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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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,There was a time in the United State’s history when most families comprised of a mother, a father and their biological children. Now, the “typical” American family has become somewhat of a thing of the past. With more Americans remarrying and same-sex marriage being legalized throughout the country, the “typical” American family is not so predictable anymore. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than half of American families were divorced and remarried or recoupled in 2010. The Bureau also reported that nearly four million children were living in a blended family or stepfamily in 2010.

Blended families face their own unique challenges and can prove to be difficult for some children to adjust to. Here are a few tips you can use to help ensure the success of your blended family:

Plan Your New Family

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,There are many reasons why couples get divorced. Infidelity, financial problems, lack of commitment and different priorities are all common reasons why couples choose to get divorced, but they all typically contain one major common theme -- a lack of trust. When you no longer trust the person you are married to, it is difficult to have a successful marriage. During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have assets that they have attempted to hide from the other. While this may seem like a good way to keep your spouse from getting certain things in a divorce, it is illegal. Full disclosure is required in divorces. If you feel like your spouse may be hiding things from you, here are a few ways you can try to uncover hidden assets in your divorce: Look Over Tax Returns A good place to start looking for hidden assets is on your tax returns. Pull your tax returns from the last five years and examine them carefully. You should be looking for any inconsistencies in the returns, such as inconsistencies in income, itemizations of assets, real estate taxes, mortgage interest. Keep an Eye on Your Bank Accounts Take a look at your joint bank accounts. Are there any canceled checks from your checking account? Are there unusual withdrawals or deposits into your checking or savings accounts? If so, you may be dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide money from you. Make sure you get copies of all bank account statements to use in court. Utilize Public Records

Public records can be extremely helpful when you are looking for hidden assets. Some jurisdictions allow you to access certain public records online, but all jurisdictions have public records on hand at the courthouse. When looking through public records, you should focus your attention on:

  • Property deeds;
  • Real estate appraisals;
  • Tax assessments;
  • Loan applications; and
  • Business records.
Team Up With a DuPage County Asset Discovery Attorney

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the asset division process -- especially if you are dealing with a spouse who has attempted to hide his or her assets. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we know that dealing with hidden assets is a difficult task. Our skilled Aurora, IL asset discovery lawyers will help you find any assets that your spouse may be hiding from you through teamwork with forensic accountants and other experts. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Even just a decade ago, it was uncommon for fathers to win custody of their children, rather than just having visitation rights. Partial custody was awarded in some cases and full custody was rarely awarded unless the mother was a substance abuser, physically abusive, in jail or somehow otherwise unfit to be a parent. Now, most attorneys, judges and other divorce professionals agree that children do their best when both of their parents play an active role in their children’s lives. Still, fathers may have a more difficult time gaining a majority of or even partial parenting time with their children. Here are a few tips you can use to help you win at a parenting time hearing:

Build a Strong Relationship with Your Child

When judges allocate parenting time, one of their main concerns is what custody situation would be in the child’s best interest. The judge will be examining the relationship that the child has with you and the child’s other parent, so it is important that you ensure your relationship with your child is strong. Keep in touch with your child, even when they are not in your custody. Check in with your child often and make sure that they know you are there for them whenever they need you.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Parenting is a full-time job and it is never really easy. Co-parenting can be even more difficult after a divorce, especially if your divorce was particularly heated and contentious. You may wish that you never have to see or talk to your ex-spouse ever again, but the truth is when you have children, you will never truly be completely separate from your spouse. Your children are the most important aspects of your life and for their sake, you should learn how to co-parent peacefully with your spouse. Here are a few tips you can use to help form a successful co-parenting relationship with your ex: Put Your Emotions on the Backburner Co-parenting is almost never easy. You may feel emotions like anger, disappointment, sadness, rage, and even hatred, but you must try to put these feelings aside and work with your ex, rather than against them. Never allow your feelings to put your kids in the middle of your problems with your ex. You can argue with your ex all you want, just do not do it in front of your child. Work to Communicate Effectively When it comes to successful parenting and co-parenting, communication is key. Though you may not want to communicate with your ex, you will have to in order to co-parent effectively. Try keeping conversations with your ex centered around your children rather than yourselves and try to keep the tone of the conversation formal and business-like. Be Consistent Consistency is key with children. They thrive off of routine and it can even help them to cope with the divorce by not adding more stress and different expectations at each home. Try to keep their schedules as similar as possible at both homes, like having the same bedtime at each home. Make Decisions Together Your child’s well-being is your number one priority. Decisions about your child should be made by both you and your ex -- not just one of you. When it comes to decisions about your child’s education, medical care, and other important life issues, you should always include your spouse in the decision-making process. Hire a DuPage County Child Custody Attorney Today

