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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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Divorced Astronaut Accused of Identity Theft While in SpaceAn unusual story has emerged about an astronaut who may have committed identity theft against her former wife while on the International Space Station. The former wife filed charges with the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that the astronaut inappropriately accessed her bank account. A computer registered to NASA had accessed the account at a time when the astronaut was preparing for a spacewalk on the station. The FTC is investigating the claim, which the astronaut denies. The former spouses divorced last year and had a bitter custody battle over their son.

Identity theft is a real concern for divorcees because they have shared sensitive personal and financial information with a former spouse who may harbor ill-will towards them. However, protecting your identity is not rocket science. There are common-sense steps you can take to prevent identity theft:

  1. Close Your Joint Accounts: Your spouse has equal access to your joint accounts, such as those with banks and credit card companies. You should conduct all of your financial activity through private, individual accounts that your spouse cannot view without your permission or obtaining a court order.
  2. Check Your Credit Report: Getting a current credit report serves multiple purposes. It may remind you about a credit account that you opened individually or share with your spouse. You also get a complete picture of your credit history, which may warn you if you have already been a victim of identity theft.
  3. Change Your Passwords and PINs: Spouses commonly share their passwords to individual accounts because they trust each other. You should update those passwords to something that your spouse would not be able to guess, which means your passwords should not be based on personal information.
  4. Alert Financial Institutions to Your Divorce: Your bank and creditors should know about your impending divorce. Tell them that you do not give your spouse permission to access your individual accounts or to start new accounts or lines of credit in your name.
  5. Keep an Eye on Your Accounts: If you are unable to prevent identity theft, your best course of action is to catch it early on. Look for unexplained activity in your accounts, and try to determine the source. You have time to reverse the damage done and hold your spouse accountable.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

Your identity and financial security should be priorities during your divorce. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can advise you on what action you should take to protect yourself. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Including Phone Conversations in Your Parenting PlanEach parent’s scheduled time with their children after divorce should not be interrupted by the other parent unless necessary. In some cases, a phone conversation or texting with the children may be appropriate. However, there are situations where these forms of communication may disrupt the existing parenting time schedule. Extensive phone conversations between a parent and child can be included in a parenting schedule to ensure that both parents agree on whether it is appropriate.

When Are Phone Conversations Appropriate?

Some children have trouble adjusting to a two-household living arrangement because it is their first time being away from either parent for an extended period. They may initially benefit from phone calls with the nonresidential parent, though you should ween them off of these calls so that they do not become emotionally dependent on them. There are other situations in which a phone call that is longer than a couple of minutes may be appropriate:

  • When a parent lives a long distance from their children, regular phone calls may be part of their parenting time because it is impractical for them to frequently see each other in person;
  • A phone conversation could also be a substitute for parenting time if the children are on a trip and missing their normal parenting time; and
  • Children should be able to talk to their nonresidential parent in special situations when they have news that they want the other parent to immediately know about.

When Are Phone Conversations Not Appropriate?

Frequent communications or long conversations with a child can aggravate the parent who has the children. You should not interrupt your children’s time with the other parent unless there is an urgent issue that cannot wait until you see them again. Even sending periodic texts to check up on your children is disruptive.

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