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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in children of divorce

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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latchkey kid, single parent, parenting, Illinois family law attorney, divorce attorenyLatchkey kids. For many, these children live in single family homes either due to divorce or explanatory absence of one parent. The concept of latchkey kids dates back to World War II, when fathers left to serve and mothers entered war effort industries. Often awarded a key, dangling from a piece of string placed around their necks, latchkey kids arrived at an empty home and waited for mom to finish her shift. World War II moms often opted for the swing shift, requiring them to lock the door and slip off to work while their children slept. The country realized this was an issue, and promptly set up community centers where Latchkey Kids could safely await mom’s arrival.

These types of programs ended shortly after the war, leaving Americans still wondering how to work, support families and ensure the safety of their children. Sixty-nine years later, latchkey kids remain a societal issue of today’s generation.

Home Alone Act II

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shared custody, joint custody, sole custody, child custody, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family lawAccording to a new study, there is a growing trend of shared child custody, with fewer courts awarding sole custody of children to the mother.

The study was done by researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The team examined the data from Wisconsin family courts from 1988 until 2008. They looked at more than 10,000 divorce cases.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, very few custody arrangements involved shared custody. Instead, the mother was typically awarded sole physical custody with the father awarded visitation, or parenting time.

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children of divorce, life after divorce, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyAccording to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, children whose parents are divorced may suffer from low math test scores. The study also revealed that divorce may hamper the development of interpersonal skills in children, as well as cause children to struggle with low self-esteem, sadness, loneliness and anxiety.

The results of the study indicate that children do not suffer with these issues before their parents’ divorce, despite what the home situation is. These problems tend to appear after the breakup has already occurred.

Author of the study, Hyun Sik Kim, studied data provided by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. The study tracked 3600 students from kindergarten through fifth grade, beginning in 2008.

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divorce finances, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce attorney, divorce settlement, division of propertyAlthough going through a divorce can be a very emotional time, it’s important to keep divorce finances in mind in order to protect both your future and your children’s future. Financial analyst Suzanna de Baca offers these financial tips for people who are going through a divorce:

Do not give too much away in the divorce settlement.

Negotiating with your spouse over property and assets can turn acrimonious. The constant arguing and conflicts can be emotionally draining, causing many people to "surrender" and end up walking away with less than an equitable amount – just to stop the fighting. It’s important to protect your financial future, so de Baca suggest working with both your attorney and a financial planner to ensure you receive a settlement that is in your best interest.

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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.

parenting, children of divorce, parenting styles, Illinois divorce lawyer, reason for divorce, life after divorceOne of the biggest disagreements that can occur that parents have after a divorce is differences in parenting styles and boundaries. What’s acceptable at Mom’s house is forbidden at Dad’s – or visa-versa.

Issues such as bedtimes, appropriate television shows and the amount of television watched, video games and diet are just some of the areas where co-parents may disagree. There are ways to navigate frustrations that may crop up, which is especially important for the emotional well-being of the child. Remember to keep in mind that sometimes children play parents against each other in an effort to get the rules stretched. If your child says that they are allowed to do something at the other parent’s house that you don’t allow – for example staying up very late on a school night - check with the other parent to see if that activity is allowed on a regular basis or if it was just a one-time event. If you find out that there are things you disagree with that are allowed at the other parents house, don’t react angrily about it with your child. Calmly explain that the rules in your house are different. It’s important to accept that there are going to be things that you and your ex-spouse totally disagree on when it comes to raising your children, but remember that you both are committed to what’s best for your child. Differences in punishment can be particularly difficult to navigate, especially if one parent is stricter than the other. The use of corporal punishment by one parent can quickly escalate into a custody battle with the other parent citing child abuse. In Illinois, the law defines acts of child abuse when a parent or caregiver "inflicts excessive corporal punishment" but this law does not clearly define what constitutes "excessive." If you are concerned that the discipline techniques used by your ex-spouse on your child are harsh or excessive, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney today to find out what options you have to protect your child.

child abuse, child neglect, DCFS, DCFS investigation, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attorney, child safetyThe prospect of having to undergo a DCFS child abuse or neglect investigation is a horrifying thought to every loving parent out there. Unfortunately, false accusations do occur. If you find yourself facing the prospect of an abuse or neglect investigation, here is what you need to know.

