IL divorce lawyerDivorce is common throughout the United States, including Illinois, and most partners who learn of their spouse’s desire to get a divorce are not surprised by the news. Yet while both parties may be unhappy in the marriage and being served divorced papers may come as no shock, women are far more likely than men to initiate the divorce process - roughly 70 percent of the time, in fact. But why is this?

Why Do Wives Initiate Divorce More Often?

For those inclined to understand human behavior through the lens of evolution, the natural differences between men and women offer explanations for why women are more likely to ask for divorce. People now have more choices (or at least the illusion of more choices) when it comes to potential partners, thanks to the widespread use of dating apps and social media. When people feel as though the world is their romantic oyster, they are more likely to become pickier about their partners - even if they are already married. This is true for men and women alike.

Research suggests that generally speaking, women and men value different things in relationships. While men value youth and beauty, women value men with an abundance of resources and a relatively high position in the social hierarchy. In the past, women and men have had distinct social roles that usually made them dependent on each other. In turn, this made marriage rates more stable. However, as women become more financially independent and the meaning of traditional masculinity is somewhat muddied by flexible gender roles, women, simply put, can see more options and have less incentive to settle for partners they perceive to be below them in wealth or social hierarchy.

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IL divorce lawyerThe vast majority of Illinois divorces are resolved without courtroom litigation. Alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce give couples the opportunity to reach an agreement about issues like property division and parenting arrangements. However, sometimes couples are engaged in intense interpersonal conflict; other times, fundamental disagreements about facts cannot be overcome so that a settlement can be reached.

Whatever the reason, a couple may find themselves litigating their divorce in court and may need to build their case before a judge. While a judge in a divorce trial will make decisions according to Illinois law, his or her decisions can be influenced by the presentation of facts according to each spouse’s attorney as supported by statements, witnesses, and other evidence. This is when an expert witness may be helpful.

What Does an Expert Witness Do in a Divorce Trial?

When spouses contest basic facts, such as the value of a property or the other spouse’s fitness as a parent, expert witnesses can act as professionals whose education, training, or experience allows them to testify in court about the issue at hand. Spouses can hire expert witnesses to support their case, or a court can appoint an expert witness. In either case, one or both spouses are generally required to pay the expert witness’s fees.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce poses a particularly difficult set of challenges. Often spoken of as even more difficult than the death of a spouse, a divorce can divide an Illinois family, strain parental relationships with children, and put former spouses under great financial stress. Because divorce also involves separating from a life partner, feelings of loneliness and grief are very common - even if you are convinced that getting divorced was the right decision. While nothing but time can completely allow the hurt of divorce to heal over, here are four tips for moving past divorce more quickly.

Find a Great Therapist

Finding a therapist who works with your personality and therapy style can be difficult, especially if you are already down and not feeling very motivated. But a great therapist can be immensely helpful in processing feelings after a divorce. He or she can also help you recognize patterns of behavior in yourself that may have contributed to the breakdown of your marriage so you have a better chance of a healthy relationship next time you find someone special.

Meditation

Anyone who has gotten divorced can tell you that friends and family will all have advice. Sometimes this is nice and can feel supportive, and other times it may put you under even more stress. Meditation is a great way to shut out the noise and focus on your inner self. Many divorcees find that meditation has helped them realize that even the most strongly felt emotions are temporary and that trying to control the outcome of every event is not only ineffective but counterproductive.

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Posted on in Divorce

Il divorce lawyerWhile most people feel some sense of sadness after divorce, others experience a profound sense of regret - not because they got divorced, but because of choices they made during the divorce. Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through, and it understandably makes even the most patient and rational person have moments of unreasonableness. But while it can be tempting, and perhaps even justified, letting your anger or emotions get the best of you during divorce is a recipe for trouble. If you are going through an Illinois divorce right now, here are four mistakes to avoid for a better divorce now and a clearer conscience in the future.

Involving Your Children in Your Fights

Parents getting divorced have to settle difficult matters together, often during the time they get along least. Creating a parenting plan that details parental responsibilities and parenting time present a major challenge, especially when couples dislike each other strongly. However, the worst thing you could do during parenting plan negotiations is getting your children involved in your arguments with your spouse. They are not responsible for the divorce and they do not have the maturity or the understanding to appreciate what is really going on. Protect your children from conflict as much as possible, and you will look back knowing you did the right thing for them.

Taking Advice From Non-Professionals

If you ask five divorced people for advice on an issue, you will get five different answers. Everybody’s divorce is different, and while having the support of friends during your divorce is essential for your wellbeing, taking legal advice from people who are not attorneys can often backfire in a big way. You can save yourself time and money when you let your friends help you work through the emotions of divorce and leave the legal aspects to a great divorce attorney.

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DuPage County Divorce LawyerMany marriages in Illinois are ended either directly or indirectly through infidelity. When a spouse finds out their partner is cheating on them, they may feel an entire range of emotions, from surprise and anger to betrayal and confusion. One common question that spouses who have been cheated on have for their attorneys is whether they can pursue legal action against their cheating spouse or the spouse’s new partner. 

In previous years, the answer was yes. Illinois used to allow jilted spouses to pursue something known as “heartbalm torts”. Essentially, these were civil claims allowing a spouse to sue a third party for damages caused by infidelity. But in 2015, Illinois abolished these so-called “heartbalm torts.” However, if your partner’s infidelity contributed to the loss of marital funds before the divorce, or suggests they may be unfit for parental responsibilities, you may still be able to take action. 

Dissipation of Marital Assets

When one spouse uses marital assets for their own interests while the marriage is irretrievably breaking down, this may constitute a behavior known as “dissipation of marital assets.” Dissipation can occur after a couple has filed after divorce, but it can also happen when a marriage begins to permanently break down. 

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