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Kane County child custody attorneyGetting a divorce is likely to be a stressful time in your life. As you go about the process of separating from your spouse, you will need to divide a variety of things, including both the property you own and the time you spend with your children. While your marital property will be divided based on what is fair and equitable, decisions about children are based on what is in their best interests, and the final decisions are set down in a document called a parenting plan.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, the laws regarding child custody contain some terms that may be unfamiliar to parents. In 2016, the terms “custody” and “visitation” were removed from Illinois family laws and replaced by “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.” A parenting plan created during divorce will address these issues, providing a framework for how matters related to children will be handled going forward. A parenting plan should include a variety of elements, including how parents will divide or share decision-making responsibilities for children, a specific schedule of when children will spend time with each parent, and rules for how parents will communicate with each other. If parents cannot agree with each other about the terms of their parenting plan, then the judge will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child.

You may be worried about the prospect of working together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that you can both agree on. Determining how to handle the many issues that must be addressed can be overwhelming, especially since life can be unpredictable, and you do not know what the next several years will hold. However, by following these tips, you can create a successful parenting plan that meets your family’s needs:

Kane County divorce lawyersLegendary musician and songwriter Slash can finally enjoy some closure after a long divorce process. Unfortunately, it is at the cost of over $6 million. The rock star agreed to pay his former wife Perla Ferrar a $6,627,352 equalization payment. Additionally, he will pay $100,000 in spousal support and $39,000 in child support each month. The artist, whose real name is Saul Hudson, will also help support his children by contributing 1.8 percent of his income to the 16- and 14-year-olds. Hudson will keep ownership of his $1.92 million guitar collection.

A Long Journey to End a 13-Year Marriage

The decision for Hudson and Ferrar to split was not a recent one. The couple struggled with marital conflict for years. In 2010, Hudson filed for divorce and intended to leave Ferrar. The couple was able to reach a reconciliation two months later. Four years later in 2014, he filed for divorce again. This separation did end up being permanent. Hudson rekindled a relationship with an ex-girlfriend and moved in with her, signaling that the marriage was beyond reconciliation this time. However, it would be another four years until the marriage legally ended.

Accusations of Bigamy

Hudson accused Ferrar of bigamy because of issues related to her 1993 marriage to Carlos Marty. The rocker alleges that improper filing of divorce documents meant that Ferrar was still married when she married him. Hudson hoped that the error would mean that Ferrar did not have any legal right to his extravagant wealth and assets. However, because of complicated laws regarding putative marriages, or marriages considered legally invalid only due to a technical impediment, Ferrar was still awarded the multi-million dollar divorce settlement.

Geneva divorce lawyerBecause divorce is now quite common, many people incorrectly assume that getting divorced is “no big deal.” They may see friends and family go through divorces with smiling faces and assume that the ordeal was not emotionally traumatic. However, the reality is that many people are experts at hiding their pain, and even the most amiable divorce is an emotional burden to those going through it. If you are considering divorce or have already filed, you should know that there are some proven ways to help ease the subsequent emotional pain.

Tip #1: Resist the Urge to Isolate

The end of a marriage is a deeply personal affair. Some individuals getting divorced may be tempted to isolate themselves from friends and family because they are ashamed or simply do not know what to say about the separation. If you are getting divorced, you should know that spending time with others has been shown to aide in the healing process. Whether it is a trip to the movie theater, a vacation, or simply grabbing a quick coffee, getting out of the house and socializing will dramatically help you cope with the pain caused by divorce.

Geneva divorce lawyersWhen it comes to the idea of a “separated” couple, there are two generally accepted definitions. The first is the one which you are probably most familiar: a couple who is unsure whether they should remain married or who has decided to pursue a divorce may describe themselves as separated because they are not currently living together.

The second definition is more formal and much less common, and it refers to a couple who has gone through the formalities of obtaining a judgment of legal separation. Under Illinois law, neither type of separation is a prerequisite for divorce, but a legal separation could be beneficial in certain situations.

An Important Date

Kane County divorce attorneyGoing through a divorce can be one of the most stressful things a person ever endures. According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce is second only to the death of a spouse in terms of the stress it brings to a person’s life. Although some couples will simply not be able to divorce without court intervention, preventing courtroom litigation can significantly reduce the emotional and financial costs of a divorce. For couples that are able to at least partially cooperate, mediation may be the best way to end their marriage fairly and civilly.

Mediation Puts More Control in the Hands of the Spouses

If your divorce ends up in litigation, any decision you and your spouse cannot agree to will be made by the judge. Judges can make decisions regarding spousal maintenance, child support, property division, and more. Although courts will always try to be as fair as possible, often court-ordered decisions do not fully satisfy either spouse. Mediation, on the other hand, puts much more control in the hands of the spouses. With help from the mediator, spouses negotiate and come to their own conclusions about things like property division and maintenance payments. Studies have shown that when individuals have more say over these types of decisions that they are more likely to comply with the judge’s final divorce decree. This results in fewer instances of returning to court to enforce or modify the decree. 

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