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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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IL divorce lawyerWhen there is trouble in your marriage, you and your spouse have to work together to try to overcome the issues that you are experiencing. In some situations, both spouses may not be on the same page or willing to cooperate with one another. No matter the situation, making the decision to end the marriage involves tons of difficult and conflicting emotions. This conversation is likely going to be one of the most stressful and heartbreaking conversations you will ever have with your spouse. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you break the news of divorce to your spouse:

  1. Think before you make your decision. Before you tell your spouse that you want to get a divorce, you should make absolutely certain that this is what you want. Once you bring up the “D-word,” you cannot take it back. You should take your time to think your decision through before you say anything.
  2. Plan how you will break the news. Once you are certain that you want to get a divorce, you should begin thinking of how you should set up the conversation. Think about everything from what kind of mood they are in when you tell them to the location that you have the conversation. If you have children, you should ideally wait until there is a time that your children are not home.
  3. Be thoughtful of what you say. Next, you should give some thought to what you will say to your spouse and how you will say it. At this point, you have probably gone through a lot of stress and fighting with your spouse through the years. This conversation will not go any better if you use accusatory words such as “you should have,” or “you never.” Focus on how you and your spouse are unhappy and you think a divorce is the best idea.
  4. Be prepared for your spouse’s reactions. Your spouse’s reaction to the news of the divorce can be varied. Some people may be surprised by the news of their spouse wanting a divorce, but most people will usually know that something is not right in the relationship. Whatever the reaction to the news is, you should be prepared to stay focused and not get defensive.

Contact an Elmhurst, IL Divorce Lawyer

Making the decision to get a divorce does not come easy to most people. For many couples, months or even years of struggling, therapy and attempted reconciliation have preceded the divorce process. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we can help you through every step of the divorce process, no matter which step you are currently at. To schedule a consultation with our skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers, call us at 312-605-4041.

 

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