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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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joint custody routinesRecently, Fox News Magazine revisited the question, "do 50 percent of marriages really end in divorce?" Unfortunately, the answer is still a resounding yes. Not only does this startling statistic involve the couple, but as numerous studies support, divorce often has a life-long effect on the children struggling with the breakdown of the family.

So how can both parents work together to ease the child’s anxiety during this transition? If you and your separating spouse have been discussing joint custody with your respective divorce attorneys, there are ways to establish a successful "kid shuttle" plan.

DK Simoneau, speaker and award winning author of the children’s book, "We’re Having a Tuesday," offers several ways of assisting a child cope with a split-family lifestyle. As a divorced mother of two, Simoneau has become a strong advocate of making the hectic split-family syndrome less hectic. The following are just a few of her suggestions:

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Posted on in Children

cost of adoptionAccording to the U.S. government, it will cost approximately $245,000 to raise a child in this country. However, if that child is adopted, the Child Welfare Information Gateway says parents should add on up to $40,000 – the total amount it could cost to adopt a child.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a division of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The agency provides information for people who are looking to adopt. According to their statistics, the average cost to adopt can be anywhere between $8,000 and $40,000. For foreign country adoptions, the cost can fall between $15,000 and $30,000. Parents who are seeking to adopt an older child through foster care can anticipate costs from $0 to $2,500.

The largest expense in adoption is usually the adoption agency fee. Adoption agencies match parents to babies and their fees vary greatly. Some agencies will charge a large up-front fee which has everything included. Other agencies will charge a smaller fee, but charge extra for many of the same services agencies that charge larger fees include in their totals.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinois child supportDivorcing your spouse can be difficult. Divorcing your spouse when you have children together can be exponentially more difficult. Separating parents must consider the effects the process may have on their children and how life may be different post-divorce. Arrangements for custody, visitation, and support of the children need to be negotiated and sometimes litigated. While custody and visitation agreements may differ greatly due the circumstances unique to each family, Illinois law provides a guideline that courts are expected to follow when deciding and calculating child support.

Who Pays Support?

Under Illinois law, the court may require one or both parents "to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for the support of the child, without regard to marital misconduct." The law allows for the possibility that the child may reside with someone other than a parent after the divorce, but, in practice, the court will typically require the non-residential or non-custodial parent to pay child support.

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Divorce Effects on Children Juvenile LawThe ramifications of divorce can be numerous, especially if there are adolescent children involved. The psychological effects of divorce during the developmental years can often leave unresolved issues as your children approach their teens and even adulthood. As a parent how you handled the divorce process by ensuring your children had your support and understanding may have not been enough, especially when it comes to your adolescent engaging in risky behavior.

A teen and parent relatable webpage, created by undergraduate student, Ben Beary of Northern Illinois University, under the guidance of J. Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D., School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University not only states the obvious, 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. result in divorce.  Also it reiterates that adolescents of divorced families are more likely to experience academic and psychological problems often leading to risky behavior outbreaks.

If you recently divorced and have noticed an increase in undesirable behavior in your son or daughter and legal issues arise, you may require the services of an experienced family law attorney to assist with navigating through the Illinois juvenile system. How do you help your child on a personal level?

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