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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyerMost of the time, when two people want to get divorced, they simply inform the other person by having a copy of the papers served upon them, usually by hand delivery. However, there are some very rare situations when the spouse cannot be located. When that happens, a suitable alternative must be found. The answer in Illinois and many other states is called divorce by publication.

A “Good Faith Search”

In all cases, your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must be informed of your desire and intention to file for divorce. However, if they have moved or are trying to avoid you and have left no forwarding address, the normal methods of mail or hand delivery are impossible. Yet it is contradictory to public policy to demand that two people remain married when they are not even living together and all communication has broken down. Publication is generally the best possible chance for your information to reach your absent spouse.

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Lombard family law attorneysUsually, when a couple decides to divorce, the court prefers that the spouses create their own divorce agreement dealing with subjects like maintenance and child support. More often than not, couples are able to agree on these subjects and a divorce decree can be approved by a judge with minimal court intervention. However, there are cases when the agreement will be denied, and either the couple will need to fix a few things or the court will have to make a ruling in accordance with the current law.

Unconscionability

Illinois law holds that an agreement to divorce must not be unconscionable. Unconscionability is a doctrine dealing with contracts that prohibits terms that are so grossly unfair or skewed in favor of one party that it shocks the conscience. While this applies to all contracts, it is seen fairly often in divorces. The aim of a divorce settlement is to leave both spouses with the tools they need to live independently, and sometimes people create agreements that do not meet that criteria, whether they realize it or not.

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard family law attorneyIn many divorce cases, the concept of marital misconduct is often discussed, if only to underscore the fact that any evidence of it is not applicable to most divorce-related discussions. While Illinois law expressly excludes it from playing a role in issues like property division, it is still important to understand exactly what constitutes marital misconduct and what is simply a difference of ideology or opinion between you and your spouse.

Marital Misconduct and Divorce

Marital misconduct is generally defined in the law as conduct of any kind that has helped erode the marriage. This can take many different forms, from the wasteful spending of marital money to adultery to domestic violence. In many states, this kind of conduct can have a negative effect on a spouse’s portion of the marital assets as well as on the amount of parenting time granted to them. The rationale behind such decisions is that someone who shows flagrant disregard for the marriage and its benefits should be entitled to less in a divorce.

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Lombard divorce lawyerOver the past decade or so, one of the more common scenarios that have emerged in family courts across the country is where one or both spouses who are going through the divorce process make the decision to represent themselves instead of hiring an attorney. This is known as a pro se divorce.

Going Through It on Your Own

Couples who decide for forgo the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney may do so for a number of reasons, including:

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Lombard mediation attorneysDivorce is typically a time of increased stress and emotions for the couple splitting. When we are emotionally wounded, we have a tendency to lash out against the person who caused the damage. Some events that happen throughout the course of a divorce have the proclivity to leave lasting emotional wounds to those involved. As adults, we have a better understanding of what is happening and why, but when children are involved, the situation changes. The impact of what happens during a divorce could last for decades or even a lifetime. Many divorcing spouses now seek alternative solutions as a means of protecting their children. One such method is mediation.

What is Mediation?

Even after years of marriage, it is possible just to realize that this is not what you truly want for your life. You and your spouse may have irreconcilable differences, and you just do not “mesh” well together anymore. That is absolutely okay and it does not make either of you any a bad or unlovable person. For situations such as these and others in which the splitting pair are able to maintain a civil relationship, mediation is a viable alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. Instead of heading straight to a courtroom armed with your own personal attorney, divorce mediation allows an opportunity for spouses to come together in a private location with a neutral third party—a mediator—and settle the divorce on their own terms.

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Lombard divorce attorneysWe have all heard the phrase “love is blind.” Many of us have even fallen victim to it ourselves. It is not uncommon for a person, when he or she first falls in love, tend to only see their partner’s good points while ignoring their faults and evident warning signs. This is likely to be a contributing factor to many divorces, especially for couples who marry after only knowing each other a short time.

Such is often the case for people who marry someone, only to find out later that their spouse is a “gold digger.” The word gold digger refers to a person who begins a romantic relationship or marries a partner because the partner is wealthy or well-connected. These relationships are also referred to as romance scams. Although it is common to think that only women are gold diggers, there are many cases in which men are just as guilty.

Know the Warning Signs

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard family law attorneyA divorce, as most people are aware, can be a nasty, volatile affair. Parties who were once so in love that they agreed to spend the rest of their lives together can quickly become fierce rivals who can no longer stand to be in the same room as one another. Each aspect of such a divorce becomes a small battle in the war to see who will “win” in the end.

Many who are considering divorce fear that their situation will deteriorate to similar levels of contentiousness and hostility. The reality, however, is that divorce does not need to be this way. Rather, it is possible for a couple to end their legal marriage while remaining civil, respectful, and even somewhat friendly throughout the process.

Redefining Winning

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Lombard divorce lawyersOften when people hear the term mediation in the realm of divorce, they automatically think of the tense arguments and conflicts that typically surround the end of a marriage. While disagreements can certainly turn ugly in the midst of divorce, many marriages actually end civilly and peacefully, with minimal conflict between spouses.

