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If you and your spouse are considering ending your marriage and you have children together, you probably have many concerns. Coming to terms with the marriage ending is already difficult, but adding the stress of how the divorce will affect your children can make things seem impossible. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information from child development experts and mental health specialists about how best to break the news of divorce to children.
Keep the Children’s Ages in Mind
The information you will give a five-year-old child about your divorce and what you will tell a fifteen-year-old should be different. Young children are not going to understand terms like “custody” or “separation.” Instead of getting into the details, experts suggest parents tell young children how the divorce will affect them and focus on reassuring the child. For example, parents can say something like, “Mommy and daddy are not going to live together anymore but you will still see both of us all the time.” Make sure to reassure the child that the divorce is not their fault and that you as parents still love the child and will continue to be their parents.
Just like there are a near-infinite variety of marriages, there are numerous different types of divorces. Some divorces are a result of one spouse having an affair while others end because the couple simply grows apart. The end of their marriage comes as a total shock to some spouses while others have known it was coming for years. If you are in a situation where you and your spouse are not on the same page about how you want to end your marriage and move on with your life, you may be facing a contested divorce. Contested divorces are much more complicated and time consuming than uncontested divorces and individuals undergoing this type of divorce are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney.
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
Couples who agree on issues such as property and debt division, the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance generally do not have to go through numerous court hearings or extensive legal negotiations in order to end their marriage. The Court’s main purpose when it comes to divorce is to make rulings about issues on which couples disagree. There is usually no need for far-reaching court involvement when couples are willing to cooperate and compromise.
Whether or not to hire an attorney to help you end your marriage is always a complicated question. While many young couples without children or significant debt or assets can successfully file for divorce on their own, the majority of divorcing couples would be taking a major risk not hiring an attorney. Although many people are concerned that hiring an attorney will be too expensive, employing the help of an attorney actually increases the chances you will save money on child support, spousal maintenance, and other costs. Hiring an attorney to represent you during your divorce can benefit you in many ways.
Save Time and Frustration
The American legal system is one of the best in the world, but it can be tedious to navigate. Divorces, especially complicated or high net worth cases, can require seemingly endless amounts of paperwork, signatures, meetings, and legwork. Because divorce is often a deeply emotional process, some people find that they are simply unable to handle the added stress of managing the legal aspects of their divorce alone. An experienced family law attorney can help streamline the divorce process, saving you valuable time and resources.
There are countless different factors that can lead to a marriage ending. Sometimes a couple gets married too soon and later realizes that it was not the right decision for them. Other marriages end because of infidelity or abuse, while still other marriages end simply because the couple falls out of love. Researchers have known for some time that there are certain life circumstances which make a couple more likely to divorce. Of course, experiencing one of these circumstances does not mean a couple will certainly get divorced, it just makes them more statistically more likely to do so.
Women Who Initially Earn Less but Find Later Success More Likely to Divorce
A recent study conducted by Swedish researchers suggests that women’s professional success is related to their chances of divorce. Women who succeed professionally are more likely to get divorced. Specifically, women who started their marriage earning less than their spouse or not working but were promoted to higher-earning positions are more likely to divorce. Women in political office are especially affected by the career surge that comes with winning an election. Research shows that female political candidates who win elections are, on average, twice as likely to divorce their spouse than those who lose elections. Male candidates who win elections do not experience any increased risk of divorce.
Annulments are a legal option for ending a marriage that many are confused about. An annulment is unlike a divorce in that it invalidates the marriage. Marriages which are successfully annulled are treated as though they never happened. There are differences between civil annulments and religious annulments. Many people who choose to end their marriage through an annulment do so because their church or religious organization does not allow divorce. However, in order to qualify for a civil annulment, the spouses must meet many requirements which are not required for religious annulments.
Requirements for Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage
In Illinois, annulments are referred to as “declarations of invalidity of marriage.” In order to qualify for a declaration of invalidity of marriage, the spouses must meet one or more of the following criteria: