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Posted on in Family Law

Joliet domestic violence family law attorneyAfter being born, children learn basic instincts, such as walking and talking, from their parents. They also rely on parents to teach them skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient. However, parents can also have a negative impact on their children. In a home where domestic violence has occurred, even young children can sense the problems, and witnessing violence can have lasting effects on children of all ages. 

What Is Considered Domestic Violence? 

Domestic violence is a series of behaviors used by a person to maintain power over his or her romantic partner. This may include threats, physical abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, isolation, or emotional manipulation. Domestic violence is seen in all social, economic, and racial groups, and it can affect partnerships ranging from casual relations to married couples. Whether intentional or not, the abuser uses their power to keep the victim in the unhealthy relationship. 

Millions of children witness abuse at home every year. A child deserves a healthy and safe home environment, but in cases involving domestic violence, home may be the last place he or she would want to be. Living with domestic abuse may mean witnessing physical violence, hearing fights, and seeing the aftermath, such as bruises or property damage. When they live in a home where violence is occurring, children may experience a variety of negative effects, including:

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-5.jpgOne of the most difficult aspects of divorce is dividing up marital property. All assets and debts that have been acquired during a marriage are considered marital property. Tangible items such as houses, cars, cash, and household goods as well as intangible items such as stock options and debts like medical bills are all examples of marital property. Marital property does not include any property acquired before a marriage, gifts or inheritances to one spouse, or any property acquired by a spouse after legal separation.

In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably or fairly rather than equally. If possible, a couple should figure out how they will divide their property through divorce mediation or another method of alternative dispute resolution. By doing so, they can avoid a great deal of emotional trauma and have more control over how their assets and debts are divided.

If a couple cannot agree on how to divide their marital property, a judge will step in and decide how it should be divided. There are a number of factors a judge will look at prior to making a decision. Some of these factors include:

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design.jpgAccording to Illinois law, when parents are unmarried, the mother has custody of the child until legal paternity is established. This means that the mother has the right to make all decisions for the child and is not obligated to allow the father to have any time with the child. If an unmarried father would like custody, he must take legal action and will not have any rights to the child until legal paternity has been determined. 

How is a Legal Father Defined in Illinois?

In Illinois, a man is the legal father of a child if one of the following circumstances is true:

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Posted on in Family Law

Joliet parenting time lawyersUnlike divorcing couples with children, parents who were never married do not receive an automatic determination of parenting time. Instead, they must pursue it. Further, a determination of child support does not guarantee parenting time to the paying parent. So how do you get time with your child if you were never married? The following information explains.

Why Pursue Parenting Time?

Fathers who are not married to the mother of their child often wonder if it is worth pursuing parenting time with their child. They may be concerned about cost, or they may fear their rights will not be acknowledged by the courts. Rest assured: so long as you are not considered to be a risk to the child’s safety or emotional well-being, it is likely that your presence may be seen as a valuable addition to the life of your child. Further, studies have shown that children often fare better when they have two loving and connected parents. Since you may be required to financially contribute to the rearing of your child, regardless of whether you pursue parenting time or not, why not consider making an emotional contribution as well?

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Will County divorce lawyersIn divorce, each party has their own grief, anger, regret, and feelings of betrayal to overcome. Sadly, the typical divorce process often exasperates these negative emotions by placing the divorcing parties on opposite “sides.” Tempers can flare, and each one may forget that they used to love one another and may, instead, focus on what they can walk away with once the divorce process is complete.

When you add children into the mix, a contentious situation can become downright catastrophic - namely for the children who still love both of their parents. In fact, the damage can be so extensive that it carries on into the child’s adult life. Their own relationships may be tumultuous. They may struggle to form meaningful bonds.

Thankfully, this does not have to be your child’s reality. You and your spouse can choose differently in your divorce. The following explains.

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Will County divorce lawyersWhile older children typically do understand divorce - or at least the concept of it - younger children may struggle to grasp at how divorce will affect their everyday lives. They may not even fully comprehend that divorce means one parent will be living at a different home. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding can make coping with the divorce that much more difficult for the child. Parents may be able to help their child by using the following tips.

Talk to Your Child’s Pediatrician

Pediatricians specialize in the growth and development of children. It is this in-depth understanding that makes them a valuable ally to parents going through divorce. Able to give insight into how the child may cope with the divorce, and their level of understanding of the process itself, a pediatrician can offer parents unique advice that is tailored to their child’s age, stage of development, and own personal history. If you are going through a divorce, ask your child’s pediatrician for advice.

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