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infidelity, ashley madison, Illinois divorce attorneysHeadlines around the world are ablaze with news of a data dump including the hacked information of some 37 million people. The accounts are associated with subscribers of Ashley Madison, a website that advertises itself as a forum to connect married users looking to have an affair. Email addresses found among the hacked data have been linked to TV personalities, politicians, and military personnel, along with countless private citizens. The exposition of Ashely Madison’s subscriber lists has forced many couples into unexpectedly dealing with allegations of infidelity, and probably have some already considering divorce. Before making any rash decisions, it is important to realize that your spouse may not be lying about his behavior.

Look But Don’t Touch

If you recently discovered that your spouse was registered on an infidelity-driven website, your first inclination was probably to feel completely betrayed. Such a reaction is completely understandable, but before taking action, you need to get the whole story. Of course, at this point, you will probably find it difficult to trust what your spouse is saying, but, if this is the first indication that something may be wrong, you should probably give him the opportunity.

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technology, divorce, Arlington Heights Divorce LawyerWhen you are going through a divorce, there are many seemingly minor considerations that could have far-reaching consequences. One of these is the increased  use of social media. According to Jeff Landers, certified divorce financial analyst and Forbes contributor, social media can have unforeseen ramifications for your divorce, especially in complex or high-asset marital dissolution. "Even if he’s blocked you from seeing his posts directly, your mutual friends can still tell you all about the ski trip he took to Switzerland with his girlfriend a week after claiming he couldn’t afford to pay spousal support," Landers said as an example. It is also vital to be aware that not every online "friend" is an ally, and even the most innocent posts can be seen and easily misinterpreted in a damaging manner.

Yet not all recent technological advances are necessarily detrimental during divorce. There are, in fact, several applications that can make your divorce easier and less stressful. For example, there is a variety of apps that can help you chart the monetary aspects of your divorce. Divorce Log helps divorcing couples track all divorce financial information, such as alimony or child support payments. iSplit divorce "helps users divide their pricey marital assets by assigning icons to all big-ticket items."

There are also technological options that can be of help after the divorce has been finalized. One of these is the 2Houses app, which allows separated parents to share a digital calendar for plotting kids’ activities. Another similar app is Parenting Apart, "an advice-based service that provides resources for separated or divorced couples."

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teen, talking with teens, Kane County Divorce AttorneyDivorce is not an easy situation for anyone involved, especially children. For young children, it is easy to dismiss the challenges they may be facing based on the generally accepted maxim that kids are flexible and will adapt to the new situation. While there may be some degree of truth to that idea, children are often more impacted by divorce than their parents may realize. Teenagers, as well, are frequently affected strongly by the divorce of their parents, and there are some things to keep in mind as you try to help your adolescent make sense of the situation.

Let Your Teen Have Feelings

In some ways, divorce is similar to the death of a loved one, and coming to terms with it is often an extended process. Just as you likely are experiencing a wide range of often conflicting emotions, your teen is too. He or she may not understand exactly how to handle such feelings, but should not be made to feel guilty for how he or she feels. Allow your child the space he or she needs, and, conversely, do your best be available when comfort is needed.

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reason, divorce, Illinois family law attorneyFiling for a dissolution of marriage, or divorce, may leave some people wondering if their petition will be granted. When you file the paperwork for divorce, you must state why you are filing the petition. If a judge decides the grounds, or reason, you stated on your paperwork and evidence is not sufficient, your petition may be denied and the process will have to start over again. Speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer before you file your petition for a dissolution of marriage can save you unnecessary steps during the process.

Illinois allows the petitioner to file for a "grounds" or "irreconcilable differences" divorce. A divorce on specific grounds is generally attributed to the fault of one partner, while one based on irreconcilable differences is commonly called a "no-fault divorce."

