Chicago Divorce: 10 Things You Need to Know

Divorce brings about a wide range of emotions for all parties involved- spouses and children especially. With so many things changing, deciding what to have for lunch can be difficult, let alone deciding new living arrangements, what to do with property and money, and figuring out how to manage parenting schedules. The following article can help you to be a bit more informed when making these big decisions, guiding you to come out with as little stress as possible.

  1. Remember, each divorce is different. Don’t believe everything you hear.

When everyone around you has gone through a divorce or knows someone who has, it can be hard to separate the sound advice you receive from the misleading information that develops through months of he said she said. While it is important to ask for advice and opinions from others, seek advice from professionals involved in your case- your attorney, mental health professionals, and financial consultants are best. All of these people are educated on your case and the specific issues and aspects of the desired outcome. Your divorced friends may mean well by sharing what they think is “normal” but there truly is no “normal” when it comes to divorce.

  1. Document and copy all important items and paperwork

Disputes over valuable items, household items, and other important paperwork can be stressful and overwhelming. You can avoid this extra stress by taking an inventory of all items in your home and documenting them correctly.

-Be sure to take photos of every item/item set.

-Use the front page of the newspaper as a timestamp in your photo, this will authenticate the date and time you took the picture.

-Get appraisals for your item inventory, list all of the items, and keep them in a safe place, along with your photos.

Don’t forget to make copies of all key documents. In many cases, one party in the divorce may try to destroy and hide important documents in an attempt to gain more or stop the progress in the divorce… this can be avoided by making copies of all important paperwork, such as pre-nuptial agreements, and keeping them safe.

  1. Have accurate expectations of what a “fair settlement” truly is.

Sometimes divorcing spouses have expectations of a “fair settlement” that are inconsistent with the law. In order to get your case resolved quickly, be sure to understand how the law applies to your case and be prepared to compromise. Consulting with an attorney to better understand the potential outcomes of your case may be something to consider. Remember, the settlement is only considered “fair” if it is legally supported and backed.

  1. You are divorcing your spouse…your children are not.

Many psychological studies show that the more fighting there is in a divorce, the more damage the process has on the children involved. While it is easy to get upset at the moment, saying harsh things to your spouse in the presence of your children causes lasting heartache and damage.

Remember to think before you speak, especially around the children. Unless there has been abuse, it is likely your children will continue to have a relationship with their other parent. Do not discourage this relationship by saying things out of spite or pain. Rather, think of your children and encourage them to connect with their other parent and have a healthy parent-child bond.

Consider looking into counseling for your children and yourself to better deal with and cope with the divorce.

  1. There is no “winning” a divorce case.

In a divorce case, there are many factors that play into the final awarding that there truly is no winner. Instead of going into the case with the attitude of having to “win” everything, consider the long-term effects each awarding may have and then determine who should get what. Despite societal pressure, it is possible for each party to come out of a divorce happy. The negative impact a heated divorce battle has on each spouse and on the children usually is not worth the short-term happiness of “winning”.

  1. Court alternatives

Yes, you read that right… there are alternatives in divorce for going to court. Mediation (face-to-face meetings between spouses with a mediator running the meeting) has been proven very successful. Collaborative Divorce is another option. In this type of divorce, each party hires a collaborative attorney and, with the help of other professionals, the divorce is worked out using calls, face-to-face meetings, and other forms of communication… no court.

Both of the previously listed alternatives enable each party to make their own decisions. This is especially helpful when working with children, as it helps to fit each child’s needs specifically instead of having a standard schedule chosen by a judge.

However, it is important to remember that when resolving a problem such as abuse, child support, alimony, etc. you must go before a judge who can help with the legal backing in these problems.

  1. Honesty is key.

While it can be tempting to hide things from your spouse and attorney such as money made, shared items, etc., it is important and absolutely vital to your case, to be honest. Not only will the court frown upon your behavior when the truth comes out because it will- but resulting in an unsettling awarding… it is also illegal in many states to withhold information regarding income, expenses, assets, and debts.

  1. Court isn’t as simple and rewarding as it seems.

It is easy to threaten taking things to court when it seems negotiations are not going well. However, remember that divorce court is long and expensive. After several days in court for even the smallest things, spouses are left still uncertain of how things will turn out once the ruling comes. Consider all of the options before rushing into divorce court.

  1. Be the bigger person.

Divorces happen because the parties involved aren’t happy, in the long run, the ultimate goal is to find happiness and move on. When obsessions about bad feelings, negative comments, and hurtful actions develop, it is impossible to move on and make choices that are positive for your future and your family’s future. Do your best to be the bigger person and move on from the past. Don’t sweat the little things. Sometimes making a compromise and having a quicker settlement is more important than getting that VHS collection back that you have since you were 14.

  1. Think things through.

Divorce brings up many emotions and life-altering decisions. During such a draining- physically, mentally, and emotionally- time, it is important to always stop and think before making impulse decisions or comments. If necessary, seek advice from professionals involved in your case before making choices- this may be the key to having a successful divorce.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. for your divorce attorney needs.

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