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Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park divorce attorney parental alienation

Rarely are divorces completely amicable, without any disagreements throughout the divorce proceedings. Divorce often can be an emotional, life-altering process that can be difficult for some people to deal with in a healthy manner. When children are involved, many times the disagreements can increase. Unfortunately, some divorcing parents wrongfully involve their children in their disputes with their soon-to-be-former spouse, and some parents even deliberately attempt to turn their children against their other parent. These kinds of attempts are known as “parental alienation syndrome.” If you suspect that this is occurring in your divorce, you should contact a skilled family lawyer to help protect your rights with regard to your children throughout the case.

Is Parental Alienation Diagnosable?

The term “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS) was coined in 1985 by a child psychiatrist who noticed certain symptoms in children who were exposed to parental alienation attempts. This kind of alienation can occur when one parent attempts to negatively influence his or her children’s relationship with their other parent, sometimes out of jealousy for that parent-child relationship, or sometimes as a way to supposedly hurt his or her former spouse. Whether or not the negative effects of parental alienation are actually a “syndrome” is questioned by some mental health professionals. The American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations do not recognize PAS as a mental health condition, nor can it be diagnosed by a professional; however, the damaging effects of parental alienation on children can many times be apparent.

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Oak Park divorce attorney spousal maintenance

For some, the financial implications of a divorce may be more harmful than the end of their relationship. It can take months, or even years, for couples to make the decision to file for divorce and their romantic relationship has often deteriorated long before they have even come to this realization. Some spouses may stay together simply because of their financial reliance on each other. In order to prevent people from remaining in an unhappy marriage due to their inability to live financially independent, Illinois courts will evaluate the individuals’ financial situation during the divorce process and determine whether or not financial assistance is needed for either party. It can be a shock to transition from living off of a combined income to barely scraping by on a single income, but often the spouse with the lower income is likely eligible to receive financial assistance, known as spousal maintenance, or spousal support, or alimony, from his or her former spouse.

The Designation of Support

Since each family’s financial situation varies, there are three different types of spousal maintenance from which the court can choose. The type of support that they order is determined by a number of factors, including the receiving party’s employment status, the length of the marriage, and each party’s marital relationship moving forward. Spousal support arrangements can be modified at any time, the most common modification reason being when the receiving party remarries. The following are the three types of spousal maintenance awarded by the Illinois court system:

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Oak Park family law attorney prenuptial agreement

The idea of signing a prenuptial agreement (prenup) is often thought to be a taboo topic to bring up with your spouse or loved one. Some people may think that wanting a prenup is a sign that you do not trust your soon-to-be spouse, or that you do not see the marriage lasting. While these perceived negatives do exist with regard to prenups, many millennials are still deciding to enter into this legal document. In the past, many couples got married right out of high school or college, with little or no savings or income, and also filing for divorce was considered giving up too easily. But times have changed, and so have views regarding marriage. With many couples waiting to get married until they are in their 30s or even 40s, such individuals often have many more assets to bring into a marriage, making them want to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement.

A Financial Gap

The most common reason that you may have heard of prenuptial agreements is that many celebrities enter into them to protect their assets in case of divorce. While not everyone is a rich and famous celebrity, it is fairly common for individuals to come into a marriage with very different financial situations. One spouse may have a large sum of money in savings, or perhaps he or she received an inheritance from a family member, while his or her partner is not as financially fortunate. Upon getting married without a prenup addressing this kind of a large asset difference, oftentimes most assets will then be considered marital. This could mean that your spouse might be able to receive a portion of your money in the event a divorce occurs. However, if you address this asset gap before the marriage in a prenup, your savings are more likely to be protected and reserved for you.

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Oak Park divorce attorney asset division

Every step of the divorce process is difficult. First, you make the decision to get a divorce that will forever alter your life, and then you must watch your life be divided up by two legal teams and your former spouse. Typically, children and finances are the subjects that bring up the most deliberation between soon-to-be exes. It can be difficult to watch everything in your life become a number to be split, but unfortunately, this is inevitable for those filing for divorce. Some couples may keep separate bank accounts throughout their marriage for their own sense of security and to be prepared for divorce if the relationship does not last. This decision is often made without consulting legal professionals or having a proper understanding of Illinois’ property division laws. Before you and your spouse decide to stay financially separate, you should recognize how this will affect your divorce.

Why Have Different Accounts?

Studies have shown that financial difficulties are one of the main reasons for divorce. This may mean that couples argue over their income disparities, their levels of control over accounts, or even their spending habits. Some couples look to avoid these arguments by keeping their accounts separate. This can promote autonomy in their relationship and avoid disputes regarding their spending since they are using the money that they earned themselves. Having a stronger relationship is not the only reason for separate bank accounts. In a similar way to prenuptial agreements, some couples may try to protect their earnings in the event they decide to legally terminate their marriage. 

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Oak Park family law attorney for step-parent adoptionIt is common for divorced or unmarried parents to eventually move on from their previous partner and seek out a romantic relationship with someone new. When starting a new relationship, parents will need to consider the manner in which their children will relate to their new partner. Relationships between step-parents, and step-children relationships, can be tricky to navigate, especially in the beginning stages. However, by using the tips below, a step-parent can build a healthy and loving relationship with their step-child. And over time, a step-parent may decide that legal adoption is a further step they want to take.

The Dos and Don’ts of Step-Parenting

There is no tried-and-true playbook on how to parent, whether you are a biological parent or a step-parent. However, boundaries are often one of the main issues that step-children have with their parent’s new partner. Step-kids can often feel as if their step-parent is trying to replace their biological parent, and boundary issues can arise when a step-parent tries to discipline their step-child. 

It is important to have a conversation with your partner about what the parenting dynamics in your relationship are going to be. Some parents may expect their new spouse to take on a more involved parental role, while others may wish to avoid the issues that can arise regarding boundaries and discipline. There is no right or wrong approach, but discussing expectations can help eliminate any gray areas that may arise.

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