However, for those who are having a difficult time seeing eye to eye on certain issues, tension can arise and the challenge to come to a settlement can create a very bumpy transition for the entire family. This is where divorce mediation in family law comes in. Mediation has a number of advantages, but it is particularly helpful in a number of ways.

Better Communication

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divorce agreement, negotiation, Illinois divorce lawyersA marriage can legally end in just two ways, and both are incredibly difficult experiences. The first is by the death of either spouse, and, of course, the death of a loved one is always challenging. The second, as you probably realize, is divorce, or the dissolution of the marriage, according to the law in Illinois. For many, divorce is no less traumatic than a loved one’s death, and can even be made worse by months of intense fighting and brutal courtroom litigation. There is, however, an alternative to a hotly contested divorce process and, while still not necessarily easy, negotiating the terms of your divorce agreement outside of court may be the best solution for all parties involved.

What Can We Negotiate?

The laws governing divorce in Illinois are contained primarily in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The IMDMA is a comprehensive set of statutes that covers, often in great detail, the responsibilities of each divorcing party, as well as those of the court, for most matters of family law. Regarding divorce agreements, the IMDMA specifically acknowledges that a negotiated agreement promotes the "amicable settlement of disputes between parties to a marriage." It goes on to specify that such an agreement may contain terms regarding spousal maintenance, the division of property, the allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support.

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equitable property divisionIllinois, like the majority of states in this country, is not a community property state when it comes to dividing up the marital estate during a divorce. Instead, the decision is based on "equitable distribution" of a couple’s assets. Equitable distribution does not mean assets are split in half, with each spouse receiving 50 percent. Instead, it is the court who decides what an equitable and fair division is.

In some cases, spouses are able to negotiate an agreement between themselves, or with the help of their attorneys, and the judge’s signature is a formality needed to make the agreement legal. In many other cases, however, a judge is the one who makes the decision of what is an equitable distribution based on the evidence each spouse introduces into trial.

There are several factors a judge will consider when making his or her decision. These factors include:

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Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage

Planning on petitioning for a divorce or dissolution of marriage depends on which state you call home. If you are an Illinois resident consulting with a qualified divorce attorney under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) the proper terminology is the dissolution of marriage.

For Illinois and fellow dissolution states, the view on marriage is a legal contract between two people, and filing for divorce is the act of legally requesting the dissolution of a contractual agreement.

Since divorce procedural law is not governed at the federal level, individual state law requirements are enacted and expected to be strictly followed. After consulting with your Illinois divorce attorney, you will become well-versed in Illinois dissolution law as it pertains to your personal situation. Discussions involving the discovery and division of marital assets, continual maintenance (alimony), child support and visitation will be addressed as you move through the dissolution process.

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Divorce Effects on Children Juvenile LawThe ramifications of divorce can be numerous, especially if there are adolescent children involved. The psychological effects of divorce during the developmental years can often leave unresolved issues as your children approach their teens and even adulthood. As a parent how you handled the divorce process by ensuring your children had your support and understanding may have not been enough, especially when it comes to your adolescent engaging in risky behavior.

A teen and parent relatable webpage, created by undergraduate student, Ben Beary of Northern Illinois University, under the guidance of J. Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D., School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University not only states the obvious, 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. result in divorce.  Also it reiterates that adolescents of divorced families are more likely to experience academic and psychological problems often leading to risky behavior outbreaks.

If you recently divorced and have noticed an increase in undesirable behavior in your son or daughter and legal issues arise, you may require the services of an experienced family law attorney to assist with navigating through the Illinois juvenile system. How do you help your child on a personal level?

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Posted on in Children

how divorce affects childrenMultiple studies have all concluded the same thing: divorce is bad for children. But that is not to say that parents should stay together "for the sake of the children" since other studies have shown that can be just as emotionally damaging to children as well.

However, being aware of how children are negatively affected by divorce may help parents navigate the child through the healing process with as little emotional impact as possible. The following are some of the more recent studies over the past several years that have revealed some of the negative effects of divorce on children:

  • A study conducted last year by the University of Toronto found that children of divorced families begin smoking in much greater numbers than children with married parents. Women from divorced families were 39 more times more likely to begin smoking before they turned 18 years old and men were 48 percent more likely to begin smoking. There were 19,000 American people who participated in the survey.
  • Another study conducted at the University of Alberta concluded that children who came from divorced families had a greater chance of being prescribed Ritalin than children who live in households with both parents. The study looked at 5,000 children who were not on Ritalin and lived in two-parent households. Over a six year period, 13.2 percent of the children had their parents divorce. Almost half of those children were prescribed Ritalin, compared to only 3.3 percent of children whose parents were still together.
  • In 2011, the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded in their study that children who come from divorced homes often fall behind other children in social skills and math scores. They are also more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and stress.
  • A 2005 study at the University of Utah found that children who come from divorced homes are more likely, as adults, to get divorced themselves. Researchers found that if one spouse had parents who had divorced, the couple was twice as likely to have a failed marriage. If both spouses had experienced their parents divorcing as children, then the odds that they would get divorced tripled.
If you are considering a divorce and are looking for an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney, contact A. Traub and Associates for a consultation today.

joint custody after divorceDivorce is painful, sometimes unexpected, financially and emotionally draining and, most often, difficult on the children involved. Fortunately, the concept of shared joint custody between two responsible parents is on the rise.

