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Lombard divorce attorneysParents who get divorced almost always share the same top concern: how will the divorce affect their children? Divorce is a deeply stressful even for children of all ages to go through. They are losing the only reality they have ever been familiar with and plunging into the unknown. However, there are also many benefits to children when their parents’ divorce, some of which may surprise you.

Decrease in Household Tension May Come as a Relief to Children

Researchers from UCLA looked at 47 studies that connected children’s experiences in tension-filled home environments to later problems in adulthood. The researchers found what many would suspect:  Children that experience high levels of conflict at home had more physical, emotional, and social issues later in life compared to control groups. As adults, those who grew up in homes with intense arguments or feuding parents, were more likely to report vascular and immune problems, depression, substance abuse and addiction, loneliness, and problems with intimacy that those who did not grow up in high-conflict households. Research also shows that it is not only households with a lot of overt aggression or yelling that cause these issues for children. Stonewalling or a parent giving the other the “silent treatment” were also destructive actions with regard to children’s long-term mental health.

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Lombard family law attorneysA divorce, as most people realize, can be extremely stressful for everyone involved. Children commonly have the most difficulty adjusting to all of the changes. Unfortunately, the effects of a divorce may be felt by your child for many years after the process has been completed. There are several ways—including some things you can do right now—to help your child cope with the end of your marriage.

Listen to Their Problems and Worries

Children, just like adults, feel loved and cared for when they know you are listening to them. This is more than just hearing what they have to say. Listening requires you to both be active in showing you understand what they are worried about while withholding any judgments or solutions until after the child is done sharing. Even then, it important to allow your children the freedom to experience their feelings. Attempting to control your child’s emotions or shaming him or her for feeling a certain way is not healthy and can lead to larger problems down the road.

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Illinois family law attorneysThe decision to divorce is not one that is made easily. This is especially true for those that have children who are sure to be impacted by the complex process. To bring awareness to the struggles that children face in divorce and to help parents better understand how they can improve their child’s ability to cope and adjust, The Child of Divorce—an advocacy group for children—has created and recently released an emotional but educational video. The topics discussed in the video are extremely relevant to many families and provide tips that parents can use during their divorce.

A Child’s View of Divorce

Parents are often—and understandably—shaken, troubled, and possibly even shocked by the changes that divorce brings. Children experience many of these very same emotions but in a very different way. They often feel that the very foundation of their world is crumbling. All that was once stable, safe, and secure is changing, and they have no control or say over the matter. Yet they still feel a strong attachment to both parents. When the parties become more focused on “winning,” and less on the emotions and well-being of their children, young ones can feel as though they are being asked to choose. No child should ever be placed in this position.

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyerA divorce can complete reshape a person’s life. In addition to possibly forcing you to live off a single, your divorce may also create concerns regarding child custody disputes, alimony payments, and the challenges of finding a new place to live.

Separated spouses may live in different states, or one spouse may wish to move out of state after the proceedings. If you or your former spouse plans to leave the state, there are several factors to consider. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to postpone the move.

Moving Before and After Filing for Divorce

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyerThe aftermath of a divorce is often the most difficult for the children involved in the process. Children of divorced parents tend to face extreme emotional conflict and upheaval. It is, therefore, imperative for parents to ensure that their children feel loved, supported, and heard. There are four key strategies to keep in mind when trying to help a child understand and navigate divorce.

Discuss Divorce Appropriately

Children need to feel included when major changes impact the family; it is completely unfair and counterproductive to keep them in the dark. If divorce is looming, it should be discussed with the children as soon as possible. Ideally, you will be able to find a quiet, familiar place where everyone can sit down and talk. Children do not need to know all the details involved with the pending divorce. However, they do need to know the basic facts of the situation and these facts should be presented to them in an age-appropriate manner.

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Lombard family law attorneysNot many children get home from school excited to dive right into their homework. Almost every school-aged child has homework assigned at least a few nights per week and many have homework on weekends too. Under the best of circumstances, even the most dedicated students can get burned out. For a child dealing with their parents’ divorce, the issue of homework can become a battleground if the parents do not make the conscious effort to cooperate.

Parents want what is best for their children. In a divorce situation, emotions and stress can sometimes lead a parent to try to establish complete control over the child’s education and assignments. Children may benefit more, however, when both parents agree to each take responsibility, especially when their share custody during the school week. While the specific arrangements of any family situation will be different, there are a few things that divorced parents should strive to offer their children, regardless of whether the children are with Mom or Dad.

Consistency

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyersDivorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. In fact, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, it is the second most stressful live event a person can endure. Divorce and marital separation are higher on the list of stressful events than imprisonment, death of a family member, pregnancy, and getting fired from a job. Many parents considering or currently going through a divorce will understandably worry how this stress will affect the smallest members of their household. 

