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Posted on in Divorce

Handling a Tighter Budget After DivorceOne of the unfortunate consequences of divorce is that neither party will be as financially strong apart as they were together. A divorce will reduce the possessions you already have and the available income you will have moving forward. Child support and spousal maintenance can help recover some of the lost income. However, a court may not intend for it to replicate your marriage income. If you are paying your spouse, the support payments are another drain on your income. Divorcees often must live on a tighter budget, which could be a difficult adjustment for yourself and your children.

Your Expectations

You might not think of yourself as living a life of luxury, but trying to create a budget after your divorce may give you a different perspective. Expenses can escalate either in the quantity of purchases you make or the higher quality of the items or services you purchase. There are several ways you can cut back on expenses to fit your new budget. You can start by determining what are necessary living expenses and what are luxuries. You do not have to give up all of your luxury expenses, but you should understand that there is a price to keeping each one. After you calculate the cost of your accustomed lifestyle, you can determine:


Four Facts Fathers Should Know During DivorceFathers often start at a disadvantage when trying to obtain a majority of the parenting time during a divorce. There is a lingering societal assumption that mothers are the caregivers, and some believe that the bias affects the courts' decisions. However, it is a father’s resignation towards a negative outcome that hurts him the most. Assuming that a court will rule against him, a father may cede a majority of the allocation of parental responsibilities without a fight. A father must base his decisions on what is best for his children, not what he believes a court will decide. There are four facts fathers should understand during a divorce:

  1. The Law Has No Gender Bias: The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act does not differentiate between mothers and fathers. The law assumes that both parents will share responsibility for their children, unless one of the parents is unfit. It is left to the parents to define their individual roles with the children.
  2. Equal Parenting Time Is Not Preferred: Illinois believes that a child is better off living with one parent a majority of the time because it creates more stability. The primary caregiver, which could be either parent, usually receives a majority of the parenting time. However, the court will also consider which parent will provide a better living environment, which may not be the primary caregiver.
  3. There Are Several Ways to Split Parenting Time: A court may allow a 50/50 share of parenting time if the parents show the arrangement would benefit a child with minimal drawbacks. If the court decides to grant the mother a majority of the parenting time, the father can still try to maximize his parenting time. A 60/40 parenting time split can give a father an extra day with his children, as opposed to a more traditional 70/30 split.
  4. Children Benefit From Being With Their Father: Numerous studies have shown that children grow up happier and more well-adjusted when they have a relationship with both parents. Even if he is not the primary caregiver, a father can provide wisdom and emotional support that helps a child mature into a better adult.

A Father’s Rights

As a father, you should enter your divorce knowing whether you want to have a majority of the parenting time with your children. If you do, you can expect that the mother will contest you. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you show why your children are best off with you as the primary parent. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.


The Advantages to Settling Divorce Out of CourtMany divorces end with a court determining how issues related to marital properties and parenting responsibilities are settled. The spouses are unable to reach an agreement, often because of their inability to cooperate with each other in a one-on-one setting. If the relationship is bad enough, the spouses may dismiss even trying to negotiate with each other. However, divorcing spouses should always consider the possibility of settling out of court. There are several advantages to avoiding the litigious path during a divorce:

  1. Time: Having a court determine a divorce agreement often takes longer than settling out of court. Attorneys need time to gather and prepare evidence to present during the hearing. Waiting for an available hearing date can also delay the process. By negotiating out of court, the parties can set their own schedules.
  2. Cost: A quicker divorce settlement will reduce expenses. Divorce clients pay for the hours their attorneys must spend preparing for the divorce hearing, as well as the multiple court appearance required to settle the divorce. Some vindictive spouses will purposely drag out the divorce in order to increase the other spouse’s legal fees.
  3. Control: Spouses have the best understanding of how valuable certain properties are to the them and what arrangement will work best for their children. A court will use its best judgment to settle the divorce, but both parties risk a settlement that leaves neither of them happy. When settling their divorce themselves, the spouses may have creative solutions that the court might not think of.
  4. Privacy: Divorce hearings are public record, unless the parties take specific action to protect it. Otherwise, financial details discussed during a divorce are available to the public. This may particularly hurt a business owner, who wishes to hide his or her assets and interests from competitors.
  5. Tension: A court hearing can create a more combative atmosphere than private negotiations. Both sides feel they are competing to win the divorce agreement. The court’s decision may cause one side to resent the other. Private negotiations are more likely to result in an amicable agreement between the spouses.

Reaching an Agreement

If you do try to settle your divorce outside of court, you do not have to go through the process alone. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can advise you during the negotiations and take the lead when necessary. Our experienced attorneys can also review your settlement to make sure that a divorce court will approve it. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.


Posted on in BGL Law
Dangers of Loneliness After DivorceWhen you complete your divorce and settle into your post-marriage life, it is common to be struck by a sudden feeling of loneliness. The feeling may have started when you first separated from your spouse, but the busyness of your divorce distracted you from it. You have lost your partner in life, which no other type of relationship can replicate. In some cases, you may become estranged from your circle of friends, especially if most of them are married. Loneliness can cause unhealthy behavior and bad habits. Coping with loneliness requires understanding how it affects you and being proactive in changing your life.


Loneliness is often accompanied by feelings of depression and anxiety. You are sad about your current isolation and worried that you will always be alone. Those are natural feelings to have after a divorce, but allowing them to control you can have harmful consequences, including:

Injury Compensation Considered Marital Property in DivorceFor people who have suffered serious injuries, their monetary compensation can be vital to supporting themselves. Compensation can come in multiple forms, including a personal injury settlement, workers' compensation benefits and disability benefits. The injury victims need the monetary award because:

  • The short- and long-term medical costs can be exorbitant;
  • They may have lost significant wages while recovering from injury; and
  • Their injuries may prevent them from obtaining employment for an indefinite period.

If you are going through a divorce, you may assume that you can keep all of your injury compensation. It seems only fair because you are the person who went through the pain and suffering and are still being affected by it. However, Illinois courts have consistently ruled that money accrued due to injury is marital property.

Defining Marital Property

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