Irreconcilable differences divorces are becoming the most common type of marriage dissolution. The spouse filing the petition does not have to list one specific reason for the divorce. Instead, he or she must sufficiently prove that there has been a breakdown in the marriage and reconciliation is not possible. In Illinois, filing for an irreconcilable differences divorce requires the couple to live apart for at least two years. If both spouses agree the marriage should end, a waiver is available for both spouses to sign to have the time limit waived. Signing the waiver means neither spouse is going to contest the proceedings.

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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.

mediation, divorce mediation, Kane County Family LawyerDespite being rather commonplace in today’s society, divorce can be a very messy process. The large number of arrangements to be made combined with the emotional reaction to an ending relationship can be a substantial burden for any couple to bear. The result, unfortunately, can be a stressful and bitter litigation, leading to months of fighting and increasing court costs and attorneys’ fees. Couples who are able to cooperate well enough with each other, however, may have an alternative to costly and contentious litigation in the form of divorce mediation.

Divorce Mediation Basics

Mediation is a type of dispute resolution frequently used in many contract negotiations, and may be very applicable to a divorce proceeding. It involves each spouse agreeing to work together with a neutral third party, called a mediator, to negotiate the terms of their divorce agreement. While more complex divorce cases may require services of separate attorneys, individual legal counsel is often not necessary in mediation, allowing the divorcing couple to realize substantial savings.

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Divorce Rate, Dissolution of MarriageMuch like any subject in the current American consciousness, there are countless articles, papers, and research projects related to marriage and divorce being published seemingly every day. Researchers with infinitely varying philosophies and perspectives are constantly conducting studies on various factors and facets of modern relationships and what may be affecting them. It should come as no surprise that occasionally the findings of a particular study will appear to directly contradict the findings of another, or in some cases, a more widely held principle regarding marriage and divorce.

A recently published paper entitled "Breaking Up is Hard to Count: The Rise of Divorce in the United States, 1980-2010" by researchers at the University of Minnesota suggests that, contrary to widely held belief, the divorce rate in America is actually not declining. Authors Sheela Kennedy and Steven Ruggles instead posit that cultural shifts have resulted in a rising divorce rate, which may be obfuscated by the poor collection and organization of marriage and divorce statistics across the country.

Kennedy and Ruggles recognized the ability of individual municipalities and counties to maintain accurate records and accounting of vital statistics such as marriages and divorces. However, they noted that the federal government ended financial support for the detailed statewide collections of such information in 1996. Since then the state’s numbers were being submitted to the Census Bureau for tabulation, the lack of federal funding severely impacted many states’ ability to submit accurate records. By 2005, in fact, several states, including California, stopped reporting their information altogether.

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Lombard family law attorney, spousal maintenance, new laws, spousal support

Each year in Illinois, hundreds of measures are enacted into law at the state level, addressing issues from across the political spectrum. On January 1, 2015, more than 200 new laws or amendments went into effect across Illinois. Of these new statutes, Public Act 98-0961 is likely to impact those who may be considering divorce in the near future as it amended the existing law regarding spousal maintenance.

The amended law was passed in August of last year and was scheduled to take effect in 2015, just in time for the start of "divorce season." As the courts prepare for a renewed rush of divorce filings between January and March, couples and divorce attorneys should be aware of how the amendment may affect their individual situations. While the court retains discretion over determining the appropriateness of spousal maintenance, or alimony, the formula with which the amount and duration of the award is calculated has now been standardized.

Amount of Spousal Maintenance

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mental healthThere are many reasons which cause people to make the decision to file for divorce. Sadly, one of those reasons is when the other spouse suffers from mental illness. Studies have shown that people who suffer from mental illness have a higher rate of divorce. One study that was conducted in 2011 actually put that divorce rate increase at between 20 to 80 percent.

The multi-national study was conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The researchers found 18 different mental disorders which not only had an effect on whether or not a person dealing with one or more of those disorders stayed married, but also affected whether or not they married in the first place.

