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Revisiting Our Most-Read Divorce and Family Law Blogs in 2023

 Posted on January 18, 2024 in Family Law

Blog ImageAt Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we know how difficult it can be to deal with family law issues. Spouses who are going through the divorce process, parents who need to resolve disputes about child custody, or others who need to address legal concerns related to their families will often experience a great deal of stress and uncertainty. To help address this, we work to provide helpful information about the legal concerns that may affect families in these situations. 

With so many blogs published each year, we wanted to highlight the articles that have caught people’s attention. Below, we round up the blogs that were most popular among visitors to our website in 2023. Our attorneys can provide additional information about the issues discussed in these blogs or any other concerns related to family law. If you need assistance with a particular issue, we are ready to provide you with advice and legal representation.

#1: Why Did Justin Hartley File for Divorce? 

Celebrity gossip is always a popular topic. When the news broke in late 2022 that actor Justin Hartley was getting divorced from his wife, Chrishell Stause, people were curious about the reasons for their split. Unfortunately for fans, the only reason cited in the couple’s divorce petition was “irreconcilable differences,” so they were left to speculate as to whether the couple had encountered relationship issues or simply had grown apart.

While irreconcilable differences as a grounds for divorce may not be ideal for gossip mongers, it can be beneficial for spouses who choose to end their marriages. No-fault divorce allows a couple to initiate the divorce process without blaming each other for the breakdown of their relationship. Without the requirement to prove that either spouse is responsible for the end of a marriage, spouses can move forward and work on resolving the issues involved in their divorce. In Illinois, irreconcilable differences is the only ground for divorce recognized by family courts, and no-fault divorce may help promote amicable resolutions rather than contested proceedings.

#2: What You Need to Know About Divorce and Mental Illness or Health Issues

There are a variety of issues related to physical and mental health that may affect couples going through the divorce process. Understanding the best ways to address these concerns can be important, especially when they may affect the level of conflict between spouses, child custody arrangements, financial matters, or other aspects of a divorce.

In one of our most popular blogs published in 2023, we looked at how mental health and physical health may affect a divorce. We reviewed various issues that may arise in these situations, including concerns about whether health issues may affect a parent’s ability to care for children, whether spousal support or other forms of financial support may be affected, and whether psychological evaluations may be needed to assess the status of either party. We also addressed how narcissism and other related mental health concerns may play a role in the divorce process.

#3: How Staying in an Unhappy Marriage Can Affect Your Children

This perennially popular blog addresses the negative impact that conflict between parents may have on children. In many cases, parents believe that a divorce would be detrimental to their children, causing them to experience stress as they make major changes in their lives and begin dividing their time between their parents’ homes. However, parents who choose to stay together even though their relationship is no longer working may actually be causing more harm to their children.

In this blog, we discuss the ways that ongoing conflict between parents can cause high levels of stress for children, potentially even leading to mood disorders or behavioral problems. In these situations, children may suffer from low self-esteem, encounter problems at school, and experience other issues that affect their overall health and well-being. Ultimately, all family members may benefit from the end of an unhappy marriage, and divorced spouses may be able to focus on meeting their children’s needs while also taking care of their own physical and mental health.

#4: What You Need to Know About Spousal Support During Your Illinois Divorce

Spousal support (also known as alimony) is an important issue that many divorcing spouses will need to address. In this blog, we provide a guide to help understand spousal support under Illinois law. By offering comprehensive information about how this issue is handled in divorce cases, we want to ensure that spouses will be prepared to protect their financial interests as they work to end their marriages.

Spousal support is known as spousal maintenance in Illinois, and its purpose is to make sure both parties in a divorce will have the financial resources they need to continue living at the standard they enjoyed during their marriage. In cases where one spouse earns significantly more than the other or where one spouse will be at a financial disadvantage due to other reasons, ongoing support payments may be appropriate. In this blog, we reviewed the factors considered when determining whether spousal maintenance will be paid and the methods used to calculate the amount and duration of these payments.

#5: What You Need to Know About the Divorce Process in Illinois

Facing the end of a marriage can be daunting, and spouses may be unsure about exactly what procedures will be followed when filing for divorce. In this blog, we provide an overview of the divorce process from start to finish. This can help people who are considering divorce or who are beginning to take steps to separate from their spouses and end their marriages understand what steps will be followed in their cases.

