233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

Getting Ready to Testify at Divorce CourtEvery divorce case will require an appearance in court to at least finalize the dissolution of marriage and approve the divorce agreement. However, a divorce case in which there is a dispute may require you to testify at a hearing. Testifying can be an intimidating experience because you will be asked several personal questions, some of which may seem like an attack on your character. Fortunately, you will have time to prepare for your day in court because divorce hearings often move slowly. You cannot predict every eventuality, but you can ready yourself for the experience:

  1. Practice Answering Questions: Your attorney has been through many divorce hearings and will know what questions you will be asked. You can have a mock hearing, in which you practice how you will answer the questions.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Your attire should match the formality and professionalism of the courtroom. However, you should not overdress or appear flashy. This may make you seem cocky and contradict your message if you are trying to argue that you need more assets from the divorce. Conservative business attire is usually a safe bet.
  3. Show Up Early: If you aim to get there on time, you risk being late for the hearing. Tardiness implies to everyone in the courtroom that you do not respect the hearing. Arriving early will allow you to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and have another discussion with your attorney.
  4. Bring Support: A family member or close friend can accompany you to the courthouse and provide emotional support. Knowing that you have another ally nearby may comfort you. You can ask your attorney about whether your guest will be allowed in the courtroom during the hearing.
  5. Remain Calm: Your demeanor in the courtroom is important in getting your message across during the hearing. You must clearly and truthfully answer the questions you are asked. If a question catches you off guard, take your time to answer in a calm and coherent manner. Do not speak unless you are answering a question and do not interrupt others. Avoid fidgeting or looking distracted when you are listening to others.

Helping Your Cause

Appearing calm and rational during your divorce hearings will give others the impression that you are responsible, whether it is in managing your assets or caring for your children. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can prepare you for your court appearances. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.

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Children Need Parental Attention During DivorceParenting time is one of the primary ways you can address your children’s needs after a divorce. You and your spouse may disagree about how the parenting time should be divided because you each believe that your children will be best off by spending as much time with you as possible. However, concerns about the quantity of parenting time can sometimes overshadow the importance of the quality of parenting time. Whether you have a majority or a minority of parenting time, it is important that you use that time effectively to address your children’s emotional needs and help them through the difficult adjustment.

Silent Struggles

Children of divorce need acute attention from their parents because the process has left them with many questions and doubts about their lives. Unfortunately, parents who are caught up in a divorce may not notice their children’s struggles and assume that their children will tell them if something is wrong. Your children notice how the divorce upsets you and may be afraid that asking questions will draw your ire. They are waiting for you to notice that they are upset and to talk to them. When you fail to do so, they may conclude that you do not care, which can cause depression and resentment.

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Answering Your Doubts After Grey DivorceSpouses age 55 and older are the only age demographic in the U.S. that have seen an increase in their divorce rate in recent years. Known as grey divorce, divorce at an older age and after years of marriage can happen for many reasons:

  • Spouses no longer have the children at home as a reason to stay together;
  • Spending more time together after retirement may emphasize their differences;
  • There is a sense of urgency to start over while still young enough to do so; and
  • People and relationships change from when they first married.

Though friends and family often do not understand the reason for the divorce, the couple will know they are making the right decision. However, people dealing with the aftermath of their grey divorce still face feelings of doubt about their futures.

“Who Am I Now That I Am Divorced?”

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Factors That Can Invalidate a Premarital AgreementPremarital agreements are vitally helpful documents to have in case of divorce. The agreement can settle some of the more contentious aspects of a divorce negotiation, such as the division of property and spousal maintenance payments. However, the document does no good if the divorce court determines that it is invalid. Problems with premarital agreements often originate from mistakes made during their creation. Illinois law states that a premarital agreement is unenforceable in the following instances:

  1. Unofficial Agreement: Both parties must read and sign the premarital agreement in order for it to become official. The parties are not required to have witnesses to the signing or to file the agreement with a government agency. However, there does need to be a formal document outlining the agreement, with proof that both parties understood and agreed to the terms.
  2. Signed Under Duress: One party cannot force or coerce the other into signing an agreement. This includes presenting the agreement shortly before the marriage. One party may feel pressured to sign the agreement without having the chance to properly review the document with his or her own attorney.
  3. Invalid Provisions: A premarital agreement is not allowed to make decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities or child support. Those issues must be settled during the divorce, adhering to state laws. The agreement also cannot include provisions that are blatantly in violation of state divorce laws.
  4. Deception: A court may invalidate a premarital agreement if it determines that one party was hiding valuable assets in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the agreement. There is some responsibility for each party to not overlook premarital assets that they can easily discover. However, a party may be liable when failing to disclose an asset that the other party had no reasonable way of knowing about.
  5. Unconscionability: Even if both parties approved of a premarital agreement, a divorce court may not enforce an agreement that is blatantly unfair to one party. The court may also alter the terms of spousal maintenance if it believes the payment agreement would put undue hardship on one party for reasons that could not have been foreseen when the agreement was created.

Valid Agreements

When creating a premarital agreement, it is important that you and your future spouse each have your own legal representation to review the agreement. An attorney can also look over the agreement at the time of your divorce to determine whether it is valid. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you with the creation and enforcement of premarital agreements. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.

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Five Ways You Can Help Your Divorce AttorneyYou hire an attorney during your divorce in order to handle much of the busy work that comes with the process. An experienced divorce attorney can complete the work in a quicker and more comprehensive manner than you could on your own. However, your attorney still benefits from your help and cooperation during the process. Clients and attorneys are most successful in their divorce cases when they are able to work together. Here are five ways that you can help your divorce attorney obtain the best result for you:

  1. Have a Clear Goal: From the first meeting, you should have a basic idea of what you need from your divorce agreement. Most clients want financial stability and parenting time with their children. However, it helps to determine what your specific priorities are in the divorce so you can focus on those issues. Which properties are most important for you to keep? Are there properties you are willing to give up in exchange? Do you want a majority of the parenting time? These are just a couple of the questions you need to answer before starting negotiations.
  2. Disclose Prior Agreements: You should immediately tell your attorney if you have a pre- or postnuptial agreement with your spouse. The agreement may already determine how your property will be divided and whether one of you will pay spousal maintenance. Your attorney can examine the document to determine whether its terms adhere to Illinois divorce laws.
  3. Share Information: Your attorney can do a lot of the investigative work for your divorce on his or her own. However, you can save your attorney time and yourself money by collecting important information in advance. You can assume that your attorney will need to know your current income, financial savings, and properties, as well as the same information for your spouse.
  4. Be Candid: Your working relationship with your attorney should be based on honest and open communication. Do not hide embarrassing information that your spouse may try to use against you during the divorce. Letting your attorney know in advance will allow him or her to prepare a counterargument.
  5. Ask Before Acting: You should immediately talk to your attorney if you have any questions or doubts during your divorce. Do not make any important legal decisions without consulting your attorney first. Your attorney has a strategy for your divorce, and acting on your own may undermine it.

Working Together

A successful divorce settlement relies on both attorney and client being on the same page with each other. A Kane County divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., will work with you to achieve your divorce goals. To schedule a consultation, call 630-789-9090.

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