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postnuptial agreement, finances, Lombard Family LawyerDespite the immeasurable amounts of research and advice available to married couples, financial issues continue to be among the leading causes for divorce in the United States. In fact, some experts estimate that nearly half of all American divorces are directly related to financial priorities and disagreements. Many couples looking to be proactive about money matters may decide to negotiate a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. Others, however, may not realize the need for such arrangements until well after their wedding day. For these situations, a postnuptial agreement may be the solution.

Recognizing the Need

Postnuptial agreements are often initiated by couples who are beginning to see signs of financial concerns but are dedicated to salvaging their relationship. Such concerns may be triggered by the success of failure of a business venture, health-related issues, or the advancement in age of both spouses, among many other factors. While being objective about family matters and the future may be difficult, doing so jointly and effectively can help unite a couple in their efforts to strengthen their marriage.

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signs of marriage troubleIs your marriage in trouble? There are signs that marriage and family therapists say can be indicators that a marriage is headed for divorce court. They are also good indicators if you have been struggling with the decision to divorce of where exactly your marriage is at.

  • Do you find yourself no longer consulting or valuing your spouse’s opinion or input? From serious topics, such as work issues, to plans for the weekend, making decisions on your own without even broaching the subject with your spouse, especially if this is something you always did in the past, is an indicator of a breakdown in communication.
  • Another sign there could be serious problems is if you do not consider ever putting your spouse’s needs or wishes ahead of your own anymore. As one therapist put it, making yourself "king or queen of the castle" is a sign something is wrong.
  • Has the ebb and flow of giving in the relationship now been replaced by a scorecard of what you do and what your spouse does?
  • Do you feel like you are living with a partner or with a roommate? Partners work together, making plans for the future and achieving goals together. Roommates share the same space but live singular lives. They pick up after themselves, cook their own dinners and buy their own food, etc., without considering or including the person they live with.
  • Do you purposely hit your spouse’s "hot button" to try to get a reaction from him or her? In healthy relationships, we learn what things are upsetting to our spouse and try to avoid those actions. That’s not always the case in marriages that are breaking down.
  • Do you still date? Even married couples need to court and woo each other, just like they did when dating. Love notes, little gifts, and wanting to look good for your spouse are all things that help keep the romance in a marriage.
  • Do you still talk? Not just talk about problems or issues that come up, but do you and your spouse enjoy conversations with each other about anything? If you barely communicate with your spouse, unless it is about who needs to pick up the kids or take the dog to the vet that can indicate a marriage in trouble.

Do you think a lot about what life would be like without your spouse in it and envision it as a much happier and better life than it is right now? If you are thinking about divorce, contact an Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what legal options you may have.

Laughter, laughing, divorce, divorce rate, Illinois divorce lawyerAccording to Fun Trivia, laughing uses 53 of our muscles. Laughter, often revered as the best medicine, involves jiggling our facial, jaw and throat muscles, and ultimately tickling our Zygomatic and Risorius muscles. Did you ever consider that by flexing these 53 optimal muscles you could keep your marriage intact?

A new study conducted by University of Maryland sociologist, Philip N. Cohen, suggests that divorce rates will increase as our economy improves. The reason? Couples can finally afford to seek the services of an experienced divorce attorney to dissolve their marital ties and be financially secure in their decision.

So how could flexing these 53 muscles improve your chances of staying married as the economy improves? Co-authors, Amy Waterman and Andrew Rusbatch of "Save My Marriage Today!" offer the following advice.

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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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cohabitation, marriage, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attonreyCohabitation before marriage is becoming more common than in the past. Nearly 50 percent of all women have chosen cohabitation, often putting off marriage for up to two years, according to US News & World Report.

Studies have shown that for some, this living arrangement has proven to be a better option. Today Health reported that cohabiting couples appear happier and hold greater self-esteem than their married counterparts. Why? It is believed that cohabitation allows for increased independence and personal growth while in a committed relationship.

Of course in any relationship, ground rules are important. If you are opting to cohabitate, these quick tips may establish your personal boundaries, leading to a healthy and happier existence.

