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How can I relocate with my child after a divorce as a custodial parent?  The end of divorce proceedings is a relief for most parties; however, it is not necessarily the end of legal concerns. This is especially true when children are involved. Custody agreements offer specific terms that both the custodial and noncustodial parent must follow. Failure to adhere to them can result in legal consequences and potentially even a loss of parenting time. One of the areas where disagreements and complications most commonly arise is relocation. What is relocation?  Relocation refers to moving with children after a divorce,…
Divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for many. A lot of people prefer to avoid divorce at all costs and will often prolong an unhappy marriage. Divorce is expensive, the family is pulled apart, and conflict kicks into overdrive. When it comes down to splitting assets and family division, you see a different side of your former spouse – and yourself. It’s not uncommon to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression during the uncoupling transition. When you lose a partner, you experience new forms of stress, including financial, emotional, sexual, and physical. Due to the amount of stress that…
As we enter into the month of love, you may be feeling discouraged or that you have nothing to celebrate. In a culture that romanticizes romance and love, rewrite the narrative and focus on loving yourself! Taking care of yourself mentally and physically is one of the best things you can do, especially during a stressful time like divorce!   1.) Take time each day to do some form of exercise: Not only is exercise beneficial to your physical health, but it is also a great stress reliever and great for your mental health. Elevate your heart rate to elevate your mood.…
Sometimes, no matter how promising the beginning, relationships must come to an end. When a partnership is no longer viable, and the parties involved seek a way out, divorce is the best solution. That doesn’t mean it’s the easiest solution, which can be especially true during the era of COVID-19. While much of society ground to a halt, specific industries can’t do the same – the legal system is one of them. This is good news for individuals looking for a divorce, although the process to obtain one might be a bit different than you’d imagine. But whatever you do,…
A divorce is never an easy process, but the COVID-19 pandemic has presented both lawyers and clients alike with an unprecedented set of circumstances. Gathering in a small room for mediation or divorce hearings is no longer a feasible option for many individuals, and the demand for divorce proceedings has been on the rise as the pandemic drags on. To better serve their clients, the courts have turned to a new way of conducting hearings. Let’s take a look. Virtual Divorce Much of the world has shifted online, with everything from birthday parties to corporate conferences taking place via video…
The holiday season is a painful reminder of loss and the absence of people no longer in your life. Recovery from divorce or other loss is more challenging during the holidays. As the season is upon us, be mindful of your feelings. Here are some suggestions to help those transitioning during this challenging time: 1.) Start New Traditions You no longer are obligated to participate in traditions that were important to your partner or your partner’s family. Let go. You have the opportunity to start new traditions, whether by yourself, with your dog, or alone with your children. It’s not…
Escaping an abusive relationship can be a difficult and scary situation. Victims of domestic abuse are often afraid to speak out, and many have trouble finding the resources they need. Fortunately, spousal abuse claims are taken very seriously by family courts, which means that the most important thing a victim can do is act as soon as possible. Take the Necessary Measures Right Away If you are the victim of violent domestic abuse, your safety is of the utmost importance. Call the police if you are in any immediate danger. From there, contact your local domestic violence relief agency, such…
Divorce can be difficult and stressful under the best of circumstances. Domestic violence–or even allegations of domestic violence–can trigger additional issues and challenges. If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may need a protective order before or at the same time you file for divorce, to secure temporary possession of your home and protect against any backlash the divorce petition may trigger. On the other hand, there are aspects of a divorce case that are largely unchanged in a case involving domestic violence. Of course, the best source of information about how domestic violence may impact your Illinois…
I recently wrote about the options for dividing, disposing of, or continuing to operate a business that was owned jointly by a divorcing couple. But, that’s just one of many scenarios that may arise when a business or interest in a business is at issue in a divorce case.  Here are the key questions in play when one spouse wholly or partially owns the business:  Is the business a marital asset?  The general rule is that an asset acquired during the marriage is a marital asset, and an asset one party owned prior to the marriage is not–even if…
Co-parenting under optimal circumstances requires prompt communication, incredible patience, and the flexibility to change a parenting arrangement with little, if any, notice. Some parents thrive with routines, while other parents adapt well to rapid changes. Rapid change for a child is called summer break, where the educational routines of the past nine months go out the proverbial window to be replaced by an active schedule that requires involvement from both of the divorced parents. In 2020, we are dealing with a new co-parenting paradigm that is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can say summer break started three months…
Sharing parenting time can be a challenge, even when both parents live in the same town. Distance, of course, makes splitting time and exchanging children even more complicated. When the parents live in different states, there may be added legal issues and procedural requirements, as well.  Practical Issues in Interstate Custody Cases One obvious challenge in most interstate cases is the way travel time and expense may limit the options for parenting time. Of course, these limitations have more to do with distance than with state lines. When one parent lives in Elgin and the other in Lake Geneva, the…
Divorce When You Share a Business Division of assets in a divorce can be a difficult and contentious process under any circumstances. When there’s a business in the mix, the stakes are often higher and the process even more complicated. The options for divorcing business owners vary depending on several factors, such as:  Whether one party owned the business prior to the marriage How the business is structured and owned Whether there are outside owners of the business Whether there is a prenuptial agreement in effect Whether there is a buy-sell agreement Even within a category, the answer may not…
In recognition of the World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day on June 1st. Life with a malignant narcissist is crippling.  These cads chip away at your self worth and confidence every day. Like a slow-growing cancer, you often don’t recognize the danger until it’s too late. They always blame you even when it’s not your fault. After being told daily that you are worthless (both directly and indirectly), it’s hard not to believe it.    At the same time, these scoundrels make you believe that they are invincible and that only woe comes to those who cross them. Their preferred tool…
For most, their home is the single most valuable asset of the marriage. But did you know that in Illinois, if one owns a house prior to marriage, it is considered his or her non-marital property? Upon divorce, the owning spouse takes back the entire asset (including all the equity accumulated during the marriage). Whether you are already married to somebody who owned a home before the marriage or are planning to marry somebody who currently owns a home, you have a few options to protect yourself: • If you have not yet married, use a prenuptial agreement to protect…
Note that I have framed the title of this article in the negative: how to lose a custody case, rather than how to win one. Why is this? It is because there are no sure-fire ways to achieve a successful result in a child custody case. There are, however, ways you can assuredly lose one. Here are ten examples of how to “lose” a child custody case:   1.) Treat your children as extensions of yourself rather than as individuals. Some parents are so narcissistic they consider their children only as extensions of themself. It’s not always about you! The…
After we stabilize the family through temporary agreements or court orders, we work to develop an action plan to move forward.  Child Custody Issues Before tackling the financial issues, we must first determine whether there are any contested issues involving the children. Courts require parents to try to develop a joint parenting plan. The parenting plan reflects the parenting arrangements to be implemented after the judge approves the parenting plan during the divorce. Most parenting plans include(s): a parenting schedule for ordinary and holiday time the division of responsibility for decision making for the children and  other terms of how…