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Cook County Family Law Blog

Want more time together? Consider virtual parenting

As technology advances, it's becoming easier to stay in touch than ever before. This can be a huge benefit for parents who have to share custody of their children. Instead of relying on letters or simple phone calls, they can now participate actively in their children's lives through video calls and video games. They can interact through digital media, like with quick text messages of voice messages.

Some people worry that the option of having virtual visitation makes it more likely that parents will infringe on the other parent's visitation time. That's not true. Why? Virtual visitation times are set up in the same way as general visitation schedules.

Business succession planning is an important part of an estate plan

Owning a small business may have been your dream since a young age. Now that you are older and have successfully run that business for years, you may feel ready to plan for your company's continued success after you no longer play a part in the everyday operations.

Even if you do not plan to retire immediately, having a business succession plan in place is wise. You may feel a sense of security in knowing that you have prepared your business for a smooth transition in the event of your retirement or other events that may result in you no longer participating in the company. Of course, it is also important that you make your plans legally binding.

Understand what collaborative law means for you

Collaborative law is a way to resolve disputes in a calm and focused setting, instead of in a courtroom. This process is a way to discuss and problem-solve, not a process to "fight" with one another expecting a victor.

Each party must retain a separate specially trained Collaborate attorney for the Collaborative law process, helping to ensure that your best interests are being taken care of. Other Collaborative professionals are involved in a Collaborative divorce as needed, such as a financial neutral, a divorce coach, and a child specialist.  The job at hand is to settle the dispute or problem without going to court. If you do end up filing with the court, then the process ends and neither attorney can continue to work with you moving forward. This is an incentive for all to work hard to help create a settlement that works for the entire family.

Should you update your estate plan after divorce?

A divorce is a major life change. With all the things you have to handle during a divorce, it may seem like working on your estate plan should have to wait. However, the reality is that adjusting your estate plan and updating it is necessary when you go through a divorce.

Your estate plan has many important documents. One of those important documents is your will. In your will, you dictate what you'd like to see after your death. Prior to your divorce, you may have referenced your ex-spouse or stepchildren. Following your divorce, there may be people that you don't want to include as your beneficiaries or that you don't want to be involved in your care if you fall ill.

What's a good way to work through disputes during divorce?

Many people, even those on good terms with their estranged spouses, still have times when they become involved in disputes with them. It might be over money, property or children, but the same issue applies: They can't agree.

This is one of the sticking points in many divorces, so it's important that people quickly learn how to resolve disputes. If they can't, the divorce could drag on for many months or years.

Choosing mediation: An important option for divorcing couples

Many people don't understand the importance of a collaborative divorce, mediation or arbitration. They believe that those services are only for people who want to work together to spend time resolving their issues or for parents or those with substantial assets.

However, mediation and collaborative divorces can be good for many couples who are splitting up. Mediation services, in particular, can help you and your spouse save money and time while going through divorce.

Addressing the financial anxieties of divorce

Among the things that can be sources of stress during a divorce are financial matters.

Feeling anxiety over money issues is pretty common here in the United States. A survey by the American Psychiatric Association found that over two-thirds of Americans report feeling somewhat or extremely anxious when it comes to their financial state.

Hiding assets in divorce: It's cruel and illegal

Regardless of what prompted you to file for divorce, you no doubt want to settle things as swiftly and amicably as possible so you can get on with your life. Your spouse's adversarial reaction to your decision may not have been unexpected, but when he or she threatened to make sure you "walk away with nothing," you knew you had a problem on your hands.  

You are definitely not the first person in Illinois to face a contentious spouse during divorce proceedings. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to sit back and do nothing if your spouse is trying to short change when it comes to property and asset division. There are ways to tell if your spouse is hiding assets, and there are things you can do to bring it to the court's attention.  

  • Court Certified Mediator Domestic Relations
  • Collaborative Practice Resolving Disputes Respectfully
  • Collaborative Law Institute Of Illinois

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