blame, divorce and children, Illinois family lawyerWhen faced with the reality of divorcing parents, many children internalize the struggle between the parents. They are usually not privy to the countless closed-door disagreements and difficulties that may have existed for years. Instead, children will often turn inward, blaming themselves for their parents’ inability to get along, and, ultimately, for the divorce. While you and your spouse may understand that it is not your child’s fault, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child comes to understand as well.

Talk Openly, but Carefully

If it is at all possible, you and your spouse should talk to your child together about your impending divorce before it becomes a reality. The two of you need to make clear that the divorce is based on issues between the adults; your child did not cause it and your child cannot fix it. It is also important to be age-appropriate when considering what details to share with your child. For example, the challenges of raising children may have, in fact, contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. Your first-grader, however, may interpret that as being to blame by nature of his existence.

Invite Communication

Once your child knows about your divorce, it is important not to place expectations on him or her regarding how to handle the news. Everyone—adults and children—will need to deal with the situation in their own ways. Do not ask your child to keep secrets; instead, share only as much as you would be comfortable with other people knowing. Do not demand your child talk to you; rather, provide safe environment for him or her to express feelings and concerns without judgement or consequences.

You may, however, demand honesty. Hiding problems and issues or lying about them will only make the process more difficult for everyone involved. By combining this with the “do nots” listed above, your child will come to realize that he or she does will not be forced to talk, but when he or she is ready, communication must be honest so that it can be addressed appropriately, if needed.

Be Consistent

In turn, you and your spouse must also commit to honesty. Do not avoid the hard questions; your child may feel guilty for asking them. If you do not know the right way to address a concern, do not lie or make something up. Let your child know that you will work on the answer together. Rather than feeling shut down, your child is more likely to feel valued and that his or her problems matter to you. You must also listen to what your child is saying to identify continued self-blame. If and when it comes back up, redirect responsibility back toward the adults. Your child did not cause your divorce and deserves no blame.

If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. Our team can help you minimize the negative impact of the process on your children, while assisting you in negotiating a favorable resolution. Call 847-253-3100 today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.




Posted in Children of Divorce, Divorce and Children, Illinois Family Law Attorney | Tagged , , , ,

drive sober, NHTSA, Illinois DUI defense lawyerAs summer draws to a close in northern Illinois, law enforcement officials in a number of area municipalities are ramping up safe driving enforcement activities. This comes as part of a nationwide effort to crack down on drunk driving, along with a continued focus on ensuring drivers are using seatbelts. The highly-publicized campaign got underway last weekend and will continue through the Labor Day holiday on September 7.

National DUI Awareness

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has invested more than $13 million in advertising and public awareness to spread the word about this focused operation. It comes as part of the NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, aimed at reducing accidents and injuries related to driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. More than 10,000 local police departments throughout the country are expected to participate in the effort, including many in the Chicagoland region. There is expected to be zero tolerance for driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of .08 percent. The NHSTA wants you to know that if you drive drunk, you will be arrested.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

In 2013, more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes, accounting for nearly one third of all traffic fatalities. “Too many drivers continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel drunk,” said Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the NHTSA. “Our message is clear: drive sober, or get pulled over.” The NHSTA and law enforcement officials encourage those who have had too much drink to call a taxi or a friend, and to utilize the Administration’s SaferRide app to arrange a pickup location.

Sgt. Derek Zook of the Naperville, Illinois, police department echoed the NHTSA’s admonitions for remaining safe. “All it takes is a little planning ahead,” Zook said. “And remember, a seatbelt is your best defense in a crash, so Click It or Ticket.

DUI Defense in Arlington Heights

If you find yourself caught up in the current crackdown against drunk driving, you will need an attorney who is dedicated to helping you protect your future. Contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows today for a complete evaluation of your case. We will assist you in understanding your options and take the appropriate steps toward a positive resolution. Schedule your free consultation by calling 847-253-3100.

Posted in DUI, DUI Defense, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney | Tagged , , , , , ,

relocation, parental relocation, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyAs the primary residential parent, you have taken on a great deal of responsibility for the well-being of your child. In an ideal world, the other parent would remain cooperative in your joint efforts in raising the child, or, at the very least, stay current on child support and exercise visitation rights. Reality, however, is not always ideal, and, in some cases, the best option for you and your child may lie in pursuing opportunities out of town or, sometimes, out of state. If you are already considering such a move, it is important to be aware of changes to parental relocation laws that are set to take effect in January, as the new provisions could greatly impact your necessary steps.

Current Laws Affect Out-Of-State Moves

Existing provisions in Illinois law require you to seek the other parent’s consent if you wish move with your child to a new home outside of the state. Once you have obtained permission, you will need to notify the court overseeing your custody order. If the other parent will not allow the move, you may seek the court’s override, but you will be required to prove that the move is in the best interest of the child and that you are acting in good faith.

On the other hand, there is nothing in the current law explicitly preventing you from moving within the borders of the state. Although far from the largest state, Illinois encompasses a fairly substantial geographic area. A drive from the northeast corner near Chicago to the southwest corner near Belleville would take more than four hours without traffic, covering about 300 miles, all within the state. While such a move may have an impact on your custody or visitation agreement, it would be perfectly legal by the letter of the law.

New Relocation Standards

Thanks to a major family-law overhaul signed by the governor in July, parental relocation laws will have a new look come January. Actual distance will take precedence over state borders, as the new law works with surrounding states to establish more equitable guidelines. Under the new law, you and your child will be permitted to move up to 25 miles from your current residence without consent or court approval, including into a neighboring state. If you choose to move into another state under these provisions, Illinois will retain responsibility for your custody order.

If you currently live outside of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County, however, you will be permitted to move with your child up to 50 miles to a new residence in Illinois. An out-of-state move is still limited to 25 miles. Regardless of your current residential county, any move that exceeds these limits will require permission or court approval similar to the requirements currently in place.

The decision to move is rarely an easy one and is often even more complicated for parents. If you are considering pursuing opportunities elsewhere and are unsure about your move’s impact on your custody order, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. At the Cosley Law Office, -we can help understand the law and will work with you in finding creative, responsible solutions to your legal concerns. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 847-253-3100.

Posted in Child Custody, Illinois Family Law Attorney, Illinois law | Tagged , , , , ,