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Tag Archives: children of divorce

DuPage County family law attorneysEach year, an estimated 1.5 million children in the United States experience the divorce of their parents. In less populated countries like Norway, the numbers may seem less impactful, but the rate of divorce is actually around the same - around 40 percent. That, along with their low immigration rate, made them the perfect location for a study on the use of antidepressants among the now adult children of divorce. 

Gen-X and Millennials Shape Our Understanding of Divorce's Impact on Kids

Divorce used to be a fairly rare occurrence - both around the world and in the United States. Rulings were also very different back then, with mothers often receiving sole custody of the children, along with alimony and child support. Social norms (fathers were usually the breadwinners and mothers typically stayed home to care for the children), paired with the perception that mothers had a superior role in the development of children were largely responsible, but science has since challenged our understanding of familial roles, child development, and the impact that divorce can have on kids. 

Generation-X and Millennials grew up during the divorce peak period, and now that they are children, there is a new pool of potential study participants. Divorce laws had already started to change, as more fathers were actively seeking a continued connection with their children, so the outdated social norms had less of an impact on their outcomes. As such, science has determined several interesting things about divorce and kids. 

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DuPage County family law attorney, parental responsibilities One of the biggest concerns that couples with children have during a divorce is with whom the children will live. There are many factors that go into decisions about where the children will live. Parents who want the child to live with them will be best served by working with a skilled family law attorney to help make their case in court.

The Best Interest of the Child 

The court makes its decisions based on the best interests of the child. The factors that go into best interests of the child are laid out in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. A number of factors that the court will examine include (depending on age) the child’s wishes, the needs of the child and parents, how the child will adjust to his or her school or community, whether the parents can get along, and if there has been any abuse in the family.

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interfaith divorceStudies show that interfaith marriages are happening much more frequently than in the past. With increasing interfaith marriages often, unfortunately, comes interfaith divorce. Although many aspects of divorce are the same regardless of the religions of the spouses, one particularly unique issue in interfaith divorce becomes the religion of the children.

Even if one of the spouses converts to the religion of the other prior to or during the marriage, it is not uncommon for that converting spouse to return to their original religion upon a divorce. This situation raises serious complications for the children of the divorce, even if the parents had previously agreed to raise their children in one particular belief system. Think of the following real world example:

Bob, raised Jewish, meets Sue, who was raised Catholic. Before marrying, Sue converts to Judaism. The two have three children, whom they agree to bring up Jewish. When the parents divorce years later, Sue returns to the Catholic religion. Soon, an issue develops as to what services the children are/are not allowed to attend on the weekend with their respective parents.

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child divorce reactionPerhaps the only thing more challenging than navigating a divorce is doing so when there are children involved. Cases differ in circumstances, but for the most part, it is generally true that parents are very concerned with the well-being of the children as they go through this process and their family is ultimately changed. There is no shortage of advice for divorcing parents with children, and many parents welcome ways to make the transition easier for their kids. A recent article suggests 10 things that all parents who are going through a divorce should say to their children for encouragement and reinforcement during this difficult time.

Advice for the Children

  1. Assure them that what is happening between you and your spouse is not their fault. It is normal for them to look for reasons their parents are divorcing, and some children may blame themselves.

  2. Validate their emotions by letting them know there is no wrong way for them to feel. Their emotions can fall on a spectrum, just as is possible for the spouses who are divorcing. Whether they feel sad or angry, let them know their feelings are natural and realize they may change over time.

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children-parent bonding after divorceWhen child custody and support matters are added into the divorce mix, issues may be compounded and emotions can arise quickly. Of course, every case involving child custody has different factors and circumstances involved, but in many cases, both parents wish to have custody of their minor children and have their own ideas about what children need during and after divorce. A recently published article suggests some commonly accepted advice regarding children’s needs after divorce may be missing the mark.

Stability

Normally, divorcing parents may be focused on providing their children with as much routine and structure as possible to provide them with the perceived necessary stability through their divorce. However, according to the article referenced above, recent studies suggest that stability may have a different meaning to the children themselves. Experts are saying that what children really want and need in order to thrive in light of their parents divorce is open access to both parents.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
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