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divorce process, divorce responsibilities, Kane County divorce attorneyHiring an attorney to handle your divorce can be among the best decisions you will ever make. However, hiring an attorney and not investing yourself in the process can be among the worst decisions you will ever make. Divorce, obviously, can be very difficult under the best of circumstances, but by being an active participant along with your lawyer, you may find the effort to be reflected in the final result.

During your initial consultation and meetings, your attorney will likely ask you to take responsibility in certain areas. Doing so can make the entire process easier and more efficient, no matter the challenges that your case presents. Whether explicitly requested or not, your attorney will appreciate that you:

  • Communicate with Your Lawyer: Your attorney is a legal professional, not a mind-reader. You must understand what your goals and values are and communicate that to your lawyer so that you are working in the same direction. In addition, maintain regular contact and provide pertinent personal updates throughout the process. A clear understanding of your situation can help your attorney best represent your position.
  • Be Organized: This includes keeping records of the divorce proceedings, as well as carefully organizing financial statements or other documentation necessary to the process. Handing your attorney a stack of jumbled papers rather than an itemized list of expenses and income, for example, does not do anyone any good.
  • Show Up and Be on Time: At this particular point in your life, your divorce needs to be a high priority. Skipping appointments with your attorney is not a good idea, while being late for or missing scheduled court proceedings can be devastating to your intentions for the case.
  • Comply with All Court Orders: Whether they are related to child custody, support, or anything else, an order from the court must be obeyed. Failure to do so can have a serious impact on the ultimate outcome of your divorce.
  • Pick Your Battles: You may be inclined to fight over every detail with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and while you may be legally entitled to do so, prioritizing what is most important to you may be a better option. Be willing to let certain things go and focus your energy on the most critical issues. The process will often move faster, resulting in lower stress in addition to lower attorneys’ fees and court costs.
  • Be Respectful: Do your best to maintain a high level of civility at all times. This includes the court staff, attorneys, and even your spouse, no matter how difficult it may be. Your approach to the case can directly impact the attitude of the court and the overall outcome of your divorce.

If you are considering divorce and would like more information about taking control of your case, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, our compassionate legal team is prepared to work with you in providing the best professional representation available. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County Family Law Attorneys, Reasons to Hire a Lawyer, Lombard Divorce LawyerThe process of divorce can be daunting one. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, the proceedings can time-consuming and wrought with complexities at every turn. When added to the emotional stress and contentiousness common in a failing relationship, divorce can be nearly overwhelming. Despite the potential pitfalls, many people still attempt to complete their divorce without the help of a qualified divorce attorney.

Of those choosing to do so, divorcing individuals typically forego hiring a lawyer for  two simple reasons. First and foremost, they are looking to save money and believe that an attorney’s services are too expensive. Additionally, they do not believe their situation is complicated enough to require representation, or at least not complicated enough to justify such a cost. However, despite these common misgivings, there are a number of reasons you may wish to retain an attorney to assist with your divorce.

Improved Communication

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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.

cheating dating websiteThe online dating website Victoria Milan is marketed specifically for people who are seeking "discreet affairs." The site has conducted several surveys of its users to help gain insight in what clients who sign up are really thinking.

The site, which has users from all over Europe and North America, conducted a survey of U.S. clients to find out which city has the most active online users. And the winner is Chicago, where clients spend 25 percent more time on the dating site than clients in the rest of the country. Los Angeles came in at 21 percent higher than the rest of the country’s users, New York City at 18 percent, Houston was at 11 percent and Dallas came in at nine percent.

In another survey the site conducted, two-thirds of those survey admitted they would not cheat if it wasn’t for the internet. Sixty-six percent of users said that the internet gives them easy opportunities to stray, with all the social media sites that are available.

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cohabitation, marriage, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attonreyCohabitation before marriage is becoming more common than in the past. Nearly 50 percent of all women have chosen cohabitation, often putting off marriage for up to two years, according to US News & World Report.

Studies have shown that for some, this living arrangement has proven to be a better option. Today Health reported that cohabiting couples appear happier and hold greater self-esteem than their married counterparts. Why? It is believed that cohabitation allows for increased independence and personal growth while in a committed relationship.

Of course in any relationship, ground rules are important. If you are opting to cohabitate, these quick tips may establish your personal boundaries, leading to a healthy and happier existence.

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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.

divorce settlement, social media, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, divorceWhen you are filing for a divorce, it can be tempting to frequently explain your reasoning. However, it pays to be careful when discussing your marital troubles publicly. In a recent court decision, a woman was stripped of a large portion of her divorce settlement as a result of her negative comments regarding her ex-husband.

Janice Schacter certainly never expected that complaining about her soon-to-be ex-husband's abuse and financial expenditures on social media would result in a judge stripping her of a large portion of her divorce settlement. Schacter had been complaining that her now ex-husband was both abusive and had spent more than $200,000 on an engagement ring for his new fiancee while refusing to pay for hearing aids for his daughter. As a result of her outspoken comments, Ira Schacter was named as a contestant for the website abovethelaw.com's sarcastic "Lawyer of the Month" award, significantly damaging his business. Ira Schacter's lawyers argued in court that the daughter had in fact received the hearing aids, though there was some contention over which party would pay the bulk of the expense. According to Justice Laura Drager, the misleading reports had a significant impact on the value of Ira Schacter's partnership in the legal firm where he worked. As a result, she determined that Janice Schacter would only be awarded 17 percent of the $5 million partnership value, or around $855,000. According to Drager, though Janice Schacter was within her rights to speak publicly about the domestic violence she may have experienced, "the incessant postings and discussions about the husband went beyond any reasonable discussion of this very serious issue." Filing for divorce can be a very distressing experience, and it can be tempting to speak openly about the issues that have lead to your decision to file. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help prevent any situation that may diminish any alimony or other property that you may be entitled to in your divorce settlement. If you are filing for divorce in Illinois, contact A. Traub & Associates, Attorneys at Law today for a consultation.

cohabitation, cohabitation agreement, lawyer, attorney, divorce, divorce rate, cause of divorceIn the past, cohabitation before marriage has often been linked to couples filing for divorce. New information, however has shown that this is incorrect. In fact, in certain cases, living together before getting married may actually improve the chances of a marriage succeeding.

New research conducted by Dr. Arielle Kuperberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has shown that for women who have personal circumstances that may, in many cases, indicate a higher risk for divorce, cohabitation can actually improve their chances at a successful marriage. This includes:
  • Women who have had a premarital birth;
  • Women who have had more than the average number of sexual partners;
  • Women raised in single parent families;
  • Women raised in stepparent families.
Dr. Kuperberg’s research found that previous studies linking cohabitation and divorce consistently overstated the risk, ignoring other issues that may have also increased the risk of an unsuccessful marriage. For example, poorer couples have a tendency to cohabitate, and a lower economic status often leads to divorce. These studies also compared couples by the ages at which they married, instead of their ages when they moved in together. When Dr. Kuperberg compared these couples at the age when they moved in together, she found no difference in the divorce rate. Instead, couples who married or cohabitated at ages younger than 23 were the ones at a higher risk for divorce. Of course, the cause of a divorce is rarely simple. In most cases, the reasons behind a divorce cannot be traced to a single factor. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, your first step should be to obtain the services of a qualified attorney. The professionals at A. Traub & Associates have years of experience, and will do their best to ensure that your divorce moves as smoothly through the system as possible. Contact us today for your initial consultation, and let us help you get started on your way to a new life.

disabled spouse, divorce, Illinois, lawyer, attorney, support, maintenance.Deciding to file for a divorce takes insurmountable courage, especially if you are living with a disability. According to a recent U.S. Census Brief, one fifth of all Americans are facing daily challenges due to a disability. The numbers are only expected to increase over the coming decades.

One case scenario could highlight a woman with a diagnosed disability who has been married for 25 years with no children involved. Her spouse's substance abuse issues have become intolerable and after considerable counseling there is no hope left for saving the marriage. There is nothing left to do but to contact an experienced divorce attorney and move forward. For many disabled Americans facing divorce, additional circumstances may need to be taken into consideration. For those residing in Illinois, the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) will provide for the following three areas of possible continual support: Temporary

Maintenance payment agreed upon by both parties to cover short-term expenses.

Rehabilitative

Maintenance payment to one spouse until financial independence is achieved.

