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Sesame Street Helps Divorcing Parents Help Their Kids

By Nottage and Ward on December 28, 2012

According to a Huffington Post article, more than six million U.S. children were living with divorced parents in 2011. This number is very significant despite the overall decline in the divorce rate. Every year, approximately one million children experience divorce, and one million children may need extra help to get through it.

Scientific study on the effects of divorce on children has shown that children of divorce experience a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, issues getting along with peers, and school problems, but because these risks are widely known, parents and other adults are in a unique position to help. As support for divorcing parents who want to help their children and children going through divorce, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization that operates Sesame Street, has developed a new program with basic ideas and strategies to help divorcing parents and children of divorce cope with the changes they are dealing with. This program is called “Little Children Big Challenges: Divorce.” It provides activities online and offline for parents to talk to their kids and address the various challenges and emotions of divorce.

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How Technology Can Help You During and After Your Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on October 29, 2012

Technology is having an increasingly significant role in people’s lives; there are apps for just about everything now. You can keep a list of every item in your pantry on your phone, create a shopping list, navigate to and from destinations, find movie times, and even do your banking through apps on your cell phone, tablet, or other device. But did you know that there are also apps to help families through their divorce?

According to The Huffington Post, the following apps can be the extra help a divorcing or divorced family needs to cope with the changes in their lives:

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When to Worry about Changes in Child Behavior after Divorce: Part 1

By Nottage and Ward on September 28, 2012

Children do not respond to divorce in exactly the same way, especially when they are at different ages. But what general behavior is a natural reaction to divorce and what behavior signifies the need for additional intervention, such as therapy and/or counseling? Divorcing parents who don’t know what types of behavior changes to expect can become worried over any change, but not everything is a red flag. In this two-part blog series, the Chicago family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward will discuss when behavior changes are and are not warning signs.

According to an article in The Huffington Post, the following are, generally, the natural behavioral changes that may occur after divorce, from birth through pre-school age.

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Who Gets Custody of the Dog after Divorce?

By Nottage and Ward on June 15, 2012

Pets have become a large part of people’s lives, much more so than in the past; they are considered part of the family, whether it is a dog, cat, rabbit, snake, or even guinea pig. So what happens when a marriage ends? Divorcing couples regularly fight over property division and who gets the kids, but where does pet custody come in?

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, pet custody issues in divorce have become more and more common, thanks to the evolution of societal views on animal companions. But the courts do not consider pets like children who must have a custody arrangement. Pets are considered property that will be awarded to one spouse or the other unless they come up with their own shared custody agreement.

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Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Grandchildren as Step-Grandparents

By Nottage and Ward on April 26, 2012

Remarrying can have a substantial impact on children after a divorce, but it is not just the step-parent and step-child dynamic that creates challenges for a new family. The step-grandparents also have obstacles to overcome while trying to build a strong relationship with their new step-grandchild or grandchildren. The grandparent-grandchild relationship is very special, but fitting into that role can be very difficult for a step-grandparent, according to The Huffington Post. The following tips can help a step-grandparent navigate the complicated waters of the step-grandparent – grandchild dynamic:

    1. Recognize that establishing trust with a preteen or teenage step-grandchild may take longer, but that does not mean that you can’t achieve it;
    2. Send a card on birthdays and special occasions to show you care. Emailing or calling to say hello occasionally is also good, but don’t overdo it, especially with older step-grandchildren;
    3. Avoid overcompensating, as it can affect your relationship with biological grandchildren. Keep your treatment of each fair, but distinctive;

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Relationship Status of Kate Gosselin and Ex Points to Common Cause of Marital Discord

By Nottage and Ward on February 29, 2012

Kate Gosselin filed for divorce from then-husband and reality show co-star Jon Gosselin in June 2009 amid infidelity rumors. The reality show, which continued as “Kate Plus 8” after the divorce, ended in September 2011, according to The Huffington Post. It is not the circumstances of the divorce or the fate of the reality show that are the most telling, however.

Earlier this week, Kate Gosselin discussed her relationship with her ex-husband on “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers.” The couple shares custody of their eight children. According to Gosselin, the couple has had a much more peaceful relationship. They each live their own lives and everything seems to be much better. She says that she believes their improved relationship is, at least in part, due to her ex’s recent employment, which has made him happier with himself. He is happier, the kids are happier after they see him, and that makes her happy.

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Your Facebook Profile May Be Used Against You in Family Court

By Nottage and Ward on February 27, 2012

Social networking has become part of our day-to-day lives, and although some people infrequently engage in online social networking, others religiously share their thoughts, emotions, frustrations, joys, and, not to mention, pictures for every occasion. The most popular social media site to do all this is Facebook. The problem? What happens on Facebook does not necessarily stay on Facebook. If you are currently in the divorce process or in a child custody battle, what you have on your Facebook profile may be used against you, according to an article in The Legal Intelligencer.

Though the law journal article discusses how Facebook is used in Pennsylvania family law cases, the fact is that Facebook has become a relevant factor in family law cases in courts nationwide. The decisions a court makes concerning divorce, maintenance, child support, and child custody may all be impacted by what is on a party’s Facebook profile, although, if the separating couple files for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, proving that one spouse cheated on the other using Facebook pictures and posts will have little to no impact. Child custody cases may be a different story, however.

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