Wheaton divorce lawyersMost people recognize that divorce can be an emotionally painful process, but the financial complexities and challenges of this process are often overlooked. When this happens, it can place parties at an increased risk of experiencing financial devastation after a divorce. Learn how to mitigate your risks in the following sections, and discover how you can best deal with the financial loss that may occur during your Illinois divorce.

The Risk of Financial Loss in Divorce

Not all parties run the risk of financial loss in divorce, but it is an exceptionally common issue. Couples that have children, parties engaged in a high-asset divorce, and disadvantaged spouses tend to have the highest risk. However, even low-income couples, couples without children, and two-income households need to prepare for the possibility of a financial loss. More specifically, divorcing parties should prepare, long before the start of the divorce, to smooth the transition. Of course, not all parties have this luxury; some may not even be aware that a divorce is about to start. In these situations, careful planning and the aid of an experienced legal professional are critical to reducing the impact of a financial loss during your Illinois divorce.

Mitigating Your Risks in Divorce                              

If parties have the time to plan for a divorce, and if the relationship is amicable enough to create a debt elimination plan, parties are encouraged to work together to minimize the impact of any financial losses that they may experience. Otherwise, divorcing parties are encouraged to take small but critical actions that can improve their financial situation, both while the divorce is underway, and long into the future. Such actions could include:

  • Setting small, attainable financial goals;
  • Ensuring the marital estate is accurately valued;
  • Gaining a clear understanding of your overall financial picture (assets, debts, goals, etc.);
  • Creating a savings plan;
  • Re-evaluating your financial goals and making new ones;
  • Freezing discretionary and unnecessary spending;
  • Increasing your income or adding additional streams of income (i.e. a home business);
  • Downsizing to ensure you are not living above your means; and
  • Keeping a financial journal to monitor goals, spending, and progress.

Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Can Help

When going through a divorce, it is critical that you have a clear understanding of how your finances will be impacted. Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, can analyze your situation, explain your options, and assist you in pursuing the most favorable settlement possible for your case. Get the representation you deserve. Contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized and confidential consultation today.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |

Illinois family law attorneysDivorce can be a mentally, emotionally, and financially complex process for all involved parties, but children tend to be the most vulnerable. Age, developmental stage, and family dynamics all may play a role in a child’s ability to cope and understand the changes happening within their family, and that can impact their likelihood of experiencing maladjustment during or after the divorce. Learn how you can mitigate against the adverse effects of divorce in your child, based on their age, and discover what an experienced divorce lawyer can do to help.

Infants and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers may not understand the changes that are occurring in their family during the divorce process – nor could they, really – but that does not mean they are immune from the negative effects. In fact, they may be more prone to long-term issues if there is a great deal of stress and contention during the divorce because their brains and immune systems are still developing. As such, parents should be especially diligent in protecting their child from the potential consequences of divorce. You can do this by maintaining a routine that is as close to “normal” as possible and ensuring the child has ample time with both parents (unless the environment would be considered unfit or unsafe).

Younger Children (Elementary School)

While younger children may still lack the ability to fully grasp the impact of divorce, they do typically recognize that their life is going to change. Perhaps they have a friend at school who has experienced a divorce, or maybe they have watched a family go through it on television. In either case, they may develop fears, anxieties, or worries over what life will look like once the divorce is over. Parents can help ease these concerns by being honest and straightforward with about the upcoming changes. Just be sure to keep in mind that your child does not need every detail, as this could do them more harm than good. Instead, focus on the changes that will directly impact your child and strive to ease any worries they may have over losing a parent.

Tweens and Teens (Middle School and High School)

Older children have almost undoubtedly watched a friend go through a divorce, and they have a better understanding of how relationships work. Because of this, some teens and tweens will make snap judgments about the divorce and why it has occurred. Alternatively, a child in this developmental stage may become depressed or they may develop anxiety; changes in social life and pressures, fears over the future, and contention within the family can further increase the odds of such issues. Parents can mitigate against the ill effects of divorce in tweens and teens by being open and honest about the divorce (while also being mindful of the child’s feelings for both parents), and by being supportive and listening to their child’s fears and concerns.

How Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers Can Help

Divorce can be difficult for any couple, but those with children have additional challenges and obstacles to overcome. Life together does not simply end; it changes. You become co-parents instead of partners. Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC help you transition successfully by providing your family with the support, knowledge, and experience you need. Schedule your initial consultation with our DuPage County divorce lawyers to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.




Posted in Child Custody | Tagged , , , , |

Wheaton divorce lawyersThe percentage of couples who have decided to forgo having children has increased dramatically in the last several years. Yet, because some of them still crave the nurturing aspect of parenting, many decide to adopt a pet. In such situations, the animal often becomes more like another member of the family than an animal that is owned. Unfortunately, some of those same animals have been ripped from the owner that cherished them (and worse) during divorce proceedings. That is because, in the past, pets have been treated more like a piece of furniture – an asset that cannot be divided – than a living being. Thankfully, a new law is changing that. Learn more, including how an experienced divorce attorney can assist in your divorce case.

Animals as Assets – How the Old Law Affected Divorcing Parties and Their Pets

Pets are just like any other animal – they develop bonds to the people that train them, play with them, and give them affection. Yet, in divorce, the ownership of a pet was often determined by looking at who covered the financial aspects of ownership, such as vet visits, immunizations, and adoption fees. In some instances, this resulted in a pet being taken from the owner that had the bond. Tragic cases in which the pet was then abused, neglected, abandoned, or surrendered to a shelter also occurred – often without the loving owner’s knowledge or consent.

In short, the welfare of pets could be compromised under the old law. Vengeful spouses and abusive spouses that controlled the financial aspects of the marriage could use pets as a pawn in the divorce, perhaps to punish their spouse or to simply attempt to get more in the divorce settlement. Illinois saw how this was affecting pets and their owners, so they decided to do something about it; they changed how pet custody is determined in divorce.

Animals as Living Beings – How the New Law Improves Circumstances for Pets

Starting January 1, 2018, Illinois changed how pet custody is determined in divorce. Instead of focusing only on the financial aspects of pet ownership when deciding where the pet should live, judges can now consider the best interests of the animal. Factors like who trained the pet, who walks and feeds them, and who takes the animal to their vet visits (instead of just who pays for it) may all be considered. Additionally, judges can consider joint ownership and visitation schedules in situations where both pet owners have a loving bond with the animal.

Contact Our Wheaton Divorce Attorneys

If you are planning on filing for divorce and have a pet, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC for legal assistance. Dedicated to protecting your rights and the best interest of your beloved companion, our Wheaton divorce attorneys can aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Call 630-665-2500 for your personalized consultation.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , |