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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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DuPage County divorce attorneysJust like every couple, every divorce is unique. Some couples struggle to make it through the proceedings without arguing over every subject, while others manage to work together to create their divorce agreement. The way that the divorce proceedings are handled is not necessarily reflective of the quality of the divorcing couple’s relationship, but more telling of their communication skills. Divorce is bound to be an emotional and difficult life experience to go through and everyone responds to these feelings in their own way. Not all divorces require court intervention, and there are a few alternative dispute resolution options available to you and your spouse if you are planning on divorcing.

Divorce Mediation

Some divorcing couples have excellent communication skills and think it would be best to work together to create their divorce agreement. For those who are able to compromise when necessary and work through any disputes without court intervention, divorce mediation may be a good option. In mediation, a couple creates a divorce agreement with the help of a third-party mediator. The mediator does not act as either party’s attorney or legal representative, though many mediators are also attorneys. This neutral third party will provide suggestions to the couple and keep them on task, resolving any minor disagreements that may arise throughout the process. Mediation allows the couple to have complete control over their divorce agreement, including any determinations regarding property division, spousal maintenance payments, child custody arrangements, and more.

Collaborative Divorce

This is the another common type of divorce proceeding that couples pursue, allowing each spouse to have their own legal representative while still negotiating with their former spouse. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses will meet with their prospective attorneys, outside of court, to come to a settlement on the various terms of their divorce agreement. This type of divorce ensures that each party’s needs are being advocated for by their own attorney while also keeping the decisions out of the hands of a judge. Divorce mediation can sometimes lead to one spouse taking advantage of the other by suggesting terms that they know are unfair or by using their relationship dynamic, with one spouse holding more decision-making authority than the other, for their benefit. Collaborative divorce avoids these possibilities, though the spouses may be best to seek an alternative route if they are still unable to come up with a settlement on their agreement.

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal supportDespite our very best efforts to mentally prepare for the emotional pain that accompanies divorce, it is difficult — if not impossible — to brace ourselves for the outcome, no matter how hard we try. Even couples who split amicably, and are still on good terms after the decision to end their marriage, are often surprised by the emotional tide they find themselves swept up in during and after the divorce proceedings. In reality, the end of a marriage takes a toll on anyone who experiences such a transition, but adopting some healthy coping strategies early on in the process can help pave the way for a less painful road to recovery.

What Does it Mean to Cope in a Healthy Way?

There are all kinds of ways people cope during a loss or major disappointment in life and some of those strategies end up causing more harm and more problems when used consistently. Overeating, binge drinking, or excessive spending can all backfire when used as a way to regulate our emotions. In contrast, coping in a healthy way promotes self-care and helps to relax and support our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Throughout the divorce process, practice the following tips to cope with any painful, uncomfortable emotions in a healthy way:

  1. Pamper Yourself - Indulging in a hot bath, some aromatherapy, or going to the spa for a massage, manicure, or hair appointment are all healthy ways to care for your body and nourish your spirit. Identify those pampering activities you enjoy and utilize them to give yourself a lift and re-energize when you are feeling emotionally drained.

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Lombard divorce lawyerSimilar to other kinds of losses, a divorce never looks or feels exactly the same for every person. We all grieve and process that grief differently, and because the divorce experience can vary in complexity depending on the circumstances of a given relationship, the journey can be especially unique and challenging to navigate. Emotional setbacks throughout a divorce are common and to be expected, regardless of your circumstances. The key to having victory over those setbacks and keeping them from controlling you begins with having coping strategies in your arsenal when times get tough.

Conquering the Tide of Discouragement

Thankfully, there have been countless studies on the psychological ramifications of divorce and the most effective ways to manage the stress, disappointment, and setbacks they entail. Psychologists recommend the following to heal, stay positive, and move forward, despite the emotional roadblocks you may experience along the way:

  1. Stop Beating Yourself Up - Whether you lose your temper in front of your children, snap at your ex-spouse, or are struggling with a depressed mood, it is important to be patient with yourself and remember that you will have good days and bad days as you adjust to the effects of divorce. Make self-care a priority: Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise daily. Avoid ruminating on your mistakes, which hold you hostage in the past. If you are stuck in a negative thought cycle where you are continually punishing yourself, speak with a counselor or other mental health professional who can help equip you with the tools you need to break this counterproductive pattern of thinking.

