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Wheaton divorce mediation lawyersWhen a married couple decides to end their marriage through divorce, there are many decisions which must be made. If the couple has children, schedules for child custody (technically called the allocation of parental responsibility) and visitation (parenting time) must be arranged. The couple will also need to decide how they will split their marital estate. Often, this involves deciding whether or not to sell the family home or assign it to one of the spouses. Couples must also decide how shared bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and valuables like jewelry or fine art should be divided.

Understandably, many divorcing couples struggle to communicate effectively about these issues. In these circumstances, divorce mediation can help facilitate communication between the spouses so they can arrive at an agreement.

Benefits of Mediation 

Most divorcing couples wish to avoid courtroom litigation. Not only is litigation expensive and time-consuming but it can also be an intimidating environment and lead to escalated hostility between the spouses. Mediation allows couples to meet with a mediator and discuss their concerns about various issues related to the divorce. A mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but instead he or she encourages an open dialogue between the parties which allows them to make decisions for themselves.

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Wheaton family law attorneysIf you plan to divorce your spouse, you have probably wondered how you will divide your accumulated assets. In Illinois, divorcing individuals are encouraged to work out how their property should be divided by agreement. However, this is not always possible. Couples getting divorced may be unable to come to a decision about who should own the house, cars, art, or other valuable items. If a couple cannot reach a decision about property on their own, a qualified mediator can help. As a last resort, courts have the authority to make property division decisions for a divorcing couple.

How Do Illinois Courts Divide Assets?

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about assets, the court will. Some states simply split martial property exactly in half and assign 50 percent of the wealth to one party and 50 percent to the other party. Illinois courts, on the other hand, make property division decisions using a method called “equitable distribution.” This method divides property fairly but not necessarily equally. Only marital property is divided. Marital property generally includes any assets accumulated during the marriage as well as comingled funds.

Factors Illinois Courts Consider When Making Property Decisions

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes a list of factors that the court will take into consideration when dividing marital property. Courts generally consider the following items when making property division decisions:

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DuPage County family law attorneysWhether you have been divorced for years, or you are only starting the process of ending your marriage, separated parents have many challenges during the holidays. You may feel like it is nearly impossible to get through Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or other special holidays as a divorced person. However, experts do have some tips for divorced parents which may make your holiday season a little more manageable.

Avoid Bottling Up Your Emotions

Many parents who get divorced are hyper-focused on how the divorce will affect their children. While making sure your children are comfortable is an admirable and important part of being a parent, experts say divorced parents should be careful not to neglect their own emotional needs. Many people experience divorce in a similar way to loss. If you are ending your marriage, you may experience feelings of anger, grief, despair, and even relief. Talking about these feelings with a trusted friend or therapist can help you manage them.

Treat Yourself to Something You Enjoy

The holidays are often thought of as mostly pertaining to children. However, many divorce experts and psychologists encourage adults to get into the holiday spirit if they are able. Treating yourself to a day at the spa, a delicious meal, or simply just relaxing at home can help divorced parents cope with the emotional burden of the holidays.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysIf you are a parent and are considering filing for divorce, you are probably concerned about how the divorce will affect your child. Divorce is a challenging obstacle for anyone to overcome, and children are no exception. However, the good news is that research shows that children are remarkably resilient and with special care, children whose parents divorce can be just as happy and successful as those children whose parents stayed together.

Research Leaves Divorced Parents Hopeful

Distinguished psychologist Constance Ahrons conducted a 20-year study about children of divorce. Through her research, she found that about 80 percent of children of divorce are able to adapt to the divorce and lead happy, successful lives afterward. Put another way, the majority of children whose parents get divorced do not experience permanent damaging effects on their mental and physical wellbeing. Another piece of evidence comes from developmental psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington from the University of Virginia. She, through a study of 2,500 children of divorce, came to similar conclusions about the effect of divorce on children. In fact, the vast majority of research by child development experts and psychologists have found that divorce alone does not hurt children’s social development, mental health, or school performance in the long run.

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DuPage County family law attorneysGenetics play a large role in our physical appearance, our health, and many other aspects of our lives. Of course, so does the environment in which we live. For decades—if not longer—researchers have been exploring the impact of what is colloquially known as “nature vs. nurture” on a wide variety of human behaviors. Forming healthy interpersonal relationships would seem to fall into the category of learned behaviors—or nurture—but new evidence suggests that genetics may have an effect as well. Divorce, it appears, may be genetic and runs in families as a result.

A New Look

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University collaborated with a team from Lund University in Sweden on a project that examined the relationships of adopted children, their adoptive parents, and their biological parents. The study looked to test the widely held belief that children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce simply because that is what they know and are conditioned to see as normal.

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250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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