The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

St. Charles divorce lawyerIt is said that breaking up is hard to do, and it can be even more difficult if you were married and decide to get a divorce. Whether you were married for three years or 30 years, or whether your divorce was amicable or contentious, the emotional pain can still be difficult to process. Feelings of anger, resentment, despair, anxiety, or even rage can be prevalent for some time after the divorce. The question you must ask yourself after a divorce is, “Where do I go from here?” The best thing you can do after a divorce is to begin to focus on yourself and move on with your life. The following are a few practical steps you can take to start a new chapter and stop living in the past:

Work Through Your Feelings

Before you can begin the healing process, you have to work through the feelings that you are undoubtedly experiencing. These emotions may include sadness, bitterness, hate, or even hopelessness. Despite these feelings, you are also probably feeling grief because of the loss of the relationship. This is completely normal, but the only way to get through these feelings is to allow yourself to experience them and grieve the loss of your marriage.

Rediscover Yourself

Although it sounds cliched, it is true that many people feel a loss of self after their divorce. When you have been in a committed relationship for so long, it can be hard to see yourself as anything but that person in the marriage. The time after the divorce is a good opportunity to figure out who you are. Decide what makes you happy, discover a new hobby, and love the person you are now.

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Aurora collaborative divorce attorney

For years, there were only two ways you could end a marriage -- by settling the divorce through the use of two different attorneys or by taking the case to court to hash out the issues before a judge. In recent years, the use of alternative dispute resolution has become a more popular form of divorce, rather than the traditional litigated route. There are two main forms of alternative dispute resolution: collaboration and mediation. Both ways of divorcing allow couples to settle divorce issues on their own terms, rather than leaving them to a judge to decide. Many people have a false notion that collaborative divorce and mediation are the same thing, but they are different, and each method has its own unique benefits.

Divorce Mediation

In a mediated divorce, the couple works with a neutral party, called a mediator, who helps them make decisions about their divorce. The mediator does not have to be an attorney, but it should be a person who is trained in mediation and knows divorce and family law. The mediator should be a completely neutral third party to the divorce, and they will not advocate for either spouse. Both spouses may still need to retain their own attorneys to help them understand their rights and legal options throughout the mediation process. An attorney can also go over the divorce settlement and identify any issues that should be addressed prior to finalizing the divorce.

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DuPage County legal separation lawyerThere are many reasons why couples get divorced, but often it takes a lot of time and contemplation to get to that point. Before it is decided that divorce is the best option, couples often go through a period of uncertainty about whether or not they actually want to legally terminate their marriage or if they just want to “call it quits” for a while. During this time, some couples choose to separate themselves by living apart and also being financially independent of each other. These are the basics of an Illinois legal separation, though it is not enough to just say that you are separated. You and your spouse must take several steps before the state will view your separation as legal.

Requirements for a Legal Separation

If you are considering obtaining a legal separation in Illinois, there are a few requirements that you must meet. First, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days. Then you will have to file a petition with the court in the county in which either you or your spouse lives or the county in which you and your spouse last lived together. In the petition, you must be able to prove that you and your spouse live separately from each other.

Why Choose Legal Separation?

A legal separation is similar to a divorce in many ways. When the court declares you separated, it will also address issues such as spousal maintenance, as well as child-related issues such as parenting time and child support. For some people, a legal separation is a chance to reconcile after some time apart because it is not permanent. For others, legal separation is a way to protect their finances during a long and contentious divorce. A legal separation is also an option for those who cannot get a divorce because of cultural or religious reasons.

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DuPage County high-conflict divorce attorneyFor some couples, the idea of a peaceful divorce is laughable. Divorce can bring out the worst in people and can cause them to do things and act in ways that are unlike themselves. In some situations, divorce can exacerbate a person’s behavior and cause him or her to become even more combative and argumentative, typically at no surprise to the soon-to-be ex-spouse. Emotions can get out of control during a divorce, making the entire process more difficult and stressful than it needs to be for everyone involved. If you know that your spouse will be combative during your divorce, there are a few things you can do to survive your high-conflict divorce:

Distance Yourself From Your Spouse

High-conflict people thrive off of arguments and getting a rise out of others. The best thing to do when you realize that your spouse is going to be antagonistic, manipulative, or argumentative during your divorce is to try to create as much distance between the two of you as possible. You should do this by minimizing contact with him or her unless you absolutely need to discuss an important matter. If you must communicate with each other, remember that it is not worth your time or effort to argue.

Record Everything You Can

A high-conflict spouse will often try to use your own words against you or manipulate you. If you have to talk with your spouse, you should try to do so via text or email. Both of those options give you the ability to have a transcript of exactly what was said during the conversation. If you have proof of what the exchange entailed, your spouse cannot twist it to benefit him or herself or try to lie about you saying something that you did not say.

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DuPage County parenting time lawyerMost parents will agree that the most important aspect of a divorce is making sure the children are okay. However, many parents worry about how a divorce will affect their children. Therefore, a lot of couples are currently in unhappy marriages in an attempt to spare their children the stress of divorce. It is important to remember that a divorce is the result of an unhealthy relationship between two spouses -- it has nothing to do with their children. While you cannot protect your children from all of the stresses and changes a divorce can cause, you can take steps to make sure your children are protected from the arguments and other negative effects that a divorce can trigger.

Take Care of Yourself

Although it may seem selfish, one of the best things you can do for your children during your divorce is to make sure you take care of yourself before you focus on them. A divorce can be traumatizing and can take its toll on you after a while. You should practice self-care by eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and talking to people in your support system. When you are emotionally stable, you are better able to guide your children through this major life transition.

Do Not Talk Negatively About Your Spouse

You should avoid criticizing or putting down your ex-spouse when your children can hear. Though you may have an issue with your former partner, your children do not. They deserve to have a relationship with both parents that is not clouded by negative opinions from one parent.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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