Archive for April, 2013

Childhood Disease Not Necessarily Linked to Parents’ Divorce

April 28th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Conventional wisdom says that in a marriage in which there are children with childhood disease, divorce is more prevalent, but a new study from Denmark, according to US News and World Report, debunks this. “Even though a child’s illness can cause severe stress,” reports US News and World Report, “the marriages and partnerships of parents of kids with cancer aren’t more likely to fall apart.” Childhood cancer isn’t common, though according to the National Cancer Institute it’s the “leading disease-related cause of death in kids under 15.”

The study took into consideration the parents of nearly 2,500 children under the age of 20 who were diagnosed with cancer between 1980 and 1997. Their relationships were compared with nearly 45,000 parents of healthy children who were followed for up to 20 years.

The impact of a parents’ split on children is a theme all-too common in studies and reports about divorce, but according to the Huffington Post, “what we rarely hear about is how children impact their parents’ marriage.” Not only can severe diseases, like cancer, have an impact on a marriage, so can less-threatening diagnoses, according to the Huffington Post. “Autism, Asperger’s, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder… there are any number of things that can challenge a parent’s idea of what raising a child will be like,” according to the Huffington Post.

Just because the Danish study reports that parents of sick children aren’t more likely to get divorced because of the disease it doesn’t mean that the stress of a severely sick child can’t be a factor in divorce. Determining child custody and caring for a child who is ill can be much more difficult than with healthy children.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce because of the stress of raising a sick child, the most important first step is to seek counsel with an experienced family law attorney. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area divorce lawyer today.

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Educational Involvement and Custody

April 24th, 2013 at 9:21 am

Going through a divorce can be a traumatic experience in itself. There is a disruption in the home structure and even the life plan of the adults involved. The children can be impacted even more because of the emotions and the disruption that they feel. Child custody is a hot button topic in many divorce situations. According to the Huffington Post, the level of involvement in the child’s education can have a great impact on the way that the court decides when it comes to primary custody.

TheresaOne of the people who may be called to testify regarding the question of custody is your child’s teacher. The teacher will be able to tell the court which parent is more involved with the child and his or her education. This can be a very heavily weighted factor. The court may ask the teacher who is called when the child is sick or acting out in class, who attends the parent-teacher conferences and who drives the child to and from school.

This can be a factor that seems to be unfair, especially if one parent is the bread winner while the other parent may not work, so they have the  time to do these things. Inside of the marriage, parenting is thought of as a partnership. This ideology is not always upheld after a separation when it is almost more important that raising children is a cooperative arrangement.

The time that the children spend with their parents is definitely beneficial to the bond that is built between child and parent. Both parents should make steps to spend time and participate in important things with the children. While it may seem unfair that something like this would be considered in family court, it is. An educated and compassionate Illinois divorce attorney can assist you with your questions regarding child custody.

Bill O’Reilly has Tough Custody Battle with Ex

April 22nd, 2013 at 9:25 pm

The ongoing custody dispute between Bill O’Reilly and his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy becomes more acrimonious by the day. Some media outlets are reporting that O’Reilly has even tried to have his former wife ex-communicated from the Catholic Church, the religion they both practice.

Bill OReilly 3.20.2013.Kerry. KH DivAccording to reports in TV Guide and Hollywood Gossip, the couple, who have two teenage children together, separated in April 2010 and divorced in September 2011. They had originally agreed to shared custody of their children, but a month after the divorce, McPhilmy filed motions for sole custody after learning that O’Reilly had hired the children’s therapist, a woman they had agreed would be a neutral arbitrator in any ongoing disputes, to be the children’s nanny. The motion, which was filed under Anonymous 2011-1 v Anonymous 2011-2, was originally rejected by the lower court and went all the way to the appellate court. The appellate court agreed that there should be a hearing to determine if the original custody agreement had been violated by O’Reilly. That hearing was heard in October, but no decision has been made yet.

McPhilmy has since remarried, to a Nassau County Police detective. In 2011, O’Reilly allegedly used his connections with the Nassau County Police Department to try to launch an internal affairs investigation into McPhilmy’s then new boyfriend. Currently, the New York Civil Liberties Union is involved in a lawsuit against the NCPD for access to public records, including O’Reilly’s correspondence with former commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, about the episode. The case is on appeal to the Second Department of New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.

Now O’Reilly is being accused of using his influence in the church (O’Reilly donated over $65,000 to New York Catholic parishes and schools in 2011.) to have his McPhilmy excommunicated. She has been formally reprimanded in writing by her church for continuing to take communion at her Long Island parish despite having been divorced and remarried (not allowed in the eyes of the church). The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her “second marriage is valid in the eyes of God” and warned her that if she didn’t comply, harsher measures may be in order.

Ironically, O’Reilly is in the process of trying to have his fifteen year marriage annulled in the church.

This case is a perfect example of how custody battles don’t always end when the ink on the divorce papers are dry. If you are having custody issues, contact a qualified Chicago attorney to represent you.


After Divorce: Parenting

April 18th, 2013 at 9:54 am

The aftermath of divorce is hard for anyone, but it becomes more difficult when you have to deal with disciplining your kids without an extra pair of eyes around. Parents are often emotionally exhausted after a divorce, and it is challenging to be hard on your kids even when they have done something wrong. There is also that deeming factor that there might be a difference in rules that you and your ex have each established at each household. has come up with a few tricks to making your house more structured post-divorce.

AmandaFirst of all, it is important that you and your ex are a team when it comes to the children, even though you are not in a relationship. Be sure to discuss with your ex how you want to work out the problems of your children. Patricia Strenger-Dowds, Ph.D, says, “To stay focused on your child and not your past together, try to think of your ex as a business partner.” Some parents want to only discuss the big issues together, and others are more particular and want to consult everything down to bedtime and TV rules. But when meeting to discuss this, be sure to write down what your decisions are.

An important thing to remember is not to worry if you can’t agree on certain issues. If this is the case, then it is okay to individually make your own house rules. Experts say that children will be able to adapt to the different environments as long as they know that things are different. Next, be sure to stick to your rules. It is essential to keep consistency when the children are at your home. Lastly, unless you and your ex have discussed enforcing each other’s rules, then don’t expect them too. Make sure that your punishments are contained to your own household, unless otherwise specified.

At any rate, divorce is a difficult issue to go through for any family. If you are considering filing for divorce, be sure to call a  qualified lawyer. Contact an experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney today.