According to the DCFS fact sheet, an investigation is launched 24 hours from the time a report is received. If the allegation is one of neglect or inadequate shelter, an investigative specialist will be dispatched to view the child’s living space. Initially, the specialist’s concern will be for the immediate safety of the child. The child in question and other children in the household will be interviewed along with other household members, extended family members, and other professionals, depending on the allegation. It’s always best to be completely honest and provide complete information to the specialist. In cases where the allegation is of serious physical or sexual abuse, the state law requires the investigative specialist to notify both the local police and the State’s Attorney. In these cases, the police may choose to conduct a joint investigation, or the police may conduct their own investigation. The police may also be contacted if the investigative specialist feels that family members or other concerned individuals are refusing to cooperate with their investigation. The state has a maximum of 60 days to complete their investigation, though most are completed in 30 days. In certain cases, a 60 day extension may be requested, particularly when the state is waiting on medical or police reports. You will be notified in writing of DCFS’ final findings, and the investigative specialist may also contact you. If the allegations are unfounded, the DCFS State Central Register will maintain the information pertaining to the investigation for one to three years. Facing an abuse or neglect allegation can be a frightening experience. Having a qualified family attorney at your side can help. Contact the experienced Lombard, Illinois family attorneys at A. Traub & Associates today for a consultation on your case. We have years of experience defending clients against unfounded abuse and neglect investigations can help you prove your innocence.

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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Posted on in Divorce

child of divorce, family lawyer, family law attorney, Illinois, children of divorce, life after divorceWhen a couple decides to file for divorce, the effect this decision will have on them and their family is often the first thing that crosses parent’s minds. Unfortunately, while parents often consider the academic and behavioral changes that may occur in their children as a result of divorce, many parents fail to realize that divorce can be an isolating experience for children.

 According to Utah State University, some children are more affected emotionally by divorce than others. One study has found that as many as 44 percent of children whose parents have divorced later reported feelings of loneliness and isolation as a result of the marriage break-up. While many parents consider how the absence of one of them will affect their children, they fail to realize that divorce may isolate children in other ways as well. In addition to spending less time with one parent due to custody decisions made by the court, children may see their custodial parent less often as well, particularly if that parent transitions from a stay-at-home role to a working role. They may also lose contact with grandparents, making the family connections feel even more tenuous. In many cases, a family will move as the result of a divorce, which may lead to a child having to switch schools. This not only disrupts the friendships that a child has, but causes them to lose touch with non-parental role models such as teachers and coaches they may have built relationships with. It may also affect their participation in extracurricular activities such as sports that they have enjoyed. All of these changes occurring in a child’s life at the same time can lead to feelings of extreme loneliness and isolation. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to remember that in most cases, children adjust well to their new routines and lives. Having a qualified family attorney at your side can help make the transition easier, which benefits the entire family. If you are planning to file for divorce in Illinois, contact a qualified Illinois divorce attorney about your case today.

Posted on in Divorce

With a large number of divorced parents remaining in conflict, many children are at risk for psychosocial problems.  One of these problems is parental alienation.  Parental alienation is a situation where a child exhibits an unjustified anger or distain for a parent due to the vilifying of that parent to the child by the other parent.  The noncustodial parent is typically the target.

Clearly, the target parent is being harmed.  Their relationship with the child is being damaged and the time lost with that child can never be regained.  But parental alienation has consequences to the child as well.  According to information Our Family Wizard, parental alienation can be a factor in psychological and behavioral issues for the child, including drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

An article by Douglas Darnall, Ph. D. lists risk factors for parental alienation.  Recognizing early signs of alienation will allow for intervention before the behavior gets worse.  Some of these include:

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Posted on in Divorce

The happiness of any marriage is dependent on both spouses becoming a team against all obstacles and supporting each other through difficult times.  But it also might be deeper than that.  Marital satisfaction might be set in your DNA based upon a new study published on October seventh of this year.

Divorceis very likely; the CDC has said that half of all marriages end in divorce.  One of authors of the study offered their reason for initiating the study about why divorce is so common. UC Berkeley psychologistRobert W. Levensonstated in a press release that "an enduring mystery is, what makes one spouse so attuned to the emotional climate of the marriage, and another so oblivious."  The hope is that this study will start to uncover the reasons.

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Posted on in Divorce

Being divorced is a difficult transition.  It is hard to move on from the life you used to know.  But there must have been some reasons that your relationship with your spouse did not work.  And now that you are single again, there are things you can change the next time around.  And if you are a parent, there is even less opportunity to mess around and take this next step lightly.

The first consideration is to make sure that you know why you’re dating in the first place.  Having a clear purpose in your new life will help you stay on track and eliminate distractions.

But always keep in mind that you are dating again to have fun.  This is not a search for lost keys, so do not make it a job.  It should be a hobby that should be spontaneous and enjoyable.  Hobbies like learning a new language, trying new sports, and other exciting activities will put you in front of new people and new connections.

