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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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engaged couple money topicsThere are many issues that an engaged couple should discuss before they actually get married. Often, a couple gets so caught up in the romance of the event that they forget about the practical and important financial issues that should be decided before the actual walk down the aisle happens. And since money is one of the most common reasons why married couples argue, there are certain topics that should be discussed to avoid major problems between the couple in the future.

Both partners should share with each other how they see their shared future. They should both have a clear understanding of whether or not they both want children and how many. They also both need to have a clear understanding about where they would like to raise that family, such as in the city, suburbs or in the country. Both partners also need to be aware of any future career goals their future spouse may have and how those goals could impact their life together.

There also should be an honest discussion about each other’s current financial obligations. For example, if either partner has children from previous relationships, the other party has the right to know what the financial obligation is for those children, including how much child support is paid out or how much child support is received. It is not only current financial obligations that are important to share, but also future ones, such as elderly parents that may require financial assistance or any medical issues.

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child custodyA recent survey revealed that more and more Americans are not waiting to get married before they begin to have children. This trend is especially growing among college educated adults. But having a child out-of-wedlock may raise several legal issues that could need to be addressed.

Out of 9,000 adults between the ages of 26 to 31 years of age, more than 50 percent of the women were mothers. Of that number, 64 percent had at least one child out-of-wedlock, and almost half had all of their children out-of-wedlock. The statistics for men in the group were very similar to the women.

Unmarried parents who have children together may find themselves facing several family law issues that they did not anticipate, including paternity, child custody and support. In this state, Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 established the rules for children born to unwed parents.

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divorce rateEmory University of Atlanta has long held esteem as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, as well as a global leader in cutting-edge research. One of the most recent research studies released by Emory encapsulates the conception and probability of divorce among American couples. The study, titled "A Diamond is Forever and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship Between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration," concluded that the combined exorbitant expenses of an engagement ring and wedding preparation may determine the duration of the all-American marriage.

Of the 3,000 adults polled, it was discovered that men who set a limit between $2,000 to $4,000 for an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to consult with an experienced divorce attorney at some point in the marriage. Those who opted for a $500 to $2,000 price point remained in the marriage. Those who had a lower budget for engagement rings ranging from $0 to up to $500 also faced a higher instance of divorce.

Emory researchers then surveyed the female participants regarding the cost of the wedding itself. Statistically, women spending more than $20,000 on their once in a lifetime event were found to divorce at a rate 3.5 times higher than those who set the limit between $5,000 to $10,000. This may not be welcoming news for any bride to be since the average cost of today’s wedding is at least $30,000.

As the significant divorce rate remains a thorn in the side of all American couples, the Emory research team concluded their study does little to support the validity of the wedding industry’s extravagant price tag as a precursor to a couple’s "happily ever after."

If you are considering consulting with an experienced Lombard divorce attorney, the legal team A. Traub & Associates understands the importance of reaching a fair resolution at a cost-effective rate. To discuss your situation with one of our experienced attorneys, call 630-426-0196 today.

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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latchkey kid, single parent, parenting, Illinois family law attorney, divorce attorenyLatchkey kids. For many, these children live in single family homes either due to divorce or explanatory absence of one parent. The concept of latchkey kids dates back to World War II, when fathers left to serve and mothers entered war effort industries. Often awarded a key, dangling from a piece of string placed around their necks, latchkey kids arrived at an empty home and waited for mom to finish her shift. World War II moms often opted for the swing shift, requiring them to lock the door and slip off to work while their children slept. The country realized this was an issue, and promptly set up community centers where Latchkey Kids could safely await mom’s arrival.

These types of programs ended shortly after the war, leaving Americans still wondering how to work, support families and ensure the safety of their children. Sixty-nine years later, latchkey kids remain a societal issue of today’s generation.

Home Alone Act II

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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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