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IL divorce lawyerThere are so many things that you and your spouse must figure out before you can actually settle your divorce. You must determine how you will divide your marital property, who will live where, whether or not either of you are entitled to spousal support and the list goes on. When you have children, that list is even longer because you must also determine how you and your spouse will share parenting time, how parental responsibilities will be allocated, how much child support will be paid each month and where the child will live. With all of that, finally signing on the dotted line of your divorce agreement can seem like finishing a marathon.

However, when you divorce a spouse that you have children with, you will never truly be completely divorced from them. In fact, some of the same issues that you had to settle during your divorce may pop up again if you or your spouse ever get remarried. An Illinois divorce lawyer can help you request a modification of your divorce agreement in case either you or your ex get remarried.

Remarriage and Spousal Maintenance

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) states that any obligation to pay maintenance is terminated when the spouse receiving the maintenance remarries or cohabits with another person on a permanent, conjugal basis. The person receiving the maintenance also has a duty to notify the paying party before he or she gets married, as the maintenance payments end the day the cohabitation begins.

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IL divorce lawyerFor the past couple of decades, the composition of the American family has been changing. Years ago, the “ideal” family was seen as a mother and a father, happily married with two biological children, a boy and a girl, and the family dog. Now, there is more diversity within American households than ever. Many children live in households without one of their biological parents or with their grandparents, without either parent at all. Many families have now also opened their arms and adopted children from many backgrounds.

One of the most popular ways people adopt in Illinois is through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS.) These types of adoptions occur to children who are currently in the foster system in Illinois and often have unique situations. If you are looking to adopt a child from the foster system, an Illinois adoption lawyer can guide you through the process.

Children Come From a Variety of Backgrounds

Children who are in the custody of DCFS are in the foster care system. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, there were more than 125,000 children in U.S. foster care systems waiting to be adopted in 2018. The most important thing to realize before you make the decision to adopt a child who is in the foster care system is that these children often come with their own baggage. Children who are in the foster care system and were removed from their homes because their environment was not safe. These children often have suffered from neglect, physical violence, a parent’s drug abuse or even sexual abuse.

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IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is no easy decision, especially when you are a parent. As soon as you have children, your life is no longer about just you and you must also take into consideration how your actions will affect your child. Many parents put off the divorce and stay together for the kids in unhappy marriages in an effort to protect their children from the negative effects of divorce.

Studies have shown that it is not the divorce itself that leaves lasting effects on children, but rather, being exposed to their parents’ constant conflict was responsible for causing negative effects. There is no way to completely shield your child from your divorce, but understanding how your child might react to your divorce can help you prepare and guide them through the coping process.

Effects on Children

Each child is different and is going to react differently to divorce based on a variety of factors, but age and maturity level are two of the biggest factors affecting your child’s reactions. The age your child is when you get a divorce will also help you determine how you should help your child cope with the stress of the divorce. Here are the effects commonly observed in children of different age groups:

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IL divorce lawyerFinances play a huge role in any divorce. Most married couples have combined their financial lives in such a way that undoing this financial entanglement is often quite an undertaking. Division of assets is especially complicated when the couple owns complex assets such as a family business, real estate, investments, trust accounts, or stocks. High net worth and complex assets such as these also make it easier for a spouse to underreport assets and income. If you believe that your spouse may try to hide assets or lie about finances during divorce, reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer right away.

Methods of Hiding Assets and Underreporting Income

In order for a married couple to fairly divide their marital property and resolve other divorce issues, each spouse must be truthful regarding his or her finances. Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses attempt to manipulate property division, spousal support, and child support in their favor by lying about their income and assets. There are almost countless ways that a spouse may falsify his or her financial information to sway the divorce settlement in his or her favor. He or she may transfer assets from joint accounts to accounts that the other spouse does not know about or even transfer assets to friends or colleagues. Some spouses intentionally overpay the IRS in an effort to shelter funds from being divided during divorce. Business owners may delay invoicing clients, fabricate fake expenses, or significantly underreport business revenue.

Red Flags of Financial Deceit During Divorce

Hidden assets, unreported income, and exaggerated expenses can substantially change the divorce settlement that a spouse receives. Divorcing individuals who have allowed their spouses to handle all of the financial decisions and money management are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of in this way. It is possible that your spouse may be hiding assets if he or she:

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IL divorce lawyerAny parent would agree that they would never do something to purposefully upset their child. Yet, for many children, divorce can be an upsetting event that can affect them deeply. Many parents are conflicted over whether or not they should get a divorce because of the effect it can have on their children. However, multiple studies have shown that children can adjust relatively easily to divorce as long as they are not subjected to their parent’s arguments and are kept out of the conflict. Still, many parents feel guilty when they decide to get a divorce. Here are a few tips to help you combat any guilt you may feel during your divorce:

Talk to Your Children About It

Feeling guilty is a normal feeling that many divorcing parents have. It is OK to feel this guilt and it usually helps to be honest with your children about what you are feeling. This does not mean that you have to convey messages that you do not mean, but it may help you feel better if you tell your children that you truly are sorry for the sadness the divorce is causing them.

Remember You Are Not A Bad Parent

One of the most important things to remember is that you are not a bad parent. Making the decision to get a divorce is usually not only made for your wellbeing but the wellbeing of your children. Though they might not know it yet, making the decision to get a divorce is in their best interest in the long run.

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