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Divorcees Must Divide Debts Along with PropertiesA couple in a marriage often must share the good and the bad. The same concept extends to the division of property during divorce. Just as divorcees in Illinois are promised an equitable share of marital properties, they also must take on an equitable share of their marital debt. Couples with low amounts of debt may be able to divide it with little arguing or even repay the debts before the divorce. They may have a greater disagreement if faced with large debts, such as home mortgages, credit card bills, and student loans.

What Is Marital Debt?

As with marital properties, any debts that you incur during your marriage are assumed to be marital debts. Debts created by one person before your marriage are nonmarital debts unless the other spouse agreed to share liability for the debt. If you are unsure whether a debt is marital, you should check your agreement with your creditor to see whether both of your names are on it.

How to Divide the Debt

An equitable division of debt does not mean you have to divide it equally between each other. The law requires you to divide the debt in a way that is fair to both sides, which may be influenced by factors such as:

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How to Share Your Children’s Halloween with Your Co-ParentHalloween is a fun celebration for those who are young or young-at-heart. If you are a parent, the main enjoyment you get from the holiday is probably seeing your kids in costume, participating in the Halloween traditions that you remember from your childhood. That is why holidays such as Halloween can be difficult for divorced parents – there are a finite number of years before your kids feel they are too old to have their parents tag along for trick-or-treating. Rather than one of you missing out on this family experience, you should discuss how you can share the holiday with your co-parent.

Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-treating is the main event, as well as an activity that needs parental supervision with younger children. There are several ways you can share this activity with your co-parent, including:

  • Both of you accompanying your children
  • Alternating which of you is with the children each year
  • Splitting the time between you

Before you decide to take your children trick-or-treating together, you should consider whether you will be able to get along with each other and whether your children will understand that doing this activity together does not mean you are getting back together. If you are splitting the time, you have the option of each taking your children trick-or-treating in your own neighborhoods. However, transporting your children between neighborhoods may make the holiday more hectic than enjoyable. You also must consider whether they would be happier trick-or-treating with their friends in the neighborhood that they are most familiar with.

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Posted on in Divorce

Balancing Your Job with Your DivorceThe added work of going through a divorce can be difficult to balance with your normal responsibilities, whether it is at home or at your job. If you are someone who is used to putting in heavy hours at work, that may not be possible when you have to negotiate your divorce agreement and make scheduled appearances in court. However, you may fear that a lapse in your performance could be a career setback if you are aiming for a promotion or to be put on an important project. To remain productive at work during your divorce, you will need to plan ahead and accept your limitations:

  1. Talk to Your Supervisor: The worst thing you can do to yourself at work is to have an unexplained dip in production or performance. You need to tell your supervisor about your divorce and how it may affect your availability at work. They may be more flexible with your work hours and performance expectations if you warn them.
  2. Know Your Limits: Another bad thing you can do to yourself is to take on a workload that you cannot fulfill on-time or up to your employer’s quality standards. During your divorce is a poor time to add to your responsibilities with new projects. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your normal workload, tell your supervisor before it becomes a problem that hurts your company.
  3. Keep Work and Divorce Separate: Your employer will expect you to be focused on your work when you are at work. However, it can be difficult to put your divorce out of your mind when you are at your job. Try to get yourself into a routine that helps you focus on your work, and do not perform tasks related to your divorce while at your job. If you find yourself overcome with stress or emotion, take a short break and go somewhere private to release your stress.
  4. Take Time Off: Now would be a good time to use your personal days if your employer offers them. Why force yourself to travel between work and divorce court on the same day when you can take the day off? There may also be days when you need a break to relax. Your divorce is causing you an unusual amount of stress, and overworking yourself is bad for your health.

Contact a Crystal Lake Divorce Lawyer

Balancing divorce and work is simpler when you have a divorce lawyer that you trust. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will take care of the technical parts of your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Five Keys When Telling Your Children About Your DivorceTelling your children about your divorce may be the most difficult conversation you have throughout the process. Unlike most people you talk to, your decision to divorce will directly and irreversibly affect your children’s daily lives. The news will cause pain to your children and stir up other feelings that may lead to outbursts or emotional withdrawal. Your initial divorce conversation with your children is important because it is one of the lasting memories they will have about your divorce. You should prepare for the talk while keeping these suggestions in mind:

  1. Have Everyone Together: Even though you and your spouse are not getting along, it is important that you tell your children about your divorce together. You need to show your children that you are still dedicated to working together as their co-parents – just not as a married couple. You should also try to have all of your children together for the same conversation because this is a decision that affects the entire family.
  2. Remain Calm: Your emotions will set a tone for the conversation. Being calm and compassionate may not prevent your children from becoming upset but is the best way to soothe them. Showing that you are upset may escalate your children’s emotions, making things worse.
  3. Focus on the Children: Your children do not need to hear the details about why you are getting a divorce. The most important thing to them is how the divorce will affect them. They want to know where they will live and how often they will see each of you. Though you may not know the answers yet, tell them that you will both still be an active part of their lives.
  4. Understand Age Differences: A teenager’s understanding of divorce may be more advanced than a younger child. With younger children, you may need to spend more time explaining what a divorce means. Older children may have enough of an understanding that they want to ask more specific questions about your divorce. Both will be upset by the news, though a younger child may show more obvious signs.
  5. Be Adaptable: It is fine to prepare a script for how you will start your divorce conversation and answer expected questions. However, you need to watch how your children are reacting and respond in an appropriate way. Your children may surprise you with how they respond to the news, which may force you to go off-script.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Attorney

Your children are just as affected by your divorce as you are, and the decisions you make during your divorce must have their best interest in mind. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you create a comprehensive parenting plan for after your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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The Benefits and Risks of Using Witnesses During a Divorce CaseIt is rare that you will need to call on a witness to testify in your divorce case. You and your spouse can settle most divorce issues without involving someone else in the process. Divorce attorneys commonly gather third-party information when preparing for your divorce. They can use a court order to compel a noncompliant party to provide information without needing them to testify in court. You are more likely to need a witness when you are fighting over parental responsibility for your children or accusing your spouse of misconduct.

Using Witnesses

There are two types of witnesses that can be useful in a divorce case:

  • A character witness who can speak personally about you or your spouse; and
  • An expert witness on a topic that is relevant to your divorce.

Character witnesses are people who have observed or interacted with you, your spouse or your children. Family members are not convincing character witnesses because they often have a bias towards one of the parties. Close friends, neighbors, work colleagues, and childcare givers are common character witnesses who can speak to your good character or your spouse’s poor character.

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