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Livas Law Group

Naperville Divorce lawyer

About 70 percent of U.S. women change their last name to their spouse’s last name when they get married. Some men also decide to change their last name to their spouse’s last name upon marriage. For many, this tradition is an important sign of love and commitment. When a marriage ends, however, the name may no longer reflect the current reality. Many divorcing spouses wish to change their name back to what it was before they were married but they have questions about how the process works.    

Do I Have to Change My Name When I Get Divorced?

Not everyone wishes to revert to their maiden name after a divorce. For many, their name is an important part of their identity. Your name may have significant personal value to you – even if you share it with someone you are divorcing. You may also want to keep your married name so you can have the same name as your children.

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DuPage County divorce attorneyMarital infidelity is shockingly common. Studies show that up to one in five married people cheats on their spouse—and those are just the spouses who admit it. If your marriage has been impacted by infidelity, you know just how devastating it can be. Often, an extramarital affair is the main instigating cause of divorce. You may wonder what type of legal recourse you have at your disposal. Can you sue your spouse’s lover for emotional distress or alienation of affection? How will marital infidelity affect divorce?

Illinois Laws Regarding Civil Lawsuits Against Boyfriends and Girlfriends

If your spouse cheated on you, you may be looking for a way to hold the other woman or the other man accountable for the harm the affair caused. Seven U.S. states currently allow civil tort claims for “criminal conversation” or “alienation of affection.” However, Illinois is not one of them. You cannot sue your spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend for the damage he or she caused to your marriage.

Recouping Funds Lost During an Affair

While you cannot sue your spouse’s affair partner for damages, you may have some legal recourse after an affair during a divorce case. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, so the affair itself will not influence property division, spousal maintenance, or other divorce issues. However, a legal remedy may be available if your spouse spent a considerable amount of money during the affair.

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Wheaton IL family law lawyerMany people nowadays consider their pets an important part of their family. Dogs and cats provide companionship and can reduce your anxiety and depression. If you and your spouse have recently filed for divorce, you may wonder who will get the family pet. Your furry family member likely means the world to you, and imagining your life without it may be difficult. In Illinois, pets were once considered marital property in a divorce. However, as of 2018, pets are looked at somewhat similarly to children during divorce proceedings.

Factors Judges Consider When Determining Custody of Pets

Before 2018, pets would be given to one spouse in a divorce based on what was fair and equitable. These days, however, a family court judge will assign custody based in part on the animal’s well-being. A judge may look at many different factors before coming to a decision, such as each spouse’s relationship with the pet and contributions to its care. If one spouse, for example, spends more time with the pet and has paid for the majority of the food, vet and grooming bills, the judge may grant custody to that spouse. Your testimony and evidence of expenditures and care for the pet may help to strengthen your case.

In some cases, the judge may grant joint custody if it would be in the dog or cat’s best interests to keep a relationship with both partners. For example, the judge may rule that the pet will be on the same parenting schedule that your kids are on.

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dupage county divorce lawyerOver the last several weeks, we have discussed the common issues that parents of minor children are likely to encounter when getting divorced, focusing on the differing effects on different age groups, including infants and toddlers, elementary-aged children, and teenagers. Adult children, meaning those at least 18 years old, can also be impacted by their parents’ divorce. While you may not need to address matters like child support and parenting time for your adult children, you should still consider how the process and outcome will affect them.

How Does Divorce Affect Adult Children?

With the increasing prevalence of “gray divorce,” a term for a divorce that happens when the spouses are at least 50 years old, many adult children are faced with the prospect of a huge and unexpected change in their family life. Unlike younger children, adults will not have to cope with changes to their daily routine due to divided parenting time. However, the divorce can affect everything from communication with each parent to holiday plans to relationships with grandchildren.

Divorce can also take an emotional toll on adult children, who may be forced to reconcile with the fact that the family dynamic they have become accustomed to throughout their childhood and beyond will never be the same. Adult children can also find themselves stuck in the middle between two parents who expect them to take a side, or they may feel anger and resentment toward a parent whose behavior seems to have caused the divorce. Parents may be able to prevent some of the worst effects by resolving their divorce amicably, but even so, it is important to communicate with your adult children and possibly even encourage them to join you in family therapy.

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dupage county divorce lawyerIn recent weeks, we have looked at some of the common challenges that arise for parents of infants and toddlers and elementary-aged children during the divorce process. This week, we continue with helpful information for parents of teenagers. Parenting teenage children can be challenging even under the best circumstances, and it can be especially difficult to help them cope with your divorce. It is important to make an effort to understand their needs and to address them through your child support order and the allocation of parental responsibilities.

The Effects of Divorce on Teenagers

Teenagers are likely to cope with divorce very differently when compared to younger age groups. On the one hand, their advanced maturity level may help them better understand the reasons for your divorce, and you may be able to have more meaningful conversations with them about the process. However, you should still try to keep the parent-child relationship in mind and avoid treating your child like a friend or confidant, especially when it comes to complaining about their other parent.

On the other hand, teenagers may also turn to unhealthy or destructive coping mechanisms if the divorce process is particularly hard on them. They may be susceptible to substance abuse and other risk-taking behavior, and they could struggle to maintain healthy relationships with their friends or romantic partners. Many teens also see their academic performance suffer during the divorce process, and they could even begin to show symptoms of serious mental health issues like anxiety and depression. If you see that your child is having a difficult time, make yourself available to talk and consider seeking help from a professional therapist if necessary.

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