Family & Divorce

Whether your child is in elementary school or is an adolescent in high school, they may experience the same emotional roller coaster that parents do when their family is going through a divorce. No matter how amicable or peaceful the decision to separate may be between parents, no one in the family journeys through the divorce process entirely unaffected. If your child is exhibiting certain signs, he or she may be having difficulty with the divorce. As a parent, it is important not to ignore these behaviors and instead address them head-on in order to maintain a healthy relationship…
Illinois legislators have recently proposed a number of acts that further the opportunities for demographic groups at-risk of being disadvantaged, such as women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. If approved, many of these acts will go into effect January 1, 2020. Below is a brief summary of just a few of the bills currently under consideration by the state legislators. HB0002-Expanding Upon Pregnant Women’s Rights This bill outlines and specifies a pregnant woman’s rights when receiving health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth. One aspect the bill would expand upon is the communication resources available to pregnant women. If enacted, the…
Wouldn’t it be nice if every individual was fiscally responsible and able to make good decisions about money? Of course it would be, but, sadly, that is the world we live in. In reality, countless people have a tough time with their finances and establishing healthy spending habits. For people like this, money tends to burn a hole in their pocket, so to speak, and is often spent in frivolous ways—at least according to their family members and friends. This issue is frequently relevant in the realm of estate planning, as those who are creating an estate plan may…
After the death of a family member, the process of settling the deceased person’s estate can be expensive and time-consuming. With proper planning, most or all of a person’s estate can be settled without having to go through the probate process. Probate is a court supervised procedure in which a deceased person’s executor or administrator makes arrangements to pay any of the person’s debts, dispose of assets like real estate, bank accounts, and personal property, and disburse assets and funds to the person’s heirs. Probate is necessary if assets are being distributed according to a will, or according to the…
When a marriage breaks down, one spouse may decide it is better to hide or spend–or even destroy–certain assets rather than risk the other spouse gaining control of the property in a divorce. Such thinking is not only short-sighted and foolish. It can also place the spouse who misused the asset in a weaker legal position before the divorce court. What we are really talking about here is a legal concept known as “dissipation of marital assets.” The Illinois Supreme Court has defined dissipation as the use of marital property or assets for purposes outside of the marriage when…
In 2019, Illinois enacted a new law to expand anti-stalking and harassment laws to include digital contact and social media. This protection extends to any form of digital communication between the perpetrator and their victim. To understand this and other anti-stalking and harassment laws, it is important to have a clear understanding of what type of behavior and contact is defined as stalking. WHAT IS STALKING? The legal definition of stalking continues to develop as different issues and claims arise. In general, it is defined as repeated and intentional following of or attempted contact with an individual, who has not…
A collaborative divorce is a great option for those who wish to amicably settle their divorce outside of court. This is particularly true where both parties want to settle, but there is not an agreement on all issues. In some situations, one party, however, wants a collaborative divorce, while the other party does not. This does not necessarily mean that the other party wants a litigated divorce.  But, sometimes, they have other ideas in mind. They might want to hire an attorney who litigates, but who is willing to exchange settlement offers and negotiate. They might want to go…
Everyday Trauma: Induced Psychological Splitting in Children of Divorce and Separation Credit: https://karenwoodall.blog Understanding the impact of divorce and separation on children takes us down new pathways of understanding of induced psychological splitting, its manifestation in families and the every trauma it causes which has been hidden in plain sight for decades. Ever since the early seventies, when divorce laws changed in the western world, the issue of a child’s alignment with one parent and rejection of the other has been a prominent but overlooked part of our understanding of trans-generational trauma. It is my view, that just like the…
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reports that 125,000 children are victims of abuse or neglect in the state of Illinois on an annual basis, and that one in five children will become a victim of abuse before they reach 18 years of age. In the midst of contentious divorce proceedings, or even long after a divorce has been finalized, it is not uncommon for DCFS cases to arise against one or both parents. Whether your former spouse, a neighbor, an acquaintance, or another family member makes a claim against you as a parent, any child abuse…
One of the key tenets of Stoic Philosophy is determining what is and isn’t within your control. This principle, developed by the Greek philosopher and former Roman slave, Epictetus, suggests that one must let go of anything outside his or her control. What is outside your control? Basically everything. Examples include the behavior of your spouse, his or her nasty taunts or threats, how that spouse parents, court rulings and even the law. What is within your control? Very little in contrast. Examples include how you respond to events, your emotions, and the meaning you give to those events. Too…
For many years, and since the publishing of Bill Eddy’s landmark book Splitting, I have been writing on the subject of divorce and personality disorders.  My law practice has a focus on helping people navigate divorce from a narcissist or someone with other traits of toxic personality disorders.  Because divorcing someone with these traits creates a number of distinct and unusual issues for the healthy spouse, my practice focuses on managing strategically and aggressively these disordered behaviors, which can include “distortion campaigns” and false allegations. In my law practice, there is a focus on High Conflict cases.  As the article…
An often-overlooked issue in Illinois divorce cases is whether or not a spouse–usually a woman–wants to revert to the use of her maiden or former last name. Many people simply do not think about this until after the divorce is final. Some of you might just assume you can just start using your maiden name … Continue reading “New Illinois Law Simplifies Process for Restoring Maiden Names After Divorce”
Social media is intended to unite individuals; however, when going through a divorce proceeding, social media may bring an individual too close to their ex and could even affect the way their case is settled. Without a second thought, many people create posts that give clues about their infidelities, income, habits, and lifestyle.  All of these posts can be used against an individual when drafting a divorce or custody settlement. In fact, over eighty percent of family law attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported they have seen an increase in the amount of divorce proceedings using…
The moment the divorce process is set into motion, separating spouses are inundated with challenges and are forced to address a number of different conflicts. Whether the decision to end your marriage was mutual or rife with tension, a variety of issues can arise, requiring both parties to work together to find solutions. Discussions about everything from the division of assets and spousal maintenance to child support are all topics that can quickly turn an amicable split into a contentious one. While not every divorce involves heated debates and bitter court battles, even couples whose interactions are civil and respectful…
One of the primary objectives of the estate planning process is to make sure that your wishes regarding your property and assets are followed in the event of your death. While the estate planning lawyers at our firm can help you draft the appropriate documents and make the process as easy as possible, there will still be many decisions that are yours to make. For example, it can be tough to choose which people in your life will receive a portion of your estate—and how much they should receive! As you think about those you would like to include in…