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How to Address Divorce with Casual AcquaintancesLike it or not, your divorce is not something you can keep secret for long. You know you need to tell your family and closest friends about it. You may try to avoid discussing it with more casual and impersonal acquaintances, but those people may hear rumors about your divorce or figure out something is wrong. Most people know that it is rude to pry into the personal life of someone who is not a close friend. You can plan how you will respond to people who do ask about your divorce:

  1. Consider the Context: You do not need to tell anyone about your divorce unless you know that it will affect them. For instance, your boss at work may need to know if your divorce will impair your ability to complete your work. Co-workers may need to know if you will be unable to complete your work, but you do not have to tell them that you are getting divorced. People who you do not work or socialize with do not require any notice about your divorce.
  2. Coming Up with a Speech: What do you do if a casual acquaintance asks if you are getting divorced or related questions? There is no reason to lie to them, but you should not have to talk any longer than is necessary to make your point. You may be familiar with the idea of an elevator speech – a brief, rehearsed speech often used when introducing yourself to a business networking contact. You can create an elevator speech for explaining your divorce. The key components of your speech could be confirming your divorce and explaining that you do not want to discuss it any further because it is a private matter. If the person asks if they can help you, tell them that you appreciate their concern and will let them know if you need help.
  3. Sparing the Details: Your divorce elevator speech should not include any details about why you are getting divorced or how the process is going. Very few people need to know this information, and sharing details will likely create an awkward situation. A casual acquaintance may mention that they have gone through a divorce themselves. It is your choice whether you want to continue discussing the general topic of divorce. A co-worker who has gone through a divorce may have good advice on how to balance work and divorce. However, you should still not feel compelled to share details about your divorce while it is still ongoing.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a personal decision that can have public effects. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you manage the stresses of your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

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Four Ways Divorced Moms Can Feel Safe at HomeGetting a divorce may remove some of the security you feel from living with another adult. Single mothers, in particular, may worry about protecting themselves and their children from outside threats, including an abusive former husband in some cases. How much you fear for your safety may depend on where you live and your natural inclination towards fear. There are several actions that single mothers can take after a divorce to help themselves feel more secure:

  1. Update Home Security: An order of protection creates a legal consequence if your former spouse comes to your home but does more to discourage than prevent. To prevent a home invasion by any party, you can install a home security system and get in the habit of locking up your house. You should change your locks and security codes to prevent your former spouse from entering your home without permission. You can also install motion-sensitive outdoor lights to help you see what is going on outside and alert you to movement.
  2. Keep Your Marital Status Private: Your home may be more enticing to potential intruders if they know that only one adult is living there. It increases the likelihood that your home will be unoccupied. Social media makes it easier for strangers to learn about you and your children, including your newly single status and your schedule. Be private with this information by not posting it on social media.
  3. Rely on Your Neighbors: A trusted neighbor is a good resource for both preventing danger at your home and helping you when danger occurs. By developing a relationship, you can ask them to keep an eye on your home and your children if they are home alone. In the event of an emergency, your children can know to seek safety at a neighbor’s home.
  4. Learn About Home Safety and Self-Defense: There are classes that can teach you what to do in the event that someone attacks you or invades your home. Taking a self-defense class can give you the confidence to subdue or evade an attacker. Police can help you create an emergency plan for a potential home invasion, including where you can hide or escape after calling the police.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

You may need to take greater responsibility for the safety of yourself and your children after divorce. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can tell you how your divorce agreement can help keep you safe. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

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Divorce Can Drain Productivity at WorkGoing through a divorce will distract you from your normal work responsibilities. A divorce requires too much time and effort for you to avoid this reality. What you are capable of doing is trying to minimize the effect and preventing it from hurting overall productivity in the workplace. According to research, the average business loses more than $80,000 worth of productivity each year because of employees going through a divorce. You may be able to save some of this lost cost by recognizing how your divorce is affecting your work and taking measures to remedy it.

