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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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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard family law attorneyNo one would ever deny that getting a divorce is a difficult and painful process. You had intended to stay married to your partner forever, and, now, your plans for the future are falling apart. Divorce is never the first option for those who are married, but going through one does not mean your life is over. After you have processed the sadness and pain of divorce is, you may notice a few potential benefits of the separation. For example:

Time to Pursue Hobbies and Interests

Managing a marriage and a family can be time consuming, but after a divorce, you may be sharing custody of children with your ex-spouse. This means that you suddenly have those nights without the children free. Even if you did not have children, you may notice that you have more time to spend how you choose anyway, as your time is yours alone. You could learn how to paint, take up a community sport, adopt a pet, or start practicing yoga. The door to your marriage may have closed, but many windows of opportunities have opened. 

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Lombard divorce lawyersMothers choose to stay home with their children for a number of reasons. For some, their family’s lifestyle is easily supported by their spouse’s income, which gives them the financial flexibility to spend time with their children. Others may stay home out of necessity. Regardless of the reason – be it to care for a special needs child, a desire to parent full-time, or simply because they can – all are at risk for lifelong poverty, should their marriage end in divorce. If you are a stay-at-home mom and planning on filing for divorce, or have already been served with divorce papers, learn what you need to know about protecting your financial future, and how you can obtain skilled legal counsel, even if you have no assets of your own.

Why Stay-at-Home Moms Are at Risk

Despite the fact that women often do the very same work as men, they continue to make less per hour for the exact same tasks, positions, and responsibilities as their male counterparts. Furthermore, research has shown that divorced women often struggle to return to the workforce after divorce. This is often due to a lapse in employment that causes them to fall behind on necessary job skills or training. Add to that their lack of retirement earnings and they are at risk for poverty, not just during their child-raising years, but for the rest of their lives.

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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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filing for divorce, filing first, Illinois divorce attorneyIn many cases, it is often clear that a marriage is over long before a petition for divorce has been filed. You may have come to that realization regarding your own relationship. However, filing for divorce may seem to be a drastic step and one that you may be hesitant to take, regardless of the condition of the marriage. Should you file first? Should you wait for your spouse? Does it really make a difference?

Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, filing first will probably not make much of a difference in the outcome of your divorce. Your role during the process may change slightly based upon your status as the petitioner or the respondent, but the end result is likely to be effectually the same. You will have the same opportunities to present information to the court, in most cases, the factors considered under law make no reference to a party’s filing status.

Possible Exceptions

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divorce depressionAs per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), a leading organization dedicated to clinical research, treatment, and cure of mental health disorders, at least 6.9 percent of Americans, as of 2012, have endured a major depressive episode within a 12 month period.

It may not be completely clear as to why depressive episodes present, but research conducted by the renowned Mayo Clinic may shed some light as to why some people are prone to major depressive episodes. Research found some reasons individuals may be more prone to depression include:

  • Biological changes,
  • Brain chemistry alternation,
  • Increase or decrease of hormonal balance,
  • Inherited traits, and
  • Traumatic life event.
Aside from the biological causes, highly stressful events, such as death of a loved one, financial strain or difficulties in a relationship resulting in separation or divorce, may all qualify as a traumatic life event. Although this may be a classic textbook observation, it necessarily does not hold true for all adults.

Recently, the Association for Psychological Science released the findings of a new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science. Findings support that although divorce can significantly increase the risk of a depressive episode for some, others seem to bounce back quickly with little to no long-term symptoms or recurrence of depression.

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Posted on in Child Support

coparenting togetherWhen getting divorced from your spouse, you may be relieved, thinking, "Thank goodness I will never have to deal with this person again!" This is especially true if you were involved in a high-conflict marriage. However, if you and your spouse have children together, you will always have to interact with each other on some level. Beyond childhood and adolescence are college graduations, weddings and grandchildren.

Making the decision now to resolve to calmly deal with your spouse will not only make it emotionally easier for you, but more importantly, will go a long way in helping your children adjust to the divorce. Co-parenting together in agreement and without conflict offers children a more stable and happier life.

Following the 10 Commandments of co-parenting could help you and your ex-spouse reach co-parenting peace:

  1. Never put your child in the middle of conflicts between you and your ex-spouse. Remember to put your child’s need first, even if that means a compromise on your part. If you do have an issue with the other parent, try to resolve it quickly instead of letting it fester.
  2. Always treat the other parent with respect. This not only teaches your child by example, but may also open the door of reciprocation by the other parent, leading to better co-parenting.
  3. Accept that there will be different rules at the other parent’s home than you have. As long as your child is not being harmed emotionally or physically, then accept the fact that it really is "none of your business."
  4. Make sure to communicate with the other parent on a consistent basis about school and other activities that your child is involved in.
  5. If there is a problem between you and the other parent, try to resolve it instead of hiding it. You child is probably already aware of the issue, and hiding it, instead of dealing with it, could have a negative impact.
  6. Remember that you and the other parent both want what is best for your child and should be working together. Have periodically discussions about what each other’s needs are from each other to ensure you both are feeling good about your parenting.
  7. Try to share parenting responsibilities as equally as you can, otherwise resentments can build up. Not only is it not fair to the parent who is shouldering the majority of responsibility, but it is not fair to the child either.
  8. It is important to be consistent with your child when it comes to rules and lifestyles. Transitioning from one parent’s home to the other can be difficult for children, but knowing what to expect from each parent makes that transition easier on the child and the parents.
  9. It is very important for children to be able to celebrate parents’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other significant events. Help your child pick out gifts and/or cards to present to the other parent.
  10. Do not keep your former in-laws away from your child. They are still your child’s grandparents and not allowing visits with them will hurt your child the most.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what the best options may be for you and your child.

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.
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