Before you are able to finalize your divorce, you will have to submit to the court a completed parenting plan that you and your spouse both have signed and agreed upon. Though it may be difficult, it is in everyone’s best interest to come to an agreement on child custody and parenting time on your own, rather than having a judge tell you what you will do. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you and your ex come to an agreement about these issues and more. Our skilled Aurora, IL child custody lawyers know what it takes to create a solid parenting plan and will help you formulate a plan that works for your family. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/co-parenting-tips-for-divorced-parents.htm

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,split your assets during the divorce. If you and your spouse purchased the house during the marriage, your house will be considered marital property. If one of you owned the home prior to tying the knot, then your home may be considered non-marital property unless you and your spouse refinanced the mortgage or put both of your names on the deed to the home. There are basically three options that you and your spouse have when it comes to dividing the value of your home: you sell the house, one of you keeps the house, or you both keep the house. Everyone’s situation is different, so what may work for other people may not work for your family. Before you make the decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. You Sell the House The easiest thing to do for most couples would be to sell the house, split the proceeds, and go their separate ways. This option is obviously ideal for couples whose home has appreciated in value, but couples whose home has depreciated in value may want to look at other options. If the house has appreciated in value, capital gains may be owed on the sale of the house and both spouses will be responsible for paying half of the bill. One Spouse Keeps the House This can be a tricky option. If one spouse wants to keep the family home, that spouse will have to become the sole owner of the home. To do this, the spouse will have to refinance the house with a new mortgage. The new mortgage would take the spouse’s own creditworthiness into consideration when refinancing and your interest rate could go up if this happens. You may also need to buy your other spouse’s half of the home from them, which could become expensive. You Both Keep the House Though it may be rather unusual, some couples may agree that the best option is to keep the home as a jointly owned asset. Most of the time, this is a short-term option for couples who either do not immediately qualify for a new mortgage, do not have the funds to buy out each other’s half, or just do not want to sell the house because of the children. Consult with an Aurora, IL Property Division Attorney

Making the decision of what to do with the family home can be a tough one. Home is where you make memories and many people have a tough time letting go of that. If you are unsure of what option would be best for you and your family, a knowledgeable DuPage County property division lawyer can help. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we have extensive experience valuing and dividing all kinds of marital assets, including family homes. For more information or to inquire about a consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.

 

Sources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/family-law-attorney/finance/deciding-family-home-divorce/?trk_location=ssrp&trk_query=divorce&trk_page=3&trk_position=2

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,Even though there has been a rise in alternative forms of co-parenting after a divorce, couples typically live in two different residences after they become divorced. Most of the time, children of divorced couples travel between the two parents’ houses according to the parenting time agreed upon by the couple. Illinois recognizes that the presence of both parents in a child’s life is important, which is why more and more couples are receiving equal or nearly equal parenting time. If one spouse has more parenting time than the other spouse, then the spouse with a lesser amount of parenting time will typically be responsible for making child support payments to the other spouse.

Calculating Basic Support Obligations

The first step to calculating child support payments is finding each parent’s monthly gross income. Once the monthly gross income is figured, then the Gross to Net Income Conversion Table is used to figure out each parent’s monthly net income. Then, both parents’ monthly net incomes are added together and the corresponding value is taken from the Income Shares Schedule. The amount from the table is the basic amount of money that should be spent on the child each month for living expenses, food, clothing, and other basic needs.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,There were an estimated 27.9 small businesses in the United States in 2010. Owning a business can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be scary if you get a divorce. Typically in Illinois divorces, the two spouses must split their assets according to Illinois’ equitable division guidelines. This does not necessarily mean that each spouse will get half of the marital assets, but it does mean that the judge will determine what is equitable. The only things that are subject to division are those that are considered marital property. Your business may or may not be considered marital property and figuring that out is your first step in protecting your business from your spouse. Here are a few ways you can protect your business and keep it in your control during your divorce:

