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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_secretive-couple.jpgThousands of couples end their relationship because of infidelity every year. For some, one incident of infidelity is enough to ruin a marriage. In other relationships, the person who cheated may have been given second or third chances to change their behavior and did not do so. Eventually one partner decides that the relationship cannot continue and files for divorce. Many famous celebrities and political figures have struggled with infidelity. Tiger Woods, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—just to name a few—have all been caught or admitted to being unfaithful to their spouses.

Risk vs. Reward

Recent research shows that 2-4% of spouses admit to cheating on their spouse in the last year. There are several schools of thought about why people cheat. A number of theories suggest that people weigh the costs and benefits of infidelity. If a couple has invested a lot of quality time together, their tendency to cheat will be less than that of couples who have not invested as much time into the relationship. Spouses calculate the risk verse the reward of cheating.

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_divorce-during-pregnancy_600x400.pngWhile all romantic relationships can be complicated at times, nothing changes the dynamic of a relationship more than a pregnancy. Some couples find out they are expecting and it is a huge surprise. Other couples may plan for the pregnancy for years and are thrilled when it happens. Too often, however, couples think that a baby will make their marriage stronger, help ease their arguments, and make the atmosphere inside the relationship happier. While this may work in some cases, having a baby is not usually the solution for a struggling marriage. Having a child, while an exciting and wonderful experience, is not a fix-all to marital problems. What should you do when you realize you want to leave the relationship while your partner is pregnant?

Find the Path That Works for You

Some couples will choose to separate until after they baby is born and then file for divorce. Some states even require legal separation before a divorce filing can be made. Other couples wait until after the baby is born to make the final decision. The first step when considering leaving a spouse who is pregnant is to speak to a lawyer about the situation. He or she will be capable of guiding you to make the best decision for your particular circumstances. Keep in mind that laws regarding the divorce of a pregnant spouse vary from state to state.

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_ego-1.pngThe term narcissist is used colloquially to refer to selfish or vain individuals. However, there is a medical condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder which can be very destructive both to sufferers and to those in relationships with them. The disorder can become so pervasive in some situations that it is practically impossible to maintain a healthy marriage, and divorce is not uncommon.

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the most widely used diagnostic tool for diagnosing psychiatric and psychological conditions, including Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Those diagnosed with the disorder commonly display similar symptoms, including:

  • A pattern of grandiosity and the need for admiration: Narcissists tend to believe that they are better than others and need almost constant attention and admiration;
  • Lack of empathy toward others: Narcissists are unable to understand and respond to the feelings and needs of others. They may come off as cold and uncaring;
  • Sense of entitlement: Narcissists generally feel entitled to special treatment and sometimes think they are above usual rules and boundaries.
  • Problematic envy or jealousy: In many cases, narcissists do not want to share attention with others and will create reasons for them to be the center of attention. This could include “making a scene” in a restaurant or at a family function;
  • Unrealistic expectations of others: Many narcissists make those in a relationship with them—including spouses, children, parents, and other family members—feel like nothing they do is ever good enough;
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of success, beauty, approval, or achievement: Narcissists often struggle to see the world as it really is, instead viewing the world through a skewed lens of self-importance; and
  • Arrogant, egotistical behavior and attitudes: Narcissists typically refuse to take responsibility for their actions or to be accountable for their behavior. They tend to convince themselves that someone or something else causes every problem in their life. They often view themselves as perpetual victims.

Developing Problems

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b2ap3_thumbnail_social-media-options_640.pngWhen you are going through a divorce, it can be tempting to vent on social media, especially if you believe it to be safe from public view. However, it is still possible in most cases for your spouse’s attorney to use any ill-timed or ill-conceived social media post against you. If you are not careful, poorly timed social media posts can cost you money or even parenting time with your children. It is imperative to understand your rights and responsibilities in this area.

What Constitutes Social Media?

There is a pervasive misconception that only networks like Facebook and Twitter count as social media during of divorce. In reality, the designation also includes text messages, e-mails and anything of that nature that is intended to be shared via technology with another person or people. Media sent from a cell phone counts just as much as that viewed or sent from a computer, and many are unaware that these types of communication fall under the umbrella of social media.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_prenuptial-agreement6_640.jpgIn this day and age, more and more couples are signing prenuptial agreements before they wed to safeguard their own interests if the marriage fails. The mere act of creating a document like a prenuptial agreement is not sufficient to ensure its validity, however; certain provisions in the document can actually render the entire agreement null and void. Doing some research can help ensure that yours remains valid.

