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Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney parenting plan

If you are a parent who is planning to divorce in Illinois, you may already be thinking about how you and your spouse will share child-related responsibilities. As part of the divorce process, you will be asked to describe the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time in your “parenting plan” and submit this plan to the court. If the court approves of the plan, the plan becomes a part of the legally enforceable divorce decree. Illinois law lists the issues that must be addressed in a parenting plan, but these are only the minimum requirements. You and your child’s other parent have the option of including additional agreements in the plan as well.

Planning in Advance to Prevent Future Conflict

Most parents have different beliefs, ideas, and strategies when it comes to raising their children. These differences can develop into arguments and legal disputes after divorce. One of the best ways to prevent conflict regarding child custody issues is to create a detailed parenting plan describing each parent’s responsibilities and expectations. The more you agree upon during the creation of the parenting plan, the fewer issues you will need to sort out in the future.


DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce may have been taboo in the past but it is far from uncommon in today’s society. Statistics fluctuate year-to-year, but divorce rates are actually decreasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Illinois had one of the lowest divorce rates in the country in 2017. From 1990 to 2017, Illinois’ divorce rate decreased from 3.8 to 1.9 divorces per 1,000 people. The number of divorces may be decreasing, but the common reasons for divorce have essentially remained the same.


This is one of the most common reasons for divorce because a single action, or a series of them, can break down an entire marriage. Cheating on a spouse often begins as an innocent friendship and eventually transforms into a physical affair. Infidelity usually results in divorce because many couples see this as an act of betrayal that can never be forgotten.


Posted on in Divorce

divorce, at-fault divorce, Illinois family law attorneyAs of now, a married individual in Illinois can seek a divorce on the grounds of his or her spouse’s behavior. Of course, divorces on such grounds have grown relatively uncommon since the introduction of so-called "no-fault" divorce in 1984. Beginning in 2016, however, fault divorces, or those based upon the specific actions of one party will no longer be available in the state, forcing all marital dissolutions to proceed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Current Law

Under the existing provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, there are ten separate reasons upon which a fault divorce may be granted. By petitioning for divorce one of these grounds, the petitioner must show that his or her spouse:


life satisfaction, divorce, Illinois Family Law AttorneyThere have been a number of studies over the years pointing to the negative health impacts related to divorce. Whether emotional health, physical health or both are affected, many such projects identify the stress of a divorce and its aftermath as potential hazards for those who experience it. Despite the research, however, many have maintained that some health risks are worth it if the alternative is remaining in an unhappy or destructive marriage. A new study suggests that this latter group may have been right all along.

Conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado Boulder, the project was recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology. Led by University of Arizona psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa, the study looked at more than 1,600 participants between the ages of 25 and 74. Analyzing both men and women by measuring personality traits, depression, and marital status at intervals approximately 10 years apart, the research team looked to identify trends in health and happiness. The team found that for men, staying married or getting divorced had little effect, if any, on their level of life satisfaction. Women seemed to be much more affected, especially those in low-quality marriages. Compared to women who stayed in poor-quality marriages, those who divorced out of them reported much greater life satisfaction years later. The results also showed that women in good marriages remained happier by staying married, while divorce negatively affected women with slightly below average-quality marriages. According to the researchers, the most important finding of their study is the confirmation that divorce does not represent a negative event for everyone. Such an idea matters not only to counselors and marriage experts, but to unhappily married individuals in low-quality marriages. "Those in the poorest quality relationships may face a variety of negative stressors from which divorce provides a clear relief," the team wrote. Despite their circumstances, the thought of divorce is overwhelming for many people. Just understanding where to start can be extremely difficult, let alone the numerous considerations that must be made throughout the process. Fortunately, help is available. If you feel stuck in a low-quality marriage, divorce may provide you the opportunity to improve your life and start fresh. Contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today at A. Traub & Associates. Our compassionate, caring team understands how difficult a bad marriage can be and is ready to help you build a more hopeful future.

divorce stressThe Illinois Department of Health lists a total of 2,310 divorces and annulments in DuPage County in 2011. This accounts for 18 more than listed the year prior. Divorce is never a pleasant ordeal and can cause a high amount of stress for the thousands of people it affects every year. Undoubtedly, there are a number of factors that can lead to hair loss, including poor nutrition or genetics, but studies have linked stress caused by divorce to hair loss in women.