Children Are Surprisingly Resilient

Approximately, 1.5 million children are faced with this life change every year in the United States. The initial emotional fallout of parental separation may leave children feeling sad, angry, and anxious. They may experience difficulties at school or exhibit behavior changes. However, research from the University of Virginia suggests these negative responses to divorce do not last forever in children. Although children are understandably shaken by their parents’ separation at first, the negative feelings and behaviors are usually gone by after two years.  In further research from Penn State University, children were followed after enduring their parents’ divorce for several years. The children, overall, did not show long-term diminishment in their academic success, emotional health, relationships and self-esteem. 

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parent education, Lombard divorce lawyersAnyone entering the post-divorce world is faced with challenges they might have never guessed they would have to face during their lifetime. Divorce takes its toll on everyone, and parents who share children are dealt an entirely different set of challenges, such as learning how to create and maintain a new, healthy lifestyle for the whole family amidst a life-altering separation.

Due to the fact that divorce has such a big effect on children and families, some counties and states provide parent education classes to help prepare them for the transition. Illinois, for example, is a state that requires divorcing parents take such courses. The idea is to help equip the parents with the tools they need to raise their children in a healthy, positive, stress-free environment during and following the split.

The Benefits

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Posted on in Parenting

fighting, parents Arlington Heights family law attorneyAs a divorced parent, you understand how difficult it can be to deal with your ex-spouse at times. No matter how amicable your split may have been—and may even still be for the most part—you are going to have disagreements from time to time. It is simply a part of life. Perfectly rational adults can have different viewpoints on certain issues, especially when it comes to what may or may not be best for children. Along those lines, you have probably been told that it is always a bad idea to fight in front of the kids; but that may not necessarily be the best advice. In fact, fighting the right way can even offer your children some insight into responsible problem-solving.

Of course, nobody is suggesting that a knock-down, drag-out fight between parents is a good thing for a child to see. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with letting your child witness an occasional—and rational—exchange of differing opinions between you and your ex-spouse. It is important, though, to keep a few guidelines in mind to be sure that your child is not adversely affected in the process:

Set Topical Boundaries

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dating after divorce, impacts of divorce, Illinois family lawyersConsidering all that you have been through during your marriage and divorce, nobody should deny you the opportunity to pursue happiness in your post-divorce life. You have the right to enjoy your new situation to its fullest, and, for many, that may mean starting a new romantic relationship. Casual dating and even a new, serious love interest can be very beneficial for your health and self-esteem following a divorce, but there are some things to keep in mind, especially if you have children.

It May Take Time

While you may have the freedom to pursue dating relationships after your divorce, you may not be ready for it immediately. This, of course, depends on what type of dating you are considering and your own emotional health. If you are ready to casually meet people for dinner and drinks on occasion, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you move directly from your marriage into another long-term serious relationship, you may want to give it a second thought, as you may not have healed yet from psychological impact that is usually inherent in divorce.

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child support modification, support orders, Illinois family law attorneyLaws in every state around the country require a parent to contribute to the support of his or her child, regardless of the relationship with the other parent. In many cases, a formal order requiring financial child support from one or both parents may be necessary and appropriate. As family situations and the needs of the child change, however, the terms of an existing arrangement may need to be updated. For this reason, Illinois law permits parents to seek modifications of a child support order.

Existing Child Support Orders

An order of child support is entered by the court on the basis of considerations that exist at the time of the proceeding. Illinois law, in addition to providing an income-based guideline for calculating the amount to be paid, requires the court to look at a number of circumstantial factors related to the child’s needs and the needs and resources of each parent. The court is tasked with balancing such factors in such a way that creates a sustainable support order that provides for the child while considering the parents’ financial situation and requirements.

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child support, support orders, Illinois Family Law AttorneyThe state of Illinois, like every state, maintains under law that every child is entitled to the financial support of both parents, regardless of the relationship between them. Payment of child support is taken very seriously in the state and failure to meet ordered support obligations can result in significant penalties and wage garnishment. Understanding how the court system calculates expected child support requirement can significantly help a parent better prepare for the challenges ahead.

If you have a child and are divorced from or were never married to the child&s other parent, the law provides the possibility that you may be responsible for paying support. Statutorily, the state may require that both parents pay child support, but for practical purposes, the non-custodial or non-residential parent is most often the only obliged payor. As a non-custodial parent, it is likely that you will be ordered to pay support for your child or children.

Calculation of Support

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divorced parentsThe New Year brings with it lost of promise. Many people set goals for themselves in the form of New Year resolutions. Although sticking to an exercise program, eating healthier, and quitting smoking are all popular and important resolutions to have, one of the most important resolutions you can make as a divorced parent is to make what one family therapist calls the "Divorced Parent Pledge" to ensure a secure and happy life for your child.

