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Kane County divorce attorneysIf you are in the midst of a tumultuous marriage—or a marriage that lacks the warmth and contentment for which you were hoping—you may have given some thought to a trial separation. In fact, you may have already spent several weeks staying with a friend or family member as you considered whether to file for divorce.

These situations occur frequently enough that they are practically formulaic in today’s culture. A married couple grows apart, one spouse moves out, and, in many cases, a divorce eventually ensues. Common practices, however, are not equivalent to statutory requirements. The fact that most people do something a certain way does not mean that you must do the same in a similar situation. Such is the case with a period of separation prior to divorce, at least according to Illinois law.

The Difference Between Legal Separation and Living Separate and Apart

When most people talk about a separation, they are usually referring to a married couple no longer sharing the same household. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act considers such an arrangement as “living separate and apart,” which is very different from a legal separation. A legal separation, by comparison, is a court-issued judgment that formally declares the couple to be separated. Legal separations are sometimes used by couples who do not wish to divorce for personal or religious reasons or those who are not quite ready to divorce. Following a legal separation, orders may be entered for spousal and child support, parental responsibilities, and, if the couple chooses, the division of property.

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Kane County family law attorneysIf you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, holidays can present a number of rather unique challenges. In most families, holidays are a time for getting together with loved ones, many of whom have not seen one another in some time—possibly since the same holiday last year. Of course, parents want their children to be part of the festivities and to visit with family members who may have traveled a great distance for the occasion. If you are subject to a court-approved parenting plan, however, it may take some negotiation to figure out where your children will be spending the holidays.

Do Not Wait

While it may not seem possible, Thanksgiving is just a few short days away. This means that you and your child’s other parent should not delay in making plans regarding your holiday parenting time. The first thing you should do, however, is to check your parenting plan document, as many such plans contain a holiday parenting time schedule created years in advance to reduce confusion. If your plan does not include a holiday schedule or provides that you will negotiate a reasonable agreement each year, it is time to start preparing for winter holidays.

Prioritize and Compromise

While many families will get together quite often, including on commonly-celebrated holidays, certain holidays are more “important”—for lack of a better word—than others to some families. For example, your family may prioritize your Christmas or Hanukkah traditions while the other parent’s family traditionally places a greater emphasis on Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day. If your respective priorities allow you, develop a plan that provides your child to be a part of each of the important celebrations.

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Kane County divorce lawyerDivorce is almost always difficult. Even making the initial decision to leave your spouse can be extremely challenging. What follows is a process of untangling lives, separating assets, and allocating property fairly to each party. For those with substantial assets, however, divorce can be even more complicated. High-asset divorce is tricky for a number of reasons, and it is important that those divorcing with high-value assets choose an attorney with the knowledge and skill to properly assist their clients. Why is high-asset divorce more complicated? Most divorcing couples want to ensure they receive a fair settlement and that their assets are protected. The more assets a couple has, however, the more difficult separating them becomes.

Finding Assets

When a couple with significant wealth decides to separate, they must disclose all of their assets so that the marital estate can be properly divided. This can be difficult, as many high-net worth individuals have their money stored in a variety of different places. Retirement accounts, valuable items, off-shore investments, real estate, and all other assets must be located, disclosed, valued and equitably divided during divorce.

In some high-asset divorce cases, a spouse may attempt to hide assets from the other. This is not hard to do when working with multiple accounts and assets stored in a variety of locations and investment vehicles. Some parties require the assistance of a forensic accountant to meticulously comb financial records, investments, and bank accounts to ensure every asset is appropriately considered.

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Kane County divorce lawyerThere is little question that divorce can be a messy, often traumatic process. Unresolved anger and fear of an uncertain future can lead to a long, drawn-out proceeding that costs both spouses significant time, money, and energy. In many cases, a bitter, contentious divorce can destroy what was once a loving relationship, making it nearly impossible for the parties to even be in the same room for years into the future. Divorce, however, does not need to be this way. In fact, with a little work and the right attitude, a couple may find that an uncontested divorce may provide an opportunity to move forward with their lives more quickly and at much less expense.

Amicable or Uncontested Divorce

Sometimes referred to as an amicable divorce, an uncontested divorce is one that does not require the court to get involved in settling differences or ruling on issues between the spouses. Instead, the couple is able to reach a workable agreement regarding all of the necessary considerations, including:

  • Division of marital assets and debt;
  • Spousal support arrangements;
  • Parental responsibilities and parenting time schedules; and
  • Child support.

As long as the agreement is relatively fair and does not compromise the rights or best interests of the child in any way, the court will approve the agreement. In most cases, an uncontested divorce is much faster than litigation, and can often be completed with just a single appearance in court by the couple.

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Kane County divorce lawyersFor most couples who have gone through a divorce, there was probably not a single moment that suddenly clarified their decision to end the marriage. It, more likely, was the combination of many factors that ultimately led to the split. In many cases, spouses begin to think about divorce long before it ever becomes a reality, and often ask themselves similar questions.

Before contacting a divorce attorney, you should be able to clearly address, at least in your own mind:

Do You Want a Better Marriage?

Or, do you just want out? You may recognize serious problems in your relationship, but that does not necessarily mean that you no longer want to be with your spouse. If you can identify particular areas of concern, working on your marriage may be an option. Conversely, you may be ready to be done with your spouse, realizing that your relationship is not healthy for either of you.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
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We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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