Archive for May, 2013

Divorce Linked to Doing Housework?

May 30th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Divorce Linked to Doing Housework? IMAGEA recent Norwegian study finds that while not directly correlated, there is a relationship between divorce and sharing household duties, as reported in the Huffington Post. The study found that “the divorce rate among couples who share household chores was about 50 percent higher than for those in which the woman takes care of the housework,” according to the Huffington Post.

Yet it’s not so cut and dry: households in which men help out with the housework are apt to be more modern relationships, in which “women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially.” It’s not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. And yet still, married couples who definitively see their role in the marriage, whether it be as breadwinner or house-parent or somewhere in between—couples that didn’t divvy up small duties in the day to day—had a lower divorce rate. “Clearly defined responsibilities between partners,” according to the Huffington Post, “prevented one spouse from stepping on the other’s toes.”

And yet “traditional” marriages don’t necessarily correspond with social conservativeness, at least according to the numbers. A couple years ago the U.S. Census Bureau reported that they were actually lower rates of divorce in the supposedly liberal Northeast than in the more socially conservative South and West. This could have as much to do with the age of first marriage as it does with mindsets—the median age for a first marriage was higher in the Northeast than in either the South or West. Generally if a person waits to marry, he’s less likely to get divorced.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce or interested in learning more about your options, don’t go through it alone. The most important first step is to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today.

 

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Child Support in Cases of Split Custody

May 27th, 2013 at 8:18 pm

In Illinois divorces, there is a difference between physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody deals with the ability of each parent to make important decisions for the children, such as which school to attend and decisions about major medical procedures. Physical custody deals with living arrangements, i.e. which home will be the children’s primary home.

Rigers 5.13.2013Sometimes, parents agree to joint legal custody, but with only one parent having sole physical custody and the other only having visitation rights. In other cases, parents agree to have both joint legal and physical custody, in which case the child(ren) would spend nearly equal amount of time with each parent. In order to reach this type of arrangement, an attorney would file a Joint Parent Agreement detailing the custody schedule.

In addition to both parents being equally a part of the child(ren)’s life, another important benefit is that joint custody allows for deviations from the Illinois statutory child support guidelines. Currently in Illinois, a court will usually order the non-custodial parent, the parent who only has visitation rights, to pay child support to the custodial parent. 750 ILCS 5/505 (2013). The Illinois child support statute contains specific guidelines for child support payments. The support obligation is tied to the number of children born or adopted during the marriage. For example, for a family with one child, the parent who owes child support must pay 20% of the net income. For a family with two children, the support obligation goes up to 28%, incrementally increasing up to 50% of the net income in cases when there are 5 children. 70 ILCS 5/505(a)(1)

The Illinois child support statute, however, allows for deviations from the guidelines. 70 IL CS 5/505(a).In cases of joint physical custody, an experienced attorney may be able to convince a judge to allow lower payments because both parents are equally responsible for the day to daily expenses.

Both custody and child support determinations are fact-intensive and an experienced family law attorney should handle them. For additional information and answers, please contact Anderson & Associates, with offices in Orland Park, Chicago, Wheaton, Schaumburg and Northbrook.

Types of Custody Agreements

May 23rd, 2013 at 1:18 pm

LP 5-22-13Depending on your judge and your individual case, you may be presented with one of several options for a child custody arrangement. The following explains some of your options.

Joint Custody

This further breaks down into legal custody and physical custody. An order issued with regard to legal custody involves religious, medical, and educational decisions about the children, which are to be shared by the parents. Regarding physical custody in a joint custody arrangement, the children will spend time with each parent.

Joint custody is an option for courts in every state, but unless parents agree to it and appear to be able to work with one another, it’s not likely to be recommended. Joint custody can require a lot of communication back and forth between parents, so it might not be ideal for every family.

Full Custody With One Parent, Unsupervised Visits With The Other

In this scenario, one parent maintains full custody, but unsupervised visits (generally on a specific schedule) allow the other parent to spend time alone with the children.

