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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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DuPage County child custody attorney

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) reports that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Married couples hear these kinds of statistics often, but the challenges for divorcing parents do not truly become a reality until their marriage becomes a part of this statistic. For parents experiencing a high-conflict divorce, these challenges can be detrimental to the whole family, especially to the children.

How to Help Your Children During Divorce

The very nature of divorce makes the process difficult for everyone involved. Even the most amicable, peaceful separations can dig up many mixed emotions for the family. Much like other losses in life, divorce grief usually unravels in layers over time. Just when you think you may be out of the woods and on the road to healing, a simple memory or argument can trigger an emotional setback. Children who witness episodes of high conflict between their parents during their separation tend to suffer the most, but there are steps parents can take to lessen these negative effects, including:

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DuPage County divorce lawyerFamily therapists everywhere have a number of differing views on the effects of divorce, but one truth they collectively agree on is that the experience is both complex and unique for everyone. Some spouses experience a roller coaster of highs and lows or episodes of intense emotional trauma, while others feel a great sense of relief and waves of elation as they rediscover and reclaim the identity they feel they lost throughout their marriage. Wherever you fall on the emotional scale of divorce, one thing is certain: the journey is a complicated emotional process, and its aftermath will inevitably take a toll on you to some degree.

Various Layers of Loss

It is natural to have limited ability to predict and look ahead at your life post-divorce. It can be very difficult to anticipate how the changes that come with the end of your marriage will make you feel or what they will look like until you are actually facing them head-on. While not everyone experiences a negative, turbulent divorce, even those who undergo a mutual, peaceful split still come face-to-face with forms of grief they may have not considered in the early stages of the separation. You may underestimate the magnitude of the following losses after your divorce because you simply cannot fully prepare for the results:

  1. Loss of mutual friends and shared social structures - Changes in your social circles and within your immediate and extended family may begin to happen even before your divorce is finalized. Mutual friends of you and your spouse, as well as close family members, often feel they must take sides or stay out of your business, which can sometimes lead to the complete severing of a relationship you once valued. This can be especially devastating if you have worked hard to cultivate special friendships over a long period of time. One way to address this is to talk to your shared friends during the divorce process, and if possible, discuss the topic with your spouse, so you can all work together to create a game plan that allows everyone to remain involved without animosity or awkwardness moving forward.

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DuPage County Family Law and Divorce AttorneyParental guilt is exceedingly common among parents who get divorced, as many moms and dads struggle to overcome the feelings of remorse as they worry whether the choices they have made are what is best their child. Unfortunately, parents who succumb to such guilt can contribute to the manifestation of behavioral issues in their child, perhaps to the point where the child feels the need to comfort the parent. As a result, children in this type of situation may suffer from maladjustment during their developmental years. Thankfully, with an understanding of why parental guilt should be put into perspective, you may be able to avoid these issues and help your child get through the divorce process. Here are some tips that can help protect your child from the effects of divorce-related guilt:

  • Be honest - Your kids can tell that you feel bad about the divorce, but voicing your emotions out loud can put them in a difficult position where they may feel the need to protect your feelings. You will want to be thoughtful about how you word things. Do not apologize for splitting up with your spouse when you know it is the best option for your family. Instead, apologize for the pain that it is causing your child. This approach lets them know that their hurt is your hurt, and it encourages them to accept the changes for what they are.

  • Learn to manage difficult emotions - Grief, anxiety, and depression can become addicting. As strange as that sounds, the truth is that when you spend a long time being upset, you can actually begin to feel guilt about potential happiness. That feeling is often intensified if your child is in pain. However, your child is more likely to move forward and heal if they see that you are starting to seem happy. Even if you feel guilty or sad about your divorce, it is important to find ways to enjoy your new life.

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Naperville Divorce AttorneyA vast number of studies and a seemingly endless sea of family psychology experts assert that money is one of the biggest points of conflict in marriages, and it is often a root cause of divorce. Experts say that if you are not careful, financial difficulties throughout the course of your relationship can ultimately lead to the end of your marriage, and these difficulties have the power to severely divide a couple and bring forth residual waves of resentment that linger long after the marriage is over. 

Financial Troubles That Often Cause Divorce

A resounding opinion from many marriage experts is that the key is that spouses should assess and discuss each other’s attitude about money in the very beginning stages of a relationship, in order to prevent bigger problems down the road. For some couples, however, it is too late for that initial discussion, and they are forced to deal with the damage after it happens. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your marriage and wish to avoid money-related drama down the road or have been married for years and are just now realizing the major financial flaws in your relationship, chances are one of the following common financial areas is responsible for the conflict:

  • Wedding extravagance - Unless they have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on a wedding budget, it is likely that a couple will feel the sting (and pressure) of hefty wedding expenses. Couples who end up having money problems throughout their union often see signs of trouble at the very beginning, during their wedding planning stages. One spouse may choose to spend a large sum on the reception, while the other would prefer to spend that amount on a down payment on a new home as newlyweds. Differing views on the wedding budget can cause a major rift in a marriage, especially if there is a lack of communication, or one spouse has a disregard for the other partner’s concerns.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer retirement alimonyEvery divorce needs to be treated differently due to the individual circumstances in each case. However, there are some common elements that will typically need to be taken care of during the divorce process, including child custody, division of assets, and spousal maintenance (alimony). Maintenance consists of financial support that one spouse pays to the other to make sure they are able to support themselves after the divorce. If you are close to retirement age and are considering initiating divorce proceedings, you may be wondering what will happen if you are ordered to pay maintenance and decide to retire soon after.

Possible Outcomes

If you decide to retire and are still paying maintenance to your ex-spouse, there are a few different outcomes that could occur. Illinois law states that you may be able to receive a reduction or stoppage of your maintenance obligation if you are able to show that you have had a “substantial change in circumstances” making you unable to pay the maintenance. The decision to retire is often not enough for a judge to order a complete termination of maintenance payments, but it may be enough for a reduction of the amount of payments. The decision will depend on how severe the reduction in the payer’s income is after retirement. Retirement is not the only factor that a judge will look at to determine if the maintenance payments should be changed, but it does fall under the “substantial change in circumstances” umbrella. 

Termination of maintenance is usually only granted if the person being paid gets married again or if the retirement of the payor reduces their income to the point where any payments towards maintenance would cause them to fall under the poverty line. Usually, a change such as reduction or termination is not granted immediately. Instead, the payments may be reduced for a year, and then reduced further during another period of time, after which they may stop. This method lets everyone plan for the changes in income ahead of time and make the arrangements necessary to ensure that their ongoing needs will be met. 

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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