Some of the promises a divorced parent can make to their children include:

  • Do not try to make the changes divorce brings to a child’s life sound as if it will all be a new adventure. Acknowledge that a lot of these changes can be scary, and sad, for your child. Validate their feelings. But also reassure that it will all work out and everything will be okay for them.
  • Even if your child repeats something negative about something their other parent says about you or blames you for, do not get into a finger pointing match over it. Do not use your child as a messenger delivery service to keep a feud going with your ex or to deliver child support or alimony checks.
  • If something your child does or says reminds you of the other parent, do not recoil in disgust or negativity. Remember, although your child has traits of both parents, he or she is their own individual. Embrace and love them for that.
  • Whatever visitation schedule you and your ex-spouse have worked out, it is important to allow the child to have some control over their own lives, within reason. Be flexible and try to accommodate those needs your child may have. Spending more time with one parent does not mean your child loves the other parent any less.
  • Do not have important discussions, or disagreements with your spouse, in front of your child. And also be aware that if these discussions are taking place over the phone, and your child is around, there is a strong possibility they are aware there is a disagreement taking place. Do it in private.
  • When you do have to attend events together with your ex-spouse, like school events or sport games, leave the acrimony at home. Your behavior towards each other will have a profound effect on your child’s enjoyment, so make sure the event is about your child and not whether or not you ex-spouse missed a child support payment that week.
  • Remember that at one time, you and your spouse did share good feelings for each other, such as when your child was born. Share those happy and funny stories with your child. Give them something more for their "memory boxes" than only memories of their parents fighting and hating each other.

Divorce is hard and can be devastating for children, especially if there is a child custody battle that is taking place. In these cases, it is critical to have an experienced Lombard divorce attorney representing you, especially if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not putting your child’s needs first.

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois child supportDivorcing your spouse can be difficult. Divorcing your spouse when you have children together can be exponentially more difficult. Separating parents must consider the effects the process may have on their children and how life may be different post-divorce. Arrangements for custody, visitation, and support of the children need to be negotiated and sometimes litigated. While custody and visitation agreements may differ greatly due the circumstances unique to each family, Illinois law provides a guideline that courts are expected to follow when deciding and calculating child support.

Who Pays Support?

Under Illinois law, the court may require one or both parents "to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for the support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct." The law allows for the possibility that the child may reside with someone other than a parent after the divorce, but, in practice, the court will typically require the non-residential or non-custodial parent to pay child support.

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same sex coupleWith more and more states enacting same-sex marriage laws, there will also be same-sex divorces that take place. For many divorcing same-sex couples, child custody will also be a major issue to negotiate.

Many same-sex couples become parents by using either surrogate mothers or sperm donors. For couples who use surrogate mothers, often the surrogate’s eggs are fertilized with one or both of the male couple’s sperm and the baby is then the biological child of one of the spouses. With female couples, often one of the women are impregnated with a sperm from a donor and carries and delivers the baby, making her the biological mother of the child.

A new study has revealed that the biological parentage of children in same-sex relationships has, in the past, played a major role in how the courts are deciding who gets custody of the children. The author of the study, Dr. Abbie Goldberg, found that because there are no definitive laws that protect non-biological parents, they ultimately have no say in whether or not they will be allowed to stay a part of the child’s life that, up until the relationship breakup, they were considered the other parent.

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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 Divorce

daughters divorce IllinoisPast studies have suggested that couples who have daughters are more likely to divorce than couples who have sons. In many research circles, the belief was held that the daughters were actually causing the divorces because fathers preferred sons over daughters and therefore the husbands did not want to stay married to women who did not produce sons. This thought was only confirmed for those researchers when the results of a study from 2003 were published with the following data:

  • Parents who have a daughter are five percent more likely to divorce than parents who have a son.
  • Parents who have three daughters are ten percent more likely to divorce than parents who have three sons.
  • Unmarried couples who are expecting a child are more likely to get married if the child is a boy.

Other researchers who disagreed with the theory that fathers were leaving marriages because of daughters pointed out that in 73 percent of marriage breakups, the wife initiates the divorce, not the husbands.

However, a new study from Duke University just may have discovered the answer to why the divorce numbers are higher for marriages with daughters. According to the study, the correlation between daughters and marriages may actually be occurring before the child is even born and is the result of female embryos being stronger and hardier than male embryos.

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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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dating after divorce, children of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Lombard divorce attorneySounds a bit strange, does it not? You are an adult, you have been married and you have been divorced. Currently you are on your own and now feel you are ready to take a chance on dating. Be prepared; your children may not be supportive of your decision.

According to Constance Ahrons, Ph.D, family therapist and author of "The Good Divorce" and "We’re Still Family," your decision to begin dating, no matter how long after divorce, is probably going to be received by your children with chilly resistance. It may also stir up a whole new cauldron of feelings for your offspring. In fact, your decision to begin dating may even be as traumatic an event as the divorce.

So how do you approach the subject? Try the following these tips and remember you are an adult and you are capable of making an informed decision.

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