The Law Office of Christina Martell

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Winfield divorce attorney stay at home parents

Going through a divorce involves much more than signing a few papers. For a stay-at-home parent, divorce includes emotional, legal, and financial preparation. A mother or father who stays at home typically manages the household, takes care of the kids, and completes many different day-to-day tasks. It really is a 24/7 job. As a stay-at-home parent, the end of your marriage can be extremely daunting, since you may be concerned about your ability to support yourself and your children, and you will want to understand how divorce will affect child custody and whether you will need to return to work. Therefore, it is critical to know where to begin when facing this next chapter. A skilled family law attorney can help protect your parental rights, make sure you receive your fair share of your marital property, and address other legal and financial issues that arise during the divorce process.

Tips for Surviving Divorce as a Stay-at-Home Parent

Transitioning to your post-divorce life may seem difficult, but by setting goals and making the proper preparations, you can ensure that your family is prepared for success. Here are a few pointers to follow during the divorce process:

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Winfield asset division attorney

Whether it came out of the blue, or whether times in your marriage have been tough for a while, it is frightening to hear your spouse say, “I want a divorce.” Most couples who file for divorce are unprepared, and they are often not even on the same page. If you have children together, that can make the proceedings even more challenging. There are many issues that will need to be addressed, including the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) as well as the division of assets and property. You and your spouse may not agree on how these matters should be resolved, which is why it is essential to seek professional legal counsel at the beginning of the divorce process. 

Actions to Take Upon Filing for Divorce

If your marriage is in trouble and headed toward divorce, it can be difficult to think about life without your spouse. However, it is important to take the following precautions to prepare and protect your interests: 

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Naperville family law attorney guardian ad litem

Not every divorce is amicable, and some are highly contentious. In certain situations, parents may be unable to reach an agreement about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, and these matters may be left up to a judge to decide. In these cases, a guardian ad litem, also known as a “GAL,” may be appointed by the court. A GAL serves as an attorney who represents the children, ensuring that their best interests will be protected. In a sense, they act as the “eyes and ears” of the courtroom. It is important to understand the legal role a GAL plays and how they may affect your case. 

A Guardian ad Litem’s Duties

Because a GAL’s job is to represent a child’s best interests, they are carefully vetted. To become a GAL, a person must complete extensive education, including training on how to recognize signs of abuse and/or neglect. 

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DuPage County allocation of parental responsibilities attorneyA divorce can be challenging for all the involved parties, including for a child the couple had together. Many changes will take place once the final decree is issued. Whether you and your spouse and your attorneys plan to resolve the allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) in or out of divorce court, you will want to make sure you are putting your child’s best interests first. According to the United States Census Bureau, about five out of every six custodial parents were mothers (82.5 percent), and one out of every six were fathers (17.5 percent) in 2014.

When addressing the allocation of parental responsibilities, it is important to weigh these six factors to keep your child’s well-being in mind:

  1. The wishes of your child: In many states, including Illinois, the court will consider the wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasonable preferences in regard to parenting time.

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Naperville uncontested divorce attorney

The decision to divorce can be difficult for many couples, regardless of whether they were married a few years or a few decades. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a divorce may be granted when “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” and efforts at reconciliation have failed or future attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the family. Illinois is known as a “no-fault” state, meaning one or both spouses do not need to find an issue within their marriage, such as violence, substance abuse, or adultery, to file for a divorce. An uncontested divorce occurs when both you and your spouse mutually agree to the divorce and are able to reach a settlement on the outstanding issues, such as allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal support, child support, and asset/property division.

Reasons to Choose Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce allows you and your spouse to reach a settlement in a quick and efficient manner compared to a contested divorce, in which various issues may need to be settled in court. The advantages of choosing uncontested divorce include, but are not limited to:

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