December 5th, 2013 at 10:38 am
Many of us are romantics at heart, believing that because one marriage fails does not mean a second marriage will not prove successful. Statistically speaking, however, this does not match the reality of remarriage. While the divorce rate for a first marriage is between 40 and 50 percent, for second marriages the rate jumps to over 60 percent, and for third marriages the divorce rate is over 70 percent. An article in The Huffington Post offered some insight into post-divorce mistakes that could lead to bad remarriages. Some include:
- You may not be acknowledging the role you played in the breakup.
- You fear being by yourself and choose to re-marry to ensure companionship.
- You are looking for “a quick fix to the psychological wounds” of divorce rather than taking the time you need to work through those issues.
- You lack basic household or job skills and remarry to avoid having to learn them.
So if these are some pitfalls, what are some solutions? Understanding your role in the demise of your first marriage is a crucial first step. A therapist can help you develop the self-awareness to make this possible. A therapist can also help you work through the psychological wounds and anger. And self-sufficiency is an easily learned skill if you are mentally committed to accomplishing the task and willing to ask for guidance from your loved ones and professionals.
An article from the American Psychological Association offers a few more tips if you are ready to consider remarriage:
- Agree in advance on the living arrangements and financial arrangements.
- Resolve any lingering concerns from your previous marriage so the remarriage does not exacerbate issues between you and your previous spouse.
- If you are entering into a union where children are involved, anticipate the types of decisions and changes that will accompany your blended family. Make sure everyone’s expectations are aligned.
Still, because the statistics for remarriages are not favorable, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. A qualified attorney can assist you to ensure you enter your marriage in an open and honest way. Contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney today.
November 30th, 2013 at 7:44 pm
Earlier this month, Illinois legislature agreed to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage with a vote of 61 to 54. Once signed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, the “Land of Lincoln” will become the 15th state to allow same-sex couples to wed, in addition to Washington D.C. CNN reported that Governor Quinn signed the bill on November 20.
According to Gov. Quinn, this new legislation will “put our state on the right side of history.”
The state of Hawaii has also recently approved same-sex marriage. With these two new additions, more than 1 in 3 Americans will live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. This is a huge step for the United States. Same sex-marriage is currently legal in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.
The new Illinois law is set to go into effect on June 1, 2014, according to CNN.
In the past, same-sex couples in Illinois were allowed the option of civil unions, but not marriages.
President Obama has expressed his support of the new legislature in his home state. He stated that he has “always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law…Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else.”
President Obama also added, “As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
The approval of same-sex marriage marks an enormous turn in Illinois history. If you or someone you know has any questions about the future law, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney.
November 22nd, 2013 at 11:57 am
Often times, people think of adoption as good old fashioned closed adoption. The biological parents choose not to care for the child and after birth and they leave the hospital without their baby. Then, another couple who has already been selected by an adoption agency receives the child and raises him or her as her own. In this process, arises a conversation in which the adoptive parents have to tell the child that he or she has other parents that gave the baby up.
There is an alternate to this called open adoption. In an open adoption, there can be many different degrees of openness, but the biological parents will be involved in the child’s life in some way.
In open adoptions, usually the person who arranges the adoption will write out exactly what is expected of each set of parents, according to Family Education. This includes pictures that may be sent back and forth, letters of progress of the child’s life, and even, sometimes, visitation. Usually these expectations are not legally binding, but one side can take the other to court.
There are three types of adoption:
Confidential (closed): The adoptive parents and the biological parents do not know each other and never meet; all of the paperwork travels through an attorney or adoption agency. Parents can get information about each other like medical history, but nothing identifying will be passed on. Sometimes, this is the only option because organizations do not allow personal information to be shared. This is the case for many international adoptions and adoptions through foster homes.
Semi-Open: Adoptive and biological parents meet a few times and agree to exchange minimal information such as pictures and letters infrequently. Semi-open is very flexible and can be arranged many different ways according to the parents’ preferences.
Open: The adoptive parents and biological parents know each other fairly well in open adoptions. The biological parents may have even picked out the adoptive parents for their child. Parents may continue to meet and exchange pictures and letters after the child is adopted, and may bring the child to meetings as well.
Sometimes biological and adoptive parents cannot agree on how to go about the adoption process and the child after the process is complete. If you have questions or concerns about adoption, contact an Illinois adoption attorney. Lawyers at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm can help you through the adoption process today.
November 13th, 2013 at 11:01 am
Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, refers to payments or transfers of assets from one spouse to another after a divorce. Spousal support is used in the event that one spouse had previously been responsible for the financial status of the marriage while the other was either untrained or had left the work force for a substantial period of time. After the divorce, the unemployed spouse may suffer from a decrease in their standard of living. Spousal maintenance exists to prevent this from happening.
