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divorced parentsThe New Year brings with it lost of promise. Many people set goals for themselves in the form of New Year resolutions. Although sticking to an exercise program, eating healthier, and quitting smoking are all popular and important resolutions to have, one of the most important resolutions you can make as a divorced parent is to make what one family therapist calls the "Divorced Parent Pledge" to ensure a secure and happy life for your child.

Some of the promises a divorced parent can make to their children include:

  • Do not try to make the changes divorce brings to a child’s life sound as if it will all be a new adventure. Acknowledge that a lot of these changes can be scary, and sad, for your child. Validate their feelings. But also reassure that it will all work out and everything will be okay for them.
  • Even if your child repeats something negative about something their other parent says about you or blames you for, do not get into a finger pointing match over it. Do not use your child as a messenger delivery service to keep a feud going with your ex or to deliver child support or alimony checks.
  • If something your child does or says reminds you of the other parent, do not recoil in disgust or negativity. Remember, although your child has traits of both parents, he or she is their own individual. Embrace and love them for that.
  • Whatever visitation schedule you and your ex-spouse have worked out, it is important to allow the child to have some control over their own lives, within reason. Be flexible and try to accommodate those needs your child may have. Spending more time with one parent does not mean your child loves the other parent any less.
  • Do not have important discussions, or disagreements with your spouse, in front of your child. And also be aware that if these discussions are taking place over the phone, and your child is around, there is a strong possibility they are aware there is a disagreement taking place. Do it in private.
  • When you do have to attend events together with your ex-spouse, like school events or sport games, leave the acrimony at home. Your behavior towards each other will have a profound effect on your child’s enjoyment, so make sure the event is about your child and not whether or not you ex-spouse missed a child support payment that week.
  • Remember that at one time, you and your spouse did share good feelings for each other, such as when your child was born. Share those happy and funny stories with your child. Give them something more for their "memory boxes" than only memories of their parents fighting and hating each other.

Divorce is hard and can be devastating for children, especially if there is a child custody battle that is taking place. In these cases, it is critical to have an experienced Lombard divorce attorney representing you, especially if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not putting your child’s needs first.

divorce stressThe Illinois Department of Health lists a total of 2,310 divorces and annulments in DuPage County in 2011. This accounts for 18 more than listed the year prior. Divorce is never a pleasant ordeal and can cause a high amount of stress for the thousands of people it affects every year. Undoubtedly, there are a number of factors that can lead to hair loss, including poor nutrition or genetics, but studies have linked stress caused by divorce to hair loss in women.

An article published by U.S. News & World Report shares research that indicates hair loss due to stress from losing a spouse is only second behind genetics as the strongest culprit in females. Health habits may change during divorce proceedings, which may be attributed to increased stress and subsequent hair loss.

Irregular sleep patterns, alcohol and tobacco use, and other unhealthy factors may all affect the stress level of any person dealing with a separation. Divorce also can have an effect on a person’s medical health as well. Healthline.com published research that shows men and women who are divorced have 20 percent more chronic health problems than those who are married, per a study by the University of Chicago and John Hopkins University.

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Posted on in Divorce

post divorce check listOnce a divorce is granted, there are still many things a person has to do to ensure all official and/or legal connections with their now ex-spouse are taken care of.  The divorce decree ends your marriage, but you still need to make contact with various entities to ensure that your ex-spouse no longer has access or benefit of things to which they are no longer entitled.

The best way to do this is to make a list of the particulars you will have to change. Some of the items that may be on your task list include:

  1. All testamentary documents that you have drafted will need to be updated. Make sure you change the beneficiaries on any will and trusts you have, otherwise your ex-spouse would still be able to inherit your assets and property if something should happen to you.
  2. If there are any other entities where your spouse is named beneficiary, those should be changed as well. You will want to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary from insurance policies, bank and stock accounts, and any other financial accounts you may have. The only time this should not be done is if the divorce settlement says differently. For example, if you are paying spousal support, the judge may have ordered you to keep your spouse as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy for the duration of your alimony obligation. There may also need to be changes made to retirement accounts, such as a partial roll over into one spouse’s name, depending on the divorce settlement.
  3. If your divorce settlement included an exchange of real estate between the two of you, then you will need to have quit claim deeds recorded. There may also need to be mortgage refinancing that needs to be done to remove the other spouse from financial obligation of the property, again depending on what the final divorce settlement reads.
  4. If there are any joint utility bills, such as electric, water, and telephone, those will also have to be changed into the name of the spouse that will be living in the home.

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.

Posted on in Divorce

teenager divorceStatistics show that by the time they turn 16 years old, almost half of all teenagers will have experienced their parents divorcing. Fifteen percent of teenagers will deal with divorce more than once because of parents’ remarriages and subsequent divorces. For teens of unmarried parents, 25 percent will experience their parents’ breakup.

Adolescence can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. For many teens dealing with their parents’ divorce, the feelings are similar to coping with a death in the family and they will show all the signs of grieving. These feeling can especially intensify during special events and holidays.

Signs that a teenager is struggling with difficult emotions about the divorce include aggressive behavior, guilt, and anger. Physical signs include any changes in sleeping or eating habits, complaints of frequent headaches and stomach aches.

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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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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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children of divorce, life after divorce, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyAccording to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, children whose parents are divorced may suffer from low math test scores. The study also revealed that divorce may hamper the development of interpersonal skills in children, as well as cause children to struggle with low self-esteem, sadness, loneliness and anxiety.

The results of the study indicate that children do not suffer with these issues before their parents’ divorce, despite what the home situation is. These problems tend to appear after the breakup has already occurred.

