How a Parenting Plan Can Combat ConflictNo one can force you to like your co-parent after a divorce, but you need some civility between each other for the sake of your children. Co-parents with a high-conflict relationship struggle to communicate about their children’s needs. Open hostilities and silent tension will upset your children. Your parenting agreement can limit the number of contentious situations that you are placed in. High-conflict co-parents need structure and formal interaction that leaves little room for emotion. A parenting plan can create structure.


Co-parents need to communicate with each other about their children so there is some consistency in their parenting. You cannot expect your child to be your messenger and tell your co-parent everything he or she needs to know. Your problem is that conversations with your co-parent often escalate into arguments. Your parenting agreement can set communication guidelines for:

  • When you will contact each other;
  • Your means of communication; and
  • What you should talk about.

Scheduling a weekly phone call will make your conversation feel more formal and business-like. Keeping your conversation focused on your children and their needs will decrease the chances of an argument. Your agreement can also define what an emergency situation would be that would require one of you to contact the other outside of your scheduled conversations.

Child Exchanges

The one time you may have to see your co-parent is when you are exchanging the children as part of your parenting time schedule. Unfortunately, these in-person encounters are potential conflict situations. Your best solution is to keep your interaction at a minimum. Your parenting plan can also help by:

  • Limiting the number of child exchanges; and
  • Designating a public place for the exchange.

Some parenting plans involve exchanging the children several times per week to accommodate everyone’s schedules. You may be better served by a schedule that gives each parent one uninterrupted block of parenting time. When you must exchange your children, a public place may quell your temptation to argue with your co-parent.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

You can decrease the likelihood of conflict with your co-parent if you create the parenting plan together rather than letting the court decide for you. You are more likely to be satisfied with the plan if you agreed to it instead of having it forced upon you. You may need to modify your parenting plan if you are consistently conflicting with your co-parent. A Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you create a parenting plan that works for everyone. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.


Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Child Custody, Coparenting, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney | Tagged , , , |

The Financial Complexities of Gray DivorcePeople 50 and older are the only age group in the U.S. for whom the divorce rate has increased in recent years. Divorce researchers use the term “gray divorce” to categorize older couples who divorce after decades of marriage. There are several theories for why a couple may divorce at this stage in their lives:

  • Empty nesters and retirees no longer have children or careers to distract them from their relationship;
  • The couple may have married because it was expected rather than because they were compatible;
  • A midlife crisis can make people anxious to create a more satisfying life while they can still enjoy it; and
  • People can change after decades of marriage.

Whatever the reason is for ending the marriage, gray divorce can be complicated for everyone involved.

Division of Property

Spouses who have been married for decades will have accumulated numerous marital properties that they must divide in the divorce. They are also more likely to have high-value assets that they were able to purchase after years of saving money. Retirement plans have unique importance during a gray divorce. Each spouse will soon be relying on his or her retirement benefits, which have had time to accrue great value. In most cases, either the whole retirement plan is marital property or the amount that it increased in value since the spouses were married. Spouses must determine how much of the retirement money that they want to protect and what they would give up in exchange.

Spousal Maintenance

Someone who has financially relied on his or her spouse throughout their marriage will continue to need support after a divorce. Illinois determines the duration that someone must pay spousal maintenance based on the length of the marriage. A court can award permanent maintenance if the spouses were married for more than 20 years, which is the case in many gray divorces. The maintenance recipient is unlikely to become financially independent because it is more difficult to start a new career or find a better paying job when he or she is nearing the age of retirement.

Contact a Batavia Divorce Attorney

Gray divorce will be emotionally traumatic for you and your family because it is a sudden change to the life you were accustomed to. You will need guidance in making decisions that will set you up for financial stability during your golden years. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you secure key marital assets during your divorce negotiations. To schedule a consultation, call 630-879-9090.


Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney, Property Division, Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , |

Four Ways to Save Time on Your DivorceTime is the variable that is most likely to drive up the cost of your divorce. Having extended negotiations and attending multiple court hearings will increase your legal and court costs. The advantage of creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is that you have already decided how you will divide properties and whether one of you will pay spousal maintenance. If you are entering a divorce without an agreement, there are still ways that you can save time and cost on your divorce:

