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Peoria Family Law Blog

Survey sheds light on true state of many parents’ marriages

In order to maintain a healthy and happy marriage, spouses must be able to effectively communicate. This becomes especially important when a couple welcomes a child into their family and matters related to childrearing, discipline, finances and education must be considered and addressed.

In a recent UK survey of 2,000 married parents, 25 percent of survey respondents admitted to only staying in a marriage for the sake of a shared child. What's more, one in 20 of those parents surveyed planned to stay unhappily wed for at least 10 more years.

Helping individuals resolve divorce matters

Many legal matters and the related procedural laws are fairly clear-cut and black and white. However, when it comes to legal matters related to family law cases, there are often many shades of gray. For many individuals throughout Central Illinois, family comes first and conflict within a family can be extremely stressful and upsetting.

Divorce is definitely one of the most disruptive of all family law cases. When a married couple makes the decision to divorce, spouses are left to not only deal with their own painful emotions and feelings but also numerous logistical and financial matters. Additionally, in divorces involving minor-aged children, decisions must be made with regard to child custody.

Many states fail to make the grade when it comes to promoting joint child custody

In the wake of a divorce decisions related to child custody are often a major source of anxiety and concern for both parents. Divorced fathers often have special cause for concern as U.S. family courts still award sole child custody, primarily to mothers, in roughly 80 percent of custody cases. This statistic is especially alarming given the number of divorced U.S. fathers who likely want to take a more active role in childrearing duties.

Numerous research reports and studies indicate that children of divorce fare better in shared parenting situations and experienced "lower levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, truancy and other negative behaviors than children who lived primarily with a custodial parent." Why then are family courts in many states continuing to favor primary or sole custody over joint custody arrangements?

Surviving the holiday season while in the midst of a divorce

When going through a divorce and all the challenges the process presents, it's odd to think that, for many people, life goes on as normal. This reality, however, becomes especially apparent during the holiday season as families across the country gather together to be merry and give thanks.

With Thanksgiving Day nearly upon us, it's likely that individuals going through a divorce are experiencing an array of strong emotions. This is often especially the case when there are children involved and when an individual traditionally hosts family and friends for a Thanksgiving feast.

For gray divorcees, ensuring for financial success post-divorce is critical

The emotional aspects of a divorce cannot be understated, yet it's often the financial implications of divorce that serve to exacerbate many of the personal challenges one faces during a divorce. Costs associated with housing, health insurance and utilities are just a few of the expenses that a divorcee must find a way to afford on one salary.

A recent study indicates that, for individuals age 50 and older, the financial implications of divorce are even more pronounced and potentially difficult to overcome. For the 2013 study entitled The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce Among Middle-aged and Older Adults, 1990-2010, university researchers aimed to examine factors contributing to an increase in the number of so-called gray divorces as well as some of the unique challenges facing gray divorcees. 

Why individuals who separate from a spouse may want to move forward with a divorce

When it comes right down to it, most people just want to be happy. Whether desperately trying to attain happiness or fighting to maintain happiness, we all want to embrace the moments when we feel joy and the people who bring that joy into our lives.

Unfortunately, many people spend far too many months and years struggling to find happiness. This may be due to financial or other life struggles or because an individual is stuck in an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship or marriage. People often fear the unknown and are more inclined to stick with what they know, even if what they know makes them unhappy. 

When divorce is the right solution for parents

Individuals stay in unhappy marriages for a variety of reasons. Some may fear being alone while others choose to stay for financial reasons. One of the most common reasons that unhappy spouses remained married is for the sake of a shared child.

Believing a divorce would devastate their child or would result in less time spent with a child, some spouses choose instead to stay the often miserable course and co-exist with a spouse. However, does staying unhappily wed really serve to ultimately benefit a child?

Amid allegations of drug use, mother petitions court for child custody

In previous blog posts, we've discussed child custody cases and how the guiding principle in all child custody decisions is what's deemed to be in a child's best interest. Under this premise, the family courts must take numerous considerations into account when making child custody decisions including a parent's fitness with regard to his or her lifestyle and use of alcohol and illegal drugs.

In 2010, the wife of a financial investment firm executive was involved in a drunk driving accident. At the time the accident occurred, the 34-year-old homemaker was transporting her two children, ages two and six. She subsequently pleaded guilty to DWI and sought professional help to address her problems with both alcohol and illegal drugs.

Do grandparents have child visitation rights in Illinois?

We've written several blog posts about child custody matters and the impact on both children and parents. In many families, child custody and visitation matters impact not only parents, but also grandparents who, as a result of a child’s divorce or split, may experience a change in access to a grandchild.

Illinois does not have a formal grandparent visitation law. However, under certain circumstances, grandparents may take legal action to gain visitation rights to a grandchild. For many children, grandparents play an integral role in their lives. In cases where the circumstances of child custody and visitation agreements related to a divorce or pending divorce adversely impact a grandparent’s access to and relationship with a grandchild, families are advised to attempt to sort out a visitation agreement on their own.

Are child custody agreements set in stone?

When two parents split-up or divorce, matters related to child custody must be determined. Even in cases where a split or divorce is amicable, parents would be wise to take steps to establish a formal and court-enforceable child custody agreement. Doing so helps protect the custody rights of each parent in the event one's relationship with an ex changes or one parent moves to another city or state.

There are two basic types of child custody, joint and sole. In a sole custody agreement, one parent retains full physical and legal custody of a child. Barring charges of domestic abuse or violence, the other parent is typically awarded visitation rights to a child. In joint custody agreements, parents have an equal say in matters related to their child's care and wellbeing. Frequently, joint custody arrangements also provide each parent with access to and time with a child.