Full Custody With One Parent, Supervised Visits With The Other

In this scenario, the supervised visits will occur with the children, the non custodial parent, and one other adult present, usually at a visitation center. Sometimes, additional rules and protocol will be in place for the visit, and the supervised visitation parent usually has a very limited about of time with the children.

Factors Determining Child Custody

Usually, a court has to examine multiple factors to make a determination about child custody. These include taking into account the mental and physical health of all involved parties, the child’s current level of adjustment to his or her life, the willingness of each parent to communicate and facilitate a  relationship between the child and the other parent, and the wishes of both the child and his or her parents.

You should never assume that you can navigate a custody issue alone. You should always have professional legal representation to guide you through the process. Contact us today for more details.

 

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The Purpose of Prenuptial Agreements

May 19th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Many people think that prenuptial agreements are reserved for those who are extremely wealthy. However, this is not necessarily true. A prenuptial agreement sets forth in writing the rights that each spouse has to non-marital assets in the event of a separation, divorce, or demise of a spouse.

Prenuptial agreement Theresa  5-1If you have things that you have owned since before the marriage such as family heirlooms, you can ensure that those items are passed to other family members or your children by protecting them in the prenuptial agreement. If you are married later in life, after you have built financial wealth, you may want to define who will be left with those monies if you were to pass away.

A premarital agreement may also be a consideration if you own a business. If you have built and owned this business before your marriage, it can be covered in the premarital agreement. This will guarantee that in the case of a divorce, your former spouse will not receive any control over or access to the business. A premarital agreement can also protect your spouse from your debt that was accrued before the marriage.

While a prenuptial agreement cannot limit the amount of money that can be ordered in matters such as child support, it can put some limitations on spousal support. Many states are now allowing prenuptial agreements to determine the amount of alimony that will be paid, although these clauses were considered unenforceable in the past.

If you have questions regarding what can be covered in a prenuptial agreement, or if you should have one at all, a qualified Illinois family law attorney can assist you with those questions and advise you on the terms that you should set forth for your future spouse.

Economic Recovery Linked to More Divorces

May 16th, 2013 at 11:51 am

divorce Laura Pennington LP5.15As the economic recovery slowly crosses the United States, with indicators across the board that things may be turning up for the first time in several years, other rates are going up, too. It’s not surprising that during a slow economy, couples may be slow to move towards divorce if they are financially unstable or worried about their own ability to find a secure job. In addition, difficult economic times can cause an increase in fights and tension in a marriage that’s already strained. These are some of the reasons that more couples are seeking a divorce attorney as the economy improves.

Filing for divorce can be an expensive proposition. With many families around the country cutting back and learning to live with less, filing for divorce can seem like a financial impossibility. As conditions improve and individuals feel more financial freedom, this can be the tipping point for partners making the official move towards divorce.

The data come from Avvo.com, which experienced an 80% increase in questions relating to divorce asked to their site between 2012 and 2013. In fact, searches about divorce accounted for 10% of all traffic during this time period. During the year prior, these searches only made up 1% of all traffic coming to the site. There’s also a connection when the statistics about job creation and housing data, linking increased individual mobility to a higher likelihood to divorce.

For many couples, a divorce is a highly emotional decision. If the partners have been highly dependent on each other, it can be especially complicated to let go of their past connection and forge a new way alone. Signs of economic improvement can be a signal for an individual that has been thinking about divorce to make the jump into contacting a divorce lawyer and filing paperwork. If you’ve been considering divorce and would like to discuss your next steps with an attorney, reach out today.

 

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Divorcees End Up Dating Other Divorcees

May 12th, 2013 at 9:04 am

The high divorce rates in the U.S. make it pretty likely that if you’re divorced and dating, your date is probably divorced as well. According to the Chicago Tribune, “relationship experts don’t necessarily see problems with dating someone who has been divorced more than once, but it depends on the circumstances.” Casually dating someone who has had multiple marriages likely means that there’s no issue, psychologist Holly Parker told the Tribune, “but if you want to progress to a committed relationship, there’s more to think about, she says.” Parker notes that the if the person has been married three or four times, it’s important to question whether he or she has taken responsibility for his or her part in the marriage’s failure. Divorcees End Up Dating Other Divorcees IMAGE

Research does suggest, according to the Tribune, “that people who marry multiple times are more likely (than people who do not marry multiple times) to have personality traits and issues with emotional health that make it difficult to maintain satisfying, long-term relationships.” Even if you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, oftentimes a person who has been married several times might not be the most fun person to pass your time with, according to Parker.

