Articles Posted in Divorce Trends and Developments

Published on:

Law Office of Michael F. Roe’s Illinois Divorce Law Blog has once again, for 2014, been named a “Top 50 Divorce Law Blog” by Criminal Justice Degrees Schools, which annually analyzes and rates professional blogs.

a%20top50divblog.png

My approach to the blog is to inform my clients and readers of the blog, to educate other professionals in the field, and to illuminate important issues in divorce and custody. Some of these important issues include issues that arise in complex custody cases, cases with high conflict issues, and critical issues in some cases, like Parental Alienation or new legislation that affects financial issues in divorce.

The blog journals many compelling issues, but if you have questions or concerns about your impending divorce case, contact our office so that we can meet and discuss the details of your family concerns, and develop a strategy to manage these issues toward a positive outcome.

Published on:

From Michael Roe: every so often I will post an interesting commentary on divorce issues here at Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog. I’m not convinced that men have a necessarily worse time adjusting to divorce; I see in my female clients high levels of stress, grieving, and anxiety. I feel the case can be made that the stressors imposed on men can be different in some ways than those imposed on women, generally. Certainly, men start out a child custody case with the unwritten presumptions in place that child residential custody usually goes to the mother, though the law requires that the Court determine best interests…one reason I’m a shared parenting advocate in many cases. As an aside, I see that both the men and women that I represent in my practice do benefit, along with my work on the legal side of the case, from having a competent therapist to help process issues that arise in divorce.

From the article:

It turns out that in the age-old comparison of the sexes, men seem to be having a more difficult time coping with the dissolution of a marriage. According to a recent study from the Journal of Men’s Health, divorced men are more susceptible to heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes than married men are – in addition to being 39 percent more likely to commit suicide and engage in risky behavior. Why does this finding exist?

Published on:

The cost of a divorce can be a deterrent to the process for many couples who are already struggling with the expense of maintaining two separate households. The amount of property one owns, child custody and support issues, and the extent to which a couple agrees or disagrees will determine attorney and other professional service fees (like custody evaluators) incurred during a divorce. Whether there is a large or small amount of property, issues with the children or not, or little to no agreement, there are things that you can do to reduce the cost of a divorce.

First off, take care when choosing your divorce attorney. The right attorney for your case is not always the most expensive attorney. Experience, unique technical skills, and positive relationships with the courts make for good lawyers. There are several things you should consider when choosing a lawyer and managing your case:

Attorneys’ fees are based on their experience, expertise, and special skills, but some very experienced lawyers charge reasonable fees, while others charge exorbitant fees. The hourly rates of lawyers should be competitive with their locale and market, but not excessive. A high hourly rate is not an indicator of special experience or skill.

Published on:

Family therapist Diane Shearer says we should look beyond the questions about divorce and get at what kids are really asking for. “When kids ask tough questions, they aren’t looking for complicated answers. They are looking for affirmation, not information.” This means they want to be assured that you love them no matter what. They want to know that you recognize their turbulent feelings. Here are some tips on three of the most common questions.

1. Why? From “why did you stop loving each other” to “why are you doing this,” kids want to know the big-picture reason behind your split. Shearer says the fear behind this question is that if mom and dad can stop loving each other, they might stop loving their kids, too. So you’ll need to assure your child that love between parents is very different from a parent’s love for their child. Your love for them is permanent and will never change. In most cases, it’s not appropriate to get into the details of why you’re divorcing. Instead, reassure your child that you are still a family, just a different kind of family.

2. Is this my fault? Young children, especially, are self-centered, so they can’t help wondering if they are somehow at fault for your split. Again, the most important thing here is to assure your child that your love for them is unconditional. They need to know their parents’ complicated relationship has nothing to do with them — they are NOT the cause of the divorce. They will always be loved. That will never change.

Published on:

byline: Dr. Jeff Gardere:


Divorce can be one of the most stressful events in life, second only to a spouse dying. In fact, a divorce can become such a complicated and nasty affair that many people have joked that a spouse dying is a less stressful event because at least you don’t have to fight the deceased in court!

child_divorce.jpg
The point to be made here is that during this time of stress and duress we are no longer thinking with our brains, but instead with our hearts. Normally a pure heart will win the day, but a heart which is ruled by the pain, sadness and anger of a divorce will exhibit pure emotion — often in an illogical and dangerous fashion.

Published on:

Sydney Morehouse, 13, of Omaha cries in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, as she tells the Associated Press how hard it is to only get to see her father every other weekend and Wednesday nights following her parent’s divorce.

Nebraska%20child%20cusotdy.jpg
Omaha resident Gary Owens pounded the table and raised his voice Wednesday as he testified before Nebraska lawmakers, demanding they pass two bills that could allow him to spend more time with his son.

A coalition of fathers, doctors and family-law attorneys is asking lawmakers to change a Nebraska parental custody law that they view as unfair to men.

Published on:

Henry Gornbein, a family lawyer in Michigan, wrote a recent article about the trauma of divorce for the Huffington Post. Gornbein discusses appropriately the ramifications of the threat of divorce and the actual divorce process. In reflecting on his article, I am brought back to the idea that divorce is appropriate and necessary in many cases, though all efforts should be made to save marriages that have a proper basis for being preserved. In the event that the marriage has broken down, the parties are no longer compatible, or there is mental illness affecting the health and safety of the spouse and children, or domestic violence, divorce can be a healthy intervention. The key to a healthy divorce in many cases is the Cooperative Divorce or a divorce that avoids the high conflict of ‘out of control divorce,’ and focuses on the emotional and financial wellbeing of the parties and the children.

“A divorce can be many things. It is a legal proceeding to end a marriage. Divorce laws differ from state to state regarding the requirements and reasons or grounds for a divorce. The mechanisms and procedures for obtaining a divorce differ from state to state as well. In every state there is a legal requirement that a divorce proceeding be filed to end the legal marriage between a couple.

A divorce is a weapon. It can be a legal weapon. It can also be a verbal weapon which too frequently is used by an unhappy spouse who will hurl a threat: “If you do not do this, I will divorce you.” This often is a means of control. It is also dirty fighting. Sometimes this threat of a divorce is a means of keeping someone in a marriage. To me, it is a statement that the marriage is in trouble and could perhaps end in a divorce unless the parties go into counseling.

Published on:

Mindy Smith wrote an interesting article in the Huffington Post last year on the “Ten Signs Your Marriage is Headed for Divorce.” I may not agree completely with her Top 10 List, but I include it for interesting reading. She listed the following:

RED FLAG #10: If your spouse is facebooking with his or her high school sweetheart on a daily basis, you may be heading for a divorce.

RED FLAG #9: If you spouse has gained more than 20% of his or her body weight, you may be headed for divorce.

Published on:

The American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law adopted standards of civility for Family (Divorce and Custody) Attorneys. The ABA recognized that civility is important in family law practice. As a litigant and client, why should lawyer civility be important to you?

In my divorce and custody practice, there is a time for negotiation, and there is a time for aggressive representation of my client’s interests. Aggressive representation, however, does not suggest inflammatory or reckless litigation. In my 25 years of litigation experience, as a prosecutor and trial lawyer, the most successful approach to litigation is aggressive, focused civility. Lawyers that treat their clients with respect and care, who treat opposing lawyers with a measure of civility, and who show respect for the Court, get the best results.

Why, as a trial lawyer, act with civility? It saves you, the client, time and money, lowers the stress of the case, and gets the best results. If you hire an angry, reckless, “bulldog” lawyer for your case, you’ll spend more, have more anguish and stress, and your results will likely be far lower. Judges typically don’t respect the generalist “bulldog” lawyers.