Before awarding spousal maintenance, the courts must consider a few different factors that can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Any valid agreement of the parties
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The financial needs of each spouse
- Both spouses’ income and property, including marital property, awarded to both spouses and any non-marital property awarded to the spouse requesting alimony
Spousal support can be awarded in three different forms: “permanent,” “gross,” and “rehabilitative.” Under permanent support, payments or transfers will be made until one of the parties dies or the court later modifies the agreement due to a change in circumstances. Gross maintenance refers to one large payment around the date of the divorce, instead of payments over a period of time. The third form, rehabilitative, consists of payments over a specified length of time- generally six months to five years.
Under Illinois law, both spouses are eligible for spousal support. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the husband who must make alimony payments. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and feel that spousal support or maintenance is necessary for you, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to assist you in obtaining it.
November 6th, 2013 at 6:45 pm
Going through a divorce can be highly emotional and in emotional situations, it is easy to make decisions that can come back to bite you later. Now that the divorce is over, according to Psychology Today, it is the perfect time to make some divorce resolution.
Think before you speak
Just because the divorce is final, it does not mean that you are not harboring any feelings about it or that you have had complete closure. However, it is important to think about what you say in an email, text message, Facebook, or even in front of your children. If you do have children, you have to continue to have a relationship with your ex, which can be tricky.
When you have a concern, don’t hold back. Go to your ex and talk about it. At the same time, you have to be willing to listen to the concerns that your ex may have. The worst thing that you can do is hold it all in until the smallest thing ends up being blown out of proportion.
Support the Family
Many parents make the mistake of thinking that having separate rules in the different households is going to work. Actually, it is very counterproductive. When it comes to the children, it is very important that the kids know that the both of you are on the same page. Plan family meetings to discuss problems with the children out in the open and show the children that you two cannot be pitted against each other.
Respect the ex
Just because they are now your ex, it does not mean that you have the right to be anything but respectful. If you have told your ex that you are going to provide certain things for the kids such as extra money for extracurricular activities, make good on your word. If you say that you are going to be there at a certain time, be punctual. These small things can make the relationship much easier.
If you are facing a potential divorce, a dedicated and experienced Illinois family law attorney can assist you.
October 29th, 2013 at 6:32 pm
Even if you planned for your divorce and estimated the potential impact, it’s likely that your finances will be affected more than you imagined. Financial life post-divorce is about more than separating your finances from your former spouse- it’s a good opportunity to reflect about where you are in life and to gain control of your financial situation, especially with regard to retirement.
There’s a reason that divorce and retirement plans are linked: a study from Bowling Green State University pointed out that “gray divorce”, or divorce for those nearing retirement, is increasing. Getting back on track quickly for individuals approaching retirement is important, and it can be challenging if you relied on your partner for financial management and advice. Don’t waste time dwelling on the past- instead use this as an opportunity to check in on your financial goals and retirement plans while adjusting to your new life.
Start out by taking an inventory of all “forgotten” financial links between you and your former partner. While marital property was likely sorted out during the divorce, don’t forget about any plans where you were covered as a couple, like life insurance or long-term care. Update that information accordingly after meeting with a financial professional.
Retirement planning is something you should check in on often, but this is a good opportunity to think about where you’re headed and where you’d like to be. Your plans for retirement may have shifted dramatically after your divorce was finalized, so start considering whether what you have put aside is going to work for your new plans. Redefine what you want, and adjust short-term goals and spending to be in line with those new plans. For some individuals, they may have not even considered what they would like to do with retirement on their own, so use this reflection time to narrow down some possible plans. If you’re considering divorce and would like to talk through the options with a qualified Illinois divorce attorney, reach out today.
October 23rd, 2013 at 11:27 am
Is it possible to revisit the past in order to rebuild a future? Would you remarry your ex?
Marie Osmond did – after 26 years of divorce. Reality TV personality NeNe Leakes has an entire show devoted to her path to reconciliation. Even Peaches and Herb sang about the joys of being reunited, which became a triple-platinum hit.
A recent article in the online version of USA Today reported that there has recently been a decline in remarriages; many couples are favoring cohabitation. The article, citing federal data, reported a 40% decline in the national remarriage rate over the past 20 years. While it may not be the norm, it is entirely possible to remarry the same person you divorced and stay together, but there is one thing you should consider the second time around: creating a prenuptial agreement.
Statistics aside (and there are plenty to choose from), it is possible to divorce again. As unromantic as it may sound, a prenuptial agreement can help you plan for the unexpected.
