorce lawyer can provide victims yet another layer of protection while they are seeking a divorce or separation. 

Abuse Using “Smart Homes” and Other Advanced Technology

While technology abuse may not seem like much of a threat, the truth is that perpetrators are using advanced devices like smart home systems to make the lives of their victims unbearable. For example, they may remotely turn the lights off and on, or they may turn up the heater to an unbearable temperature. Unfortunately, when victims try to explain the abuse, law enforcement and other officials may dismiss their claims as “crazy” or petty.

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