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Libertyville Divorce Blog

How mediation can help in a divorce

When Illinois couples experience significant marital problems, divorce is often a consideration. While ending a marriage may be the best option for everyone, there is often much that needs to be resolved so the divorce can go forward with a minimum amount of pain and expense. While some couples are able to work out issues surrounding ongoing support, child custody and property division on their own, others need help from a third party.

One option that works for many couples is divorce mediation. Professionally trained mediators can provide a neutral ground for each party to express their needs and concerns so that they are better able to come to a resolution. Because the mediator does not work for one party or the other, spouses may feel more open to expressing their concerns.

Benefits of collaborative divorce

Illinois couples who are about to go through a divorce may be anxious about what it will be like. While some divorces are messy and contentious, it doesn't have to be that way. Opting for a collaborative divorce may make the process an easier one that takes the needs of all parties into account.

At the beginning of the collaborative process, each party will sign a contract. This contract states that both sides will act in good faith when interacting with each other. It also states that each side will be transparent with information related to the divorce proceeding. Finally, the couple agrees that they will be open-minded when it comes to settling their divorce. Unlike mediation, there is no third party to help guide the talks. Instead, it is on the couple getting divorced and their attorneys to make the process work.

Older couples are choosing gray divorce over unhappy retirement

Retirement is finally a time to relax; at least that is the idea. An unhappy marriage induces stress, especially when parents can no longer focus on raising their children. Retired couples spend more time together than they ever have before. A growing number of aging adults refuse the prospect of being in an unhappy marriage when retirement arrives.

Strategies to ease the headache of a toxic divorce

Individuals going through a divorce in Illinois are likely to experience heartache and conflict even in the best of cases. However, those who are divorcing a toxic spouse could have it a lot worse. When it comes to divorcing a narcissist or high-conflict individual, there are a few ways to remove the toxicity from the process.

First, get everything in writing. It's a good idea to make notes of all communications with a toxic ex. In many cases, it's best to limit communication to written methods like email, text and messages sent between attorneys. Written communication serves as its own record and can often be used as evidence during family court proceedings. It can also make communications less combative as the writing process requires reflection that spoken communication does not.

Divorce more likely for people in certain professions

Illinois workers who have jobs in the transportation or nightlife industry may be more likely to get divorced. Furthermore, the divorce rate of people who work in math or science may be lower than the national average, according to a study presented by FlowingData based on the 2015 American Community Survey.

Researchers found that actuaries had a divorce rate lower than 20 percent. However, the divorce rate for bartenders was higher than 50 percent. In 2015, the national average was just above 35 percent. Gaming managers also had a divorce rate that was higher than 50 percent. Clergy, physicians and surgeons also had a lower-than-average divorce rate.

Dividing retirement accounts during divorces

Getting divorced in Illinois can be costly. If people are not careful, they may also make mistakes that could potentially prevent them from retiring later in their lives. It is important for people to understand the mistakes that they should avoid.

In order to pay the legal fees associated with divorces, some people decide to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts. Accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs are taxed upon withdrawal, meaning that people will pay taxes on the money that they pull out. If they are younger than 55 for 401(k)s or 59 1/2 for IRAs, they will also have to pay 10 percent early withdrawal penalties.

Successfully co-parenting with a toxic ex

Toxic relationships between ex-spouses are all too common in Illinois and throughout the country. When children are involved, the dynamics of a negative co-parenting relationship can have devastating implications following a divorce. It is difficult to find methods dealing with a toxic ex due to the level of hostile emotions that are often involved. However, there are some ways to manage the exchange between unhappy exes that can result in a safe and happy environment for the children.

If there is a tumultuous relationship with an ex, the last thing to do is have unnecessary conversations. It is advisable to only speak to the ex when there is a need for the children. Discussing issues that have nothing to do with the children provides opportunities for arguments, which in turn makes the parenting process even more difficult. Limiting communication to parental topics can help eliminate the potential for negative encounters.

Preparing for divorce mediation

When Illinois residents decide to get a divorce, they may turn to mediation. This method of dispute resolution is particularly popular for those who want to keep the talks civil while saving time and money. However, both parties can make mediation even easier if they are willing to prepare before meeting with the mediator.

Those getting ready to go through the mediation process should prepare emotionally. When individuals are trying to reach agreements regarding kids, finances or the future, emotions can quickly get out of hand. If a person feels like his or her emotions are getting in the way, it is fine to take a few minutes to calm down. Second, both parties should prepare the numbers ahead of time, especially if they will be discussing property division or finances. Having the concrete figures ready to go can get the process moving faster.

What is mediation and why should I try it?

Child custody and parenting time disputes are the worst. The notion of your ex denying you time with your child can be dirty and underhanded, but it does not help the situation to retaliate against them. It also doesn’t help to give up and simply fade away out of the child’s life.

For those who want court intervention, the costs of litigation may be a significant barrier. After filing fees, there may be costs for discovery, a custody evaluation and even preparing for a trial. Only a small number of people can afford to pay for this process. 

Revamping your childcare schedule for back-to-school

As we pack away our summer sandals and dust off our fall boots, your kids enter a new school year. Child custody arrangements are relatively simple during the summer – your family spends a week at the beach, your child spends a week at soccer camp but otherwise, you have your days with the kids, and your ex-spouse has theirs.

When school starts, you child re-enters the whirlwind of sports practice, play practice, after school meetings and group projects. Their schedule may change by the month, or even the week. This makes it harder for divorced parents to determine a standard child custody arrangement that works for everyone. How can you create a workable arrangement that smoothes the transition back into school?

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