Archive for the ‘family law attorney’ tag

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage

September 25th, 2013 at 10:43 am

Choosing Cohabitation Over Remarriage IMAGEFewer Americans are opting to remarry after a divorce, according to a recent analysis by Bowling Green State University and reported upon in the Huffington Post. “The findings,” reports the Huffington Post, “showed that a mere 29 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans remarried in 2011. Back in 1990, 50 of every 1,000 divorced or widowed Americans had married again.” Concurrent with this is the fact that the percentage of recent marriages in which one or both people is remarrying has been steadily declining in recent years. According to a 2006 Census Bureau publication, in 1996, 43.4 percent of all marriages within the past year involved a person who was remarrying. In 2001, that percentage had dropped to 37.8; in 2004, it had dropped to 35.9 percent.

One reason for this decline could simply be a skewing of demographics: with a substantial increase in the population of the elderly due to the ageing of the Baby Boomer generation, there are likely to be more widows who are old enough that they don’t remarry. Because women live longer, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they are more likely to be widowed than men—three times as likely, in fact. According to Census Bureau statistics, 48 percent of elderly women are widowed, as opposed to 14 percent of elderly men. There are not statistics available as to how many elderly widows are remarrying.

And yet sociologist Susan Brown told the Huffington Post that “the rising number of couples opting for cohabitation could be the reason” as well. According to 2012 Census data and reported by the Huffington Post, “the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled since the 1990s, from 2.9 million in 1996 to 7.8 million in 2012.” This is due in part to a shift in cultural attitude toward unmarried couples living together—what used to be considered “living in sin” is now more often thought of as a viable and financially-sound alternative to marriage. According to the USA Today and data from the Census Bureau, 7.8 million unmarried couples were living together in 2012. “Between 1990 and 2012,” reports USA Today, “the percentage of unmarried couples living together more than doubled, from 5.1 percent to 11.3 percent.”

Unmarried people looking to cohabit can still establish legally binding ground rules for living together and can spell out their respective financial obligations for covering rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other day-to-day living expenses by entering into a written cohabitation agreement prepared by an attorney experienced in family law matters.

If you or someone you know is considering cohabitation, divorce, or remarriage, it could be worth sitting down with a qualified professional. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area family law attorney today.

Adopting Through an Agency In Illinois- What To Expect

July 30th, 2013 at 10:32 am

If you’re ready to take the next step in growing your family through an adoption, a agency adoption may be the right path for you. Knowing what to expect can help to relieve some of the confusion and anxiety surrounding the exciting journey that is adoption. Hiring an adoption attorney is one way to keep you in the know and to ensure that you’re on track.

LauraIf you plan to adopt through an agency, the process begins with the completion of an application. Once you have submitted an initial application, you’ll need to go through a background check, fingerprinting, medical exams, training, and visits to your home made by a social worker. This is what’s known as the licensing process, and all of these steps must be completed before you can move forward with an adoption.

The social worker’s goal is to learn more about your family to help match you up with a child who might benefit from the unique strengths of your existing family. You will work directly with this social worker in determining whether a child is a good fit for your situation. The time is takes to work through these initial stages varies, but it’s expected that most families will know within at least three months what kind of child may be the best fit with your family.

If you identify a child who might thrive in your family environment, you’ll learn more about them and be able to decide if you would like to continue considering this child before meeting him or her. Once a meeting has been scheduled, you will prepare for interacting with this child and preparing yourself for a possible addition to your family. During the meeting, you’ll be able to speak to the child and get a final sense of whether or not he or she would do well with your family. Pre-placement visits will then be scheduled if you elect to move forward, and these visits may go on as long as is necessary in your situation.

With the excitement and high emotions associated with adoption, it can help to have the guidance of an adoption attorney on your side. Contact a Chicago adoption lawyer today to learn more about the process.

Emotional Affairs – Grounds for Divorce?

June 25th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

A Huffington Post blogger found herself on the open road a few years ago with someone she considered a great friend, someone who was “funny, brilliant and nerdy in the best of ways.” She never had feelings for him, and even while they were on their epic cross-country trip—a long-held dream fulfilled for the writer—their relationship was nothing but platonic. The writer was, after all, married and had been with her husband about a year before she met her road trip partner. And yet when she returned home from the trip, less than 18 months later, she realized that “some things just weren’t worth risking, like my future children.” The marriage may not have ended because of the trip, but it had changed her in such a way that she was unable to be with her husband afterward. She writes, “I began to look around and ponder why I was willing to take my ex’s abusive treatment for so long.”

It was only post-split, in the midst of some confusing and somewhat erratic behavior, that she began to realize that perhaps she had been in an emotional affair all along. According to Redbook Magazine, “the signs of an emotional affair may be more subtle than those of a sexual affair, but they’re just as unmistakable.” Psychotherapist M. Gary Neuman told Redbook that, “an emotional affair happens when you put the bulk of your emotions into the hands of somebody outside of your marriage.” It’s not that you’re not speaking with your spouse—after all, households take conversations to run effectively—but rather that you’re not sharing in any significant way.

Dr. Shirley P. Glass wrote in her 2003 book NOT “Just Friends” that while emotional affairs aren’t new, they do seem to be on the rise. This could be in part because of the increasing isolation many people feel in today’s packed and isolating world. “This feeling of emotional detachment plants the seeds for an emotional affair,” Dr. Steven Stosny told Redbook. And an emotional affair could be a lot less work than the commitment to work on your marriage.

Emotional affairs and emotional isolation can certainly lead someone to seek a divorce, but the important question to ask is this:

Does a husband or wife having an emotional affair give the other spouse legal grounds to file for divorce?
The answer is not so simple.  Illinois law provides several different grounds for divorce that might come to mind when someone is having an emotional affair, including adultery, mental cruelty, and irreconcilable differences.
While having an emotional affair would not constitute adultery (which is traditionally defined as sexual infidelity), such an affair could be used to establish grounds of mental cruelty or irreconcilable differences, depending on the facts of the case.  If you or someone you know is suffering from emotional isolation from a spouse or believe your spouse is having an emotional affair, and are considering filing for divorce, it is important to contact an Illinois divorce attorney who concentrates in the practice of domestic relations law.

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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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