Law Offices of Michael F. Roe LLC

Our law and dispute resolution practice is focused on complex divorce and custody cases, domestic violence, parentage (paternity) cases, and post decree support and custody modification. Many of the office's cases include issues of contested child custody, property division, restoring visitation with children, modification of support, prosecuting or defending Orders of Protection, and domestic battery cases.

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Bill and Melinda Gates — known around the world as tech and charitable titans — are splitting after 27 years of marriage, at the ages of 65 and 56, respectively. Credit: Alessandra Malito Market Watch  Divorcing at an older age has become increasingly common. This phenomenon, called “gray divorce,” could be the result of a few factors, including the lessening of a stigma around divorce in general, longer life expectancies and differing opinions on what to do with the rest of one’s life. Continue reading →
The announcement of the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG) comes at a great time, as we start to try to emerge from COVID lockdowns, and restart these important conferences.  I received the announcement below this morning, and look forward to this conference.  “PASG has 700 members – mostly mental health and legal professionals – from 55 countries. The members of PASG are interested in educating the general public, mental health clinicians, forensic practitioners, attorneys, and judges regarding parental alienation. PASG members are also interested in developing and promoting research on the causes, evaluation, prevention, and treatment of parental alienation.” ______________________________________…
More and more, people in their 50’s and 60’s are recognizing that their marriage has broken down, the children are raised, and they are seeking a legal separation or divorce. In these cases, there are often retirement assets that need to be divided, and other assets, like a home, that need to be valued and the equity determined.  As many American are living into their 80’s and 90’s, many adults find that the want to re-engineer their last trimester of life and find a measure if independence and happiness. Jennifer Thompson wrote an essay that might be helpful to those…
Bill Eddy’s High Conflict Institute always has great information in the field of managing High Conflict Personalities in the context of divorce and Family Law cases.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to manage some people that present as High Conflict; often these people have traits of personality disorders that make their behaviors and communications toxic.  As is pointed out below, the HCP (High Conflict Person)  is not going to change, but you as the stable and rational party can always choose how to respond.  One element that the article does not mention is the benefits to using a third…
As the year 2020 comes to an end and a new year begins, it is always helpful to remember what approaches are helpful and uplifting when dealing with a stressful and difficult court case involving children, such as a parental alienation case or a child custody modification case.  One of my clients this week reached out to both myself and an excellent clinician that is supporting the case with a concern that her/his children are just so damaged, and so unruly in his time spent with them. Seeing the kids acting out, and suffering, causes my client to suffer, too. …
I have had the pleasure to be a member of the American Psychological Association, for many years, and to devote myself to continuing graduate-level education in the psychological sciences.  Just as a medical doctor might benefit from a strong background or understanding in, say, nutrition, or kinetics, I have always felt that the practice of Family Law almost requires a fundamental understanding of psychology.  The article below is taken from an essay concerning a family lawyer that trained as a psychologist, and how this training has been integral to his practice. Using his unique background in psychology, David – who…
I am always appreciative to be a member of the PASG, which is an international association of clinicians, academics, and legal professionals involved in the research of Parental Alienation, as well as the advocacy for better public understanding of PA.  Today, one of the members and excellent advocates in the PASG emailed this to me: Dear Michael, Our colleague Brendan Guildea B.L reports on a significant case that has wide reaching implications in the fight against Parental Alienation. Brendan will be one of the speakers at our Online Parental Alienation Conference on the 26th of November 2020. Continue reading →
Characteristics of Narcissists in Divorce 1. He or she is in it to win it. Even though there aren’t real “winners” in divorce—with luck, there’s some equitable splitting of responsibilities and assets—that’s not the narcissist’s point of view. He or she is likely to see himself or herself as a victim, regardless of the facts, and has no intention of meeting in the middle. Continue reading →
7 Key Facts About Divorce After Long Marriages When an older couple divorces, perhaps after many years of marriage, theories and rumors may swirl around them as extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and casual acquaintances all struggle to make sense of the split. Not long after a lifelong friend of mine left his wife of more than 40 years, a mutual friend was quick with assumptions and questions. “Are you going through a belated midlife crazy?” he asked. “Is there another woman? Are you getting a red sports car?” And he laughed uneasily, amazed that our friend, a devoted family man,…
This post is  focusing on symptoms of Parental Alienation  The first symptom of Parental Alienation is the “Campaign of Denigration”. This refers to the child’s view of the “hated” parent. It is important to understand that this is composed of two components. First, the campaign of denigration refers to the one being waged by the accusing parent in his or her indoctrination to the child. The other component is the child’s own contribution towards this denigration. This second part is critical and is the actual symptom seen within the child. Without it, the child is not truly alienated, and with…
The coronavirus crisis, paradoxically, may be an opportunity to find new sources of meaning. Psychological research on past financial disasters may offer guidance on how people will respond to the sudden economic calamity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has shuttered businesses and led to massive numbers of layoffs nearly overnight. As of April 2, Americans filed a record-breaking 6.6 million unemployment claims in one week, according to the Department of Labor (PDF, 743KB)The U.S. Federal Reserve estimated that 47 million people might lose their jobs in the second quarter of 2020, translating to a 32.1%…
What is Parental Alienation? Bernet et al (2010) considers a primary feature of parental alienation where a child whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce or separation allies himself or herself strongly with one parent while rejecting the relationship with the other previously loved parent without legitimate justification.…
A parent need not be a psychologist to understand that the stress of pre-divorce or the divorce process can take its toll on kids emotionally and physically. Because many of my cases involve High Conflict divorces, there is often seen in the kids of these families both emotional and somatic complaints. It is very important for parents to be mindful of these complaints and conditions with their children and seek out appropriate resources.  In my practice, I have tried to integrate both the legal aspects of divorce practice with the clinical supports that are available from clinicians that I know…
How Will Temporary Court Closures Due to COVID-19 Affect Family Law Cases? Many clients of our firm are asking this important question: What is the immediate impact on my case if my courthouse is closed for weeks or months, starting right now? It has been only since last Friday that the various counties in Illinois announced via email and posts on their websites that the courthouses were to be closed for about 30-45 days, while the COVID-19 pandemic works its way through Illinois. Many of our cases were set for important hearings with our judges in March and April, and…