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social media advice for DadsSocial media is pretty much inescapable these days. Whether you are sharing photos on Instagram, commenting on a friend’s posts on Facebook, retweeting jokes or memes, or liking videos on TikTok, you probably spend a good portion of every day interacting with others through phones or computers. This type of connection has arguably become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, since it gives people who are staying at home a chance to stay in touch with friends and family members that they can’t currently visit in person.

While you may be used to spending time on social media on a daily basis, you may need to change those habits if you are going through a divorce. As you work to resolve legal issues related to child custody, property division, and other aspects, you will want to be careful about what you say and do online. Here are a few tips to follow when using social media during the divorce process:

  1. Change your account passwords - You may have shared computers, tablets, or other devices with your spouse during your marriage, and this means that she may still have access to different social media accounts you have used. By updating your passwords, you can ensure that your ex cannot access your private information. You can also eliminate the possibility that she will attempt to harm your relationships or reputation by making inappropriate posts or comments in your name.
  2. Treat all messages as if they were public - Even if you make your accounts private or only communicate online with friends and family members you can trust, it is possible that any messages you send or information you share could be made public. A mutual friend could pass along your posts to your spouse, or private messages could accidentally be shared in a variety of ways. While your divorce is ongoing, it is best to avoid sharing or posting anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse (or her attorney) to see.
  3. Don’t share information that could be used against you - Even if you normally share details about your life online, you should be very careful about doing so during your divorce. Posts that you think are harmless could be taken out of context and used as evidence in court. For example, a picture of you holding an alcoholic drink at a party could be used to argue that you have a drinking problem and that your parenting time with your children should be restricted. 
  4. Save your complaints for offline - You may be angry about the end of your marriage, but venting about your spouse, your relationship problems, or the divorce process on social media is usually not a good idea. Getting through your divorce will require you to cooperate and compromise with your spouse, and she will be less likely to want to work with you if you have made disparaging public comments about her. When reaching agreements about child custody, you will need to show that you can work together with your ex to provide for your children’s best interests. Angry online comments could be used as evidence that you will be unable to cooperate, and this could have a negative impact on child custody decisions.

Ask Your Attorney About Any Concerns

While you can control how you use social media, you may find that your spouse or other family members who are involved in your lives are acting inappropriately in ways that affect you or your children. In these cases, you can consult with a divorce lawyer to learn what steps you can take. Your attorney can make sure your rights are protected during the divorce process, and they can help you reach an outcome to your case that will allow you to move forward with your life and be a great father to your kids.

Myths about child custody and child support for dadsIt has been a commonly repeated idea for decades that women generally receive custody of children more frequently than men do. There are several reasons why this has been historically true. However, societal perceptions and state laws are both changing, and in most cases, these changes are to the benefit of the children. There is a significant amount of misinformation that persists when discussing the rights of fathers, and it is important to understand why some particularly pervasive myths are just that—myths.

Myth: Fathers Almost Never Get Custody

It depends on the applicable definition of “never,” but generally, this is untrue. The most recent available Census statistics show that fathers represent around one in five custodial parents—an improvement over the 16 percent of custodial parents reported in 1994. However, studies indicate that dads simply do not ask for custody as often as mothers do, and courts generally do not award what is not asked for in that regard.

A Massachusetts study examined 2,100 fathers who asked for custody and pushed aggressively to win it. Of those 2,100, 92 percent either received full or joint custody, with mothers receiving full custody only 7 percent of the time. Another study where 8 percent of fathers asked for custody showed that of that 8 percent, 79 percent received either sole or joint custody (in other words, approximately 6.3 percent of all fathers in the study). 

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Downers Grove uncontested divorce lawyerAs everyone knows, divorce is not easy. If you are looking at the potential end of your marriage, this most likely means that your relationship with your spouse has broken down to the point where you no longer want to be together. This is probably not something you planned for, and you may both be feeling some pain and anger about the situation. However, this does not mean that your divorce has to turn ugly, and you may want to do everything you can to reduce conflict and finish the process quickly while avoiding major arguments and huge legal fees.

Fortunately, you have options for getting through your divorce while maintaining an amicable relationship with your spouse and cooperating with each other as much as possible. If you and your spouse are on the same page about these goals, you may be able to complete the divorce process much more easily and reach an outcome that you are both satisfied with.

It is important to remember that even if you are committed to avoiding conflict, you will want to work with an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer who can help you make the right decisions. Letting your attorney know your plans and goals will make sure they can help you protect your rights and resolve matters in a way that will allow you to move on from your divorce successfully.

