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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700

Posted on in Children

cohabitation and palimonyIn recent decades, it has become more popular and widely accepted for unmarried couples to live together. In some instances, these couples go on to marry. In others, these couples choose to never marry or to end their relationship. In the latter scenario, problems concerning the couple's shared property and financial obligations to each other often arise.

Property Division

Legally, unmarried couples are treated as separate individuals in matters regarding property division after a breakup. Unmarried couples who decide to purchase property together must decide whether they want to own it as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common. Both of these options give each partner legal rights to the property as well as responsibilities toward its maintenance and taxes.

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Posted on in Children

Because emotions tend to run high during a divorce, you may find yourself suddenly thrown into a difficult situation when forced to communicate with your spouse. Being prepared with some communication guidelines may make communicating during divorce easier.

Start by setting boundaries. Of course, divorce is a hard adjustment for everyone, but maintaining a civil conversation when you do need to interact with your soon-to-be former spouse can be beneficial, especially for the children. Children do not need the added stress of watching you square off against their other parent whom they love and respect. Decide early on in the process how you will act towards each other in front of the children. Laying boundaries before the situation arises is important.

You should consider setting a rule that prohibits either of you from bringing up old fights or points of contention that have to relevance to the issue at hand. If a conversation gets heated too quickly, diffuse the situation by walking away. Especially if your soon-to-be former spouse is good at pushing your buttons, the best thing you can do is to simply walk away. If you're exchanging the children for visitation time, for example, and the other parent starts to bait you into a fight, this is a good opportunity to hug the children, tell them you'll miss them, and leave the scene. Don't fall into old traps.

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StaciA recent UPI article details the results of a survey that has been released by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). According to 59% of the divorce lawyers surveyed, there has been an increase over the last three years in the number of divorce cases that involve evidence of one or both spouses using an online dating site. Match.com appears to be the dating site of choice, according to 64% of the survey respondents, with another 9% pointing to eHarmony and 27% of respondents naming other sites.

Evidently, people who post online profiles on dating websites tend not to be wholly truthful about themselves. The most common type of evidence cited in divorce cases was relationship status (57%), followed by salary (15%), and parental status (7%). In other words, some people who are in the process of a separation or divorce list themselves as "single," and some even deny that they have children.

The president of the AAML points out that such evidence can be quite harmful to people who are in the process of a messy divorce. Evidence taken from online dating websites can be key in a court's decision about custody and other crucial matters. Therefore, the best practice seems to be to avoid dating websites altogether during your divorce, or at least be completely truthful if you do choose to use such a site while your divorce is still pending.

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UntitledEvery year, more than one million children are affected by the divorce of their parents. While most people think older children would have a harder time with the divorce, in actuality, infants can actually be deeply affected by the divorce of their parents. Parenting.com came out with some solutions on how you can help your child transition.

First of all, parents should try to anticipate their infant's reaction. Babies can usually pick up on the stress that their parents might be feeling. It can either be anxiety, irritability, fearfulness, or aggression. Your feelings during the divorce can affect the baby's development, sleeping patterns, gastrointestinal problems, or can cause them separation anxiety. Although infants may develop these issues without any trauma, however it is more likely with a divorce. Signs of any of these issues are clinginess, crying when you are out of sight, and nervousness around strangers or unfamiliar places. Secondly, parents need to respond to their infant's needs. During the divorce, parents should try to concentrate on what the baby's feelings are and their needs. Be sure to keep them in the same routine, including sleeping schedule and diet. Reiterate to the baby that both parents will continue to love and care for them. The tone of the parent should be soft and calm when talking to the baby.

It is important that parents continue to take care of themselves. It is no surprise that parenting will become harder as a single parent, but one should not forget to take care of their emotional needs. Be sure to have a support system and even consider speaking to a mental health professional. Having a good relationship with your child's pediatrician will, also, help you understand your baby's reactions during the divorce. Lastly, it is helpful to maintain a positive outlook. It will benefit you and your baby. Over time your baby will begin to adjust but it does help to keep these things in mind while going through your divorce.

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Posted on in Children

MelissaThis question is one David Blankenhorn believes is most important—more important than whether same-sex marriages should be allowed. At the end of January, Blankenhorn signed a letter urging Americans to focus less on whether marriage should stay between a man and a woman, and more on how to strengthen marriages for the benefit of society. He isn't the only one: more than 70 people (including scholars, journalists, law professors, etc.) joined in his campaign.

Blankenhorn originally came out against same-sex marriage, but has recently changed his mind based on the disintegration of marriage, especially in the middle- and lower-class.

In recent decades, marriage has lost its traditional values. Now, divorce and out-of-wedlock births have skyrocketed. This article from the Daily Herald talks about well-educated couples tend to stay married but many less educated couples are becoming "subculture of economically depressed, single-parent families." In addition, children of divorced families have been shown to be less happy.

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