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maiden name, name change, marriage, divorce, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyAccording to a study that spanned 35 years and was published in Social Behavior and Personality, just under 25 percent of women who married in the 1990’s kept their maiden name. In the 2000’s, this number leveled off at around 18 percent. More women in the Northeast (20 percent) keep their maiden names than women in the Midwest (4 percent).

When going through a divorce, women are given the option of keeping their married last name or going back to their maiden name. For women who are undecided at the time of the divorce, it’s important to make sure that it is clearly spelled out in the final divorce decree that they may do so in the future. Otherwise, it will be necessary to go back to court in order to have the divorce decree amended.

There are several things to consider when deciding which last name to use after a divorce. If there are children from the marriage, some women make the decision to keep their married name in order to still share the same last name with their kids.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, reason for divorce, relationships, cause of divorce, marriage, Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce is a common peril for almost 50 percent of all American couples. When we hear about a recent "conscious uncoupling" we assume the wife is responsible for placing the call to an experienced divorce attorney. Our assumption would have been correct.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, 65 percent of all divorce proceedings are initiated by the wife. In states such as Illinois, when introducing no-fault divorce, rates jumped as high as 70 percent. If we learned anything from John Gray's, Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus, we are quite aware that there are fundamental differences between women and men. Women tend to view things at a more emotional level and perhaps the following, offered by Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. can categorize the feelings behind a woman's decision to dissolve her marriage: "I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned."

"My husband is no longer my friend."

"The only time my husband pays attention to me is when he wants sex."

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cohabitation, cohabitation agreement, lawyer, attorney, divorce, divorce rate, cause of divorceIn the past, cohabitation before marriage has often been linked to couples filing for divorce. New information, however has shown that this is incorrect. In fact, in certain cases, living together before getting married may actually improve the chances of a marriage succeeding.

New research conducted by Dr. Arielle Kuperberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has shown that for women who have personal circumstances that may, in many cases, indicate a higher risk for divorce, cohabitation can actually improve their chances at a successful marriage. This includes:
  • Women who have had a premarital birth;
  • Women who have had more than the average number of sexual partners;
  • Women raised in single parent families;
  • Women raised in stepparent families.
Dr. Kuperberg’s research found that previous studies linking cohabitation and divorce consistently overstated the risk, ignoring other issues that may have also increased the risk of an unsuccessful marriage. For example, poorer couples have a tendency to cohabitate, and a lower economic status often leads to divorce. These studies also compared couples by the ages at which they married, instead of their ages when they moved in together. When Dr. Kuperberg compared these couples at the age when they moved in together, she found no difference in the divorce rate. Instead, couples who married or cohabitated at ages younger than 23 were the ones at a higher risk for divorce. Of course, the cause of a divorce is rarely simple. In most cases, the reasons behind a divorce cannot be traced to a single factor. If you are considering filing for divorce in Illinois, your first step should be to obtain the services of a qualified attorney. The professionals at A. Traub & Associates have years of experience, and will do their best to ensure that your divorce moves as smoothly through the system as possible. Contact us today for your initial consultation, and let us help you get started on your way to a new life.

So you are getting married! Congratulations! Now the whirlwind begins... Appointments with the wedding planner, the florist, the photographer, the banquet manager, the musical director, the clergy, the bakery manager, the dressmaker and the jeweler. Your schedule is filling up fast, so many discussions and decisions, but is there one discussion you may be avoiding on your growing list of "to-dos"?