  1. Start Prepared: Identifying and valuing your marital properties is a time-consuming part of your divorce. Your divorce attorney can investigate this for you, but you can speed up the process by giving him or her a list of marital properties and documents related to their value. This saves your attorney from having to file requests for this information.
  2. Settle What You Can Out of Court: You can minimize your appearances in court by negotiating your divorce agreement in advance. You present the court with a complete divorce settlement, which the court can review and approve. When you cannot reach an agreement on your own, the court must decide on the issues for you. This process takes longer because you each may want to present your argument and the court may need time to reach a solution.
  3. Be Willing to Cooperate During Negotiations: Divorce negotiations are most effective when both sides are reasonable. You must try to separate your feelings towards your spouse from your negotiations. You are past the point of blaming each other for the divorce and must work together to figure out how you will divide your properties and responsibilities. You are ultimately hurting yourself if you approach your negotiations as a chance to punish your spouse.
  4. Set Your Priorities: You will disagree with your spouse about some issues during your divorce negotiations, but there are other issues that you should be able to quickly agree on. Save your arguments for the issues that are most important to you, such as keeping a certain property or receiving an appropriate share of the parenting time. Do not prolong the negotiations by getting into unnecessary arguments.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

During divorce negotiations, you must balance being cooperative with protecting your interests. You should not accept unfavorable terms in your divorce agreement because you want to quickly finish the negotiations. A Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you create a beneficial divorce agreement in a reasonable amount of time. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.


Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney, Prenuptial agreements, Property Division | Tagged , , , |

Requesting Child Support as a FatherA stereotypical parenting agreement in a divorce results in the children living with the mother and the father paying child support. A father who does not make his required child support payments may be labeled a deadbeat, and the mother may go to court to enforce the payments. However, divorced fathers sometimes do not do enough to pursue child support from the mother when the parenting roles are reversed. They may be following a societal bias about their parental role, even though the law does not have the same bias.

A Father’s Role

It is still a common family arrangement for the father to be the provider and the mother to be the caretaker, but there are more families that do not follow those gender roles than in previous decades. It may be more sensible for the father to be the primary caretaker if:

  • The mother has a more demanding and profitable career;
  • The father’s career gives him more flexibility with his hours; or
  • The father is a more nurturing and attentive parent.

However, parents tend to view divorce through traditional gender roles, even when their marital roles were not traditional. A mother may feel entitled to a majority of the parental responsibilities and assume that she will not pay child support. A father may assume that his role is to pay child support and feel that asking for support is emasculating.

Understanding Child Support

The purpose of child support is to make sure that each parent is contributing towards raising the children. Illinois’ child support system uses an income shares model, which means:

  • Child support is calculated as a shared cost between both parents, based on their combined incomes and the number of children; and
  • Each parent will pay a percentage of the child support obligation that is proportionate to their comparative incomes.

The parent who has the most parenting time with the children will receive child support payments because he or she is the one most often paying for child expenses. A father who is the primary parent must receive child support from the mother, even if the father has a greater income. In such a scenario, the mother’s child support payments would be less than what the father spends on child-related expenses.

Contact a Batavia Divorce Attorney

Child support is a shared responsibility for both parents after a divorce. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you make sure your spouse pays his or her proportionate share. To schedule a consultation, call 630-879-9090.


Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Child Custody, Child support, Coparenting, Divorce, Enforcing Agreements, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney, Paternity | Tagged , , |

Making Your House Feel Like Home After DivorceAt least one of you will be moving into a new home after your divorce, and it is possible that both of you will be moving if you choose to sell your marital home. Settling into a new home can be stressful, especially when combined with adjusting to being single. Even if you get to keep your old home, it may feel noticeably emptier without your spouse. You will need time to adjust to your new living situation, but personalizing the appearance of your home can help you with the transition.


Moving is a good time to assess which items you no longer need after your divorce. Some items are impractical for you to keep as a single adult. You may want to purge yourself of other items because they remind you of your marriage. There is nothing wrong with getting rid of otherwise useful items because of your emotions towards them. Before throwing out or giving away an item, you should ask yourself:

  • Can I look at or use this item without thinking about my former spouse?;
  • How difficult or expensive will it be to replace this item?;
  • Do my children have any emotional attachments to this item?; and
  • Could this item be of use or value to my children in the future?


You may have compromised with your spouse on the appearance of your home when you were living together. Now that you are alone, you can decorate your living space to fit your tastes, such as:

  • Repainting a room into your preferred color;
  • Organizing your space to meet your needs;
  • Replacing your furniture with pieces that fit your style;
  • Purchasing appliances that you think will be useful; and
  • Decorating your living areas in a way that you enjoy.

You have the freedom to personalize your home in ways that your former spouse may have objected to. However, you may want to be subtle about imposing your personal style if your children are living with you. Drastically redecorating your home will be another change that they must adjust to.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

What you do with your marital home will be one of the more important decisions you make during your divorce. If you are not keeping the home, you must obtain enough assets in the division of property to compensate you and help you afford a new home. A Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can lead you through your divorce negotiations. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.


Posted in Batavia Divorce Lawyer, Divorce, Divorce Advice, Family Law, Illinois divorce lawyer, Kane County family law attorney, Property Division | Tagged , , , |