Illinois firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical caregivers are real-life superheroes who handle more than their fair share of challenges at work. Unfortunately, the unpredictable and demanding work schedule of these jobs also means that first responders often face additional challenges in their relationships. Emergency response employees have higher rates of divorce and, when they get divorced, they must deal with unique concerns as a result of their job.
Why Are First Responders at Greater Risk of Divorce?
First responders are at higher risk of matrimonial dissatisfaction because they work long hours, frequently face dangerous situations, observe traumatizing events, and often struggle with substance abuse and mental illness. In addition to the typical challenges a married couple deals with, these issues can be very difficult for the first responder and his or her spouse to manage.
What are Unique Divorce Issues First Responders Face?
Divorces involving first responders face several complications that must be anticipated and carefully planned around. These include, but are not limited to:
Scheduling challenges – Creating a parenting time schedule can be difficult when one spouse is on-call and may need to unexpectedly go to work. This can make it hard to plan weekend, summer, and holiday visitation schedules, and once a plan is in place, it can be hard to stick to. A flexible right of first refusal clause may help parents make their schedules compatible by allowing them to rely on each other for backup childcare.
Income inconsistency – Because first responders are often on-call and their income can vary from month to month, it can be difficult to negotiate child support and spousal maintenance payments that feel fair to both parties.
Pensions and retirement – Spouses who have been married long enough are entitled to a portion of their partner’s government pension, even if the spouse who is earning the pension will not begin receiving payments until long after divorce.
Fear of the system – If the first responder has friends who are police officers, his or her spouse may be hesitant to take actions such as bringing up domestic abuse because of the fear that the spouse’s friends may be threatening.
Having an attorney who has worked with first responders in Illinois and understands the unpredictable demands of your or your spouse’s job can give you an advantage in your divorce.
Meet with a DuPage County First Responder Divorce Attorney
At A. Traub & Associates, we understand the unique challenges that first responders and their spouses face when getting divorced. While we cannot promise that your divorce will be easy, our Lombard, IL first responder divorce attorneys can help you manage the legal and logistical issues so you can focus on your kids, your job, and getting back to normal life. Call us today at 630-426-0196 to schedule an initial consultation.