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How You Can Tell It May Be Time for a DivorceYou need to be certain about your decision to divorce before you tell your spouse or prepare to file the necessary paperwork because couples rarely turn back once the divorce process starts. It may be worth trying marriage counseling or other forms of reconciliation if you believe your marriage can still be saved. Even when the evidence shows that you need to divorce, it can be difficult to accept that conclusion. If you are uncertain about whether you should divorce, the following signs suggest that your marriage is beyond repair:

  1. You No Longer Have Healthy Communication: Marriages survive and thrive because couples are willing to talk to each other when they disagree and consider what the other side has to say. Couples in an unhealthy relationship may mostly communicate through heated arguments or refuse to communicate at all. The lack of constructive communication may become so bad that even minor disagreements have the potential to escalate into major arguments. Not communicating in order to avoid conflict means you have resigned yourselves to the fact that you cannot agree, which may cause tension and resentment.
  2. You Cannot Trust Your Spouse Because of Past Mistakes: A betrayal of trust, such as infidelity, will often lead to a decision to divorce. Whether that is true in your case depends on whether your spouse is willing to change and whether you are willing to forgive them. Even if your spouse has done everything right since their mistake, you are not obligated to forgive them or to continue your marriage. It is okay to divorce your spouse if you have lost all trust in your relationship.
  3. The Bad Times Far Outweigh the Good Times: Every marriage has highs and lows, but a sign of a healthy marriage is when you feel like the high points make up for any low points. You need to ask yourself how often you are able to be happy in your marriage and whether that happiness is worth all of the times you are unhappy. If you find your marriage is more likely to fill you with contempt and sadness, you may be happier if you end the marriage.

Contact a McHenry County Divorce Lawyer

You should take your time before deciding whether to divorce because it is one of the most consequential decisions you will ever make. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, is available to answer your divorce questions and represent you if you decide to move forward with a divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



Is It Difficult to File for Workers’ Compensation?There is no doubt that filing a workers’ compensation claim can be beneficial if you have been injured while working. Workers’ compensation benefits cover your healthcare expenses related to your injury and give you disability pay if you are forced to miss time from work or are limited in the work you can perform. However, you may also wonder how much work is required to file a claim. It is natural for a person to feel discouraged by the prospect of filling out application forms and arguing their claim in court. Most workers’ compensation claimants find that applying for benefits is well worth the effort they put into it.

Steps Leading Up to Filing

Whenever you suffer a work-related injury, you should prepare as if you will be filing a workers’ compensation claim in the future. This includes:

  • Seeking immediate medical attention to diagnose and treat your injuries
  • Notifying your employer within 45 days of your injury
  • Keeping track of the doctors you visit and healthcare expenses you incur

Receiving medical attention and keeping a record of your expenses are tasks that you would be doing regardless of whether you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Some workers may be worried about telling their employer about their workplace injury, but your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for filing a claim.


Why Riding ATVs Is a Dangerous Activity for TeensEach year in the U.S., hundreds of people die and thousands more are injured in accidents involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Riding an ATV can be dangerous for people of any age or skill level, but children and teens seem to be particularly at risk of being injured or killed. Riders younger than 16 make up a quarter of those who are injured in ATV accidents and a third of those who are killed. Before you allow your child to operate an ATV, you should understand why it is a risky activity and how you can best protect them.

Lack of Regulation

Unlike with most other motorized vehicles, Illinois does not have any restrictions on how old you must be to operate an ATV or requirements for safely using an ATV, such as helmets or passenger limits. Instead, it is up to the riders to learn how to safely operate the vehicle. Even in states that have stricter rules, it can be difficult to enforce those rules because people usually ride ATVs on private properties and not public roads.

Dangerous Vehicles

The design of most ATVs makes them prone to rollovers and leaves the rider exposed to injury. ATVs have a high center of gravity, and many lack safety features such as rollover bars, seatbelts, and safety cages. Having an additional passenger on an ATV meant for one person can throw off the balance during turns. If you add the uneven terrain and people riding at unsafe speeds, you have a recipe for disaster. A rider or passenger can be thrown from the vehicle or pinned underneath it after a rollover.


Do You Need a Will and Trust in Your Estate Plan?Your estate plan can contain several documents, including a will and a trust. Both wills and trusts serve the same primary purpose of ensuring that your assets are transferred to the people you intend after your death. Yet, having a will is not the same as having a trust. Should you create both a will and a trust, or is having only one of the two enough? Wills and trusts each have their own strengths and weaknesses in an estate plan, and it may be appropriate to have both depending on your circumstances.

What Are the Differences?

A last will and testament is a document that indicates your wishes following your death, such as:

  • Naming who will inherit each of your assets
  • Appointing someone as the guardian of your children
  • Giving instructions for your funeral

A will does not activate until after you have died. All assets that you include in your will must go through probate court, which can delay distribution to your beneficiaries and incur court and legal fees.


Creating a Parenting Plan That Enables CooperationIf you have a high-conflict relationship with your co-parent after your divorce, a well-crafted parenting plan can help you better cooperate in raising your children. Conversely, a poorly crafted parenting plan can create conflict in an amicable co-parenting relationship and make a high-conflict relationship even worse. Your parenting plan will determine important issues such as how you will divide your parenting time and who is able to make decisions about how to raise your children. If you are unsure whether your parenting plan could cause conflict, you can ask the following questions:

  1. Does the Parenting Plan Put Your Children’s Needs First?: You make a parenting plan with your children’s best interests in mind. Parents sometimes make the mistake of thinking that what is best for them is also best for their children. For instance, you may want a parenting schedule that gives you an equal amount of time with your children, but such a schedule may force them to switch between homes several times a week, which can be stressful for them. In this situation, what is best for your children may be different from what is best for you.
  2. Does Your Parenting Schedule Consider Special Situations?: It is rare for divorced parents to stick to the same schedule every week of the year. You may need to deviate from your schedule for holidays, vacations, and other special circumstances that conflict with your normal schedule. Your parenting plan should anticipate special situations by creating an alternate schedule for holidays and vacations and explaining when you are allowed to make a one-time change to your schedule because of an unexpected conflict.
  3. How Clear Are the Instructions in the Plan?: Conflict can happen in a parenting plan when the co-parents disagree on what the plan allows. Who is responsible for dropping off or picking up the kids when they are switching homes? When are you required to get permission before making a decision about your children? Who will pay for expenses that are not covered by child support? If your parenting plan does not clearly answer questions such as this, you should talk to your co-parent about it before the plan is legally approved.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Divorce Lawyer

A well-crafted parenting plan should provide a structure for co-parents to follow while allowing some flexibility to make sure that the plan is always serving the children’s best interests. It can be difficult to balance the structure and flexibility, and co-parents with a high-conflict relationship may need more structure in their plan than other parents. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will work with you on crafting a strong parenting plan. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.


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