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Peoria Family Law Blog

Child custody may be point of disagreement during divorce

Even a seemingly smooth divorce process can be difficult for both parents and children to navigate from an emotional standpoint. Thus, battles involving child custody and other similar issues can cause even greater emotional stress -- stress that can have long-term implications. A few tips might help people in Illinois to reduce the stress often associated with the divorce process.

First, it is important to realize that most children understandably want to spend time with, and enjoy their time with, both parents. Acting jealous or angry when one's child spends time with an ex may make the child feel as though he or she has to take sides. In the child's mind, he or she has to love one of the parents more than the other one.

Prenuptial agreement may provide protection in divorce

As people in Illinois prepare to get married, they typically prefer not to discuss the possibility of getting divorced. This is why putting together a prenuptial agreement often gets placed on the back burner or is ignored altogether. However, prenuptial agreements are essential for protecting one's best interests in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement essentially provides details about how assets and property will be handled if two people decide to end their marriage. Having this type of legal agreement in place keeps two divorcing individuals from having to fight about who will get certain assets during their divorce proceeding. This ultimately saves the couple time, money and stress.

Joint parenting may benefit both parents and children

Shared child custody is the subject of many discussions nationwide, including in Illinois. Some believe that the frequent back-and-forth traveling between parents in joint parenting arrangements cause disruption, anxiety and insecurities in children. Others are of the opinion that children of divorces benefit in various ways from having equal access to both their parents -- even if in two different residences. Although this is not the ideal solution for all post-divorce families, it is worth considering for those who can maintain amicable relationships with their exes.

A factor that seems to benefit joint parenting arrangements is the distance between the residences of the two parents. If the proximity allows children to maintain the same friends and take part in their usual activities, regardless of the parent with whom they are staying, acceptance of their new circumstances seems to be easier. Another aspect that has proved to create a strong foundation for children that grow up to be well-adjusted is the manner in which rules and punishment are handled. If parents have the same sets of rules and punishments that are observed in both residences, children cannot play parents against each other.

Financial considerations in divorce can be stressful

While it is only natural for emotions to be overwhelming for anyone ending a marriage, special attention must be paid to the financial decisions made during this time. The impact of doubling the basic household expenses -- such as utilities, groceries and other ongoing expenses -- can be significant. Whether in Illinois or elsewhere, careful planning is required to be prepared for these often unanticipated obligations that result from a divorce.

Fortunately, support and guidance are available, and retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney can be of great help. In some circumstances, mediation may be the ideal option for settling all material issues. In other cases, it may be necessary to go to court. A lawyer can assist in either instance.

If divorce goes to court, how you behave matters

Most couples in the Peoria area going through divorce file irreconcilable differences as the reason for the action. That catchall phrase allows you to seek a dissolution of marriage without having to establish legal grounds -- something that can take a great deal of time and be complicated.

In the current environment in Illinois, many couples seek to resolve their divorce-related issues without going to court. This may be done through mediation or through negotiations. But when issues can't be resolved, the court must weigh in. Experienced family law attorneys know the value of being skilled in whatever form of advocacy will best serve the client's needs and situation.

Ways to avoid trickle-down effect when grandparents divorce

Back in the Reagan years, trickle-down economics was in vogue. The general idea was that you spur investment by giving investors tax breaks. That spurs production, which spurs job creation, which in turn puts money in consumers' pockets. Demand for all that upstream production goes up. Everyone wins.

Depending on who you talk to, the idea still has merit or is hogwash. We write about it today because there is the trickle-down effect is one that may apply to our topic -- grandparent divorce.

'Essence of marriage' is important but hard to define

You don't hear much about annulment of marriages around Illinois. As we noted in our previous post it is a part of the family law landscape. But state law is fairly restrictive about when it can be sought and when courts can grant that a marriage never really existed in the eyes of the law.

As that post noted, a claim of fraud is one of the grounds upon which an annulment might be sought in Illinois. Very often the argument made is that the alleged fraud somehow violated one of the so-called "essentials of the marriage." What does that mean? The answer in the context of family law issues can be hard to pin down.

Annulment: I thought that was only for Catholic marriages

If you are reading this blog you know that ending a marriage in Illinois is commonly done through filing for divorce. Did you also know that you could, in certain situations, seek to have a marriage annulled?

The fact that there are actually different words to describe these two legal actions should be an indicator that they actually involve two different things. Divorce is when a marriage contract that was legally entered into is dissolved for some reason.

What can birds offer parents of divorce?

Divorce is difficult. If children are involved it can make things more complicated. And, like an onion, the layers of complexity can lead to a lot of tears. To minimize the upset, experienced Peoria family law attorneys know the value of keeping the focus on what's most important -- for the children and for parents who want what's best for all concerned.

It is a given that a child can't be with both parents at the same time when those parents divorce. But it's generally accepted that it is in the best interests of the child to have a plan that provides the child with as much quality time as possible with each parent. And presuming there's no reason to limit contact that means a certain level of equal time for both. How do you achieve that with as little disruption for the child?

Suffragette should inspire men in pushing for fathers' rights

Susan B. Anthony was a woman of passion, politics and rights. In the 1860s she became a leader for women's suffrage in the United States. Among her initiatives was a newspaper that carried the masthead, "Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less;" the message being justice for all, regardless of gender.

It might seem odd to draw on the memory of this giant of women's rights to talk about the rights of fathers. But as any experienced family law attorney in the Peoria area will surely attest, she does reflect how sometimes you have to be willing to act to secure the rights to which you are entitled.

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