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Children of divorced parents clearly have more hurdles than those from families whose parents are together. Aside from the winter holiday season, at no time in the year is this more obvious than during the summer. Children whose parents have split are often shuttled back and forth between the parents’ houses, oftentimes over state lines, a trip that can feature solo plane rides or long drives. Psychologist Brian Rooney told the Chicago Tribune that trouble in this scenario can arise for children of divorce because of their expectations. "They can range from realistic ones like, ‘Gee, I can’t wait to get away to Dad/Mom’s house, we’re going to do all kinds of stuff,’ to a feeling of being sent away to serve time." Rooney says it’s important for both parents to address these expectations and consider them when making summer plans with and for children of divorce.

In order to manage these expectations and subsequent emotions, the most important thing to do is to plan ahead, keep promises, and not to overblow or underemphasize the importance of the time apart. According to divorceandchildren.com, talking to your kids—especially if you’re the non-custodial parent who’s spending a significantly increased amount of time with your kids over the summer—is a good first step. If you make plans with them to go on vacation, or even just to the museum for the afternoon, it’s crucial to follow through. "Children need to be able to count on your word," reminds divorceandchildren.com.

Another great piece of advice for the non-custodial (but summer-sharing) parent to keep in mind is to not overdo it. "Sometimes parents may feel guilty about not having enough time with their children. When this happens, they may fall into the trap of trying to pack every moment of their time together with fun-filled, exciting activities," reports divorceandchildren.com. When this happens, the child can actually feel overwhelmed and run-around. The most important thing a child needs is quality one-on-one time with the parent. The time doesn’t have to be filled with activity to make it count.

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Posted on in Divorce
Going through a divorce is a tough situation on its own, and adding children into the mix can make things even more overwhelming.  In order to make the situation a little less stressful, it is important to know how to answer the important questions your children will ask about your divorce. In general, children will ask the same types of difficult questions about divorce.  However, experts say that you don’t necessarily need to have every single answer ready.  The best way to handle them when they come is to prepare mentally and be ready to listen and respond in a sensitive way. LaraDiane Shearer is an experienced family therapist.  She goes by the philosophy that we should look beyond the questions children ask about divorce and focus on what they’re really looking for.  "When kids ask tough questions, they aren’t looking for complicated answers.  They are looking for affirmation, not information."
  1. Why?  Kids don’t want to know the nitty-gritty details on the reasons behind your divorce, but they’re looking for the big-picture reason.  According to Shearer, kids worry that since their parents can stop loving each other, they might stop loving the kids, too.  It’s important that you assure that a parent’s love for their child is vastly different from love between parents.  Let your children know that your love for them will never change.
  2. Is this my fault?  In many cases, younger children may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce.  If this question comes up, assure your child that they have done nothing wrong.  The change in the relationship between the parents has nothing to do with them.  Again, assure them that they will always be loved.
  3. Where will I live?  Before breaking the news to your kids, make sure to finalize a "parenting plan" with your spouse so that you can tell your children where they will be living and for how long.  Make sure your child feels comfortable expressing their feelings about the new arrangements.
Breaking the news of divorce to children can be a scary, overwhelming thing.  But it doesn’t have to be.  If you have questions about children and divorce, contact a dedicated Traub family law attorney to assist you.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ freedigitalphotos.net

Recently, studies have shown that children of divorce are twice as likely grow up non-religious than kids who grow up in homes with happy, stable marriages. However, clergy members continue to overlook this. According to the Chicago Tribune, the researchers of this study would like to present their findings to Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. They hope that the pastors will stop overlooking the faith of children of divorce. Researchers believe that children of divorce who leave the church are a main contributor to the decline of people in mainline Christian religious affiliations. Amanda 5-1-13One of the head researchers of the project, Elizabeth Marquardt, talked to the Chicago Tribune; she said, she feels the mainline churches have not done enough to help children of divorce. They have trusted that if everyone gets along and keeps their conflict to a minimum that it will all turn out okay. Marquardt feels that the results of her study could have an impact on the mainline churches, which rely on the next generation to bring them forward. Throughout Marquardt’s study, she found that children of divorce felt misunderstood at church during their parent’s separation. A child who feels alienated by the church would be unlikey to come back to it as an adult. There are some pastors who try to reach out to children when their parents are going through a split. Reverend Joyce Shin says, "There is no protocol when a couple in the congregation is separating." But Rev. Shin does try to reach out to the adults and tries to help out with the children’s needs. Shin goes on to say, "We know there are trusts that are being broken and that were broken, and it’s going to take a lot to build up from that." Whether you are religious or not, if you and your spouse are looking to file for divorce contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney, who will be able to answer any of your questions. Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney today.

Image courtesy of imagery majestic/Freedigitalphotos

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