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Posted on in Divorce

Geneva family law attorneyIf you are a parent who is considering a divorce, you are probably concerned about how the divorce will affect your children. Children have many different responses to their parents splitting up, and it can be difficult to know for sure how yours will react. Some children are vocal about their feelings and fears while others keep their emotions inside. Some will ask many questions and some will refuse to talk at all about the separation. Fortunately, studies show that children are more resilient than many parents realize and with the right guidance, they can lead happy, healthy lives after their parents’ divorce.

Psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia conducted a study that showed that many children experience negative effects of divorce in the short term but are adjusted to their new life by the second year. Research also suggests that children of divorce do not show significant differences in behavior, academic achievement, or self-esteem than children whose parents did not divorce.

Keep Adult Conversations Between the Adults

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneyIf you are preparing to get married to someone who has children from a prior relationship, it is important to understand what may be in store for your future, especially if you do not have children of your own. While you may have taken on certain responsibilities and been accepted as part of the family while you and your partner dated, marriage is a very serious step. When you say, “I do,” you will become a stepparent, and, from that day on, you will have a very real impact on the lives of your spouse’s children.

A Package Deal

It may seem obvious, but many new stepparents seem to downplay or outright ignore the role that a child plays in his or her parent’s life. It is easy to get caught up in the euphoria a new romantic relationship with your partner and to only think about the children on occasion. You must remember that, no matter how much you love your partner, you are not just marrying him or her. For better or worse, you are also marrying into a pre-existing family unit. If you are not prepared for this reality, the new family dynamic could quickly spiral out of control. This means that you may not get as much one-on-one alone time with your partner as you would like, at least while the child is fairly young. Instead, you are likely to have a wider variety of family experiences

Posted on in Divorce

preparing for divorce, planning, Kane County divorce lawyerIf you ask five family members or friends for advice on what to do in preparing for your divorce, you are likely to get five different answers. This is not because any of them wrong necessarily, but because there are many important factors to consider and steps to take. Similarly, the Internet is replete with advice and checklists for divorcing individuals, but before you take action, it is important to take stock of what you have, what you want, and what it will take to get there.

Save Some Money

As you get ready to file your petition for divorce, you will need to have some money put aside for a variety of expenses. This is especially true if you have become accustomed to a lifestyle reliant on two incomes. Very soon, you will be forced to be self-reliant, and if your monthly income cannot meet your monthly needs, you will need to have savings. Remember that during the divorce process, you may need to find a new place to live, buy new household goods or furniture, or hire an attorney. All of these things cost money and you need to be prepared.

mental health professionals, Illinois divorce lawyer, therapistNobody will claim that divorce is easy. Even the most amicable of situations still bring certain challenges and stresses for the divorcing couple. Interestingly, while recommending the help of a legal professional during divorce is a very common and welcome suggestion for many couples, suggesting that a couple seek help from a mental health professional often seems too personal or invasive. Mental health professionals, however, have a great deal of insight to offer a divorcing couple, especially if the divorce is being handled through mediation or collaborative law.

The help of a mental health professional can be employed in several ways, any of which may positively contribute to the divorce process. The first of these would seem to be the most traditional way, and that is, as an individual counselor or therapist. Either or both spouses and the children may independently seek the help of a therapist to better understand his or her own approach to the divorce. Counselors can aid an individual in coming to terms with his or her motivations, underlying emotional issues, and even identify potential problems before they arise. Likewise, the couple may seek counseling or therapy together, but, if the divorce is already in process, the benefits of such therapy may be limited.

A couple, however, may wish to enlist the help of a mental health professional in negotiating the divorce agreement and other considerations. In fact, collaborative law divorces frequently include professionals from many areas of expertise, such as psychologists or family counselors. Employing such a person can help the spouses identify potential areas of struggle, address them, and come to a reasonable agreement on how to deal with them in the future.

Posted on in Divorce

children, divorce and children, Kane County Family LawyerThe decision to divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances. A couple with children, however, may be faced with an even more challenging situation. In addition to making the necessary arrangements for issues such as custody, visitation, and child support, parents also have an obligation to help their children through the process, while reducing unnecessary stress and confusion. This generally means that parents must be able to talk to their children about the life changes being effected by divorce to help them understand, as best they can based on their maturity level, what a post-divorce life will be like and how their lives may change.

Be Age Appropriate

When discussing divorce with your children, it important to realize that communication is an ongoing process, not just a one-time conversation. This is especially true in younger children who, as they grow and mature, will likely have more questions and seek to understand the situation on a deeper level. The discussion must begin, however, with your understanding of what your child is capable of comprehending. For example, a pre-school aged child would not grasp the concept of you feeling emotionally isolated from your spouse. Instead, simply explaining that Mom and Dad will both be happier may be a better start.

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