The Basics of Establishing Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements, must be entered into willingly by both parties and they become effective once a couple is married. The Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act outlines the requirements that couples must abide by to legally establish an enforceable agreement. A prenuptial agreement can outline how you will handle issues such as:
- Property rights and obligations
- Property disposition upon dissolution of marriage
- Maintenance modification or elimination
- Provision through Wills and Trusts
- Death benefits from life insurance policies
A knowledgeable Naperville family law attorney can help you focus in what is important to both of you and help you create a binding agreement to protect your future. Having a properly drafted prenuptial agreement gives each person an equal say in how things will be handled in the unfortunate event of a divorce and leaves no room for misinterpretation.
If you are thinking about remarriage and are considering creating a prenuptial agreement, contact an experienced Naperville, Illinois family law attorney today.
October 14th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
Going through a divorce is an emotional, stressful and even sad situation. When you retain the services of a divorce attorney to help guide you through this legal process, it’s important to feel that this person is your ally and in your corner. But sometimes, the lawyer you hire may not be a good fit for you.
A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses the indicators that should signal to you that it may be time to hire another divorce attorney.
Communication with your attorney is paramount. If your lawyer isn’t returning your phone calls or emails, you have a right to be concerned. How will your case ever go ahead and get resolved if your attorney ignores you?
Another cause for concern is if your attorney is negotiating with your spouse’s lawyer but does not keep you informed to what those negotiations are. The same applies to documents or motions that may be exchanged or filed with the court. Not sharing this information with you is totally unacceptable. You have every right to know the details of your case.
And although you hire an attorney because he or she understands the complexities of the legal system and how it works, you are the one who has final say in all of the legal decisions made in your case. Your attorney should not be making any of those decisions without your approval.
Another key area is strategy. There are many different ways to proceed in a divorce and you and your attorney should be in agreement in the direction and tone you want the direction of the divorce to go in. For example, if there are issues that you and your spouse already agree on, yet your attorney is trying to turn every issue into a litigated one, then it may be this attorney is not the right one for you.
There may be nothing worse for your case than showing up in court with an attorney by your side who has not prepared or researched your case. You’re the client and you’re paying for these services. You have every right to expect the person you retain to perform the job you’re paying them to do.
It’s important to hire a divorce attorney that you feel comfortable with and can communicate with. Contact an experienced Naperville divorce attorney to help navigate you through this difficult process.
October 6th, 2013 at 9:54 am
“About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.” This statistic was reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Scary, isn’t it? While people know that domestic violence is a serious issue, not many people are completely aware of just how serious of an issue it has become.
According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, any person who “hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken Illinois Domestic Violence Law.” Domestic violence is in fact a crime, and a serious one at that.
When you take a closer look at this law, you may wonder what people count as “family or household members.” The Illinois State Police state that the following are included under that category:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Parents, children, and stepchildren
- Persons who formerly shared the same home
- Persons who dated or were engaged, regardless of gender
- Persons who allegedly have a child in common
- Persons with disabilities and their personal assailants
“Abuse” can take many forms. These forms can include physical abuse (such as pushing, hitting, or forced sex), harassment, making another individual watch abuse, forcing you to do something you don’t want to, or even denying a disabled person access to necessary care.
It is important to consider that although most of us imagine domestic violence as a woman being abused by her husband or boyfriend, it can occur in many different forms. It is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial, or age group. It is also not confined to same-sex partnerships.
September 29th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
In the age of the Internet, one in which anyone can become an expert at something with a few clicks of a mouse and some determination, more and more things are being done independently of traditional structures. One such institution that’s seeing more and more DIY participation is divorce. According to the Huffington Post, “sites like MyDivorcePapers.com and iDivorceForms.com allow users to prepare divorce papers without any legal consultation.” Even sites like Craigslist are being used to facilitate divorce, with people soliciting and offering help filling out divorce paperwork. And yet, according to the Huffington Post, “although approaching a divorce without the help of an attorney can save money, it may also make the divorce process more difficult.”
It’s not only the paperwork that can be tricky. It’s also court proceedings, in which an inexperienced or DIY-divorcer may not being able to sway the judge. A Texas-based divorce attorney told the Huffington Post that if one spouse is approaching the divorce without an attorney while the other has enlisted professional assistance, the spouse without the attorney will likely lose big. “If the lawyer over here knows how to object properly,” he told the Huffington Post, “they’re going to want to exclude all kinds of evidence and they’re not going to let things in.”
According to a different Huffington Post article, there are many boons—in addition to the actual proceedings—that come with the hired help of a professional. “Hiring an attorney to complete a divorce is one way to reduce the stress of the divorce,” reports the Huffington Post. While you take care of the emotional fallout a divorce can have on your family, the attorney can gather information pertinent to proceedings. “You have enough things to worry about when you are getting divorce,” reports the Huffington Post. “Let an attorney take care of the legal work.”
That’s not even to mention the mistakes that can be made doing a DIY divorce, ones that can cost you money, time, and peace of mind. Don’t go through it alone. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today.