The mental disorders which had the largest impact on divorce rates were alcohol abuse, major depression, and specific phobia, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

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child custody modificationLife happens, and a child custody order which may have been perfectly workable for both parties can quickly become outdated, unfair, and harmful to the children. A job change, a new relationship, a midlife crisis and countless other items can significantly disrupt a divided family’s life.

As a rule of thumb, most family law orders need to be formally modified, or at least updated, every three or four years. Many parents are concerned about visitation and custody provisions which may no longer be in the children’s best interest. What does a party need to prove to modify custody in Illinois?

Time

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gray divorceExpect more gray divorces in the coming years.

For one thing, the divorce rate among younger couples has decreased. More people staying married through their 30s and 40s means that there are more couples who could break up in their 50s and 60s. Additionally, people are living longer and enjoying sustained quality of life. To many people, "60 is the new 40" and "80 is the new 60."

Issues in a Late-in-Life Divorce

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unhappy marriage heart healthIf you are stuck in a bad marriage, you may be suffering from a broken heart – literally. A new study has concluded that there is a link between living in an unhappy marriage and dealing with heart disease.

Previous studies which suggested such a link were all lab-based. This new study, which was funded by the National Institute of Aging and recently published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, was the first population-representative research to confirm these findings. The research team was made up of sociologists from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

The study examined data collected for the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. The data used was taken over a period of five years from 1,200 married men and women. At the beginning of that project, the ages of participants ranged in age from 57 to 85 years old. Not only did participants answer questions regarding the quality of their marriage, but they were also asked questions regarding their cardio-health and subjected to lab tests over the five years of the project.

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child custody statutesThe National Parents Organization (NPO) recently announced its 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card. This report details the first national study which gives an extensive overview of each of the 50 states and their standings when it comes to child custody. Specifically, the study examines each state’s degree of encouraging of shared parenting following a couple’s divorce or separation.

Surprisingly, courts have not made the great strides when it comes to shared custody plans as many people think they have. According to the report, custody is granted to the mother in approximately 80 percent of child custody cases, even though numerous studies have overwhelmingly proved that children do much better emotionally, physically and socially when both parents are heavily involved in their daily life.

The research team analyzed data from all the states; however, they were only able to assess data of children born to unmarried parents in 45 states. These states have laws that address both children born into marriage, as well as children born out-of-wedlock. In the remaining five states which do not have statues that address children born to unmarried parents, the team was only able to assess the information of child custody cases between married parents. In their report, the researchers point out that, according to the most recent U.S. Health and Human Services statistics, almost 40 percent of children are now born to unmarried parents.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce by publicationIf you need to end your marriage but cannot locate your spouse, a divorce by publication may be the answer.

In order for any court to act, it must have jurisdiction over both the case and the parties. In Illinois family court, a judge has jurisdiction over a divorce if the couple was legally married and at least one spouse resides in the state. The court must also have personal jurisdiction.

Typically, this means each party has filed a written document with the court or has formally waived service of citation.

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unemployment rate divorceThere is encouraging news for Illinois as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) confirmed that the Illinois unemployment rate fell again in August, marking a decline for the fifth consecutive month. Not only is this encouraging news for Illinois, but perhaps even better news for men in the Prairie State. Recently, researchers at Ohio State University published survey results regarding the instance of marital strife due to the unemployment status of married men and the slim prospects for the unemployed single man seeking a marital partner.

Lead researcher Liana Sayer, a professor of Sociology at Ohio State University, worked in collaboration with the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). Sayer and her team followed over 3,600 couples from 1986 to 2003. By using a series of questions, the group gauged how the couples felt about their marriages in general and then further collected data regarding employment and current earnings. Their goal was to determine if financial uncertainty would lead to divorce.

Seventy-five percent of the female participants directly indicated that they would not consider marriage to an unemployed partner. The study further revealed that an unemployed husband faces a higher risk of being sued for divorce by his spouse. Remarkably, the study also alluded that a married unemployed male may also choose to request a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney as financial difficulties increase. With regard to the wives who experienced a layoff, the marriage generally stayed on track.