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St. Charles father’s rights attorneyToday’s fathers are often much more involved in raising their children than those from previous generations. Married couples or unmarried parents are more likely to share in family responsibilities, and in many cases, both partners work full-time jobs, make decisions together, and cooperate on chores and household tasks. Unlike the stereotypical dads of the past who left most child-related duties up to moms, modern fathers will often play a vital role in caring for their children.

Unfortunately, when married parents choose to get a divorce or unmarried parents decide to separate, many dads feel that their role as a parent is minimized, and they may struggle with concerns that they will not be able to continue to be closely involved in their children’s lives. After years of changing diapers, making sure kids are properly fed and clothed, attending children’s activities and doctor’s appointments, helping with homework, and myriad other parental responsibilities, fathers will want to keep up this level of involvement and be the great parent their children deserve.

If you are getting divorced, or if you are an unmarried parent who needs to address the custody of your children, you will want to be sure you take the right steps to protect your father’s rights. By working with a Kane County family law attorney, you can gain a better understanding of your rights as a parent, the decisions you will need to make, and the best ways to reach an outcome that will provide for your children’s best interests. Some of the issues that you may need to consider include:

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Alimony attorneysIf you’re considering divorce or are planning to end your marriage, you may need to prepare for the possibility that you will have to pay financial support to your spouse. On the other hand, you may be able to receive this type of support if you earn a lower income than your spouse. These payments may be referred to as alimony, spousal maintenance, or spousal support, and they are usually paid by a spouse who earns a significantly higher income than their former partner. Understanding whether spousal support will play a role in your divorce can help you make sure you will have the financial resources you need as you move on to the next stage of your life.

How Is Alimony Determined?

The purpose of spousal support is to make sure that once a divorce is complete, both spouses will be able to continue living at the standard they were used to during their marriage. In some cases, each spouse will be able to support themselves on their own income, and alimony won’t be necessary. However, if one spouse earned the majority of the family's income, or if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent, spousal maintenance may be awarded to ensure that the lower-earning spouse can meet their needs.

The spouse who expects to receive alimony will usually need to make the case that these types of payments are needed. Depending on the laws in your state, a judge may look at different factors to decide whether to award spousal support. They may consider each spouse’s ability to earn an income and support themselves, whether one spouse remained out of the workforce or gave up career opportunities so they could take care of family responsibilities, whether one spouse helped the other further their education or career, and the amount of time a spouse may need to obtain education or training, seek employment, and become self-supporting.

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Protect your health during divorceEveryone handles their divorce differently — maybe you’re grieving with the help of a large bag of potato chips or with a few beers and some friends. Getting through a divorce can be especially difficult for men, as they tend to avoid discussing emotions or seeking help from others. This is especially true in the midst of a pandemic when hanging out with friends or going to a bar are no longer on the table. Not all guys are going to be open to getting in touch with their feelings, so it can be hard to find other outlets for staying healthy, both mentally and physically. Though COVID-19 may be limiting your ability to spend time with family and friends, there are other ways you can come out on the other side of your divorce happy and healthy.

Avoid Overindulging

This is a challenge for everyone at the moment, whether single, married, or in the middle of a divorce. Now that “going to work” consists of sitting in your home with your laptop and a pair of sweatpants, it’s easy to allow yourself to indulge a little too much. Easily accessible snacks, sugary drinks, and alcoholic beverages after work can quickly become your go-to. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to take advantage of these unique circumstances and enjoy yourself, but you may not notice how much is being added to your waistline before it’s too late.

Consistency is Key

The term “consistency” can seem impossible in the middle of a global pandemic. This is especially true if your “normal” has been completely turned upside down due to your divorce. You’ll need to create your new normal in both your professional and your personal life. Try settling on a schedule that you can follow on a daily basis for the next few months. Whether this involves a workout in the morning or time set aside for new hobbies, having a schedule can help you feel more in control and less concerned with the minor details of your daily life.

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Divorce during COVID-19The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on all of our lives. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by an infection, you’ve probably had to deal with inconveniences due to being required to stay at home or maintain social distancing. In the worst cases, people have lost their jobs, been unable to make rent or mortgage payments, or suffered devastating losses due to the illness or death of family members. Along with all of these other concerns, many people’s marriages have been pushed to the breaking point or beyond due to the stresses and difficulties they are experiencing. If you’re considering getting divorced, you may need to deal with some issues and concerns that you wouldn’t have to address in other circumstances. During the divorce process, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

  1. Figure out how to separate while sharing a home - Moving out of your home and finding new living arrangements might be difficult right now. Due to concerns about infections, you may not want to visit potential new houses or apartments, or you may simply be unable to afford to move because of your financial situation. However, sharing a home with your spouse might seem impossible when your relationship has broken down. You may want to agree that each of you will mostly stay in your own separate areas of your house, and you could create schedules for when each of you will use shared areas such as the kitchen or family room. By figuring out how to make things work while you continue to live together, you can avoid conflicts and arguments and decrease stress during an already difficult time.

