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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Cook County divorce attorney for stay-at-home parentsStatistics show that many marriages end in divorce. Once you and your spouse make the decision to part ways, there are several issues you will need to resolve. Some of these include the division of marital assets (and debt), child support, and spousal maintenance. In some cases, one spouse may have stayed home to raise the couple’s children. In other scenarios, both parents might have pursued careers. For stay-at-home moms or dads, it can be difficult to imagine a new life as a single parent, which often means finding a job to make ends meet. However, there are ways to cope with this major life transition, and you will want to make sure you have the financial resources you need after your divorce. 

Consider the Best Housing Situation 

Depending on the allocation of parental responsibilities in a divorce, one parent may be able to stay in the marital home. This can often help ease the transition, allowing the children to remain in the house they lived in during the marriage. However, as a parent who did not work while raising your kids, home ownership can pose a significant financial burden. Making a large mortgage payment every month can seem overwhelming, and you will also be responsible for property taxes, utilities, and upkeep of your home. If you are awarded spousal support, this may allow you to cover your monthly bills, but it may be more financially feasible to sell the house. This will allow both you and your ex-spouse to receive a portion of the profits from the sale. Moving to a new residence may be a first step in beginning a new chapter for everyone.  

Understand Your Finances

It is imperative that you have a firm grasp of your financial situation during and after your divorce. You will want to know what kinds of bank or retirement accounts you and your spouse have and who is listed as the account owner. By obtaining this financial information, you can ensure that you fully understand the extent of your marital assets, allowing you to receive the property and assets you are entitled to.

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Oak Park divorce lawyer for asset dissipation claimsThe end of a marriage can be difficult, regardless of the reasons why a couple’s relationship broke down. Even an amicable divorce may have its challenges, since many legal issues will typically need to be resolved, including the division of assets. In Illinois, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. This means that any assets acquired during the marriage must be divided fairly. In some cases, it may be discovered that one spouse frivolously spent a large portion of the marital assets. Referred to as dissipation of assets, this typically occurs when one partner wastes money by making large purchases for his or her own benefit. This behavior often occurs when there are problems in the marriage, and a divorce is forthcoming. If you suspect that your spouse may have squandered marital funds, you may be entitled to compensation in your Illinois divorce settlement.   

Examples of Wasted Assets

There are many ways a person can dissipate assets or property. These include:

  • Gambling addictions

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Oak Park divorce attorney for holiday parenting timeWhen a couple gets a divorce, there are many issues that need to be addressed, especially if the spouses have a child together. Child-related issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, and parenting time are all important matters. Determining which parent the children will live with and when or how often the other parent gets to see them can be decided mutually by the couple. In this case, the couple can create a parenting plan that outlines the details of a proposed schedule. Co-parenting can be challenging, but studies show that kids benefit from having both parents actively involved in their life. With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, being open to changes in co-parenting schedules will alleviate stress for everyone. 

‘Tis the Season for Cooperation

The holidays can be chaotic under normal circumstances, but they may seem overwhelming if you are dealing with a recent divorce. Sharing your kids with your ex-spouse may cause conflict, especially if grandparents or other relatives expect them to be at their gatherings, too. Difficult emotions can resurface, but there are ways to minimize the stress of it all. Here are a few tips for navigating the holiday season after divorce to ensure a smooth co-parenting process:

  • Put your children first: Try to imagine how your kids are feeling. Try not to pressure them into feeling bad or guilty if they are spending time with their other parent. You want to help them create happy memories versus negative feelings.       

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Cook County child custody lawyer remarriageThe decision to divorce does not come easily to many couples, especially after a long marriage or if children are involved. However, in many cases, divorce can be for the best if the relationship is dysfunctional or abusive. After a period of time, some people may fall in love again and wish to get remarried. This can mean a second chance at happiness for a parent, but their children may harbor negative feelings toward their new stepparent. A remarriage may also mean a new house and step-siblings, as well as changes to parenting time schedules and child support orders. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between co-parents. In addition, there are some practical ways to help you and your kids adjust to the transition of a new blended family.

Blending Family Units Together

Blending two separate families can be complex for many reasons. Children often feel resentment or anger toward their new stepparent, especially if they have to move into a new house or to a new state. The following are some key points parents should keep in mind when getting remarried:

  • Expect change - Routines and schedules will be different, so be prepared for an adjustment period as everyone gets used to a new lifestyle. This could mean a new home, new school, and step-siblings. 

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Oak Park divorce attorney for domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this type of violence is prevalent for a variety of reasons, including mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, every minute, an average of 24 people are victims of physical violence, sexual assault, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Abuse can destroy the trust in a marriage, ultimately leading to one of the partners filing for a divorce. However, it can be very intimidating to take that first step if a person is afraid of their spouse’s reaction to ending their marriage. If someone is a victim of abuse, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney throughout the divorce process.      

How Is Domestic Violence Defined?

Domestic violence is also referred to as domestic abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV), or relationship abuse. It is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. This is typically between spouses or dating partners, but it can also include violence between parents, children, or other relatives. Domestic violence does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Anyone can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It affects people of all financial backgrounds and educational levels. 

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