Author of the study, Hyun Sik Kim, studied data provided by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. The study tracked 3600 students from kindergarten through fifth grade, beginning in 2008.

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parenting, children of divorce, parenting styles, Illinois divorce lawyer, reason for divorce, life after divorceOne of the biggest disagreements that can occur that parents have after a divorce is differences in parenting styles and boundaries. What’s acceptable at Mom’s house is forbidden at Dad’s – or visa-versa.

Issues such as bedtimes, appropriate television shows and the amount of television watched, video games and diet are just some of the areas where co-parents may disagree. There are ways to navigate frustrations that may crop up, which is especially important for the emotional well-being of the child. Remember to keep in mind that sometimes children play parents against each other in an effort to get the rules stretched. If your child says that they are allowed to do something at the other parent’s house that you don’t allow – for example staying up very late on a school night - check with the other parent to see if that activity is allowed on a regular basis or if it was just a one-time event. If you find out that there are things you disagree with that are allowed at the other parents house, don’t react angrily about it with your child. Calmly explain that the rules in your house are different. It’s important to accept that there are going to be things that you and your ex-spouse totally disagree on when it comes to raising your children, but remember that you both are committed to what’s best for your child. Differences in punishment can be particularly difficult to navigate, especially if one parent is stricter than the other. The use of corporal punishment by one parent can quickly escalate into a custody battle with the other parent citing child abuse. In Illinois, the law defines acts of child abuse when a parent or caregiver "inflicts excessive corporal punishment" but this law does not clearly define what constitutes "excessive." If you are concerned that the discipline techniques used by your ex-spouse on your child are harsh or excessive, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney today to find out what options you have to protect your child.

Posted on in Divorce

child of divorce, family lawyer, family law attorney, Illinois, children of divorce, life after divorceWhen a couple decides to file for divorce, the effect this decision will have on them and their family is often the first thing that crosses parent’s minds. Unfortunately, while parents often consider the academic and behavioral changes that may occur in their children as a result of divorce, many parents fail to realize that divorce can be an isolating experience for children.

 According to Utah State University, some children are more affected emotionally by divorce than others. One study has found that as many as 44 percent of children whose parents have divorced later reported feelings of loneliness and isolation as a result of the marriage break-up. While many parents consider how the absence of one of them will affect their children, they fail to realize that divorce may isolate children in other ways as well. In addition to spending less time with one parent due to custody decisions made by the court, children may see their custodial parent less often as well, particularly if that parent transitions from a stay-at-home role to a working role. They may also lose contact with grandparents, making the family connections feel even more tenuous. In many cases, a family will move as the result of a divorce, which may lead to a child having to switch schools. This not only disrupts the friendships that a child has, but causes them to lose touch with non-parental role models such as teachers and coaches they may have built relationships with. It may also affect their participation in extracurricular activities such as sports that they have enjoyed. All of these changes occurring in a child’s life at the same time can lead to feelings of extreme loneliness and isolation. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to remember that in most cases, children adjust well to their new routines and lives. Having a qualified family attorney at your side can help make the transition easier, which benefits the entire family. If you are planning to file for divorce in Illinois, contact a qualified Illinois divorce attorney about your case today.

 stages of griefDivorce could be briefly defined as the legal technicality that changes your marital status on your Federal 1040 form, but aside from the legalities involved, divorce is also an emotional process that will need attention and further defined as to how you plan to handle it.

 According to a recent article by Pauline H. Tesler, M.A., J.D. and Peggy Thompson, Ph.D, not one person will handle their divorce to the same degree as say the neighbor down the street or the co-worker in the next cube. According to the authors, there are predictable emotions that will manage to surface for anyone working through a divorce. How you handle these "normal" emotions is up to you. You could find yourself dealing with them with ease and grace or you could find yourself dealing with a diminished capacity of all logical thought patterns affecting your ability to think clearly or to make rational decisions. For all comparative purposes, the stages of grief brought forth by the legal loss of a marriage closely parallel those experienced when dealing with the death of a loved one. In their article, The Emotional Roller Coaster of Divorce, posted to Woman's Divorce.com, the authors discuss each dip of the Divorce Roller Coaster track:
  •  Denial
    •  Nope, this isn't happening to us! My marriage is on track! We can fix this!
  •  Anger
    •  How dare he or she! After all I've done! How is this fair!
  •  Resentment
    •  This is all his or her fault! Surely not mine!
  •  Bargaining
    •  We could work this out! You can change! I will change! What if you do this or I do that?
  •  Depression
    •  There is nothing I can do! He or she is actually out the door and not coming back!
  •  Acceptance
    •  Ok, I am done! Have it your way! There is no turning back! This is over!
Both Tesler and Thompson cite that our culture and our courts are eager for the next ride to begin. For many, moving forward with a divorce is often at the time one is still at the bottom of the first hill and not quite ready for the next twist or turn. For those still gripped by grief, guilt, shame, anxiety or fear it may be time to opt for the back of the line and only when emotionally ready, hand over their ticket to an experienced divorce attorney. Once aboard and able to make clear cut decisions regarding your divorce, you may be ready to throw up your hands and throw all disparaging emotions to the wind. If you are uneasily facing a divorce, the law team of A. Traub & Associates are here to provide you with the attention and informative legal guidance you need to put you in the best position to obtain the results you desire. Our goal is to do everything possible to ensure your best interests are protected. We will listen to your concerns, help you work through them and offer you supportive legal counsel, all in a friendly atmosphere. There is no need to feel intimidated about your legal situation when we can help you find a favorable solution Contact us today. We can help.
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