Cost of Divorce

Your divorce may occasionally force you to be absent from work, which will naturally make you a less productive worker. Some meetings and court dates cannot be scheduled around your work, and you may need to devote more time to your parental responsibilities as a single parent. When you are at work, you may have less energy or be distracted by thoughts of your divorce. Your employers can anticipate a temporary downturn in your productivity and availability. Hopefully, they will understand that this is unavoidable because of your personal situation. However, some employees allow their divorces to hurt workplace productivity in ways that are unacceptable, such as:

  • Being absent without notice;
  • Making mistakes or poor decisions;
  • Not completing work assignments; or
  • Distracting other workers because of their stress or poor attitude.

Solutions

You can help your employers accommodate your needs during your divorce by communicating with them. Let them know that you are going through a divorce and how that may affect your availability. You are likely not the first employee who has divorced, so your employers may know what to expect and how to handle the situation. You can do your part to minimize the effect your divorce has on your employers by:

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How Sexual Assault Charges Affect DivorceSexual assault and rape can exist in the context of a marriage or other relationship. Marriage does not entitle your spouse to have sex with you against your will. Unfortunately, some people do not protect themselves because they do not know it is a crime or they are afraid to lose their marriage. If your spouse is sexually abusing you, you have the right to request an order of protection against your spouse. You should also consider whether you want to divorce your spouse and how your sexual assault allegations may affect the divorce.

Order of Protection

Before you start the divorce process, your first priority is to protect yourself from continued sexual assault and possible retaliation from announcing your decision to divorce. Some victims leave their spouses and find refuge with a family member, friend, or women’s shelter. However, you have the right to force your spouse to leave by filing for an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. The first step is to request an emergency order of protection from the court, which will immediately restrict your spouse from contacting you or your children. The emergency order can last as long as 21 days and can be extended with an interim order of protection. Eventually, the court will hold a hearing to judge the validity of your allegations and determine whether to grant a more permanent order of protection.

Divorce

You can start planning for your divorce after you have received your emergency order of protection. Because Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, your allegations of sexual assault have no bearing on whether the court will grant your petition to divorce. Your divorce will be approved as long as your spouse is served notice of your petition to divorce and you claim irreconcilable differences. Once the divorce process has started, pending or proven sexual assault charges can affect how your divorce agreement is settled:

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Five Common Questions About Divorce MediationMany spouses are turning to divorce mediation as an alternative to the lengthy and costly process of divorce litigation. Mediation involves the two spouses directly negotiating the terms of their divorce, with an impartial mediator guiding them through the process. By working together, the spouses can reach a mutually beneficial agreement without the vitriol that can come with litigation. You may be considering mediation for your divorce but are unsure whether the process is right for you. Here are the answers to common questions about divorce mediation:

  1. Is Mediation Only for Amicable Divorces?: Mediation works best when both spouses can cooperate with each other, but it can still work even if you and your spouse have a contentious relationship. Part of the mediation process is teaching you how to reach an agreement in spite of your differences. The mediator is there to help defuse unproductive arguments. The most important requirement for mediation is your willingness to communicate and behave reasonably.
  2. Is a Mediator the Same Thing as a Divorce Lawyer?: Many mediators are practicing family law attorneys, but their role as a mediator is different than that of an attorney. An attorney represents one side in a case, while a mediator is a third-party observer and advisor to the mediation process. Many spouses share the cost of hiring a mediator, while individually hiring their own attorneys who they can consult with outside of the mediation.
  3. Do I Still Need to Appear in Court?: If your mediation goes well, you will have two court appearances: filing for a dissolution of marriage at the start of the process and submitting your divorce agreement for approval at the end of the process. The court must review your agreement to confirm that it adheres to the state’s divorce laws and is not blatantly unfair to one party.
  4. What Happens If Mediation Fails?: The mediation process will end if you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse on part of your divorce settlement. Your case will likely move directly to litigation afterward. However, the mediation process may not have been a waste if you were able to agree on some parts of your divorce settlement.
  5. Is Mediation Faster and Cheaper than Litigation?: If successful, mediation could be a faster and less expensive process for you. You are saving time by having more-efficient negotiations and avoiding numerous court appearances. Saving time will also save you money on court fees and legal expenses. However, failed mediation could be slower and more costly because you will have used both mediation and litigation.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Mediator

When hiring a divorce mediator, you need to find someone with knowledge of divorce law and training in the mediation process. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce mediator at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can explain the mediation process to you. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.

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