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November 2012 Archives

How does domestic violence affect divorce?

Domestic violence is a factor in many divorces. In the Rockford area and across the country, many women, as well as some men, are physically abused. Overall, the statistics are startling. Nationally, an estimated 25 percent of women are affected by domestic violence at some point in their lives. That's one woman in every four.

Stepparent adoption: sometimes the best interest of your children

While the relationship between a child and his or her biological parents is invaluable, there are unfortunate situations where such a relationship may not always be in the best interest of the child. In the event of a delinquent, uninvolved, or unfit parent, it is possible for a biological parent's rights to be terminated, and parental rights to be awarded to a stepparent. The willingness of a stepparent to fulfill the role of a legal parent is an honorable quality, and stepparent adoption may be in the best interest of your child, but before the new spouse can legally adopt him/her, a few legal requirements must be met.

Divorce after 50 requires careful financial decisions

Divorce after age 50 can be quite different than divorce earlier in life. It isn't just that the children may be grown, making custody and parenting time decisions moot. It's the fact that, with retirement on the not-that-distant horizon, money issues may take on heightened importance for both you and your ex.

When your Ex won't pay child support: sometimes a bird in hand is worth five in the bush

It is no secret that the divorce process is seldom a walk in the park. You can follow all of the rules, and have the best divorce attorney in the world; but, without the cooperation of your ex, you are likely to hit some stumbling blocks. Thankfully, there are lawyers who are equipped with the tools to help you when you hit these stumbling blocks - like an uncooperative ex who is not paying child support, for example. After everything you've been through, the last thing you want to do is fight with her over unpaid child support. Fortunately, you don't have to. Your lawyer can. There are just a few steps you will need to follow:

Child support and the cost of raising a child

No matter what type of child custody arrangement you have for the kids after a divorce, money is likely to be factor. After all, the cost of raising a child is so high that even the most committed parents can experience moments when sticker shock when confronted with the round number.

Mediation in Divorce and Custody Litigation: A Must

If you are going through a divorce, it will probably be one of most stressful times in your life. Especially if you have children, the emotional strain that litigation can put on your family can be overwhelming.  A good divorce attorney will be sensitive to the hurt and anger you are experiencing and refer you to mediation.

Grandparent Visitation: Sometimes an Uphill Battle

What rights do you as a grandparent have to visitation? The answer, unfortunately, is that you may have very few. Below, however, are a some suggestions to help ensure you get the most time with your grandchild.

Obtaining Orders of Protection

You've done all that you know to do to create distance between yourself and your abuser. You've ended the relationship, you've moved out, you've done everything in your power to avoid him. Yet you can't escape him. You can't help but feel nervous every time you come home alone at night.  Fortunately, when the uncertainty and the harassment become too much to bear, legal measures can be taken to protect you. With the assistance of your family lawyer, you can file a petition for an order of protection. The following describes the circumstances under which an order of protection can be obtained.

How does divorce affect Social Security benefits?

In our previous post, we wrote about how divorce can raise many different types of financial issues. This week, let's focus on a specific aspect of this, namely the impact of divorce on Social Security benefits. With the divorce rate as high as it is for people over 50, this is clearly an issue that affects a lot of people, including many baby boomers.

Domestic Violence and DCFS

Though it may not always be possible, we cannot avoid the fact that research supports the idea that children benefit largely from growing up in a household with both parents. The stability offered in this ideal family structure can have lasting positive effects on a child's growth and maturity...unless the family is not so ideal. Domestic violence in a family can result in more than just a harmful relationship between the parents; it can result in the removal of your child from your home by DCFS. When the best interest of the child is considered, the quality of the family environment can determine the future development and welfare of the child. A battered parent should consider leaving the abuser if not for anything but for the sake of the child. In deciding what action to take when faced with this situation, a family lawyer can be of great value in evaluating a few things: If I stay in this abusive relationship, can my child be taken from me by DCFS? Yes. Although your child may not directly experience physical abuse, simply growing up in a violent home and witnessing the abuse of a parent can be enough for child protection services to step in and take control. "Failure to protect" the child can be ruled as neglect.

My Ex is an Alcoholic. How Do I Restrict Visitation?

Your ex comes home nearly every night drunk. When you were married and still living together, it wasn't much of a problem concerning the welfare of your child, since you were there to supervise the situation. Now that you are separated, you're concerned about the kids being alone with your ex. How can your divorce attorney help you? Here are a few things you may need to know:

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