children, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyIf you are a parent who is considering ending your marriage, you are probably very concerned about how the divorce will affect your children. The good news is that having divorced parents no longer carries the stigma it once did. Your children probably have friends and schoolmates who are happily living a life split between two households.

While divorce can be challenging for children to work through, many studies show that it is better for children to have divorced parents than married parents who are obviously miserable together. There is no perfect way to tell your kids that you and their other parent are divorcing, but experts do have advice to help the conversation go as smoothly as possible.

Reassure Children that the Divorce is Not Their Fault

Often, when children hear that their parents are getting divorced, they worry that they did something to cause the split. The complexity of adult relationships can be too much for children to understand, so their minds invent their own reasons for why their parents are divorcing. Make sure to tell your children that you and the other parent are making this decision because it is what is best for you, not because either of you is upset with the children. It is also important to remind the children that they will still be loved just the same as they were when you and the other parent were together. This is likely to be a conversation that needs to repeated several times, and it is important to not get frustrated with your children’s need for reassurance.

Make the Conversation Age Appropriate

The conversation about divorce should vary depending on your children’s ages. Children under age five will struggle to understand and remember what is happening. It is best to only tell younger children the essential information and leave out details they cannot comprehend. Older children can understand the situation better, but may still be confused and overwhelmed. You may have to remind school-aged children that you and the other parent are not getting back together and that the separation is final.

Teenaged children will best be able to understand their parent’s decision to divorce, but it is still important for parents to be cautious of oversharing. Children do not need to know why the marriage ended or who was to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. This can make them feel like they have to choose sides. Instead, keep your information fact-based and focused on need-to-know information like where and when the children will be living with each parent.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney

For help with divorce, child support issues, and more, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney at Cosley Law Office. Our team will meet with you to discuss your case and assist you in exploring all of your available options. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 847-253-3100 today.



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

commingled, Arlington Heights divorce attorneysIf you are considering divorce, you probably have many questions about how your property and debt will be divided between you and your spouse. In Illinois, divorcing couples have the option to negotiate their own distribution of property, but if they cannot reach an agreement, the court divides property. Illinois uses a method called equitable distribution to fairly divide marital or shared property. However, significant complications can arise when determining what property is marital and what is separate or non-marital property. Assets that are commingled or mixed may be counted entirely as either separate or marital property.

Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property

In an Illinois divorce, only the marital estate is subject to division. Separate property is not divided and instead is assigned to the original owner. The determination of what is separate property and what is marital property is not always easy. Separate property generally includes property which a person already owned when he or she entered into the marriage, as well as inheritances and certain gifts. Maritial property includes assets and debts accumulated by either spouse during the course of the marriage. Issues can arise, however, when separate and marital property are mixed.

Commingled Funds in a Divorce

The property distribution process can get markedly complex – especially in high net-worth divorces. Many of the most contentious disputes in divorces involve disagreements about whether certain assets should be labeled marital or separate. For example, cash inheritance that a spouse receives when a relative passes away is separate property and not subject to division during divorce. However, this property can be “transmuted,” or changed, into marital property depending on what is done with the inheritance funds afterward. If the recipient of the inheritance deposits the money into a joint bank account, this inheritance may be considered part of the marital estate and subject to division during divorce. On the other hand, if a spouse uses his or her inheritance money to purchase another asset, such as a car, then this car would likely be considered non-marital property during divorce. Under Illinois law, the spouse claiming that a certain asset is non-marital has the burden of proving his or her case. It may require a thorough investigation of financial records or even help from expert witnesses to meet this burden of proof.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, Illinois Divorce Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, our experienced team has more than two decades of family law experience, and we are prepared to work hard on your behalf. For help with your Illinois divorce, contact a qualified Arlington Heights property division lawyer at our firm today. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by calling our offices at 847-253-3100.



Posted in Division of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , , ,

contested. Arlington Heights divorce lawyerIllinois divorces fall into two main categories: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce occurs when a divorcing couple is able to reach an agreement about property division, the allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, spousal maintenance, and other divorce issues. When negotiations and mediation fail and a divorcing couple cannot come to an agreement about these issues, the court will need to intervene. A contested divorce involves the court listening to arguments from each party and making decisions about the unresolved issues based on Illinois divorce law. It is highly recommended that any individual entering into a contested divorce hire a competent family law attorney with experience handling high-conflict divorce cases.

Contested Divorce in Illinois

Ideally, couples will be able to come to an agreement about divorce-related concerns, either on their own or with help from a mediator. An uncontested divorce is almost always less expensive and time consuming than a contested divorce is. However, there are some situations in which an uncontested divorce is simply not a possibility.

If your spouse is unwilling to cooperate or compromise about divorce issues, you may be forced to undergo a contested divorce. For example, if you believe that you are entitled to spousal maintenance, also called alimony or spousal support, but your spouse refuses to pay, your divorce will likely be contested. A contested divorce can also become necessary when parents have major disagreements regarding child custody or child support, or if domestic violence is an issue.

What to Expect During an Illinois Contested Divorce

If you are getting divorced and you know you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about divorce issues, you probably have many questions and concerns regarding contested divorces. Typically, a contested divorce in Illinois involves the following steps:

  • The spouse seeking divorce, called the petitioner, files for dissolution of marriage;
  • The other spouse, called the respondent, responds to the petition;
  • Spouses hire divorce attorneys;
  • Information about unresolved divorce issues is gathered during the “discovery” process;
  • Pre-trial motions and hearings;
  • Negotiations;
  • Settlement proposals;
  • If necessary, a court trial which results in a decree issued by the court; and
  • Any appeals to the divorce decree.

The court will analyze the couple’s situation and eventually issue a final order which contains instructions about how the unresolved issues will be handled. Following the issuance of the order, each spouse has the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision. Appeals, however, must be based on an alleged misapplication of the law or an error in the proceedings. A spouse cannot appeal simply because he or she does not like the outcome.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer

Facing a contested divorce can be daunting to say the least. If you have reason to believe that your divorce will be contested, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney by your side. Call the Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , ,