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Wheaton high-conflict divorce attorney

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), data from the National Survey of Family Growth shows that 48 percent of marriages end when they hit the 20-year mark. Despite this evidence and the colorful divorce horror stories we all hear from our friends, family members, and neighbors, the reality is that not all couples who make up these kinds of statistics experience a toxic divorce. Many spouses are not only able to make a mutual decision to end their marriage, but they are also capable of navigating the process amicably, even acting as a team to ensure a smoother experience for everyone involved. 

Avoiding a Contested Divorce

Not every divorce is messy, but those that are can have the power to wreak havoc on your emotional -- and sometimes physical -- well-being, especially if you do not know how to handle the conflict.

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Posted on in Divorce

domestic violence victimThe domestic violence statistics in this country are staggering.

  • In the U.S., more than three women are murdered every day by their husbands or significant other.
  • The leading of cause of injury to women in this country is domestic violence. More women receive injuries from battering than they do from the total combined injuries from muggings, rapes and car accidents.
  • One in four women will be a domestic violence victim sometime during their lifetime.
  • There are 4 million physical assaults and rapes on women by their partners every year.

 According to other statistics, when a battered wife makes the decision to leave her husband and either leaves and/or begins divorce proceedings, this can be a major instigator for domestic violence. There can be a significant escalation in incidents of violence after the wife leaves the abuser. More than three-fourths of emergency room visits by battered women occur after they leave their abuser. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that abused women who leave their husbands are at a 75 percent greater risk of serious injury or death than women who stay.  A battered woman is at the greatest risk in the two weeks after she files for divorce.

It is imperative that a battered woman have an exit plan before she actually leaves or files for divorce, and even more so if she has children. The first thing a battered woman must have is a safe place to stay when she leaves the home. It is best to actually be already settled there when the batterer is told about the divorce so the woman does not have to return to the marital home for any reason. Additionally, it is best that the news of the breakup be given to the batterer in a public place.

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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.
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