An article published by U.S. News & World Report shares research that indicates hair loss due to stress from losing a spouse is only second behind genetics as the strongest culprit in females. Health habits may change during divorce proceedings, which may be attributed to increased stress and subsequent hair loss.

Irregular sleep patterns, alcohol and tobacco use, and other unhealthy factors may all affect the stress level of any person dealing with a separation. Divorce also can have an effect on a person’s medical health as well. published research that shows men and women who are divorced have 20 percent more chronic health problems than those who are married, per a study by the University of Chicago and John Hopkins University.


unhappy marriage heart healthIf you are stuck in a bad marriage, you may be suffering from a broken heart – literally. A new study has concluded that there is a link between living in an unhappy marriage and dealing with heart disease.

Previous studies which suggested such a link were all lab-based. This new study, which was funded by the National Institute of Aging and recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, was the first population-representative research to confirm these findings. The research team was made up of sociologists from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

The study examined data collected for the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. The data used was taken over a period of five years from 1,200 married men and women. At the beginning of that project, the ages of participants ranged in age from 57 to 85 years old. Not only did participants answer questions regarding the quality of their marriage, but they were also asked questions regarding their cardio-health and subjected to lab tests over the five years of the project.


Posted on in Divorce
divorce mediationWhen your family is in transition, you need to find a way to bring matters to a conclusion and move on to the next chapter of your life. That is not always easy to do in a divorce or child custody case because there is so much emotion involved and, even for couples who stay together, child rearing issues never really go away. An experienced family law mediator can step in and help. Before we get to the heart of the matter, there is an important preliminary issue. It is very important to seek out an attorney-mediator who is certified in family law. Some other professionals may not understand all the financial, emotional and legal questions involved in Illinois family law matters.


Divorce is expensive. One oft-quoted statistic is that the average divorce costs $15,000. Although the number of extremely costly divorces in America may artificially drive up the average, one thing is certain: divorce is always more expensive than you had originally anticipated. Mediation reduces legal fees. Rather than spending months preparing for a three- or four-day trial, attorneys may spend a few days preparing for a mediation that lasts a few hours. Generally speaking, there is also less pretrial discovery, which means fewer hours that the lawyer must bill on the case.


Court hearings take place in a highly-charged emotional atmosphere. The opposing parties often sit only a few feet away from each other, and events occur in rapid-fire succession. Conversely, most mediations occur in a cluster of conference rooms in an office building where the atmosphere is quite informal. After the parties make their opening statements, they generally retire to separate rooms where there are long moments of inactivity which act as "cooling-off" periods. The parties are more focused on getting things done, and there is very little emotional drama.


Mediation increases compliance. Parties are more likely to follow a mediation order as opposed to one that was handed down by the judge. You may tell your son to clean his room, and maybe he will. But if your son decides for himself that his room is dirty, he’s more likely to clean it. This effect is magnified if, as is often the case, one person has control issues or problems submitting to authority. Mediation does not work in all cases, but it is nearly always worth a try. For a consultation with our experienced Arlington Heights family law attorneys, contact A. Traub and Associates at (847) 749-4182.

unemployment rate divorceThere is encouraging news for Illinois as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) confirmed that the Illinois unemployment rate fell again in August, marking a decline for the fifth consecutive month. Not only is this encouraging news for Illinois, but perhaps even better news for men in the Prairie State. Recently, researchers at Ohio State University published survey results regarding the instance of marital strife due to the unemployment status of married men and the slim prospects for the unemployed single man seeking a marital partner.

Lead researcher Liana Sayer, a professor of Sociology at Ohio State University, worked in collaboration with the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). Sayer and her team followed over 3,600 couples from 1986 to 2003. By using a series of questions, the group gauged how the couples felt about their marriages in general and then further collected data regarding employment and current earnings. Their goal was to determine if financial uncertainty would lead to divorce.