Permanent  Maintenance payment of life-time payments agreed-upon by both parties. In Illinois there are several factors that will ultimately determine the type of maintenance awarded. The appointed judge will review the economic profile of each individual, joint property owned, overall age and the health of each person as well as the length of the marriage. As illustrated in the case scenario the couple had been married for 25 years. The wife has never worked outside the home and her ability to enter the job market is limited by her disability. The judge takes into consideration that even though there are laws against discrimination the woman's chances of obtaining sustainable employment are considerably less than of her male counterparts. All factors will be taken under advisement by the judge who may award a higher maintenance allowance based on all contributing factors. Based upon the nature of the disability, there may be additional considerations which should be discussed with an experienced Illinois attorney with regard to the final divorce settlement. Hypothetically, the female in our story will now be living alone and her safety and managing daily duties may warrant further discussion. Our hypothetical female will now be living alone and safety may be of concern. Additional living expenses may include the use of an electric scooter, access to a wheelchair ramp or even the need for a walk-in style type of tub surround. With the disabled spouse now living on her own without the assistance of her spouse, housekeeping issues may also be a factor in the final divorce settlement. All considerations should be given to ensure the challenges of daily life are met in order to facilitate independence. If you are one of the many Americans living with a disability and facing the challenges of a divorce, the experienced  and dependable law team of A. Traub & Associates will rise to the challenge to address your many concerns. We will work diligently to ensure all of your needs are met to reach a satisfactory settlement quickly and professionally. We will not back down from any challenge. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your consultation today.

divorce, Illinois divorce, divorce rate, divorce lawyer, divorce attorney, DuPage CountyAccording to Variety, the American entertainment trade magazine founded in 1905, NBC hit a ratings gold mine by enticing 25.9 million viewers to tune into the winter games of the XXII Olympiad.

 Over five time zones and 18 spectacular evenings we explored the foothills and mountain tops of Sochi, Russia. We cheered on athletes, applauded victories and witnessed the agony of defeat as 88 nations came together to celebrate the uniqueness of each nation. One may choose to believe that with so much cultural diversity, the participating nations held nothing in common except the hunt for gold. As athletes stepped on the podium, it may be interesting to note that both the host nation, Russia and the United States vied for standings on a totally different event. The Top Ten Nations with the highest divorce rates. Russia achieved the gold medal standard for the highest divorce rate while the U.S.claimed bronze, with the remaining top ten taking their respective place on the podium:
  1. Russia
  2. Aruba
  3. United States
  4. Panama
  5. Ukraine
  6. Belarus
  7. Moldova
  8. Cuba
  9. Czech Republic
  10. South Korea
The Huffington Post, responsible for publishing these recent rankings, mentions that higher divorce rates of these Top Ten contenders can be contributed to educational differences, financial instability, social standing and infidelity. No matter the country or the reason, deciding to file for a divorce can be a decision of Olympic proportion. For those facing this life changing event, working with an experienced coach, or in this instance, an experienced divorce attorney can make all the difference in the world. To achieve your gold standard in your divorce settlement, the experienced legal team of A. Traub & Associates is available to coach you through the uncertainty of your upcoming event. For over seven years we have offered our clients award winning service. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your initial consultation today.

American divorce rateBy sampling our social group or shaking the family tree, we can easily make the assumption that divorce is as common as marriage. Seems we can not always have one without the other.

 As published by nationalaffairs.com, a quarterly online journal of topical essays highlighting domestic policy and societal issues, only 20 percent of couples married throughout the 1950s filed for divorce. A sharp contrast to the divorce rate of 50 percent for all couples jumping the broom between 1960 up through the end of the 1980s. Did they know something that we may have lost in translation? Did Mr. and Mrs. "C" find the true secret of Happy Days? Perhaps a journey back to our future can shed some light as to why divorce may not be as strong as an institution today as it once was. Plain and simple. It was a different era for both men and women. Divorce found no comfort in the family home. Men succumbed to peer pressure. A stand up guy included a Missus and a growing family. Everyone expected it of him, his boss, his neighbors and his family. By an early age he had it all. For his bride, her trip down the aisle also began quite early, quickly accepting the role as the matriarch of the all American post war family. The housing market was also booming. Home ownership of a two parent home was on every young married couple's agenda. Families communicated daily at the dinner table and with only one television in the home, often spent the early evening hours watching Ozzie and Harriet. All was well with their world. Perhaps not entirely true. Couples experienced the same summer of discontent as married couples do today. So why the low divorce rate? Once again, peer pressure was influential. You stayed married till death do you part. Divorce carried a social stigma and unless you were married to Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde, you stayed for better or worse. End of story, end of an era. If you find yourself conflicted about filing for divorce and disappointing your Baby Boomer parents, take a moment and remember it is your marriage, your divorce, your time. We are not your parent's attorneys. At A. Traub & Associates we are a different type of law firm. We apply a human approach to each case but will work diligently to reach a resolution to your divorce concerns swiftly and professionally. If you reside in DuPage, Cook, Kane or Will Counties, contact us at 630-426-0196 and let us help bring your future into today's prospective.