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Wheaton divorce lawyerThere are few major life events that will wreak more havoc on one’s mental health than divorce. Divorce is another kind of loss that involves a grieving process that is unique to everyone, as every situation has different circumstances. Even couples who decide to split amicably, with little contention, will experience some level of grief as they say goodbye to one relationship dynamic and learn to adapt to a new one. Stress levels can quickly escalate, especially when the circumstances are particularly distressing or the process itself is taking place amidst other major changes, such as adjusting to life during the current virus pandemic.

Whether you are in the beginning stages of the divorce process or are nearing the finish line, research shows that ongoing stress can affect both your physical and mental health. There are numerous techniques for managing the stress that our bodies and minds undergo during a divorce, but the key is to utilize positive techniques instead of negative coping mechanisms, as managing stress in negative ways can take even more of a toll on our overall health.

Expert Recommendations for Dealing with Tough Emotions During Divorce

A resounding opinion among family therapists is that liberating yourself from the mental prison of divorce is one of the best approaches to working through the pain in a healthy way. Letting go of negative emotions instead of bottling them up can be done in many different, constructive ways. The idea is to get your mind and body moving, instead of dwelling on your feelings. Psychology experts recommend the following to manage stress throughout the divorce process:

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Naperville high conflict divorce lawyerWhile it is true that the effects of divorce vary from person to person and family to family, psychology experts reveal that certain circumstances, such as the environment created by a contentious divorce, can be particularly detrimental. This is especially true for children, and high levels of conflict between parents can affect their development. Having a positive co-parenting strategy in place as you move throughout the divorce process can make a big difference when it comes to your child’s mental health. However, for many couples, it is not always easy to enforce such a plan when the relationship is a contentious one.

Negative Effects of Divorce on Kids and What You Can Do to Help

It can be difficult for parents to face the reality of the negative impact of divorce on their kids, but the good news is that studies show that healthy co-parenting cannot only help your kids, but it can help you too. When parents attempt to collaborate peacefully during their divorce, this will lessen their child’s distress, and it can reduce stress for parents as well. Here are some major ways that a high-conflict divorce can impact your child and what you can do to ease the burden:

  1. Unhealthy Coping Strategies - Many children of contentious divorces are more prone to anxiety disorders and depression, and these issues commonly lead to an array of unhealthy coping strategies, such as substance abuse. Unhealthy coping skills can continue to be a crutch when a child reaches adulthood, especially if your child is not familiar with healthy coping mechanisms. Experts tell us that even if the other parent is not making an effort to reduce conflict in the divorce, efforts by one parent are still helpful for the child. If you are unable to show your kids healthy ways to cope with their emotions during your divorce, you can provide other means of support for them, such as meeting regularly with a therapist.
  2. Relationship Troubles - Children who witness high-conflict divorces often end up having strained relationships with both parents, and this can sometimes spill over into their other personal relationships, including those with friends or extended family members. Children may avoid social contact, lash out, or mimic their parents’ behavior, including displays of anger and frustration. Limiting how often you allow your child to be present when you interact with your spouse can be helpful, and encouraging your child to communicate with you about how they are feeling is also important. Finally, do not forget to show them your full attention, and be sure to listen when they want to talk.
  3. Delays in Emotional Development - Pent up emotions, along with the trauma that can occur when children see their parents frequently arguing, can cause long-term difficulties with emotional development. These delayed adjustments may follow your child as they get older and affect their adult relationships as well. They may experience difficulty concentrating, academic problems, and intimacy issues, and they may have trouble adjusting to new relationships or maintaining healthy boundaries. To combat these issues and help your child adjust during divorce, avoid speaking poorly about the other parent in front of them, and do not make them feel as if they must pick a side. Avoid doing anything that puts them in the middle of conflict between parents, such as asking them to send messages to their other parent.

Contact Our St. Charles Divorce Attorneys

Being civil with your spouse while going through a divorce may feel impossible at times, but it is worth making the effort for everyone involved. If you are unable to communicate peacefully despite your best efforts, a knowledgeable Bloomingdale divorce attorney can offer the professional guidance and advice you need to move forward and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Speak with our dedicated team at Mevorah Law Offices LLC by calling 630-755-6426 and scheduling a free, personal consultation today.

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