Seventy-five percent of the female participants directly indicated that they would not consider marriage to an unemployed partner. The study further revealed that an unemployed husband faces a higher risk of being sued for divorce by his spouse. Remarkably, the study also alluded that a married unemployed male may also choose to request a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney as financial difficulties increase. With regard to the wives who experienced a layoff, the marriage generally stayed on track.


divorce depressionAs per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), a leading organization dedicated to clinical research, treatment, and cure of mental health disorders, at least 6.9 percent of Americans, as of 2012, have endured a major depressive episode within a 12 month period.

It may not be completely clear as to why depressive episodes present, but research conducted by the renowned Mayo Clinic may shed some light as to why some people are prone to major depressive episodes. Research found some reasons individuals may be more prone to depression include:

  • Biological changes,
  • Brain chemistry alternation,
  • Increase or decrease of hormonal balance,
  • Inherited traits, and
  • Traumatic life event.
Aside from the biological causes, highly stressful events, such as death of a loved one, financial strain or difficulties in a relationship resulting in separation or divorce, may all qualify as a traumatic life event. Although this may be a classic textbook observation, it necessarily does not hold true for all adults.

Recently, the Association for Psychological Science released the findings of a new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science. Findings support that although divorce can significantly increase the risk of a depressive episode for some, others seem to bounce back quickly with little to no long-term symptoms or recurrence of depression.

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.


prenuptial agreementYour wedding day is quickly approaching, but you are wondering if you and your fiancée will maintain composure while discussing your mutually agreed upon premarital agreement.

The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (750 ILCS 10) was enacted in Illinois to provide financial and property protection for those entering marriage. The statute also lays the guidelines of the anticipated union. More often than not, financial protection is the primary reason couples enter into a prenup.

It sounds fairly simple: each individual legally seeks financial protection of real property or financial interests. The prenup is to be drafted in writing and signed by both parties involved. What else do you need to know?


educated wivesPrevious studies have indicated that if a wife has more education than her husband, the more likely she is to get divorced. But a more recent study has concluded that is no longer the case.

All of the prior research had been conducted prior to the 1980’s, when women typically were not equaling or surpassing the education level of men. However, the past few decades have seen quite a change in that trend, and today it is not uncommon for a woman to have reached a higher education level than her husband.

The researchers gathered their data from the National Survey of Family Growth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and examined marriages that occurred between 1950 and 2004. The study, entitled The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution, reveals that although marriages between equally educated spouses have remained the same, when there is a difference in education level, it is becoming more common for the wife to have the most education.


Laughter, laughing, divorce, divorce rate, Illinois divorce lawyerAccording to Fun Trivia, laughing uses 53 of our muscles. Laughter, often revered as the best medicine, involves jiggling our facial, jaw and throat muscles, and ultimately tickling our Zygomatic and Risorius muscles. Did you ever consider that by flexing these 53 optimal muscles you could keep your marriage intact?

A new study conducted by University of Maryland sociologist, Philip N. Cohen, suggests that divorce rates will increase as our economy improves. The reason? Couples can finally afford to seek the services of an experienced divorce attorney to dissolve their marital ties and be financially secure in their decision.

So how could flexing these 53 muscles improve your chances of staying married as the economy improves? Co-authors, Amy Waterman and Andrew Rusbatch of "Save My Marriage Today!" offer the following advice.


divorce papers, serving divorce paperwork, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce attorney,For those residing in Illinois, divorce papers can either be served in person by a spouse, or through a process server. It is best to retain an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to assist you in determining the best option for your situation.  Your attorney will request the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Precipice for Summons with the circuit court to begin the process.  

Illinois state law, Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5),  requires that any defendant of a lawsuit, which includes your spouse if you are the filing party, must be informed of any pending legal action. You must "serve" your spouse with a notice of divorce or service of process.

