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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Cook County child custody lawyer remarriageThe decision to divorce does not come easily to many couples, especially after a long marriage or if children are involved. However, in many cases, divorce can be for the best if the relationship is dysfunctional or abusive. After a period of time, some people may fall in love again and wish to get remarried. This can mean a second chance at happiness for a parent, but their children may harbor negative feelings toward their new stepparent. A remarriage may also mean a new house and step-siblings, as well as changes to parenting time schedules and child support orders. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between co-parents. In addition, there are some practical ways to help you and your kids adjust to the transition of a new blended family.

Blending Family Units Together

Blending two separate families can be complex for many reasons. Children often feel resentment or anger toward their new stepparent, especially if they have to move into a new house or to a new state. The following are some key points parents should keep in mind when getting remarried:

  • Expect change - Routines and schedules will be different, so be prepared for an adjustment period as everyone gets used to a new lifestyle. This could mean a new home, new school, and step-siblings. 


Oak Park divorce attorney for domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this type of violence is prevalent for a variety of reasons, including mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, every minute, an average of 24 people are victims of physical violence, sexual assault, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Abuse can destroy the trust in a marriage, ultimately leading to one of the partners filing for a divorce. However, it can be very intimidating to take that first step if a person is afraid of their spouse’s reaction to ending their marriage. If someone is a victim of abuse, it is imperative to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney throughout the divorce process.      

How Is Domestic Violence Defined?

Domestic violence is also referred to as domestic abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV), or relationship abuse. It is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. This is typically between spouses or dating partners, but it can also include violence between parents, children, or other relatives. Domestic violence does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Anyone can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It affects people of all financial backgrounds and educational levels. 


Cook County divorce lawyer for empty nestersThe term “empty nesters” refers to a couple whose children have left home (or the “nest”) to attend college or move into their own house after starting a career. Although many spouses relish their newfound freedom from parental responsibility, other partners may dread it for various reasons. Two people who were madly in love in their 20s may realize after decades of being married that they have nothing in common now that they are in their 50s. Their feelings toward each other might have gradually changed over the years, so much so that they now are considering a divorce. Statistics show an increase in divorce for couples age 50 and over, and the trigger is often when their children leave home.

Reasons For Empty Nest Syndrome

Raising kids is not easy, but before you know it, they are 18 and headed off to college. After focusing so much attention on the children, problems between the spouses may become more apparent. In some cases, parents decide to stay together for the sake of the children, even though they are unhappy. Many people think divorcing will cause irreparable emotional damage to their kids, so they put off a potential split until the children have reached adulthood. 

In some cases, children moving out may lead to life changes that cause a person to seek divorce. If one spouse withdraws from his or her partner and devotes a lot of time to work, hobbies, or friends, that can put a significant rift in the relationship. “Empty nest syndrome” often coincides with mid-life, an age at which many people have a “crisis” or struggle with their identities. This is especially true if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent; now that the children are gone, he or she may feel lost and without a purpose. 


Oak Park family law attorney for addiction issues

The reasons for a divorce can vary, but in many cases, addiction can play a role in the deterioration of a marriage. If one partner is addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or pornography, it can tear a family apart. Regardless of the vice, it can change someone’s personality and his or her ability to take care of children or hold down a job. The family of an addict may also be negatively affected, which is one of the reasons why so many addicts get divorced. When divorcing an addict, it is important to understand your rights, especially if children are involved. 

Child-Related Issues 

In divorces that include children, the court will base its decisions regarding child issues on what is in the best interests of the child. If one parent has a drink socially once in a while, that will likely not affect the allocation of parental responsibility (custody). However, when drugs or alcohol are being abused by one parent, that can inhibit his or her ability to care for the child appropriately. Therefore, the parent who does not have an addiction problem has a better chance of receiving the majority of the parental responsibility, ensuring that the child will be in a safe environment. 


Oak Park divorce attorney for emergency orders of protectionIn many divorce cases, the partners may simply grow apart and decide that they no longer wish to remain married. However, other spouses choose to end their marriage because domestic violence or child abuse has taken place. When going through high-conflict divorce proceedings, it can be necessary to obtain an order of protection for a variety of reasons, especially if one party feels like he or she is in immediate danger. It is important to understand the situations that warrant an order of protection in an Illinois divorce to ensure your and your children’s safety and well-being.   

What Can an Emergency Order of Protection Do?

When a couple begins the divorce process in Illinois, some orders will automatically go into effect placing restrictions on the spouses. For instance, both spouses are ordered to not intimidate, harass, or injure each other or any children who are minors. An emergency order is generally used if an individual is in immediate danger, but it can also include remedies for the physical care of a minor child or the possession of personal property.

Since they are usually required immediately or in extreme situations, emergency orders of protection may be processed at any time, even when courts are closed. These types of orders do not require that notice be served to the receiving party, and they can last for 14 to 21 days. 

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