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Peoria Family Law Blog

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.

How socio-economic factors influence how kids adjust to divorce

When a child's parents divorce, he or she is likely to be impacted by many changes. For children from wealthier families, these changes are likely more significant in number and impact thereby leading to negative behavioral changes. This is one theory that researchers cite in helping explain findings from a recent study about how children are impacted by divorce.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from two prominent U.S. universities, reviewed data from 4,000 children who from 1986 to 2008, participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. When dividing up respondents based upon income, researchers discovered that children from wealthier families appeared to display the more negative behaviors after a divorce.

Midlife divorcees may struggle to find support

At any age, getting divorced is likely to be a difficult and emotional experience. For couples who have been married for decades, divorce can be especially hard as children are likely to be grown and out of the home and friends established and settled in their lives and marriages.

A mid-life divorce can leave an individual feeling lost and out of place. Many individuals who divorce in their 40s and 50s are also forced to deal with the financial and social implications of divorce as finances are cut in half and family members and friends may be wary of divorce-related conflict and discussions.

Are Facebook users destined to divorce?

The Internet and rise of social media websites have forever changed the way people communicate and share information. Today, it's easier than ever to reunite with an old friend or flame via a social media website. Many of these sites also provide opportunities to network and forge new friendships and relationships. Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most well known and widely used social media websites in the world.

By the end of 2013, worldwide an estimated 1.23 billion people had a Facebook account. The fact that so many people use the social media site recently prompted researchers at Boston University to study possible correlations between Facebook use and marital happiness.