Get Your Business Valued

One of the first things you will want to do is to find out how much your business is worth. This can be accomplished by using a court-appointed valuation expert who is required to be unbiased when coming up with a value to assign to your business. It is still a good idea to hire an outside valuation specialist to make sure your result is in line with the court’s result.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family, but it can be especially difficult for fathers who are going through a divorce. Even though it is 2019 and most people agree with the fact that a child does his or her best when both parents are involved in their life, fathers are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to divorce. Mothers are still seen as the primary caregiver and are often still given preference when making determinations about parenting time and decision-making rights. Though it may seem that there are numerous societal and cultural factors that are working against fathers, having help from a divorce lawyer who focuses on father’s rights can be beneficial. Here are four things you can do to be a good dad after your divorce:

Fight for Your Right to Parenting Time

Unfortunately, the court systems tend to favor the mothers over the fathers when it comes to parenting time. This can spell difficulty for fathers who want to play an active part in their child’s life, so it is important that you are tenacious about fighting for parenting time. When you attend parenting time hearings, make sure you are attentive, you listen to the judge and you show the judge that you care about your children.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce brings with it a plethora of things that you must settle before you can finalize your divorce. Just one of the many things involved in a divorce is property division. When you are married, you and your spouse share almost every aspect of your lives together. Though this makes your life easier while you are together, it can make for a tough time when you get a divorce. Property division can often turn even the most peaceful of divorces into screaming matches. Here are a couple of things that you should know about Illinois property division before you settle your divorce:

Illinois Is an “Equitable Division” State

In the state of Illinois, property division is divvied up in a way that is equitable, rather than equal. This means that all factors will be looked at before determining which spouse gets which property. This also means that property division will not always be 50/50. If the judge feels that one spouse should receive more property than the other, then he can award that spouse more.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce is always complicated, no matter how you look at it. There are many issues you must settle before you can finalize your divorce, one of those being the issue of alimony or spousal maintenance. In Illinois divorce cases, spousal maintenance is never guaranteed -- some people will ask for maintenance and not receive it, some will never even bring the issue up and some are actually awarded maintenance when they seek it. For some people, maintenance is a necessity to help them survive, at least for the first couple of months after the divorce. Illinois spousal maintenance laws changed starting January 1, 2019. These laws affect the way spousal maintenance is calculated, so it is important that you understand the changes if you have not yet finalized your divorce.

Old Maintenance Laws

Prior to 2019, spousal maintenance was calculated by taking 30 percent of the payer’s income and subtracting 20 percent of the receiver’s income. This was a valid calculation for any couple whose combined annual income was less than $500,000, though the total maintenance awarded was not able to be more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income when adding the payment to the receiver’s income.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time lawyer,When you get a divorce and you have children, chances are there will be some sort of child support involved. In Illinois, child support ends when the child turns 18 or until the child graduates from high school -- whichever comes later. Even though your child has graduated from high school, that does not mean that your support for the child has ended. If your child decides to pursue some type of post-secondary education, you are responsible for contributing to their education. This type of support is considered to be “non-minor support” and lasts until the child turns 23. It is best if you and your spouse come to an agreement as to how college expenses will be handled, but a judge can allocate college expenses if need be.

Covered Expenses

The main thing most people think about when discussing college expenses is tuition. While that is typically the most expensive expense, it is not the only expense that is covered under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Other expenses that you may be responsible for include:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support lawyer,A common outcome of divorce when you have children and you are their primary caregiver is child support. Many families depend on these support payments each month from the other parent to ensure that the children are fed, clothed and have everything that they need. Once a child support order is entered, it cannot be modified or reviewed for at least three years -- unless there is a significant and substantial change in circumstances. A significant change in the family’s circumstances is actually the most common reason why a child support modification may be granted, although they can also be modified if the child support orders do not address healthcare for the child or if the child support orders deviate from the support guidelines.

