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Il divorce lawyerFor many couples who are divorcing with children, much of the stress present during the divorce accumulates because of child-related issues. It can sometimes feel like you are fighting tooth and nail to ensure your children are getting what is best for them. The issue is that your spouse also thinks that he knows what is best for the children and most of the time, that idea does not line up entirely with yours. Most parents will have some sort of an argument or disagreement at some point during the process, but when the situation gets too out of hand, the judge might intervene and order you and your spouse to work with a parenting coordinator.

The Role of a Parenting Coordinator

A parenting coordinator, also known as a PC, is a highly-trained professional who helps parents that are separated or divorced settle their disputes about child-related issues. PCs are used in situations in which the parents of a child just cannot seem to get along or cooperate with one another. The PC’s main task is to help couples make decisions without having to make multiple court appearances. A PC may also:

  • Make recommendations to the court concerning approaches that are aimed at reducing the conflict between parents and stress on the children
  • Mediate disputes between parents
  • Recommend other resources such as psychotherapy, drug counseling and/or testing, or parenting classes
  • Serve as a line of communication between parents
  • Give the couple tools and practices to help facilitate healthy communication

When Would a Parenting Coordinator Be Appointed?

Most of the time, parenting coordinators are appointed to couples by a judge. Parents are permitted to hire a parenting coordinator of their own will, but both parents must be in agreement, making it a rare occurrence. A parenting coordinator is usually used as a last resort and is appointed if:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you first begin the divorce process, you will likely be advised to come up with a list of issues that matter the most to you -- the ones that you are adamant about fighting for. What is on that list? For some people, their finances are at the top of their list of concerns. The way your finances are handled during your divorce could significantly impact your financial situation after the fact and for years to come.

The first step in successfully managing your finances during your divorce is taking an actual inventory of everything that you and your spouse own. This includes both physical items such as vehicles and jewelry and immaterial items, like bank accounts or retirement funds. Ensuring you have an accurate picture of your financial situation before any decisions are made is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you inventory your assets:

Make a List of Common Assets

Firstly, make a list of any assets that you and your spouse both have ownership to. This should include both physical and immaterial items that are considered marital property and subject to division during the divorce. Physical items can include things such as real estate, vehicles, artwork, or other important and/or expensive assets. Other items that you will want to include on the list are things such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, gym memberships, airline miles, or other immaterial items.

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IL divorce lawyer In a divorce, you end up having to make a lot of compromises. The divorce process involves a series of negotiations, many of which you might leave feeling as if you did not get what you wanted, but it has been said before: a good compromise is when both parties are dissatisfied. Compromise can indeed sometimes feel as if you have lost, but when it comes to your divorce, you should do everything you can to adhere to the compromises you agreed to. If not, the court may end up holding you in contempt.

Understanding Contempt of Court

Contempt of court occurs when a person does something that a judge or a court order has prohibited them from doing or required them to do. In most cases of contempt in family court, people are held in contempt because they have not obeyed or have violated an official order, such as a custody arrangement or support order.

If a person believes that their spouse is purposefully disobeying a court order, they can ask the judge to hold their spouse in contempt of court. A hearing will then be held to determine whether or not the spouse was actually in contempt and what consequences should be applied. For a person to be held in contempt, it must be proven that they:

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IL divorce lawyerEven though a divorce technically just involves you and your spouse, the two of you are not the only ones who will be affected by the divorce. Getting a divorce affects the whole family, especially if you have children. Having children also means there is likely a greater chance that there will be disagreement during your divorce proceedings. When it comes to child-related issues, it is not uncommon for parents to be unable to see eye-to-eye. In cases in which there is extensive disagreement, a judge may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to your case to help your children’s voices be heard.

What Is a GAL?

In Illinois, the default procedure is to encourage parents to come to an agreement on child-related issues. The court will try to get the parents to use various methods of negotiation, including mediation, to settle disagreements. If the judge determines that the parents are unable to work together or put their children’s needs ahead of their own, they may appoint a GAL to help keep the children’s best interests in mind. A GAL is a highly-trained professional, often an attorney, who is appointed to basically be the attorney for the children and protect their best interests.

How Will a GAL Impact My Case?

To accomplish their job, a GAL will employ a variety of methods for gathering information so they can make their recommendations. Many times, a GAL will conduct interviews with each of the children, the parents, and other people that are present in the family’s lives, such as teachers or psychologists. The GAL will also likely conduct a home visit during which they will observe the interactions between the family members.

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IL divorce lawyerUnfortunately, domestic violence is something that is present in millions of families throughout the country. Domestic violence occurs when a person commits an act of abuse or violence toward a family or household member. Sometimes, it can be a stressful event that triggers the beginning of the violence, such as a separation or divorce. Other times, violent tendencies that were already present are just exacerbated by the divorce. Whatever the situation, there are remedies available to you to help you protect yourself and your children. The most common form of help for these situations includes the issuing of an order of protection.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legally-binding court order that can help protect you if your spouse is being violent or abusive. An order of protection can contain provisions that your spouse must adhere to or face further penalties, with the most common requirement being to stay away from the petitioner. An order of protection can be brought against a person by any of that person’s family or household members, including spouses, former spouses, parents, children, roommates, people who are dating and adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.

What Can an Order of Protection Do?

Contained in an order of protection are what are called remedies. These are things that the respondent is either prohibited from doing or things that the respondent is required to do. There are many different remedies that can be included in an order of protection, though the most common remedies include:

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