Tag Archives: Illinois family lawyer

Tips for Childhood Obesity in Divorce

divorce trends, Illinois family lawyer, Wheaton divorce attorney, eating habits, children's eating habits, childhood obesity, children’s weightDivorce can be a stressful process for everyone involved, including the children of the divorcing spouses. That may explain why a study, recently published in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), discovered a correlation between childhood obesity and parental marital status.

The researchers studied over 3,100 third-graders and found that children whose parents were divorced were 54 percent more likely to be overweight. This means that parents going through a divorce may want to keep a special eye on their children’s weight, and ensure that they take steps to keep their children healthy.

What the Study Found

The study’s authors reported more than just the 54 percent increase in the likelihood of obesity. They also analyzed the breakdown by gender, finding that boys were more likely to be at risk of being overweight than girls. In fact, boys with divorced parents were 63 percent more likely to be overweight when compared to those whose parents were still married. Additionally, the research found that children whose parents had separated were 89 percent more likely to have fat buildup in their abdominal region.

The study did not go into the details of why this correlation might exist, but the study’s authors did suggest some theories. One theory holds that the increased emotional stress at home could lead to changes in the children’s eating or exercise habits. Another possible reason is that the financial strain of the divorce leaves less time and money for parents to prepare healthy meals. Fortunately, there are steps parents going through divorce can take to help keep their children healthy.

Obesity Strategies

Parents have a variety of strategies available to them to prevent their divorce from impacting their child’s weight. First, parents can attempt to maintain a civil demeanor with each other, especially around their children. An amicable divorce is often less stressful. This can lead to greater emotional stability, which may help maintain a child’s healthy eating habits. Beyond that, a parent’s being conscious of a child’s needs can help prevent obesity.

Divorces are emotionally trying for parents, and there is a risk that kids can be lost in the shuffle. Easy food options tend to be unhealthy food options, but parents adjusting to a new lifestyle often fall back on them nonetheless. Awareness of the risk can help curb the impulse to provide fast food as a meal option during the sometimes hectic divorce process. Additionally, common steps people take to prevent obesity like encouraging physical activity can also work just as well in the divorce context.

If you are considering seeking a divorce from your spouse, reach out to an experienced Illinois family law attorney for advice. Our skilled team can help analyze the particulars of your situation to provide you with the best advice.

House Bill Poised to Change Visitation Rules

child custody, visitation, divorce, family law, Wheaton divorce lawyer, Illinois family lawerA new bill currently making its way through the Illinois legislature could have a big impact on how judges assign visitation rights. The bill, HB 5425, recently made its way out of committee and is now headed to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives for debate. At present the bill’s chances of passing are still unclear. Its sponsor has agreed to refrain from calling for a vote in light of a family law overhaul bill that has been waiting for a vote since 2012, but that may change if the omnibus bill stalls for much longer.

 The Bill’s Provisions

 If HB 5425 does make it into law, it could have a profound effect on the way judges handle visitation for non-custodial parents. The first portion of the bill gives parents a 90-day window to produce their own, mutually-agreeable parenting plan. If the parents cannot agree, then the bill gives the court the power to make visitation decisions.

The legislators developed the bill with the view that it was important to foster strong relationships between parents and children. To that end, it creates presumption that children are best served by spending equal time with both of their parents. Because it is just a presumption, the parents are both allowed to introduce evidence to try to show that equal time is not in the best interests of the child’s “physical, mental, moral, and emotional health.” If one of the parents can prove that by “clear and convincing evidence,” then the court is allowed to place restrictions on the parenting time. However, the bill appears to place a mandatory floor of no less than 35 percent of parenting time to the non-custodial parent.

 Opposition to the Bill

 The bill has also generated opposition from some parts of the state government. People are concerned about both the presumption that equal time is best for the child and the 35 percent floor for non-custodial parenting time. They feel that a child custody decision is a fact-intensive inquiry that benefits from strong scrutiny on a case-by-case basis, and that a formulaic set of rules is not the best way to make those decisions.

Proponents of the bill, including some therapists, respond to that criticism by pointing out that the adversarial process that makes up the current court system is not the best way of deciding child custody issues, and that the conflict can cause children emotional distress. They believe that if this bill becomes law, it can reduce that problem by streamlining the divorce process and making it more collaborative rather than confrontational.

 With law surrounding divorce and child custody constantly changing, it is important to find an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer to help you receive the most up to date consultation on your family law issues.

Techniques for Coping with the Stress of Divorce

divorce stress, life after divorce, coping with divorce, Illinois divorce attorney, Wheaton IllinoisOne of the hardest parts about going through a divorce is handling the daily stress that comes with it. While many people think of stress as a purely mental issue, it can also cause physical health problems. One divorce counselor has even compiled a Divorce-Stress scale to help people assess specific risk factors.

Of course, staying in an unhealthy marriage can also cause significant stress, so often people’s best option can be to move forward with a divorce and learn to manage the stress associated with it. Some of the best strategies include reaching out to a support network, staying active, and seeking help from a therapist.

Find a Support Network

Using a support network is one of the best ways for someone to cope with the stress of a divorce. This is because many of the difficult emotions that arise from a divorce relate to the loss of a partner. This means that divorce can lead to a strong sense of loneliness, unless you make a conscious effort to maintain or rebuild relationships with friends and family. This can both help to reduce any possible feelings of isolation, and also provide an outlet to help you discuss other problems that could be causing stress. Similarly, many areas have divorce support groups that meet regularly to help people in similar situations find others who understand what they are going through.

Stay Active

Staying active is another great way to help reduce stress. Physical activity can help reduce tension and anxiety in addition to its other health benefits.

However, staying active can mean more than just developing a workout routine. Activities beyond exercise can also help improve people’s moods and happiness. Many people find developing a new hobby or rekindling an old one can keep themselves grounded and help them begin to adjust to their new lives. The new interest can also help function as another social outlet to boost your support network.

Speak with a Therapist

Another method of decreasing stress can be to seek help from a professional counselor or therapist. Divorces can be overwhelming, and involve losing a close companion. For many people, that means that they no longer have someone to help them talk through any emotional issues that they might be facing. A therapist can help fill that gap. Having someone to talk to can help you put things in perspective, and work through some of the more difficult emotional troubles of a divorce that you may not feel comfortable sharing with friends or family.

Even though divorce can be stressful in the short-term, it may the best way to secure happiness in the long-term. If you would like to seek a divorce, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer whose experience and understanding can help make the process go as smoothly as possible.