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consecutive marriageAccording to an article published by Psychology Today, second and third marriages often result in divorce. Past statistics support that while first marriages have a 50/50 chance of survival, second and third marriages often fail with rates of 67 to 73 percent, not providing much hope for eternal bliss.

The reasoning behind the statistics? Often, those entering a second marriage are "on the rebound," and those trying for the proverbial third time charm have failed to learn from past mistakes.

Cathy Meyer, a Certified Divorce Coach, Marriage Educator and contributor to About.com’s Divorce Support, a general online resource for divorce, provides further explanation of why these marriages fail.

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Illinois domestic violenceAny one instance of domestic abuse is one too many, and for those residing in Illinois, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60) provides the basis for protection. Generally, any instance of physical, emotional or interference with one’s personal liberty at the hand of a family or household member is a crime and will be prosecuted as such. Although often, domestic violence crimes go unreported.

The Chicago Foundation for Women is fighting to put an end to domestic violence through Illinois statute and education. If you are a victim of any type of domestic violence, the following information may prove helpful. You may also consider contacting an experienced Illinois family law attorney to discuss your legal rights under Illinois law.

Staggering Statistics

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cost of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, divorce financesYou have finally made the decision to get a divorce. Whether it is an agreed upon decision with your spouse or something you've decided on your own, there are several things you should do in order to help minimize the financial hit you could be facing.

According to financial advisors, one of the first things you want to get rid of is any joint loans and credit cards you have with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Until your divorce is final, you and your spouse are both legally and financially responsible for each other’s debts, even if you had nothing to do with incurring the debt. If your spouse takes your shared credit card that and decides to go out and charge a whole new wardrobe on it, you are both responsible for the debt. Never assume that your spouse would not do something like that. Even the friendliest divorces can suddenly turn contentious.

Another mistake some people make is making all kinds of financial concessions in order to keep peace during a divorce in order to speed up the process. In some cases, couples opt for mediation rather than litigation, assuming that it will make the divorce process smoother. Mediation is best for couples who had a short marriage with few assets and no children, and couples with great communication skills. In other situations, litigation with attorneys for each partner may be a better option.

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dating after divorce, children of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Lombard divorce attorneySounds a bit strange, does it not? You are an adult, you have been married and you have been divorced. Currently you are on your own and now feel you are ready to take a chance on dating. Be prepared; your children may not be supportive of your decision.

According to Constance Ahrons, Ph.D, family therapist and author of "The Good Divorce" and "We’re Still Family," your decision to begin dating, no matter how long after divorce, is probably going to be received by your children with chilly resistance. It may also stir up a whole new cauldron of feelings for your offspring. In fact, your decision to begin dating may even be as traumatic an event as the divorce.

So how do you approach the subject? Try the following these tips and remember you are an adult and you are capable of making an informed decision.

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Posted on in Divorce

cold feet, wedding, marriage, Arlington Heights divorce lawyer, family lawTwo separate studies have concluded that if a bride or groom develops "cold feet" before the wedding takes place, it could be a sign that there may not be a living happily ever after ahead.

During one of the studies, conducted by University of California, 232 newlywed couples were interviewed. In order to participate, all couples needed to meet the following criteria:

  • The marriage is less than six months old;
  • This is the first marriage for both spouses;
  • Neither spouse has any children;
  • Both spouses are over 18 years of age, but wives are younger than 35 years of age;
  • Both couples have at least a 10th grade education.

Of the 464 people the study interviewed, 47 percent of the men and 38 percent of the women admitted to being uncertain about getting married before the wedding. The conclusion of the researchers was that marriages where at least one spouse had doubts had poorer staying power after four years. Marriages where the wife had expressed doubts had two and a half times higher the divorce rate.

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