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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard, IL divorce lawyers

Whether you call it empty nest syndrome or a mid-life crisis, many couples struggle when their children leave home and they go back to their previous “empty house” lifestyle. This life change can be a tough adjustment since a parent has gotten used to having their child living under their roof for 18+ years. Spouses are used to focusing on their child’s schedule and activities. This can make an empty house feel lonely and uncomfortable, sometimes so much so that divorce enters the equation. 

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

Although it is not technically diagnosed, the commonality of empty nest syndrome illustrates its wide-reaching effect. Feeling a strong sense of sadness and loneliness after your children have moved out is the telltale sign of empty nest syndrome. Other symptoms include a lack of identity, extreme remorse, and a lack of self-worth. This lifestyle change can lead to clinical depression and apathy toward your spouse. Many feel as if they no longer have anything in common with their spouse since they have shared their child and the duties of parenting for the past decade. Although this can create a distance between spouses, there are various coping mechanisms for those who feel their emotions may be causing conflict.

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DuPage County law firm

Some parents are forced to have a relationship with their child from hundreds of miles away. This is common for military members, individuals who travel often for work, separated couples, and those going through the divorce process. No matter the circumstances, trying to care for a child with a long distance between you is not easy. The transition is usually the most difficult part, especially if this is a recent lifestyle change. You start to miss the little moments and sometimes the big ones, too. Gone are the days of dropping your child off at school each morning and putting them to bed at night, and while you try not to miss the big events, life sometimes gets in the way. 

Here are a few tips about how to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship when many miles separate you.

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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.

Infidelity

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.

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Posted on in Divorce
right of first refusalChanges to the Illinois family law that went into effect in January mean divorced co-parents will need to notify their ex-spouse any time they plan to leave their children with a caregiver for more than four hours. This could have a serious impact on long-standing child care arrangements, particularly in situations where a couple has been divorced for a longer period of time.

According to Illinois HB 2992, parents who share joint custody of their children must offer their ex-spouse the opportunity to care for the couple’s children temporarily before seeking third-party care for any period more than four hours. As long as the co-parent lives within a reasonable distance, they must be offered the opportunity to provide care before a babysitter can be hired and before the child can be left with grandparents or at a daycare facility.

This new clause is commonly known as "right of first refusal," and may lead to a significant change in families where the custodial parent usually leaves a child with grandparents or babysitters while running errands or a parent’s night out. They will now be required to notify their ex-spouse of their plans and give their co-parent the opportunity to care for the child during that time instead. An exception may be made in emergency cases. If the co-parent does choose to accept the additional time, they will be responsible for providing any transportation that may be required, except in cases where a different arrangement is agreed upon between both parties.

If you are a co-parent sharing joint custody and have questions about how this may impact current custody agreements or child care arrangements, we can help. Contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney at A. Traub & Associates today for a consultation. Our qualified team of attorneys understand the importance of communication in child custody issues and will work diligently to reach a clear and concise resolution to your situation.

Posted on in Divorce

benefits of divorceMaking the decision to divorce can be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make. A couple at this crossroads has usually struggled for years trying to make their marriage work. It can be even more heartbreaking if there are children involved.

The aftermath of divorce can feel as if a death has occurred. In a way it has – the death of the marriage. This can leave a person dealing with all kinds of emotions, ranging from grief to sadness to anger. But there is also, many times, relief felt that the person can move forward.

In fact, research has shown that for women, once they move past the grieving stage, they are actually much happier for at least the five years following their divorce, often more content than they had ever been in their lives.

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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

The effects of divorce on children have been studied and discussed for almost as long as divorce has been a common part of the American psyche. According to Judith Wallerstein, as reported in the Huffington Post, "divorce affects children profoundly at every age, from infancy to adulthood," and the stage at which the child is at in his life will determine his reaction to the parents’ split. As a young child, the divorcee-kid will worry that he will be replaced by one parent’s new family. According to the Huffington Post, "during adolescence they say, ‘You can hope for love but you can’t expect it.’ And when they reach young adulthood, they fear betrayal and decide no to fall in love or marry because, ‘if you don’t marry then you can’t divorce.’"

These sociological trends in children of divorced parents aren’t rocket science, but they’re important to keep in mind if you’re going through a divorce and have children. And divorce may have a deeper effect on your child than his attitude toward love and marriage: a 2011 study published by the American Sociological Review and analyzed by WebMD.com, found that "children of divorce tend to fall behind in their math and social skills and may not catch up with their peers." On the other hand, "divorce did not seem to affect the children’s reading scores or ‘externalizing’ behaviors, including how often they argue, fight, or become angry."

One way of helping children to cope with divorce is to treat them as an equal party in the proceedings, so to speak. Speaking candidly with your child, and not painting a rosy picture where it’s not could be best for the child’s psychological development. Social worker Robin Friedman told WebMD.com that "a separation may be in the best interest for the child in the long run," but presenting a united front to the child, and agreeing to answer the difficult questions in an age-appropriate manner, is crucial to helping the child deal with the trauma of a parent’s divorce.

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