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Should You Be Flexible with Your Parenting Plan?A parenting plan is a detailed outline that divorced parents use to determine how they will share their responsibility for their children. It can take great effort to create a parenting plan, particularly if the parents disagree on how to divide parenting time and raise the children. Once you have hammered out and approved a parenting agreement, does that mean you should never deviate from it? There are some situations when being flexible is best for your children and beneficial to you and your co-parent. In other situations, it is important to defend the integrity of the plan.

When to Be Flexible

Co-parents sometimes discover that they need to adjust their parenting plan because it is not working the way they intended. You need to request a modification of your parenting plan in court if you want to make a permanent change to the plan. What if you have an unusual situation in which deviating from your parenting plan this one time makes the most sense? This most often occurs with parenting time schedules, such as when:

  • A parent is not available during their normal parenting time
  • A child’s schedule temporarily conflicts with parenting time
  • An emergency occurs and a parent needs someone to look after the children

It is impractical to go to court for every one-time change in your parenting plan. Instead, you and your co-parent should discuss how you can temporarily adjust your parenting plan to fit your unusual circumstance. Your parenting agreement can even state that you will allow changes to the plan for isolated situations as long as both sides agree to it.


Posted on in Divorce

Keys to Changing Yourself After Your DivorceThe primary purpose of filing for a divorce is to find the happiness that you are not getting from your marriage. However, you cannot expect to be much happier if you are stuck in your same marital routines. Change takes effort and can be frightening when compared to what you are familiar with. You have already made a major change by divorcing your spouse. Once you feel settled into that change, there are other changes you can make to your lifestyle, from minor tweaks to reinventing yourself:

  1. Socialize: Up to this point, your marriage has largely defined your social circles. While there is no need to abandon your friends, you should try to expand your social circles by meeting new people. The easiest way to do so is to participate in a group activity, which you can find through local organizations and online meetup groups. Some groups may be geared towards recently divorced people, though you should not feel that you are limited to those groups.
  2. Find What You Enjoy: Were there hobbies or activities that you felt like you could not do while you were married? Now is your chance to try them without worrying about whether your spouse will also enjoy them. It is possible that you will not like some of these activities as much as you thought, while you may be surprised by how much you enjoy other activities. Either way, this is your opportunity to find out.
  3. Consider Uprooting Yourself: For some people, the best way to find happiness after divorce is by redefining themselves. You could look for a new job, start a new career or move to another part of the country. However, drastic changes may be impractical if you have children or are worried about financially supporting yourself. You can still find more subtle or gradual ways to change your lifestyle.
  4. Ease Into Dating: Most people are not ready to start another serious relationship immediately after their divorce, but you will eventually feel more comfortable dating. There is not a timetable for how long this will take. Once you do start dating, it is important that you are honest with yourself and the other person about what you want. It may be that you need a more casual dating experience than looking for someone you may want to eventually marry.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

Finding the courage to change yourself after divorce starts with creating a successful divorce agreement. A McHenry County divorce lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will make sure that you finish your divorce feeling financially secure and emotionally satisfied. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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:


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 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.


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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