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Wheaton divorce attorney for domestic violence and orders of protectionThese difficult times might have revealed many issues and vulnerabilities within marriages, leaving some couples wondering whether divorce might be a good option for them. However, there are other couples who might be dealing with even more problematic situations involving accusations of domestic violence. Since Governor Pritzker issued the original Stay-at-Home Order in Illinois, reports of domestic violence across the state have spiked. Here is an analysis of some of the most common ways that these challenging times have led to such increases in domestic abuse reports:

5 Reasons Domestic Violence Cases May Increase

In some parts of the country, there have been fewer reported cases of domestic violence and abuse during this public health crisis. However, in many regions throughout Illinois, reports of such cases have actually increased. This may be due to an increased potential for conflicts within most homes, including:

  1. Difficulties Related to Being Forced to Stay at Home Together—This public health crisis has forced couples and families to spend much more time alone together than they are accustomed to. In addition to increasing minor irritations, forced proximity can exacerbate existing relationship problems, and arguments or conflicts may become heated, leading to accusations of domestic violence.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer COVID-19 child custodyOver the last few months, it may have become increasingly difficult for you and your co-parent to properly follow your court-approved parenting plan. You both want to fulfill your parental responsibilities and ensure that you can spend a fair amount of parenting time with your kids, but you also do not want to put anyone’s health or safety at risk. Conflicts in these areas may be even worse if you and your co-parent have different philosophies regarding the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order. Governor Pritzker deemed from the beginning of the order that it is essential for parents to honor their court-ordered parenting commitments, but under certain circumstances, doing so might not be a good idea. Here are some things to consider while you both adapt to the “new normal” as co-parents during a crisis:

What to Consider When Addressing Co-Parenting Conflicts

Perhaps your co-parent refuses to wear a mask in public as ordered by the governor, or your co-parent has accused you of not keeping your home sanitary enough during these challenging times. Before getting into a heated argument about these issues, you may want to consider some of these main points when addressing each grievance:

  • Remain calm. Heated arguments will not do anyone any good. During a crisis such as this, contentious disputes can be even more detrimental than under normal circumstances. It certainly will not help your children if they witness any of that behavior, since they likely already dealing with enough stress.

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DuPage County divorce attorney financial hardshipGovernor Pritzker has extended the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order through the end of May, and it could potentially last even longer. While some states are phasing into opening more parts of their economies, Illinois remains focused on the safety of its residents, only allowing essential workers to work outside of their homes. As the unemployment claims keep rolling in, it might be easy to feel like the country, or at least the state, is in the midst of an economic recession or depression. How might this new economic reality in Illinois affect divorce rates?

The Many Potential Effects of a Recession on Divorce Rates

Will an economic recession decrease or increase divorce rates? While a strong case could be made for either outcome, the truth is that this is a nuanced issue. In studying divorce rates before, during, and after the last major recession over the last 10 to 15 years, researchers have found that there is no clear, substantial, and overwhelming data that supports either outcome. In many cases, the likelihood of divorce is dependent upon each family’s living situation. For example, divorce rates might increase as a result of a recession because:

  • Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and other financial stressors have taken a tremendous toll on the marriage.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time coronavirusGovernor Pritzker has extended the Illinois Stay-at-Home Executive Order through the end of April. This new state government guideline has required many Illinois residents to adjust to a “new normal” in terms of their daily activities. Such a major impact even might affect the terms of your child custody agreements. In some cases, you and your co-parent may agree to make temporary changes to ensure your family’s health and safety during the order, but in other cases, you might need to update your parenting agreement.

4 Ways the Stay-at-Home Order Could Alter Parenting Plans

If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, you might want to revisit your parenting plan in light of the Stay-at-Home Order. While your overall parental responsibilities will likely not be affected, you may need to make adjustments to parenting time schedules, or you might want to include changes that address other issues. Here are some reasons your parenting plan might need to be updated:

  1. Sickness—Obviously, if you or the other co-parent are sick with a dangerous contagious disease, self-quarantine might be necessary, but that does not necessarily mean the sick parent cannot see his/her child. The parent who is not sick should make an effort to let the sick parent visit with the child as regularly planned, even if it is through video conferencing or by telephone.

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