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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhile many marriages end amicably, there are some that end with bitter words and violence. In an alarming number of these cases, the abuse dates back to before the marriage's dissolution. Thankfully, victims of abuse can find at least some solace in the law; they are afforded many protections in the workplace, and they have the right to seek an order of protection to keep their abuser at bay. However, if there are children involved, their divorce case usually becomes far more complicated. 

Understanding How Illinois Views Parental Rights

Parental rights are not intended for the parent; the courts afford them to parents to protect a child’s right to receive financial and emotional support from both of its biological parents. Because of this, victims of abuse may need to face some scary possibilities during their divorce: 

  • Abusers may still be permitted access to the children. If the courts determine that the children have not been abused and are not at risk for abuse, they may be permitted both parenting time and a share of the allocation of parental responsibilities; 
  • Situations involving questionable or confirmed abuse can still allow for visitation, even if only under supervision; and
  • If child abuse or neglect significantly pre-dates the divorce, you can be implied in the case. The law uses this penalty to protect children from long-term abuse and to deter people from falsely reporting cases of long-term abuse. Unfortunately, it can negatively affect true victims who have struggled to safely leave the relationship. As such, any cases of long-term abuse should be handled carefully, and only with the skilled assistance of a divorce attorney. 

Child Endangerment Charges in an Illinois Divorce Case

The divorce process can become highly complex if child endangerment charges are brought against you or your spouse during the divorce process. You or your spouse may be questioned or interviewed by the police and Child Protective Services. The courts may also assign a Guardian Ad Litem to your child’s case. Your children may even be placed in protective custody and sent to live with a family member or in a foster home. Regardless of whether you are the accused or the victim, ensure you embark on such divorces with great care. 

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Illinois divorce mediation lawyersDivorce mediation has quickly become a popular way for parties to divorce - and not just because it offers a more cost-effective way to dissolve a marriage. Mediation also encourages cooperation and compromise between the divorcing parties, which can help to improve the overall outcome for divorcing parents, older divorcing couples splitting a retirement, and couples with a high net worth marriage. Still, divorcing parties often feel more at ease when they know what to expect from the divorce mediation process. Learn more in the following sections, which address some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce mediation in Illinois. 

What is Divorce Mediation? 

Before mediation, divorcing parties were pitted against one another and placed on opposite sides in court litigation. Sadly, this led to many poor outcomes, especially for children. Mediation works differently. It encourages the parties to compromise and come to an agreement that works for all involved parties (parents, children, and even pets). Parties who successfully reach an agreement can avoid court proceedings altogether, but if an agreement cannot be made, the parties may still address their issues in court and allow a judge to decide on the matters that are pertinent or problematic in their divorce. 

Are There Any Benefits to Choosing Mediation Over Litigation?

Mediation is often chosen by divorcing couples because it offers them a way to end their marriage faster, and more amicably. As a result, they are better able to preserve their wealth. Children are also less likely to suffer maladjustment when their parents go through a divorce, especially when parents strive for amicable proceedings and an agreement that allows the child ample time and support from each of their parents. Agreements can also be more flexible for those that go through mediation. Parents, retiring divorcees, and even high net worth individuals often find this to be a benefit in their Illinois divorce cases. 

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DuPage County parenting time attorneysHolidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but for blended families, the season can be especially trying. There are additional challenges that come with an increasing and revolving number of faces, such as multiple or various family schedules and changing or canceled plans. Thankfully, there are some strategies that blended families can use to minimize stress and encourage bonding and a happier holiday season. 

1. Develop a Plan and Discuss It with the Kids

Even though holiday plans can (and often do) change, it is important for your family to start with a framework. It can give you guidance and allow you to block out time more efficiently. When events conflict, work hard to come up with a compromise. 

Realize that, above all else, what everyone truly wants is for the children to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible. Family times, such as when grandparents are in town, are good to prioritize, as are any holiday traditions that can still be carried out, even after the massive changes of divorce (i.e. purchasing a living tree and then planting it at the end of the season). 

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Wheaton family law attorneysParents and guardians who experience an investigation from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are often caught in a whirlwind of emotion. Worry, fear, and anxiety may plague them both night and day. Little can be done to truly ease these worries, but with proper legal representation and an in-depth understanding of your rights, it is possible to increase your family’s chances of a favorable outcome during a DCFS investigation.

An Overview of the DCFS Investigation Process

DCFS investigations can occur for a number of reasons, but they tend to fall into one of three categories: abuse, neglect, or dependency. These are defined as follows: 

Abuse and neglect cases: Can be filed, even if only one parent is thought to be abusive or neglectful to the child. Cases may also be filed based on what is known as “anticipatory neglect,” in which children are considered to be at significant risk of abuse; and 

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Illinois divorce lawyersWhile many studies have indicated that children can recover from the emotional turmoil of a divorce (and may, in some situations, fare better in divorce than if their parents stayed together), they are still vulnerable and innocent parties who can be significantly and negatively impacted by the process. As such, parents are encouraged to make every reasonable effort to mitigate the risk of divorce-related maladjustment in their child. One of the more effective ways to do this is through communication - and not just about the divorce itself, but also the feelings that children are likely to experience as they adjust to the changes of their new life. 

Grief, Loss, and Pain Impacts Children During Divorce

Divorcing parents were once led to believe that children were “resilient” enough to withstand the emotional turmoil of divorce without any long-term, negative effects, but more recent data disproves this outdated theory. Children can experience maladjustment issues from a divorce, even if they do not display any immediate signs or symptoms. That is because, like adults, children can experience the complexity of grief, loss, pain, stress, and even self-blame during the divorce process. If not addressed appropriately, those feelings can simmer below the surface, only to emerge at a later date - and often at a time when the parent least expects it. 

Protecting Your Child’s Mental and Emotional Well-Being During a Divorce

Children, though fairly resilient, need to be protected from the potential ill effects of divorce - particularly those that can negatively impact their mental or emotional well-being. Ensuring that the interactions between you and your spouse (including those that take place over the phone or through email) are amicable is a great way to start, but it may still be necessary to use other mitigating tactics as well. For example, you may want to attend a parenting course that is specifically designed for families impacted by divorce, or you may opt to enroll your child in a peer support group or therapy to ensure they have a private space to talk about their feelings. Just remember, even if you seek outside help for your child, it is still recommended that you address grief and pain with your child, directly, as they may need your support while trying to cope. 

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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.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone630-580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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