divorce rate, Arlington Heights divorce lawyerIt is well understood that disputes over money and finances can take a serious toll on a marriage. In fact, many sources suggest that disagreements regarding money are among the leading causes of divorce in the United States. A recent study suggests, however, that a different factor may have even more of an impact than money on a couple’s likelihood of divorce: the employment status of the husband.

Harvard Study

Alexandra Killewald, a sociology professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, examined more than 40 years worth of data covering more than 6,300 married American opposite-sex couples. According to her findings, couples who married before 1975 were more likely to divorce if the husband and wife shared household duties equally—due, perhaps, to the “non-traditional” division of responsibilities. From 1975 forward, however, household responsibilities have not shown to impact the divorce rate very much, but the husband’s employment has.

Killewald’s analysis determined that the average husband with a full-time job has a 2.5 percent chance of getting divorced in any given year. A man who works less than full-time, however, has a 3.3 percent chance of getting divorced, an increase of more than 30 percent. For the purposes of the study, Killewald did not count voluntary stay-at-home dads. Her research indicated that the vast majority of the men in her data samples were involuntarily unemployed or underemployed.

Speculative Reasons

In reviewing her findings, Killewald pointed out that there are several possible reasons for the difference in the divorce rate between husbands working full-time and those who do not. Despite advances in gender equality and the growing importance that women have placed on their careers in recent decades, it seems that many married couples—consciously or not—expect the husband to work a full-time job. The issue, however, is apparently not about money, but the stress and anxiety of being laid-off, fired, or otherwise out of a job involuntarily.

Considering a Divorce?

Studies such as this one provide little more of a snapshot into trends that are related to marriage and divorce. They are not necessarily predictive of what will happen in your marriage. If, however, your relationship has reached the point where divorce is becoming more likely, it is important to be prepared. Contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce lawyer to discuss your situation and your available options today. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation at Cosley Law Office.





Posted in Divorce Rate | Tagged , , , , ,

property, Arlington Heights divorce lawyerIt is a trope often repeated in movies, television shows, and popular music. When a couple gets divorced, everyone “knows” that each spouse gets half of all of the couple’s property, including the assets that each person had coming into the marriage—unless, of course, the couple had a prenup. This well-known “fact,” however, is not a fact at all, at least not in the state of Illinois. In some states, marital property is divided exactly in half—though what constitutes marital still does not usually include previously-owned assets. In Illinois, the laws regarding property division in divorce are based on the principles of equitable distribution, meaning that each spouse receives part of the marital estate but not necessarily in equal proportions.

Equal is Not Always Fair

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that when a divorcing couple cannot agree on how to divide their marital property, the court will allocate their assets and debts in a manner that is fair and just. Nowhere in the law is there a guarantee that the split should be 50/50. Instead, the court will examine the circumstances of the marriage and of each party to determine how much of the marital estate each spouse should receive to ensure that neither is placed at an unnecessary financial disadvantage.

In determining the portion of the marital property that each spouse will receive, the court is required by law to take into account a number of factors including:

  • Each party’s contribution to the marital estate and its value, including the contributions of a homemaker or stay-at-home parent;
  • Any claims of dissipation of the marital property by either spouse;
  • The value of the property being awarded to each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s expected financial circumstances following the division of property;
  • Parenting arrangements for the couple’s children;
  • Whether maintenance has been or will be ordered;
  • Each spouse’s age health, occupation, and expected ability to earn income in the future;
  • Tax liabilities that arise from the division of property; and
  • Any valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement between the spouses.

These considerations allow the court to develop a rather comprehensive understanding of the couple’s circumstances. Based on the facts of the case, the court will divide the marital estate fairly and reasonably.

Let Us Help

If you are considering a divorce and would like to know more about the property division process in Illinois, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule your free consultation at Cosley Law Office today.




Posted in Division of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , , ,

grandchildren, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIf your child has recently gone through a divorce, you are likely wondering how his or her parenting arrangements for his or her children will affect you and your time with your grandchildren. You might be wondering what rights you have to spend time with your grandchildren and whether or not time with you is considered as part of their custody arrangement.

The short answer to your questions is this: unless you have court-ordered guardianship of your grandchild or grandchildren, your child and his or her former spouse are not legally required to have their child spend time with you. However, if you are routinely denied the opportunity to spend time with your grandchild, you may file a petition to have the court grant you visitation rights with your grandchild. Visitation rights are written into the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act along with other laws related to a child’s well-being.

Seeking Visitation Rights

Before going to the court to have visitation rights legally put into place, talk with your child and his or her former spouse about spending time with your grandchild. Discuss the possibility of setting up a weekly or monthly visit with your grandchild. In most families, getting the court involved is not necessary to establish a recurring visit with your grandchild.

However, one or both parents may deny you the opportunity to visit with your grandchild. If this is the case, filing a petition for visitation rights may be an option.

Filing Your Visitation Petition

Your petition for visitation rights must be filed with the county where your grandchild resides. Once you have filed your petition, the court considers multiple factors when determining its decision. To qualify for visitation rights, a grandparent must prove that he or she was unreasonably denied visitation with the grandchild and at least one of the following statements must be true:

  • One of the child’s parents is dead or has been missing for three months or longer;
  • One of the child’s parents is incompetent;
  • The child’s parents are legally separated, divorced, or currently going through a divorce;
  • The child’s parents are not married and not living together; or
  • One of the child’s parents has been incarcerated for at least three months prior to the grandparent seeking visitation.

In addition to these factors, the grandparent must prove that visitation with the grandchild is in the grandchild’s best interest. To show this, the grandparent generally must prove his or her relationship with the grandchild, his or her health and fitness to spend time with a minor, his or her history with the grandchild, and whether or not the child’s parents’ denial of visitation to the grandparent is based in good faith.

Contact an Attorney

If you have questions about custody arrangements and other issues related to children during and following a divorce, call Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 and speak with an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. Contact us today to learn more about your rights as a grandparent.




Posted in Child Custody, Children of Divorce | Tagged , , , ,