co-parenting, Rolling Meadows family law attorneysIf you are getting a divorce or have decided for certain to end your marriage, you may have apprehensions about how you and your spouse will raise your children. If you want to share parental responsibilities and parenting time, formerly called custody and visitation, you will need to find a way to co-parent that meets your child’s needs. Of course, cooperating with an ex-spouse can be extremely difficult. No co-parenting arrangement is perfect, but there are some things you can to do help make your co-parenting relationship with your ex as amicable and effective as possible. Read on to learn some of the top co-parenting tips from child development and mental health experts.

Do Not Disrespect Your Ex in Front of Your Children

It can be nearly impossible to keep quiet about frustrations involving an ex-spouse. If your marriage ended because of infidelity, deceit, or another hurtful behavior, you may be understandably furious at your ex-spouse. However, bad-mouthing your ex in front of your children will only make the situation worse. Children who hear parents talking negatively about each other may feel like they have to choose sides. Furthermore, when a parent talks badly about the other parent to the point that it encourages a child to turn against the other parent, it can be considered “parental alienation.” In extreme cases, parental alienation can lead to the loss of your parental rights.

Maintain Consistent Household Rules

Parents who get divorced can sometimes feel extremely guilty for putting their children through such a stressful ordeal. They may overcompensate by spoiling their child and letting up on the rules they had before the divorce. While a child may love that he or she is suddenly allowed to have ice cream for dinner, excessively spoiling a child or changing household rules after a divorce will do more harm than good. Research has consistently shown that children need predictable routines and rules in order to feel secure.

Agree to Put the Children First

Divorcing parents in Illinois are required to submit a parenting plan to the courts that details how parental responsibilities and parenting time should be allotted. When drafting this plan, make a pact with your spouse to always put the child’s needs first. It is understandably difficult to cooperate with an ex-spouse, but if you remind yourself that you are doing this for your child, it may be easier. Commit to working together instead of against each other as much as possible as your co-parent your child.

Contact a Schaumburg Child Custody Lawyer

For sound legal guidance regarding divorce, child custody, parenting plans, and more, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney at the Cosley Law Office. Call our office today at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation. We can help you develop a co-parenting strategy that protects your rights and serves your child’s best interests.



Posted in Children of Divorce, Parental Responsibilities, Parenting Time | Tagged , , , , ,

divorce, Arlington Heights family law attorneysIf you ask five family members or friends for advice on what to do in preparing for your divorce, you are likely to get five different answers. This is not because any of them wrong necessarily, but because there are many important factors to consider and steps to take. Similarly, the Internet is full of advice and checklists for divorcing individuals, but before you take action, it is important to take stock of what you have, what you want, and what it will take to get there.

Save Some Money

As you get ready to file your petition for divorce, you will need to have some money put aside for a variety of expenses. This is especially true if you have become accustomed to a lifestyle that relies on two incomes. Very soon, you may be forced to be self-reliant, and if your monthly income cannot meet your monthly needs, you will need to have savings. Remember that during the divorce process, you may need to find a new place to live, buy new household goods or furniture, or hire an attorney. All of these things cost money and you need to be prepared.

Compile a List of Your Assets

Before you can possibly know what to ask for in your divorce, you will need to know what you and your spouse actually have. Start by making a list of the physical items in each room of your marital home. Write down each piece of furniture, décor, or artwork, and decide whether it is something you would want to keep, something you think your spouse should have, or something that does not really concern you either way. Work your way up to larger assets such as cars, boats, homes, and investments, but take a similar approach. Think about what you want or what you would take in return if your spouse wants a particular item. The division of property process in divorce will be a little more complex than that, but you can get a head start by making many of the considerations before the stress and contentious of the proceedings get too overwhelming.

Plan for the Children

If you have children, you should also begin developing a plan of what an ideal post-divorce situation would be for you. It is important, however, to also consider your child’s perspective. By taking an objective look at the situation, you may realize that what you want might not be exactly what is best for your child. Speak with a child psychologist or a parenting expert, if necessary, and work with your spouse to come up with an arrangement that protects each parent’s rights, while providing for the needs of the children.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

With a little bit of advance planning, you and your spouse may be able to eliminate a great deal of unnecessary difficulty in your divorce. That is not to say that divorce is easy. It is most certainly not, but it does not need to be terrible either. As part of your preparation, you should also contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer who can help you through the process. Attorney Donald J. Cosley is committed to working with families to find amicable solutions to challenging situations. Call Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free confidential consultation, and get the assistance you need from an attorney you can trust.



Posted in Divorce, Divorce and Children | Tagged , , , , ,

equitable distribution, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysWhen a couple gets divorced, everyone “knows” that each spouse is entitled to half of everything the couple owns, including the property that each party brought with them into the marriage. This idea is repeated as fact in countless movies, television programs, and informal advice forums. Such an assumption, however, about how property is divided in a divorce is, at best, misguided and, at worst, completely inaccurate—at least in the state of Illinois.

Equal Division Is Not Guaranteed

Illinois is known as an equitable distribution state when it comes to dividing property in a divorce. Equitable is not the same as equal, and the distinction is very important. The principles of equitable distribution—and Illinois law—require marital property to be divided in a manner that is fair and just. To determine what is fair and just, the circumstances of the marriage, divorce, and expected post-divorce situation must be taken into account.

Important factors include:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate, including any contributions made by a stay-at-home parent or homemaker;
  • The length of the marriage and the lifestyle that was established;
  • Each spouse’s income, resources, and obligations;
  • Pending or finalized parenting arrangements for the couple’s children;
  • Whether spousal support is being considered and/or how much has been awarded;
  • The tax implications of dividing property; and
  • Any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement between the spouses.

Not Everything is Divided

The other half of the 50/50 split assumption is also inaccurate in most cases. A divorcing couple does not need to divide everything either spouse has ever owned. Instead, the law specifies that only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. Marital property is any asset or debt that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage, with limited exceptions carved out for gifts and inheritances to one spouse. This means that property that was owned before the marriage is not part of the marital estate in most cases. It is possible for non-marital property to become marital property, which can create complications, but a skilled attorney can help sort out the details.

Call a Rolling Meadows Family Lawyer for Help

If you are considering a divorce and would like to learn more about the Illinois laws governing the division of marital property, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney. Call 847-253-3100 to discuss your case and to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today. At Cosley Law Office, we will help you understand your available options and work with you in making the best decisions possible.



Posted in Division of Property, Illinois Family Law Attorney | Tagged , , , , ,