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boys and girls, divorce, Kane County divorce attorneyIn spite of, or perhaps, due in part to the common social expectation of boys to be less emotional and more resilient than girls, research is beginning to suggest that boys are actually more sensitive than girls to life's disadvantages. Such disadvantages can include being raised in poverty or in a difficult neighborhood, and the impact of a single-parent home that often is the result of divorce.  Divorce and other disadvantages, obviously affect both boys and girls from all backgrounds, but researchers have looked a little deeper into the issue and found some interesting connections.

Multiple Studies

A team from Northwestern University recently released a study that looked at the disparity between boys and girls academic and behavioral performance as it relates to various factors. Throughout the project, the researchers examined the health, disciplinary, academic and graduation records for more than 1 million children born between 1992 and 2002. To account for many of the variables present between separate families, much of the research focused on opposite-sex siblings being raised in the same households. Particularly in homes of low socioeconomic status, boys tended to have much higher rates of truancy, behavioral problems, and academic struggles than those of their sisters.

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children, best interests of children, Kane County family lawyersIt is reasonable to believe that one of the most difficult decisions that a family court judge must ever make is to rule against a biological parent seeking custody of his or her child. The state of Illinois, like most jurisdictions, holds the rights of parents in extremely high regard, often going to great lengths to protect such rights in all manner of unusual situations. Sometimes, however, the right of the child to a safe, healthy environment supersedes parental rights, and, in those cases, a judge must intervene on behalf of the child. Such was the scenario in a Cook County courtroom last week, as a family court judge ruled that three children were likely to be abused if they were permitted to remain with their mother, a woman with a well-publicized history.

“We Do Not Have to Wait for the Injuries.”

The case in question involved three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, of a woman who was convicted of child endangerment in 2006. Her conviction was related to the 2003 drowning deaths of her three previous children, ages 6, 3, and 2 at the time. The woman’s boyfriend at the time was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence, while the woman served five years in prison and has since been released. In last week’s ruling, the judge decided that not enough has changed in the woman’s life since then, and that, even without the previous deaths being considered, there is evidence that abuse and neglect exist in regard to her current children.

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Posted on in Divorce

After years of unhappiness and frustration, you and your spouse finally took the necessary steps toward dissolving your marriage. The process was not easy—few divorces are—but you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is possible to be happy again, and your post-divorce reality offers the opportunity for you to reclaim your life and your health. In accordance with the law, the terms of your divorce are formally recorded as part of the judgment of dissolution of marriage. Going forward, it is the responsibility of both parties to remain in compliance with the judgment, which, as a court-issued directive, is enforceable with legal action. If your spouse is failing to keep up his or her end of the arrangement, though, it may be up to you to take control of the situation.

Common Reasons for Needing Enforcement

Every divorce is different, of course, as the challenges facing an individual couple are the result of their own unique circumstances. However, certain aspects of a divorce judgement are more likely than others to be the source of non-compliance. Spousal maintenance and child support obligations, along with concerns regarding visitation, commonly create issues when one spouse refuses or is unable to comply with judgment. There may also be complications in completing the division of property process as, in many cases, the transfer of assets from one party to the other may take place over the weeks and months following the divorce.

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Posted on in Child Custody

child custody, new laws, Illinois family law attorneyWhen you hear the phrase “custody battle,” it is nearly impossible to think of anything but a competition between parents over who should be given primary responsibility for the couple’s children. It implies that, in most cases, one parent will “win” and one will “lose,” or that both parents will feel like they have somehow been shorted in the process. As part of this past summer’s family law reform bill, however, a new law in Illinois is designed to help reduce potential acrimony between parents and focus on providing for the best interest of a child subsequent to a divorce or other separated parent situation.

Sole Custody and Joint Custody

For many years, legal child custody has been granted either to one parent, as the sole custodian, or to both parents in a joint custody arrangement. As a separate concept from physical custody, which simply refers to where the child lives, stays, and is cared for, legal custody pertains to the right to make important decisions regarding the child and his or her upbringing.

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father, child support, St. Charles Family Law AttorneyWhen Johns Hopkins University sociologist Kathryn Edin decided to research the subject of child support among lower income families, she was ready to focus primarily on single mothers who struggle to raise their children in some the country’s toughest neighborhoods. She knew the reputation of poor, absent fathers who provide next to nothing in documented financial support, men who are commonly labeled “deadbeat dads.” Then, she met one. Then, another. Before long, she was putting together a project that followed more than 360 fathers of various races, looking at how they tried to provide for their children despite their own dire circumstances. Her findings were published earlier this summer in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Informal Support

In the U.S., about one in four children are due some level of child support, but, on average, only about 60 percent get the full owed amount. A previous study found that less than one third of fathers at or below the poverty line pay formal support through the court system, a finding which was reaffirmed by Edin’s research. Of her subjects, 23 percent made formal payments through the child support system, averaging about $38 per month.

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