So you are getting married! Congratulations! Now the whirlwind begins... Appointments with the wedding planner, the florist, the photographer, the banquet manager, the musical director, the clergy, the bakery manager, the dressmaker and the jeweler. Your schedule is filling up fast, so many discussions and decisions, but is there one discussion you may be avoiding on your growing list of "to-dos"?

 prenuptial agreementThe Prenuptial Agreement Not for celebrity use only, the prenuptial agreement has been around as long as couples have been tying the knot. According to a New York Times article, the prenuptial agreement can be traced back at least 2000 years. Ancient Hebrew society drafted marriage contracts known as Ketubahs and the French included an agreement as part of the dowry as far back as the ninth century. Originally, these predecessors of the prenuptial agreement were drafted to protect the wife in case of her husband's death or divorce, as a form of predetermined insurance. Often today, a prenup suggests the protection of sizable wealth, but in all reality, an effective agreement can cover all the bases by eliminating lengthy and costly differences over assets in the event of a divorce. So how do you go about discussing this with your eager fiancee without finding yourself immediately thrown back into the dating scene? As unromantic as it may seem, if you are adamant about drafting a prenup, these tips may help when approaching your unsuspecting fiancee: Yours, Mine and Not Ours This may be the best argument for signing an agreement. For example, if you are still paying off student loans by drafting a prenup you can secure that your future spouse doesn't assume your debt. In the event your intended has investments made prior to your union, you can also ease their worries by legally refraining from any financial control of those investments. Financial consideration also protects both partners from any changes in state law regarding marital property.  Bringing Up the Kids Literally, when the little ones arrive, what's the plan? Will one parent leave the workforce to raise the children? A predetermined agreement can protect asset distribution for the stay-at-home mom or dad in the event of a break-up.  Cents and Sensibility By clearly defining goals, a prenuptial contract can be drafted for less money than the cost of two divorce attorneys in the event the marriage fails.  Mapping the Marital Future A prenup can also secure a standard of living without the many financial surprises a divorce can bring. Having set arrangements for alimony and residence determinations can ease the pain of divorce and the fear of the unknown. Child custody and child support, however, can not be determined in a prenuptial agreement.  The Golden Years If it would ease your fiancee’s concerns, a sunset clause can be added to the agreement. This allows an automatic termination of terms within a specified time period, protecting each person's assets early in the marriage. A prenup can also be terminated at any time if both spouses are in agreement.  Legal vs. Marriage Counseling Once your fiancee is on board, plan on scheduling an appointment with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about all of the options that are available to you. Executing an amicable prenuptial agreement can ease the tensions of constant "what-if's" as well as defining your marital goals. It may also prevent heated arguments about finances and responsibilities and thwart a trip to the marriage counselor. Your wedding day is destined to be one of the most memorable days of your lives, having a strategically drafted prenuptial agreement in place will only be the icing on your wedding cake. We understand the concerns. At A. Traub & Associates we are experienced with working with couples to draft a prenuptial agreement that will best suit everyone’s expectations. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your consultation today.