  2. Determine court procedures - Currently, many courts have closed or are operating at limited capacity to avoid spreading infections. However, courts will typically be able to address emergency issues, such as domestic violence or orders of protection, if the need arises. As you proceed with the divorce process, you’ll need to understand how procedures might have changed. In some cases, courts might hold virtual hearings, allowing you to address matters without actually entering the courtroom. Your divorce lawyer can help you understand what steps you’ll need to take as you go through the divorce process.

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Parenting time tips for divorced fathersFor many divorced fathers, transitioning from married life to single fatherhood can be difficult, and this change can be hard on children too. If you and your kids are used to spending time together every day, you might struggle to adjust to being with them only part of the time. However, this doesn’t mean your relationship with your kids will need to suffer. By focusing on your children’s needs and staying connected with them, you can make sure the parenting time you have is a positive experience for everyone. Here are some tips getting the most out of the time you spend with your children after your divorce:

  1. Maintain consistency - Kids do best when they have regular schedules and routines in their daily lives. While you and your ex won’t necessarily need to follow the same schedules in both of your homes, you can do your best to stay consistent in how you handle things when your kids are with you. Your children will be comfortable in your home if they know when they can expect to eat meals, do homework, go to bed, get up in the morning, or any other regular activities.

  2. Keep kids informed - You can help your kids transition between your and your ex’s households by making sure they know which days they will be at which parent’s home. Using a calendar to mark the days they will spend at each home will make sure they know what to expect, and giving them reminders before they go to the other parent’s home can make sure they are prepared to make the transition. If there will be any changes to the parenting time schedule, tell your kids in advance so they are not disappointed about these adjustments.

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Dads and child-related disputes during divorceThe divorce process is pretty rough for everyone, but it can be especially difficult for dads. No matter how involved you are in your kids’ lives, you’re probably going to feel like you’re at a disadvantage, since people tend to think of moms as the parents who are most focused on taking care of children. Fortunately, the divorce laws in most states recognize that both parents are equally important, and this means you should be able to share in the responsibility of raising your kids and have reasonable amounts of parenting time with them.

During your divorce, you and your ex will work to create a parenting agreement that will address all legal issues related to your children. If you can’t reach an agreement on some or all of these issues, your disputes may need to be settled in court, where a judge will make decisions for you based on what is in your kids’ best interests. To ensure that your parental rights will be protected when these decisions are made, you’ll want to take the following steps:

 

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Adultery and divorce issues child custody alimonyFew things are more hurtful than realizing that your marriage is coming to an end because your spouse has cheated on you. In these cases, you’re likely to feel a great deal of sadness and betrayal, as well as anger about how your impending divorce will affect your children and anxiety about the changes you’ll be experiencing in your life. All of these feelings can seem overwhelming, and you might want to lash out at your spouse for bringing this turmoil into your family’s lives. However, as you proceed with the divorce process, you’ll want to take a step back, consider things from a legal perspective, and understand how infidelity will affect the decisions made.

Addressing Adultery When Filing for Divorce

Depending on the laws in your state, you may or may not need to address infidelity when filing a petition for divorce. Some states recognize fault-based grounds for divorce, allowing a person to state that their marriage has ended because of adultery or other actions taken by their partner. However, most states allow for “no-fault divorce” in which a person simply needs to state that the marriage has failed due to “irreconcilable differences,” and in some states, this is the only option available. While you may feel that you should make it understood that your spouse’s infidelity is the reason your marriage has ended, blaming her for your divorce could make the process more contentious, leading to disputes that take a great deal of time and money to resolve.

Infidelity and Financial Issues

If you believe that your spouse is to blame for the end of your marriage, you may feel that she should be penalized or that matters related to finances should be decided in your favor. However, most state laws do not take adultery or other forms of marital misconduct into account when addressing matters such as the division of marital property. In most cases, assets and debts that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage will be divided in a way that is fair and equitable. However, if your spouse dissipated or wasted marital assets when committing adultery, such as by spending money to buy gifts for her lover, this could affect the decisions made about how property will be divided.

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