Illinois has requirements for this process and all must be satisfied before you can move forward with your divorce action. The following is a brief description of state requirements for informing your spouse of the divorce:


adultery, infidelity, divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Arlington Heights divorce attorneyHas the time come to change our western views on adultery and marriage? According to a recent article published by The Huffington Post, perhaps it has. No longer does the act of adultery result in the offending spouse strolling through town with a scarlet letter sewn to her bodice or does the adulterous male receive a good flogging but are we truly ready to alter our thought process when it comes to marital deception?

It is estimated that 30 to 60 percent of all couples in the United States will deal with some form of infidelity at one point in their marriage. David M. Buss and Todd K. Shackelford, University of Texas, Austin, co-researchers responsible for this data, also believe these numbers may be conservative since the act of adultery resulting in divorce can still taint the marital waters with a shade of crimson. Is Adultery Inevitable? Perhaps. As we evolve, marriage has also evolved. We are living longer than previous generations. As the vow states, "till death do us part", but will we remain satisfied with our partners on all levels, emotionally and physically? Or do we tread on dangerous ground resulting in adultery and possibly divorce? East Meets West?

Being married is highly vital to secure one's social status in Eastern culture. Love is not necessarily part of  the marital equation, especially when there is a booming adultery inspired industry. In some eastern cultures, marriage is viewed as vehicle to secure your social standing. Without this collaboration, you could experience difficulty with obtaining employment and the opportunity of climbing both the social and corporate ladder. Clearly a different viewpoint from traditional Western culture.

Evolutionary Thinking? With the continual expansion of the Western melting pot, perhaps differing cultural influences may infuse our long-standing marital philosophy. Perhaps East may meet West for future generations. Will we celebrate a long term marriage as maintaining a strong sense of open communication rather than remaining physically faithful. Will future couples define what is expected and acceptable as terms of a successful marriage? For some the evolution of marriage may not be terms they are willing to accept. For many, infidelity is an issue. It will remain an issue although there is evidence of a lack of marital communication that may have led the offending spouse to his or her decision to stray. Most couples continually cite infidelity as the determining factor of filing for divorce, primarily due to an emotional disconnect from their partner. Luckily for Western culture we still have the opportunity to define our own marital commitment and decide when and why we may choose to dissolve our marriage. The family law team at A.Traub & Associates understands the emotional and financial importance of a divorce for whatever the reason. We will work diligently to ensure an open line of communication as we meet your legal needs and a fair and equitable resolution of your marriage.  Contact us today at 630-426-0196 to learn more about your options and our dedicated legal team.

child of divorce, children of divorce, Arlington Heights family law attorneyNo matter what age children are, divorce can cause them to experience a wide-range of emotions and fears about what will happen to them. Feelings of anger, confusion, sadness and guilt can weigh heavily as a child watches his family fall apart.

Parents can help transition children and ease the impact divorce can have. Here are steps that family counselors recommend parents share with their children:

  • One of the most important things to stress to children is that the divorce is not their fault. Many children think that it is something lacking in them that causes their parents to argue and think if only they were better at school, better in sports, better behaved, etc. It’s also important for children to know that isn’t their responsibility to "fix" the marriage. Details of issues between the parents should not be shared with the children.
  • Children’s feelings are their own and there is no right or wrong way to feel about the divorce. If parents fighting have been a family norm for a long time, children may even feel relief that the marriage is ending. Let them know no matter what they feel, it is okay.
  • Reassure children that both parents love them. Whatever feelings may have changed between Mom and Dad, that doesn’t change how much the parents love the children. And regardless of the fighting that is going on between you and your spouse, try to present a united front to your children.
  • Explain to the children that each parent expresses their love in different ways. Time spent, money spent, trips taken, etc. are ways that children sometime use to measure how much a parent "really" loves them. Sharing with child that these are things that are often determined by time and financial circumstances of the parent and do not reflect how much they are loved.
  • It’s critical for children to know that their relationship with each parent is private and independent. Parents need to respect the child’s relationship with the other parent and should never pry.
Even in the friendlies of divorces, child custody disagreements can turn into major issues that need to be negotiated. If you are considering a divorce, contact an Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what your options may be.
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