 prenuptial agreementThe Prenuptial Agreement Not for celebrity use only, the prenuptial agreement has been around as long as couples have been tying the knot. According to a New York Times article, the prenuptial agreement can be traced back at least 2000 years. Ancient Hebrew society drafted marriage contracts known as Ketubahs and the French included an agreement as part of the dowry as far back as the ninth century. Originally, these predecessors of the prenuptial agreement were drafted to protect the wife in case of her husband's death or divorce, as a form of predetermined insurance. Often today, a prenup suggests the protection of sizable wealth, but in all reality, an effective agreement can cover all the bases by eliminating lengthy and costly differences over assets in the event of a divorce. So how do you go about discussing this with your eager fiancee without finding yourself immediately thrown back into the dating scene? As unromantic as it may seem, if you are adamant about drafting a prenup, these tips may help when approaching your unsuspecting fiancee: Yours, Mine and Not Ours This may be the best argument for signing an agreement. For example, if you are still paying off student loans by drafting a prenup you can secure that your future spouse doesn't assume your debt. In the event your intended has investments made prior to your union, you can also ease their worries by legally refraining from any financial control of those investments. Financial consideration also protects both partners from any changes in state law regarding marital property.  Bringing Up the Kids Literally, when the little ones arrive, what's the plan? Will one parent leave the workforce to raise the children? A predetermined agreement can protect asset distribution for the stay-at-home mom or dad in the event of a break-up.  Cents and Sensibility By clearly defining goals, a prenuptial contract can be drafted for less money than the cost of two divorce attorneys in the event the marriage fails.  Mapping the Marital Future A prenup can also secure a standard of living without the many financial surprises a divorce can bring. Having set arrangements for alimony and residence determinations can ease the pain of divorce and the fear of the unknown. Child custody and child support, however, can not be determined in a prenuptial agreement.  The Golden Years If it would ease your fiancee’s concerns, a sunset clause can be added to the agreement. This allows an automatic termination of terms within a specified time period, protecting each person's assets early in the marriage. A prenup can also be terminated at any time if both spouses are in agreement.  Legal vs. Marriage Counseling Once your fiancee is on board, plan on scheduling an appointment with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about all of the options that are available to you. Executing an amicable prenuptial agreement can ease the tensions of constant "what-if's" as well as defining your marital goals. It may also prevent heated arguments about finances and responsibilities and thwart a trip to the marriage counselor. Your wedding day is destined to be one of the most memorable days of your lives, having a strategically drafted prenuptial agreement in place will only be the icing on your wedding cake. We understand the concerns. At A. Traub & Associates we are experienced with working with couples to draft a prenuptial agreement that will best suit everyone’s expectations. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to schedule your consultation today.

It is often thought if a marriage lasts ten years or longer, the likelihood of divorce is less. However, according to a report in the Huffington Post, a few factors can challenge marriages that have lasted decades.

 Nothing in Common

After the children have left home for college, many couples feel that they don’t have much in common anymore. The marriage is now less about parenting and more about being friends and companions. This is where the true connection between the couple is bared and unfortunately, sometimes there is not enough there to keep both spouses in the relationship.

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As prenuptial agreements become more and more popular, many married people may be thinking that they wish they could have a prenup. But it’s not too late; a prenuptial agreement created after a couple is married is called a postnuptial agreement, but is, essentially, the same as a prenup.

People who choose to enter into a postnuptial or postmarital agreement do so for many reasons. One reason is if one spouse creates a business, the business partners may ask the spouse to sign and agree not to make a claim on the business should the other pass away or if they become separated. This will prevent a fight over the company from occurring if the couple divorces, and prevent a fight between the business partners and spouse if the spouse who took part in the business passes away.

Spouses may also choose to sign a postnuptial agreement if they have separate properties, which they use to buy a joint property. The agreement will ensure that the spouse with the separate property will still get the same benefits that he or she would have if the properties had stayed separate rather than purchasing joint property.

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Posted on in Divorce

The happiness of any marriage is dependent on both spouses becoming a team against all obstacles and supporting each other through difficult times.  But it also might be deeper than that.  Marital satisfaction might be set in your DNA based upon a new study published on October seventh of this year.

Divorceis very likely; the CDC has said that half of all marriages end in divorce.  One of authors of the study offered their reason for initiating the study about why divorce is so common. UC Berkeley psychologistRobert W. Levensonstated in a press release that "an enduring mystery is, what makes one spouse so attuned to the emotional climate of the marriage, and another so oblivious."  The hope is that this study will start to uncover the reasons.

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There are many kinds of abusive relationships.  The most obvious type of domestic abuse is violent behavior like hitting, kicking and yelling.  But there are other ways that a spouse’s behavior can be covertly abusive.  Passive aggressive spouses can be just as disruptive to a marriage as outwardly abusive spouses.

