Call Us for a Consultation

Our Blog

Coping With Divorce: Emotional and Legal Strategies in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Woman trying to take off her wedding ring. coping with divorce

Filing for divorce is often a trying time for spouses. Emotional and legal strategies such as setting boundaries, surrounding yourself with people who care, and working with a skilled lawyer are helpful when coping with divorce.

Woman trying to take off her wedding ring. coping with divorce

Contact Denise Erlich at (630) 538-5331 to talk with an experienced, passionate attorney who understands how stressful divorces are.

Emotional and Legal Challenges Faced During Divorce

Many common challenges, both emotional and legal, arise during divorce.

Common Emotional Challenges

Many people describe their divorces as a roller coaster of emotions. Feelings such as shame, grief, anger, confusion, happiness, and relief are typical, and they can swing from one extreme to the other in seconds.


The end of a marriage is a loss, even if the grieving person wants the divorce and agrees it is for the best. Divorce, even wanted divorces, often represent the loss of future plans and of a love that once was. Let the grief process happen, rather than trying to suppress it.

Anger and Resentment

A normal part of coping with divorce is feeling angry and resentful toward exes. Feelings of betrayal are common. For instance, it can be almost impossible to act or respond well during a divorce. A spouse might seem too willing to agree to the divorce. This could spark feelings of anger and betrayal in the other spouse. If the first spouse tried to argue against the divorce, though, that might make the second spouse feel resentful.


A divorce typically has many contributing factors. It is rare for one spouse to be entirely at fault. This is one reason emotions such as guilt and self-blame occur. For example, some parents may feel guilty about giving up “too soon” for their children, even if they know in their hearts that the marriage could not be saved. Spouses may fret over all these nights they spent working late instead of at home. There are many ways in which people can feel guilty while coping with divorce.


Splitting up can mean losing friends, especially mutual friends. Some people isolate themselves on purpose, especially if they are likely to deal with others’ backlash, pity, or accusations.

Fear and Anxiety

Many divorces go hand-in-hand with uncertainty and a loss of control. Uncertainty could be short term, such as trying to figure out how long a contested divorce takes when one’s ex seems determined to block every aspect of the process.

Longer-term, parents may worry about their children’s happiness and losing time with their kids. Many people are fearful about finances and losing assets they love, such as their home. The path forward may not be clear.

These emotions, plus others, can lead to depression. People may lose interest in hobbies they used to love and feel persistently sad and hopeless. An identity crisis may occur, too. Spouses may find themselves having to reassess who they are, especially if their marriage played a major role in their identity.

Common Legal Challenges

Many people in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, have to deal with the reality of legal challenges, such as asset division and child custody.

Asset Division

Deciding who gets the house, investments, business, cars, and other assets is rarely straightforward. Couples also have to figure out how to divide debts, such as mortgage loans and credit card balances.

Child Custody and Support

For many parents, child custody arrangements are the most emotional parts of a divorce. Even when the adults recognize that children should have quality time with both of their parents (assuming the parents are good caregivers and there is no history of violence), they may disagree on parenting schedules, responsibilities, and who pays for what.

Calculating child support can be relatively easy (or not). Illinois offers guidelines that consider the parents’ incomes and the time the children spend with each parent, among other factors. However, parents have the option of determining child support between themselves and getting a judge to approve their agreement.

Spousal Support

One spouse may seek alimony, whether short-term or long-term. Variables affecting alimony include marriage length, each spouse’s financial resources, and each spouse’s earning abilities.


Dividing assets and paying child support and spousal support can come with tax implications. It’s better to be proactive about them rather than be caught off guard.

How to Cope With Divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Healthy coping strategies can mean a world of difference. Here are some tips on how to get through divorce.

Take Care of Yourself

Accept that you are human and that it’s normal for divorce to impact your mental, emotional, and physical health. Coping with divorce includes approaches such as these.

  • Exercise: Walk, swim, hike, play tennis, or do other physical activities you enjoy. Physical outlets give you something to do. They reduce stress and release endorphins that make you feel better.
  • Get support: Divorce can be much more bearable if you have a divorce support network. Seek out friends, family members, and therapists who can be there for you. For example, making new friends in an exercise class can be wonderful.
  • Go easy on yourself: It’s OK if you have setbacks with your well-being. No one feels healed overnight from a divorce. Your progress may seem slow with a fair share of steps backward. Do your best to keep going in whatever way you can.

Set and Enforce Boundaries

Boundaries help you stay as emotionally intact as possible during a divorce. For instance, maybe you are uncomfortable having a lot of communication with your ex.

You may also need to set personal boundaries with people who are unnecessarily curious about some aspects of your divorce or who are being harshly critical when support is what you need.

Work With a Lawyer

A lawyer takes a lot of uncertainty out of the process. For instance, a lawyer could explain many strategies for dividing assets that make the divorce seem more workable than you thought. Lawyers can also help with emotional support and efficient resolution of the divorce.

Find the Right Legal Representation

The right lawyer can show you how to handle divorce, answer questions, and advise you in many areas. Of course, not all lawyers in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, are going to be right for you. For instance, an uncontested divorce lawyer could be a great choice if both spouses want to work together to reach an amicable resolution customized for their unique situation.

To find the right lawyer, consider your needs and the particulars of your divorce. For example, does the divorce involve children? Does the split seem amicable or contested?

If there is an issue that you want to prioritize, ask lawyers about their experience in that aspect. Child custody is a top concern for many parents. Keeping the house is another thing that many divorcing people care about. Questions you could ask include:

  • How long have you been practicing divorce law?
  • Have you handled cases like mine?
  • When do you recommend mediation or trial?
  • What are your fees and billing practices like?
  • How do you communicate with clients?

Some divorces involve nuances such as domestic violence or emotional manipulation. These issues, among others, can be hard to discuss. However, let the lawyers you are talking to know. For instance, if you suspect your ex stole your identity or is hiding assets, you need a lawyer who knows what to do.

The Role of a Lawyer in Divorce Proceedings

Lawyers can play several roles during divorce proceedings. They explain the outcomes of various paths and their implications. Spouses can make a more educated decision about accepting terms in mediation versus going to court if they fully understand the implications of these choices.

Another important role is representing and advocating for clients as necessary in negotiations, mediation sessions, and court proceedings. For example, with negotiation, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution, lawyers can assist with issues such as asset division and child custody. They advocate for their clients’ interests. Clients are not always in the right mindset to make decisions that are fair to themselves. Coping with divorce is not something you should do alone. You deserve a lawyer who is passionate, respectful, and understanding of your needs. Contact us today for a consultation with Denise Erlich.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Related Blog Posts