A Change in Property Distribution Rules

While prenuptial agreements—also known as prenups—have become more popular in general, Illinois law has helped contribute to a specific uptick in their use. Before the substantial reforms to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) which took effect in January of last year, property purchased “in contemplation of marriage” was normally held to be marital property and, therefore, subject to the state’s equitable distribution laws. After modification, this was changed significantly, with the law holding that just because property was purchased or received in contemplation of marriage, it did not make that property marital. Thus, a private agreement is often necessary in order to equitably distribute such property.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Conflict_640.jpgMany married individuals have encountered a similar dilemma. They open their spouse’s laptop and see an extremely personal email to a person they do not know. Others read text messages on their partner’s cell phone and discover flirtatious texts to his or her ex-lover. Still others may notice that their spouse seems to spend a tremendous amount of time with a certain coworker and wonder if it might be related to the high credit card bills they have been receiving. Such couples may be seeing the first signs of an emotional affair, which—if left unchecked—could lead them down the path toward a divorce.

What Is an Emotional Affair?

Marriage therapist Sheri Meyers says, “An emotional affair is essentially an affair of the heart.” Emotional affairs can take many different forms but often include flirtatious or deeply personal conversations, sharing private details about marital problems, or complaining about a current spouse’s flaws. A person engaged in an emotional affair begins to see the other person as more important than their spouse. He or she might fantasize about this individual and become distant or withdrawn at home.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_digital-assets-1.pngProperty division in a divorce can become as contentious and stressful as any other aspect of the process. In today's world, however, dividing marital assets may be even more complicated than ever before. With more and more people owning digital property, many divorcing spouses have questions regarding how division works in this particular area.

Whether the issue concerns physical assets or digital property, a person going through a divorce can benefit greatly from having a legal professional at his or her side, but qualified help is especially important when it comes intangible property

What Are Digital Assets?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_collaborative-divorce_600x400.jpgMany people feel as though they are stuck in a bad marriage due to the state of their finances. If you are dependent on your spouse’s income, you may be able to get temporary financial support for yourself and for your children as you work your way through the process of divorce.

Defining Temporary Maintenance

Under Illinois law, this type of support is called “temporary maintenance” and “temporary child support.” Temporary maintenance is often more easily awarded than standard maintenance—also known as alimony—which, when necessary, is awarded for longer periods of time after the divorce is final.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_inheritance-rights_640-1.pngGetting married can be an extremely happy time in a person’s life. During this time, you may be focused on the wedding day and your upcoming honeymoon. However, spending some time on a properly-drafted prenuptial agreement could ensure your future happiness, even in the event of a divorce. Protecting assets received as an inheritance, for example, is made much easier with an effective prenuptial agreement than doing so without one. As a result, it is important to stress that during a divorce proceedings, absent a prenuptial agreement, it may be too late to protect vacation homes, rare collectables, and other inherited assets.

Strategies for Protecting Inherited Assets in Divorce

In Illinois, the law draws a distinction between marital property and separate property, specifically recognizing inherited assets as non-marital property in most cases. However, inherited assets that are combined with marital assets and used for family purposes can lose their identity as separate property, regardless of a person’s intentions. With that in mind, there are a few strategies for protecting inherited assets during divorce:

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_marital-problems_640.jpgIt is nearly impossible to estimate how many people have ever cheated on their spouse. This is true for several reasons. First, not all couple define cheating the same way. Next, not everyone who has been unfaithful is likely to admit it, even to an impartial researcher. Finally, surveys related to infidelity rarely, if ever, cover a large enough cross-section of the population to be widely applicable. This is why outlets like the Washington Post­ will report that between 25 and 72 percent of married men cheat—far too large of a variation to have much scientific significance.

There is little doubt, however, that infidelity can have destructive effects on a marriage. While it is not usually the only factor in a couple deciding to divorce, it is often a substantial one. If your spouse has cheated on you, it is common to wonder if his or her behavior could impact the divorce process as well.

No-Fault Divorce Laws in Illinois

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