Passive aggressive behavior is used to avoid conflicts, suppress feelings of anger or try to control a situation.  It is covert because it can mask emotions and feelings to a point that the person’s behavior may seem nice at times.

Since passive aggressive behavior can be hidden, it is helpful to know what the typical traits are of a passive aggressive person.  Identifying the behavior is the first step to stopping the destructive cycle of hurtful actions and words.

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Posted on in Divorce

Being divorced is a difficult transition.  It is hard to move on from the life you used to know.  But there must have been some reasons that your relationship with your spouse did not work.  And now that you are single again, there are things you can change the next time around.  And if you are a parent, there is even less opportunity to mess around and take this next step lightly.

The first consideration is to make sure that you know why you’re dating in the first place.  Having a clear purpose in your new life will help you stay on track and eliminate distractions.

But always keep in mind that you are dating again to have fun.  This is not a search for lost keys, so do not make it a job.  It should be a hobby that should be spontaneous and enjoyable.  Hobbies like learning a new language, trying new sports, and other exciting activities will put you in front of new people and new connections.

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ChristineDivorce is rampant in our society and taking the way out can be a breath of fresh air.

But what about the breath of 80 year old love?

November 25, 1932, marked the first "I do" by John and Ann Betar of Fairfield, Connecticut. Eighty years later they not only have happiness together but five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren to add to the bliss.

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isbaIn recent years, the rate of baby boomer divorces has increased gradually. Nowadays, every fourth divorce includes spouses age 50 or older, while twenty years ago they were included in only 10 percent of divorces. There are many reasons that have caused the phenomenon, says a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

Marital roles and expectations have been changing and it has taken the boomers some getting used to. In the past, marriage was taken for granted; once you got married you were in it for life. Today couples expect more from marriage and the quality of marriage has become more important. A 2010 study found that boomers were more likely than any other age group to say that happiness is the main point of marriage, and 66 percent said they would rather divorce than stay in an unhappy marriage. It’s only natural that couples start to question decisions they made some thirty years ago, and may feel that divorce is the best option. This is also the time when you should consider talking to an experienced divorce lawyer.

Some boomer marriages have had underlying problems that have surfaced when the children have grown up and left home. These problems may have been developing for decades, for example, due to poor communication and because it was expected to just endure everything without trying to fix the problem. Married couples are more aware nowadays and know there are other options available.

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According to Medill, a publication of Northwestern University in Chicago, "states that allow same-sex marriage have some of the lowest [divorce] rates in the country." As the idea of legal LGBT marriage comes to Illinois, many opponents fear that it will ruin the idea of a nuclear family, traditionally consisting of a mother, father, and children. Yet Carolina Staerk, a representative from Equity Illinois, has stated that the state has recently become open to the idea of a marriage equality act. 

According to the Medill, the divorce rate is lowest in states that allow same-sex marriage. "Same-sex couples took their vows for the first time May 17, 2004, as Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage." In 2004, the divorce rate in that state was 2.2 for every 1,000 people. By 2010 that had risen to 2.5 per 1,000 people; still the second lowest divorce rate in the country by state. The state with the lowest divorce rate in 2010? Iowa—another state that allows same-sex marriage.

Chicagoan Scott Fehlan, a lawyer who married his husband in California in 2008, guesses that it’s because gay couples who get married wait longer and are more mature when they tie the know that divorce rates among same-sex marriages are lower than the heterosexual rates. "They are less likely to get a divorce because they have been together for so long, and the opportunity has only recently been granted for them to get married," he told Medill.

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Not so many years ago, in an American society that was arguably much more conservative than that of today, cohabitation before marriage was considered a recipe for marriage disaster. Despite the fact that the rate of cohabitation before marriage has steadily increased in recent decades, the idea that cohabitation before marriage can directly result in divorce is still prevalent today. 

According to an Op-Ed published in the New York Times, "cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million." In more than half of all modern American marriages, the couple has lived together before the wedding.

In 2001 the National Marriage Project conducted a survey that found that two-thirds of 20-somethings surveyed believed that "moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce." Yet according to the Times, "couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages—and more likely to divorce—than couples who do not."

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