According to a 2011 report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, 55 percent of people 15 and older had been married once, and 15 percent had married more than once. That included 12 percent who had married twice, and 3 percent who had married three or four times. Only 1 percent of currently married couples “consisted of a husband and wife who had both been married three or more times.”

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, don’t go through it alone. A qualified divorce lawyer can help you in all stages of the complicated process. Contact a dedicated Chicago area family law attorney today.

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Study Asks Whether ‘Cold Feet’ Indicates Future Divorce

May 7th, 2013 at 11:13 am

A study conducted at UCLA and published in the Journal of Medicine asked the question if cold feet before the wedding were an indicator of marital problems in the future. The researchers asked 232 recently married couples in their first marriages whether they had “ever been uncertain or hesitant about getting married” after they got engaged. They followed up with the couples every six months over the next four years to see if the couples’ doubts had validity. Their conclusion: having doubts before marriage is a good predictor of trouble ahead.

KerryIn about two-thirds of the couples who participated, one or both of the partners had doubts. According to the study, men had more doubts than women, with 47 percent of husbands having doubts, and 38 percent of the wives. The researchers found that having doubts before the wedding was a predictor of where the marriage would be four years later. Wives’ doubts were especially indicative of future divorce: 19 percent of couples in which wives had doubts were divorced four years later, but only 8 percent of couples in which wives did not have doubts ended up divorced. Husbands’ doubts did not significantly predict divorce, although divorce rates were somewhat higher among husbands with doubts (14 percent) than husbands without doubts (9 percent). For those couples with doubts who did not divorce, they reported have less satisfying marriages.

The team of psychologists who conducted this research recommends that couples pay attention to strong doubts. Don’t ignore them. While not necessarily a sign that the wedding should be called off, they suggest using those doubts to open the door to dialogue and communication with your partner, facing and resolving issues early on.

If you do find yourself in an unhappy marriage and are considering divorce, talk with an experienced Illinois family law attorney to find out what steps you should take before filing for divorce. Being prepared and well-represented will help ensure a favorable legal outcome.

Divorce May Be Preferable to Marriage Counseling

May 2nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Divorce May Be Preferable to marriage counseling IMAGEMany couples turn to couples counseling in an effort to stave off divorce, according to the Chicago Tribune, but according to therapist Pat Love, couples counseling can be like “assembling an airplane in flight.” It’s not always easy, can be highly stressful, and has the potential to be explosive. Therapy isn’t always the answer to solving the problems in a strained marriage—sometimes counselors can “even do more harm than good,” according to the Tribune. When you consider the cost of therapy and the emotional rollercoaster that it can put a couple through, especially a couple already under the duress of an unhappy relationship, seeking the guidance of a qualified divorce attorney may be the better option.

This isn’t to say, of course, that couples therapy doesn’t work, and that there aren’t counseling professionals who do it well. It’s just that, according to the Tribune, many times the people who end up doing couples therapy are “social workers and psychologists” who haven’t necessarily “had much experience with it,” or haven’t necessarily “gone through the specialized course work required of licensed marriage and family therapists.” Love, an Austin-Texas based author of relationship books, said that marriage counselors are often trained to “treat the system, not the symptom.” This can lead to a further split in the relationship because one member of the couple may feel “betrayed, left out, reactive, and not want to come back to therapy.”

According to AllAboutCounseling.com, “marriage counseling fees and rates usually fall somewhere between $75 on the low side of the spectrum and $200 on the high side—and these fees are per hour.” This is a costly expense, especially if one reason for dissent in the marriage to begin with is money, as it often is. Unless you’re absolutely sure that there’s something to salvage in the relationship, therapy could be a waste of time and money, and divorce could be the better road to take.

If you or someone you know is considering marriage counseling or divorce, be sure to speak with a qualified divorce lawyer at the beginning of your deliberation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago-area family law attorney today.

 

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