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How Does a Spouse’s Incarceration Affect an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County Contested Divorce AttorneyIf a spouse is currently in prison, divorce is an important decision that the couple may consider. The complex feelings and consequences of seeing a husband or wife go to prison can be overwhelming. In addition, the couple’s children will find it especially challenging to live without their incarcerated parent. This is why, depending on the situation, divorce might be the best option. There are many other reasons to initiate a divorce under these circumstances, and there are steps to take to ensure a seamless legal proceeding.

Reasons for Divorce During Incarceration

Studies suggest that incarceration increases divorce rates, and even if the inmate is released from prison, the marriage might still be more susceptible to divorce long thereafter. In fact, for every year a spouse is in prison, the likelihood of divorce during or after imprisonment increased by about 32 percent. There are many reasons for a divorce between one spouse and an incarcerated spouse, including:

  • Estrangement

  • Feelings of loneliness

  • Lack of intimacy

  • Financial problems

  • Child support issues

Reasons for Divorce After Incarceration

It might be easy to assume that once the incarcerated spouse is released from prison and back at home, the dynamics of the marriage and family will return to the way they were prior to incarceration. However, the truth is that the transition is often much more complicated than that. Even if the incarcerated spouse is released from prison, there are still greater odds of divorce resulting from the time spent locked up. Criminologists have researched the effects of incarceration on marriages and have found that even after being released from prison, the formerly incarcerated spouse and his/her spouse might exhibit the following characteristics:

  • More violent behavior

  • Less loving qualities

  • Extramarital affairs

Combine the above traits with many of the same issues faced during incarceration that persist even after imprisonment, and divorce becomes a likely outcome for many of these couples.

Legal Process for Divorce When One Spouse Is Incarcerated

Overall, the legal process for divorce when one spouse is incarcerated is not much different from the usual divorce process. In many cases, the two spouses agree to have an uncontested divorce, since this is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable option. In situations where a divorce is contested by one or both spouses, the process will be more challenging. Funds are limited, making it difficult for one or both spouses to afford a lawyer, and the imprisonment makes appearing in court problematic. Thankfully, some courtrooms in Illinois have agreed to allow proceedings via video.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce under any circumstances can be a difficult decision to make, but when one of the spouses is serving time in prison, it can be even more challenging. Although it might seem daunting at first, with a knowledgeable and dedicated Wheaton, IL contested divorce attorney providing guidance, you can be prepared to navigate this major life event with ease. If you or your spouse are currently incarcerated, and you have questions about the divorce process under these special circumstances, call our office today at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.




How Do Young Children and Adolescents Handle Their Parents’ Divorce?

DuPage County child custody lawyerWhether heated debates over parenting time or disagreements about marital debts add fuel to an already stressful home environment, children caught in the middle of a divorce have plenty to contend with. Even if divorcing parents attempt to protect their children from conflict, the divorce process can be emotionally turbulent for them. Experts tell us that parental divorce has a significant impact on children of all ages, although younger children tend to process and react to the separation differently than older adolescents. These variations in behavioral changes can be alarming for parents, who themselves are feeling the emotional effects of such a big life change.

Behavioral Changes to Expect from Your Teen or Little One

As a concerned parent undergoing a divorce, it helps to identify the types of behavioral changes you can expect from your adolescent or younger child and to be aware that each child’s response may differ greatly. This is normal, as it typically reflects the child’s perspective on the split. That point of view shapes his or her response and his or her attitude about the situation. Here are a few examples of what to expect and how reactions can differ from one age group to the next:

  • Defiance – Teens tend to react against their parents in the face of divorce. As adolescents, they are already working to develop independence, hence the common tendency to distance themselves and turn to friends for support instead of to Mom or Dad. This desire for self-sufficiency often becomes amplified during divorce, sometimes resulting in rebellion and the belief that if parents do not care about them, then they must look after themselves.

  • Regressive behavior – Younger children, such as those between the ages of 6 and 12, may act regressively, in contrast to aggressive teen behavior. Since they are already dependent on their parents for love, safety, comfort, and support, that dependency can become intensified, can cause them to become more needy and anxious. Additionally, this age group tends to take longer to adjust to divorce than teenagers. Younger children may imagine that their parents will get back together, and they may even feel they are responsible for both the split and potential reconciliation. Adolescents tend to accept the reality of their parents’ separation sooner and, at times, with greater ease.

  • Acting out in school – Teens and young children alike will likely display their feelings about the separation at school. It is not uncommon for younger children to act more disruptive or disobedient in the classroom. Teens may withdraw, show signs of aggression, or rebel against authority figures. Teachers may observe preteens “zoning out” instead of completing schoolwork or participating in class discussions.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand that divorce can be difficult for the whole family. Our attorneys can help you address the conflicts that may be adding stress to your divorce experience so that you and your children can focus on processing, healing, and moving forward with the next chapter in your lives. Contact our qualified Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.





Tips for Telling Your Child You Are Getting a Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyer for child issuesIf your marriage has broken down, you may be considering divorce, although this decision can be a difficult one if you and your spouse have children together. While you may feel that it would be better to stay together for the sake of the children, this may ultimately not be in their best interests, since being exposed to conflict between parents can cause a great deal of stress for children. If you do decide to pursue a divorce, you will want to ensure that your children understand how their lives will change while assuring them that they will have your love and support moving forward.

Things to Remember When Talking to Children About Divorce

Telling your children that you and your spouse will be getting a divorce could result in a variety of strong emotions, including sadness, confusion, and anxiety. One of the very first reactions a son or daughter will have is the belief that he or she is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. By assuring children that they were not at fault for the divorce in any way and explaining the situation in a way they can understand, you can help relieve a great deal of stress and anxiety. When discussing divorce with your children, it is important to:

  • Keep the conversation appropriate.

  • Avoid any inconsistent messages from you or your spouse.

  • Refrain from placing blame on the other spouse.

  • Avoid sharing any inappropriate information with your child.

  • Expect mixed emotions from the child.

  • Be available for your child, answer questions, and provide support.

While these guidelines can apply to almost any scenario, the ways in which you discuss your divorce will likely change based on the number of children and their ages. For example, if you have a teenager and a young child, it might be best to talk to each child separately so the situation can be discussed in an age-appropriate manner. However, if children are closer to the same age, it may be better to discuss the divorce with them at the same time.


The emotions you display while sharing this information with your child could have a direct result on their reaction. This is a conversation that will resonate with the child for the remainder of their lives. For example, if you are very frustrated and angry when telling your son or daughter about your divorce, your child will be more likely to mimic your behavior. Trying to remain calm and providing reassurance that you will continue to be a loving presence in their lives can help them address the difficult emotions they will be likely to experience.


When children learn that their parents are getting a divorce, they may feel alone, or they may struggle with anxiety or depression. It can be beneficial for children to speak to a counselor, and this will provide them with an open outlet where they can express their feelings and receive help from an outside party. It is also important to remember that before, during, and after your divorce, you should continue acting as a parent rather than relying on children for emotional support. You may also want to consider seeing a therapist to work through the emotional difficulties you are experiencing during your divorce.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you have chosen to end your marriage, discussing your divorce with your children can be one of the most difficult aspects of the process. While every divorce is different, seeking the advice of an experienced attorney can help you determine the best course of action to take, and by addressing child custody issues, you can ensure that you will be able to meet your children’s needs after your divorce is complete. At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we can work with you to reach a divorce settlement that meets your family’s needs. Contact a Wheaton, IL divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free initial consultation.