What Constitutes a Significant Change in Circumstances?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has guidelines for almost any issue that may arise during an Illinois divorce. In the section about child support, the Act defines what the courts would consider to be a significant change in circumstances. In Illinois child support modification cases, a significant change in circumstances can include:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you are going through a divorce, it can pretty much turn your life upside down. Though you may experience some stress and anger, there are ways that you can combat that stress and deal with your anger in a healthy way. Unfortunately, this is not what happens in all divorces. In some cases, one parent may have so much hate for the other parent that it overcomes the love that they have for their children. This is when parental alienation usually appears and it can be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to turn the children against the other parent. Most of the time, this happens when one parent is so angry at the other parent that they use deprecating comments, false allegations, and bribery to try to get the child to turn against the parent. Both the mother and the father are equally as likely to be the alienated and alienating parent. Typically, parental alienation occurs in families in which one or both parents have a personality disorder, but parental alienation can happen in any family.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,You would not think so, but some divorces are amicable and calm, mostly because the divorce was not contested and both spouses were in agreement about issues pertaining to the divorce. Though that is the perfect idea of a divorce, we do not live in a perfect world and more often than not, there is some sort of fighting and disagreement during the divorce process. In severe cases, the divorcing couple cannot stand to be in the same room as each other, making for a very high-conflict divorce. If you are experiencing a high-conflict divorce, here are a few tips you can use to help you cope.

Create Boundaries

The first step in dealing with a high-conflict spouse and a high-conflict divorce is setting boundaries for the new relationship you will have. Whether these boundaries are with your co-parenting relationship, the communication between the two of you or any other issue, boundaries are essential. Create them and stick to them.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you have children and you are getting a divorce, there are many things you must worry about. Before you can finalize your Illinois divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement on a parenting plan, you must determine who gets child support and how much that support will be and you also have to figure out how the children will spend time between you and your spouse. Most of the time, parents will have similar parenting time schedules, as long as there are no extenuating circumstances that would require the children to spend more time with one parent. Parenting time exchanges can be stressful for both you and your children, but they can be easier with a little effort. Here are a few ways you can help your parenting time exchanges go by a little smoother. Make a Visible Schedule for Your Children Sometimes, it can be difficult for children to adjust to changes, especially when they are happening in their family. Making a visible schedule for your children to look at can help ease some of the stress and anxiety that your children may be feeling. Communicate with Your Ex-Spouse You should make sure you keep an open line of communication with your ex-spouse when you have children. Though you and your spouse’s romantic relationship is over, you will always have a connection to each other through your children. In order to avoid any uncertainties or confusion, keep in contact with your child’s other parent. Meet in a Neutral Place If you and your spouse have had a hostile relationship, it could be beneficial for everyone involved to meet in a public place to exchange the children. Meeting on neutral territory can help deter any arguments or altercations that may take place. Try to Be on Time It happens -- sometimes you are just late, no matter how hard you try to be on time. As soon as you realize that you are running behind schedule, let the other parent know so they do not think you are just being inconsiderate of their time. Hire a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Lawyer

Divorces can be tough on children, especially if they spend time with both parents and switch between them often. By getting into contact with an Aurora, IL parenting time attorney, you can be reassured that you have a solid parenting plan in place to minimize any conflicts you and your spouse may have. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the difficulty that divorce can bring to a family. Let us help your family find peace after your Illinois divorce. Call our office today to set up a consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/co-parenting-tips-for-divorced-parents.htm/

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,One of the biggest stressors that many divorcing couples have during -- and after -- their divorce is the children. Many parents worry that a divorce will put too much of a strain on their children, while other parents worry about having enough time with their children. While it is true that a divorce can be difficult for the entire family, children can be more flexible and adaptable than adults. It is generally understood that children do best after a divorce when both of their parents are present and active in their lives. While this is true, many divorced families find that they do not come out of the divorce with the parenting plan they wanted. A new bill, called the “Equal Parenting Time” bill was introduced in Illinois recently, which aims to make it so that more parents have equal parenting time with their children after an Illinois divorce. Current Parenting Time Guidelines

Under the current section in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, parenting time is determined by first encouraging parents to try to come to an agreement on a parenting plan. If both parents do not submit a mutually-agreeable plan to the court, then the court allocates parenting time in accordance with the child’s best interests. When making this decision, the judge looks at a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • The amount of time each parent has performed caretaking functions for the child in the past two years;
  • The mental and physical health of both the parents and the child;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent; and
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to put the child’s needs before their own needs.
Proposed Changes to Guidelines The proposed bill would change a few things about the allocation of parenting time in Illinois. There would be added language which states that, “it is in the child’s best interests to award equal time to each parent.” This means that both parents will be presumed to be fit parents. The court will begin with the presumption that each parent is awarded equal parenting time and then reduce or add time as needed upon findings that conflict with the child’s best interest. Contact a Skilled DuPage County Parenting Time Attorney