According to a recent Australian study covered by the Sun-Herald (Gulfport, MS) divorce means different things to men and women.

 first dateFor women, the main concern following divorce is financial stability while for divorced men the biggest hurdle may be loneliness. The study reported that even after one year after the break-up, 48 percent of men still admit to experiencing a feeling of loss compared to their female counterparts; 39 percent reported feeling lonely. If is difficult to determine which former spouse will be undertaking the first step to dating post divorce, but with the majority of women being the primary custodial parent, one may assume that it may very well be the male who takes the first leap into unfamiliar territory of the dreaded first date, post-divorce. Dr. Karen Ruskin, Psychotherapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist offers these helpful hints:
  • Be yourself;
  • It's ok to admit you're feeling just a bit "rusty";
  • Don't pretend you are something you're not;
  • Acknowledge any feelings of awkwardness with a small ice breaker;
  • Chivalry is not dead, always remain the gentlemen;
  • Offer a sincere compliment;
  • Focus on your date, turn off your cell phone;
  • Utter not one word of your former spouse;
  • Open the lines of communication but be a good listener;
  • Keep strong opinions to yourself but provide some insight into your character;
  • Keep the wine to a minimum;
  • Keep intimate questions off the table;
  • Be completely honest about relationship expectations;
  • Relax and enjoy the evening.
The first date may not set off the proverbial fireworks, but it is the first step to perhaps combating the feelings of loneliness and increasing your confidence level. If it went well, ask for a second date, if you didn't feel a connection be politely honest with your date. Surviving the first date just may be one of the many first steps taken on the road to recovery.  Take it slow and easy, only fools rush in. Dating again may just turn out to be an enjoyable new experience. Our firm provides legal advice rather than dating tips; the legal team of A. Traub & Associates is experienced in all matters of divorce and family law. If you find yourself facing a divorce and reside in the DuPage, Cook, Will or Kane areas, contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule an initial consultation. Our attorneys are great listeners and available to address any concerns about your pending divorce.

Posted on in Divorce

If you feel as if you are in a bad marriage and cannot seem to escape, you are not the only one. According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and as reported by the Huffington Post, "the fear of being single may drive adults to stay in bad relationships or settle for less-than-desirable partners, all because they’d rather have someone than no one." The fear of being alone trumps the need for divorce for these people, and is more a factor in their reluctance to pull the trigger on divorce than morality or societal pressure.

Researchers that contributed to the study first had to determine that fear of loneliness was a commonly shared attribute. "Of the 153 participants in one study, 40 percent said they feared not having a long term companion," reports the Huffington Post. Significantly fewer respondents broke down this fear of being alone into more specific fears—just less than 20 percent reported a fear of spinsterhood, for example. Those who fear being alone, the researchers concluded, very often "prioritize relationship status above relationship quality, settling for less responsive and less attractive partners and remaining in relationships that are less satisfying," according to the Huffington Post.

While it may seem a wise decision to avoid divorce if you are afraid of being alone, according to Psychology Today, staying in a bad marriage can be just as psychologically damaging. "Divorce, although tumultuous and potentially scarring, at least provides the possibility of better days," reports Psychology Today. Addressing your fears of being alone is the first step toward reconciling the marriage. Once you’ve addressed these fears, you can decide whether it’s worth it to you to work on the marriage or begin divorce proceedings. "If we can work through the fears around separation," reports Psychology Today, "then we are electing to stay in the marriage not from fear but from choice."

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Posted on in Divorce

Infidelity doesn’t only pertain to an act of physical cheating. Emotional affairs have long been a major factor in divorce rates across the country, in which one or both partners embark on an intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex outside of the marriage, but in which no actual physical infidelity occurs. According to InfidelityFacts.com, 41 percent of people in American marriages admit to having either a physical or emotional affair. Considering that statistics citing physical infidelity are much lower, one can conclude that emotional or non-physical affairs are a component of thousands of American marriages.

According to US News and World Report, however, there’s another type of infidelity: financial infidelity. One of the most important foundations in a marriage, according to US News and World Report, is trust. A significant amount of trust needs to come from both sides in a marriage, especially when it comes to shared finances. Marriages are built around shared goals, and usually married couples have jointly made budgetary decisions. "When you discover that your partner has been making financial moves that undermine that hard work and those goals," reports the US News and World Report, "it can be an incredibly bitter pill to swallow."Financial Infidelity Can Lead To Divorce

Financial infidelity can refer to a number of offenses: that one partner is making financial moves of which the other is unaware; that one partner is far outspending the other on personal items such as clothing or recreation; that one partner is not keeping up his or her end of the budgeting bargain, such as a failure to pay bills on time.