Specifically, we review what spouses need to know when preparing for divorce, the procedures followed when filing and responding to a petition for divorce, the discovery process that will help spouses gain the financial information needed to make decisions about the division of property and other related issues. We also look at the methods that may be used to resolve outstanding concerns and complete the divorce process, including how mediation or collaborative law may be used to negotiate a settlement and when litigation may be necessary to resolve disputed issues.

#6: When Can a Person Be Held in Contempt in a Divorce or Family Law Case?

Ideally, divorcing spouses will be able to work out their differences, reach agreements on how to resolve the outstanding issues in their case, and follow all orders put in place by a family court judge. Unfortunately, there are some situations where a spouse may refuse to cooperate during the divorce process, and they may even disobey a judge’s orders or fail to meet their legal obligations. In these cases, it may be necessary to ask for a person to be held in contempt of court

In this blog, we look at various situations where contempt of court may arise during a family law case. For example, a parent who refuses to allow their former partner to have parenting time with their children or a person who does not pay child support as required could be held in contempt. We also discuss the penalties that a person may face if they are found to be in contempt of court and the methods that may be used to enforce the court’s orders.

#7: Will My Spouse’s Infidelity Benefit Me in Our Illinois Divorce?

While adultery is one of the most common reasons for a breakup, spouses may be surprised at how little it may affect their divorce. In this blog, we discuss how infidelity may affect the divorce process and whether the spouse who has been wronged may benefit by raising this issue during legal proceedings.

In most cases, infidelity will not have a major impact on the outcome of a divorce, since “marital misconduct” is not an issue considered when dividing marital property, establishing financial support arrangements, or making decisions about child custody. However, there are a few situations where infidelity may play a role in divorce proceedings. Specifically, a spouse who dissipated marital assets when having an affair may receive a smaller share of the marital estate, or a parent’s neglect of their duties toward their children while pursuing a new romantic relationship may be considered in matters related to child custody.

#8: 5 Stages of Divorce Grief for Children

People who suffer a significant loss often experience grief, and this is true for family members who go through the divorce process. Parents who are concerned about how their divorce may affect their children may want to understand the different stages of grief that children may experience.

In this blog, we look at how parents can help their children cope with divorce, including how they may experience denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. By understanding how children may react to the changes they are experiencing in their lives and how they can help children grieve the loss of their previous family relationships, parents can make sure they are doing everything they can to make the divorce process as easy as possible for their family.

#9: Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Divorce Modifications in Illinois

After completing the divorce process, ex-spouses may experience changes in their lives, and they may believe that modifications to a divorce decree are necessary. However, understanding what types of modifications may be made and how to request a modification is not always easy. In this blog, we provide answers to questions people may have about post-divorce modifications, ensuring that they will be able to address concerns related to changes in their circumstances.

In most cases, post-divorce modifications will only be available if one or both parties have experienced significant changes in their lives. For example, the loss of a job may be a reason to modify the amount of child support or spousal support that a person pays, or a parent’s plans to relocate to a new home may be a reason to update their parenting plan. Understanding what types of changes may be made and how requests for modifications are handled in family court can help ex-spouses approach these issues correctly.

#10: Understanding the Discovery Process During an Illinois Divorce

Discovery is one important step that couples will need to complete during the divorce process. It occurs after a divorce petition is filed, and it will involve the gathering and exchange of financial information and other details about issues that will be addressed as a couple works to legally dissolve their marriage. In this blog, we provide a comprehensive overview of the discovery process and the methods that may be used to gather information.

Through discovery, spouses and their attorneys can obtain information about their finances, including the property they own, the income earned by each party, their debts and expenses, and any other details that may affect the division of marital property, spousal support, or child support. Information may also be gathered that could play a role in decisions about child custody, whether different forms of property are classified as marital assets or separate assets, and whether financial support will be necessary. Relevant information may be obtained through requests for disclosure, interrogatories, admissions of fact, requests for production, depositions, or subpoenas.

Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys

In the coming year, we will continue to publish blogs that will provide helpful information about the legal concerns and other issues that family members may encounter in family law cases. Our attorneys can answer any questions people may have about divorce, child custody, or other matters handled in family courts, and we can provide dedicated, experienced representation for divorcing spouses, parents, or other family members. If you have any questions about family law issues, or if you need legal representation in a divorce or child custody case, we encourage you to reach out to us and schedule a consultation. Contact the Elmhurst divorce and child custody lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC today by calling 312-605-4041.

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