Going through a divorce can be difficult. You may feel like you are not in control of your divorce, but with help from an Aurora, IL parenting time lawyer, you can be certain you are getting reliable help. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you and your soon-to-be ex spouse try to settle on an agreeable parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on a plan, we can take other measures to ensure you receive the parenting time you need. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Posted on in Divorce
reasonsNothing lasts forever and in this day and age, marriages are included in that saying. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 36 percent of couples experience some form of marital disruption by their tenth year of marriage. By the time couples have been married for at least 20 years, that percentage jumps to 53 percent. Though those numbers seem high, some researchers have actually said that the U.S. divorce rate is declining. So why is the rate of marital disruption so high? Here are a few of the most commonly cited reasons that couples get a divorce. Marrying at a Young Age You have heard it before -- getting married too young is not a good idea. Many studies have shown that couples who get married when they are teens or young adults tend to have a higher divorce rate than couples who get married in their late 20s or early 30s. Infidelity This one is perhaps one of the more well-known reasons for getting a divorce. Cheating on your spouse can be the kiss of death for a marriage. When one spouse cheats on another, the trust between the two of them is broken and if you are already experiencing a weak sense of trust, cheating may be the end. Addiction and/or Substance Abuse Another commonly-cited reason for divorce is one spouse’s drug or alcohol use. When you are addicted to something, it consumes your mind and life. A partner who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can destroy the family and be the last straw for some couples. Financial Problems Many couples therapists say that one of the main reasons couples seek therapy is for financial issues. Many couples also say that money problems were the reason for their divorce. When couples do not agree on the way money should be handled, arguments can become heated and divorces can result.

Have You Been Thinking About Getting a Divorce? Talk to an Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney

 There are many reasons why people choose to get a divorce, but in the state of Illinois, you do not have to state a reason on your divorce forms. If you have been thinking about getting a divorce, you should talk to a DuPage County divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand that making the decision to get a divorce is a big one that should not be taken lightly. Contact our office today to begin discussing your options. To set up a consultation, call us at 630-409-8184.

 

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there are around 44 million people who experience a mental illness in any given year and around 10 million adults live with a chronic mental illness. Mental illness can include a vast variety of diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, though the most common mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety disorders. Going through a divorce can affect those with a mental illness more than the average person, emotionally and mentally. While it is not a major and definite factor in deciding parenting time and responsibilities in Illinois, it can play a factor.

Making Decisions Involving Children in a Divorce

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, when a judge is making decisions involving children in a divorce, he or she must make those decisions in consideration of the child’s best interests. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining the child’s best interests and some of these factors include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, life after divorce,Marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of work, effort, and persistence to make a marriage work, but sometimes it does not matter how hard you try -- you are destined to divorce. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than 20 percent of first marriages end in divorce within the first five years and 48 percent of marriages end before they hit 20 years. Divorce is an emotionally stressful and trying process, but sometimes it is one of the best things you can do for you and your spouse. Instead of making life as difficult as possible for both you and your soon-to-be ex, you should try focusing on making your split as healthy and smooth as possible.

Cooperate and Communicate

When you begin the divorce process, you will probably feel a flood of emotions, like anger, grief, and depression. When emotions are running this high, it is easy for you to do and say things that can negatively affect the divorce process. Remember, your emotions are valid, but how you handle them is important. Make sure you maintain an open line of communication with your spouse and remember that cooperation is key.

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Posted on in Divorce and Holidays

life-divorceMost people have a love or hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Some people cherish the thought of pink and red hearts, chocolates and flowers. Other people loathe the insincerity of giving presents on a random day to declare your love. For those who are going through a divorce or have recently finalized their divorce, Valentine’s Day can be a giant reminder that you no longer have a significant other. While this can be depressing to some people, you should not let it get you down. Here are five ways you can survive your first Valentine’s Day as a single (or almost single) person:

Do Not Spend the Day Alone

It will help no one if you stay at home and wallow in your sadness all day. Call your friends, spend time with family, volunteer at a homeless shelter or nursing home -- the idea is to surround yourself with people on Valentine’s Day so you do not feel so alone.

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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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