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The Importance of Self-Care in Divorce

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County divorce attorneyGoing through a divorce can be emotionally challenging. Divorce can cause a number of personal difficulties. You may have to move out of the home you have shared with your spouse for a long time and adjust to a new place. Your children may be relying on you heavily for emotional support as they also attempt to adjust to a new way of family life.

Many people will face some degree of financial hardship, which can be intensely stressful. If you did not work outside the home for pay while you were married, you might even be struggling with trying to rejoin the workforce. It is important that you take care of yourself during this time as well. While your lawyer tackles the legal issues, you should be addressing your personal emotional needs.

Tips for Self-Care While Your Divorce is Pending

Divorce can send you on an emotional roller coaster. You will need to take extra care of your mental health, as it is very easy to become depressed or anxious during this time. Some tips for self-care during divorce include:


DuPage County relocation lawyerGetting a finalized divorce decree should be the start of your new life as a single adult. You likely want to enjoy some freedoms you did not have while you were married. Many divorced parents want to move out of the area they lived in during the marriage, and for a variety of reasons. You may have gotten a better job offer a few states away, or you could just want to return to your hometown to be near your family. Whatever your reasons for wanting or needing to move, you may need to clear it with the court before you can take your children with you. An attorney can help you determine whether you will need to return to the court to get permission to relocate with your children.

What If I Am Just Moving Across Town?

If you are a DuPage County resident and you are not moving further than 25 miles away from your children’s current home, then you will not need the court’s permission to move with your children. This distance is considered close enough that it will not interfere with the children’s ability to have a relationship with both parents.

The reason Illinois courts do not allow parents to simply pick up and move long distances is that doing so could interfere with the other parent’s right to parenting time. A very local move will not cause this harm. You will need only to provide the court with an updated address.


Lombard divorce attorneyYou might not love or want to be in a relationship with your spouse anymore, but you still love your furry, scaly, or feathery friends and want to keep them with you. Companion animals can be an excellent source of emotional support during difficult times. Many pet owners see their animal as a family member, however, courts in Illinois still see pets as property that you own. As such, pets are subject to the equitable division of property in a divorce action. Ideally, you and your spouse will be able to reach an agreement regarding pet custody. Otherwise, the court will make the decision that it feels is fair. While a pet is property, judges do understand that there can be a special bond between a human and a pet. An attorney may be able to help you put forth strong arguments regarding why you need your companion animal.

Reaching an Agreement About Pet Custody

There are a number of strategies divorcing spouses can use by agreement so that no one gets permanently separated from an animal they are bonded to. Some spouses who will be living reasonably close to each other choose to “take turns” with the pet, passing it back and forth on alternating weeks.

Those who also have (human) children may feel that the pet should stay with the children. Children may experience anxiety or sadness when they are separated from a beloved pet. Many divorced spouses choose to exchange custody of the pet when they exchange custody of the children. This strategy can also help provide children with a sense of stability.


DuPage County family law attorneyAll married couples have disagreements. In some cases, those disagreements lead one spouse to file for divorce. Most of the time, once someone initiates divorce proceedings, the marriage is effectively over and the divorce will go through. However, in some cases, the married couple reconciles and chooses to call off the divorce. Divorce proceedings can take over a year in some cases. While the divorce is pending, a married couple may elect to seek couples’ counseling in an effort to save their marriage. Sometimes these efforts succeed, and sometimes they do not. If you are uncertain about going through with the divorce, make sure to inform your attorney of any attempts at reconciliation. They may be able to “pause” divorce proceedings while you attempt to reconcile with your spouse.

What Happens If My Spouse and I Want to Try to Reconcile?

If one of you has already filed for divorce, but your divorce has not been finalized, there is a way to temporarily halt divorce proceedings. Illinois divorce courts keep what is called a reconciliation calendar. This is a good option if you are not sure whether you and your spouse will be able to resolve your differences and remain married, but you would like to try.

Putting a divorce on the reconciliation calendar pauses the proceedings without dismissing the case. During this time, you should seek couples’ counseling from a qualified provider. You and your spouse may also want to try living together again to determine whether you can happily live as a married couple.


Can I Modify My Divorce Decree?

Posted on in Family Law

DuPage County family law attorneyAfter your divorce was finalized, you probably felt a huge amount of relief. The road to a final divorce decree can be long and difficult. The terms of your divorce seemed fair at the time, but now things have changed. It could be that your children’s needs are different, or that your ability to provide for them has changed. People’s personal situations can change drastically after a divorce, making the terms in the divorce order no longer fair or reasonable.

In certain situations, it may be possible to modify an existing divorce decree to reflect a change in circumstances. However, seeking a modification to a divorce decree can be complicated. You will need to work with an attorney who understands the grounds for modification and the process of seeking one.

When Can I Get a Divorce Modification?

Courts are often reluctant to modify an existing divorce decree. Once a divorce is finalized, you will need to prove that you have a very good reason to change the terms. Generally, this means that you will need to show the court that you have experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.” This requirement is likely to be met in situations like:

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