For those residing in Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) recognizes joint custody as one of the two basics forms of child custody, the other being sole custody.

When it works well, joint custody permits continuing involvement of both parents in the lives of their children, providing them with a more encouraging outlook for the future.

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Posted on in Divorce

online divorce, DIY divorce, Lombard divorce attorney, Lombard divorce lawyer, IllinoisWith the advancement of the internet, it is possible to enjoy all the goods and services we have become accustomed to without ever leaving home. We can order our groceries, style a new wardrobe, do our banking, pay bills and chat with our doctor all from the convenience of our homes. However, the internet does not make us all experts on everything. It is not recommended that you file for divorce online, where scams and false information can be common.

If you are contemplating divorce, the American Bar Association hosts an informative research page providing answers to frequently asked questions and a divorce term glossary. Reputable sites can be helpful but beware of lesser sites offering a quick and affordable online divorce options.

Websites offering you a quick, affordable online divorce can prove perilous for the following reasons:

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Posted on in Divorce

spousal support, alimony, spousal maintenance, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyUnder the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, an ex-spouse may be entitled to spousal support. Under section 504 of the law, it states, ". . . the court may grant a temporary or permanent maintenance award for either spouse in amounts and for periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, in gross or for fixed or indefinite periods of time. . ."

There are several factors a judge looks at in deciding whether or not to grant spousal support. Some of the criteria include the following:
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The present and future earning capacity of the spouses;
  • The standard of living the parties had while married;
  • The length of time it will take for the spouse seeking spousal support to obtain training and establish themselves professionally; and
  • Any prior agreement the couple may have had.
In rare circumstances, a permanent spousal support (spousal maintenance) order is granted. When granting a maintenance order, a judge will usually set a time limit on how long the payments will be received. Depending on how long the order will be in effect, the law also allows for periodic review and/or modification if needed. Certain circumstances will put an end to spousal support payments if they occur before the deadline decided by the judge. The death of either spouse automatically stops all maintenance. Remarriage of the spouse receiving the payments also puts an end to the support. As outlined in the statute, "the party receiving maintenance cohabits with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis," is not as black and white as death and remarriage. In many cases, the spouse receiving the spousal support doesn’t volunteer that they are living with someone, nor do they admit they are when pressed by the spouse who is paying the support. Instead, the spouse making the payments has to provide proof to present to the court. There are certain key signs that point to cohabitation. Financial interdependencies between the ex-spouse and their significant other can help build a strong case to stop support payments. Do they share a home, food, utility bills and household responsibilities? Also look at how close they are as a couple and how they present themselves to the public, including involvement with each other’s children. If you were ordered to make spousal support payments in your divorce, but suspect that your ex-spouse is cohabitating with someone else, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney to find out what steps you may be able to take to have the support order stopped.

children of divorce, Lombard, Illinois, divorce attorney, family lawyer in IllinoisYou are thinking of meeting with a divorce attorney and wonder what impact your decision will have on your children. You understand the tension and uneasiness blanketing the house may soon dissipate and you and the kids can settle into a more harmonic routine. You worry a bit about how the kids will handle the absence of their other parent, but take some comfort in their resiliently. You are not expecting any changes in their behavior as all things fall into place.

Researchers, Daniel S. Shaw and Erin M. Ingoldsby of the University of Pittsburgh disagree. These colleagues have researched the conceptualizations of the impact of divorce on children and how they tend to adjust to the overall situation. By highlighting sections of their Children of Divorce you may gain a better understanding of the behaviors on the horizon as your children adjust to the new family dynamics. Externalization Problems

This is the most consistent finding when it comes to how a child may process the situation and brings to the surface personal difficulties with delinquency, aggression and disobedience.

Internalization Problems

Although this is less compelling than the evidence of externalization issues, research suggests difficulties are more common in girls than their male counterparts. Female children of divorce are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and personal feelings of distress.

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illinois divorce attorney tipsDivorce often results in a series of challenging lifestyle changes. Aside from dealing with the loss of your marriage, you may be facing the most difficult challenge of all – the loss of your family home.

For those residing in Illinois, marital property encompasses all property acquired during the course of the marriage and mandates equal distribution of all marital assets.

The final determination could have you seeking alternative living arrangements. With the possible sale of your home out of your hands, an apartment search can turn into a therapeutic way to start anew by downsizing your life, post-divorce.

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Posted on in Child Custody

When a person is in a situation in which he or she does not know the father of a child, many questions and concerns arise. Although the mother is more likely to know who the father is, she may not always know, and a father may not believe that he is or is not the father.

 Father and son- your family law attorney can help you with paternity questions.A simple fix to the solution is to get a paternity test. Some parents choose to do this before the child is born and others choose to wait until after the birth. Sometimes, parents just choose to believe that someone is the father even though they are not completely sure. Once a test is complete, though, many people still have questions.

The American Pregnancy Association took the time to answer a few questions about paternity tests:

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