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Posted on in Divorce

The holiday season is full of activity and good cheer as people head out to numerous gatherings with family and friends. For people who have recently divorced, however, this season can lead to feelings of alienation, isolation, and loneliness as they try to cope with the realities of being surrounded by loving couples at parties and gatherings. Others may be strained financially due to the legal costs of the divorce process and feeling stressed about buying gifts.

surviving the holidays after divorceIt does not have to be that way, however. According to Forbes, the stigma that once accompanied divorce has all but disappeared. Almost everyone knows someone who has divorced or is filing for divorce, and most people understand both the feelings of relief and the grief as well as the financial strain that can accompany the life change. Instead of lamenting over your single status this holiday season, consider celebrating this chance to start over instead.

There are a number of ways you can keep your spirits up during the holidays. One of the easiest is by finding ways to fill your time. Don’t avoid getting together with friends and family members just because you are newly single. Make arrangements to spend some time with other single or divorced friends, and spend time with supportive family members. If your spouse ended up with many of your household goods, consider throwing a holiday divorce shower. Create a registry for items you now need for your household and when someone asks how they can help, let them know about it. For divorced parents who find themselves without their children, consider using the kid-free time to take a grown up holiday vacation or some other activity that isn’t necessarily kid-friendly.

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Posted on in Children

The idea of both you and your spouse dying before your young children become adults may seem unfathomable.  Every day, however, illness or accidents leave children without a parent.  If you have not chosen a guardian, the courts would determine guardianship.  The courts may not choose the person you would have chosen.  Do not risk this scenario.  Using guidelines and proper legal counsel can make the decision easier.

Who Do I Choose?

Choosing a family member may seem like the natural choice but it may not always be the right choice. You should weigh the suitability of your family members as you would any potential guardian.  Here are some things to consider when determining a potential guardian:

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Posted on in Divorce

Marriage and Family Therapist Virginia Gilbert says that there are many symptoms of PTSD that affect divorcing and divorced individuals. An afflicted person might have health issues, nightmares, obsessive thoughts, and generalized anxiety that presents as hyper vigilance. When there is extra tension or a history of violence in your relationship, it’s not uncommon for the emotional stress to manifest physically.

Gilbert has tips for those in these types of situations. She states that it’s vital to focus on what you can control. If your ex is abusive, struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, or mentally ill, you can create high levels of anxiety by worrying constantly about what he or she might do. Instead, focus on the fact that your choice to get a divorce is what is best for you, and keep reminding yourself about what’s in your realm of control and what is not.

Getting support from others and compartmentalizing your life can help significantly when handling these challenges. In high-conflict situations, it’s easy to let the divorce become the primary aspect of your life, but force yourself to add other activities and downtime to your schedule. It’s not healthy for you emotionally or physically to become consumed by the divorce. Choose one or two friends that you can speak to and rely on them when things reach fever pitch. Find a meditation technique or exercise that helps you clear your mind, as interacting with the spouse can tend to flare anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

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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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When considering divorce, some Americans have more to think about than others. Among these are immigrants or naturalized citizens who came to America because their spouse was a U.S. citizen.

Not only does divorce or annulment change the validity of this type of visa, it can also affect the citizen status of children, if the child is 18 years old or older. According to the New York Daily News,  "once an immigrant derives U.S. citizenship from a U.S. citizen parent, his citizenship is not impacted by his parents’ actions, or even his own marriage," providing that he was unmarried at the time that he immigrated to the U.S. Yet determining whether or not a child obtained citizenship through his parents can be confusing, especially considering that there are a different set of rules for children who were 18 and over as of February 2001. Yet if the child is a permanent resident and younger than 18 years old, "and then the parent or parents naturalize, the child gets automatic citizenship," no matter whether his parents divorce or not.

The rules regarding spouses are a bit more complicated and strict than those involving the children of divorcing parents. According to DivorceNet.com, "if you sponsor your spouse’s immigration application and the marriage is ending, you should withdraw your sponsorship promptly because through sponsorship you have assumed the responsibilities of supporting your spouse and his or her dependents." In some cases, the immigrant spouse will be subject to removal proceedings when the divorce is completed—his or her immigrant status will be changed upon dissolution of the marriage.

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