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chicago divorce lawyers - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Recovery from a Divorce May Take Longer than Expected

By Nottage and Ward on August 6, 2013

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, experts in the field of psychiatry say most people need two years to recover from an emotional trauma like divorce. Those who were blindsided by the traumatic occurrence — the sudden and often unexpected departure of a spouse, for example — may take even longer to get back on their feet.

A divorce brings about a dramatic shift in life, and it is perfectly natural for divorcees to take their time gathering themselves. Prudence Gourguechon, former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, says that divorcees should make peace with the length of the process. This way, they’ll be able to relax and fully engage in their recovery.

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Recent Years Bring a Boom in Gray Divorce

By Leslie Fineberg on May 28, 2013

The recent high-profile divorces of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al and Tipper Gore may have been part of a trend – a boom in gray divorce. As reported in The Los Angeles Times, baby boomers are at it again. They were responsible for the increase in the rate of divorce that started during the 1970s and increased during the 1980s. In our parents’ generation, divorce was rare among seniors. In fact, as recently as 1990, less than 10 percent of those getting a divorce were age 50 or older. Today, 25 percent of people in this age group are filing for divorce.

How has the meaning of marriage changed to produce such an increase in the number of gray divorces? Today, different factors affect marriage and the outlook of husbands and wives.

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What to Make Sure You Tell Your Divorce Attorney

By Nottage and Ward on September 20, 2012

Meeting with a divorce attorney can be overwhelming. When you actually take action, it means that your divorce is real and it is easy to get caught up in all of the unknowns. It is important, however, that you hold it together when meeting with an attorney so that you can be sure to provide the important information they need to properly assess your situation. An experienced divorce attorney, such as those at Nottage and Ward in Illinois, don’t just want your financial information and the basic facts of your marriage, however. To effectively represent you, a family law attorney needs to know the skeletons in your closet.

Before meeting with an attorney, come up with the answers to these 10 questions:

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Surviving the Holidays after Divorce: When You’re on Your Own

By Nottage and Ward on December 14, 2011

The winter holidays are a very difficult time for divorcees, especially if the divorce was very recent. With this in mind, the dedicated Illinois family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward would like to help divorcees stay positive and hopeful through the holidays with a three-part blog series that will provide holiday survival tips and ideas for new holiday traditions.

Whether a divorce was a blessing for a deeply troubled couple or not, being alone for the holidays is never easy. The holiday season is a reminder of happier times, even if they were dysfunctional, when you had someone to share those celebrations with. But this does not mean you cannot enjoy the holidays and it definitely does not mean you are not allowed to enjoy the holidays. Here are some holiday survival tips that may be able to help:

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TriCity Family Services in Geneva, Illinois Offers Fall Divorce Workshops

By Nottage and Ward on September 30, 2011

TriCity Family Services (TCFS) is a private nonprofit human services agency located in Kane County that is committed to providing affordable, quality youth crisis intervention, counseling, prevention, and early intervention services that encourage effective family functioning and stable mental health. Understanding that the stress of divorce takes its toll on both children and parents, TCFS is offering two divorce programs this fall, according to

To help families cope during the difficult time of divorce, TCFS will be offering the “Bridges Divorce Adjustment” and “Exploring Parental Divorce and Children’s Adjustment” workshops. The “Bridges Divorce Adjustment” workshop is being offered on six Monday evenings from October 17 through November 28, excluding Halloween, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. This workshop is intended for children ages 7 through 11 who are currently dealing with issues related to the separation and/or divorce of their parents. Each week’s meeting will focus on a different theme, such as the different feelings the child has towards divorce. Children will be able to express themselves through fun activities in a comfortable and safe group environment and parents are even invited to attend one chosen meeting. The cost for this workshop is $50 for a single child or $75 for two or more from the same family.

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Ex-Wife Claims Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh Owes Over $100,000 in Child Support

By Nottage and Ward on August 11, 2011

Recently, Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh was accused by his ex-wife of owing over $100,000 in child support. Walsh also failed to list any child support debt on his financial disclosure forms, on which politicians are required to include any liability over $10,000. As a result, he may also be facing a probe by the House Ethics Committee.

According to The Huffington Post, in December of 2010, Laura Walsh, his ex-wife, filed the claim against him as part of their divorce case, and alleged that he owed $117,437 to her as well as to the couple’s three children. She claims that the Congressman loaned at least $35,000 to his political campaign and went on extensive international vacations but then said he wasn’t able to afford child support payments either due to being out of work or between jobs. His attorney denies that he owes that amount in back child support and interest and insists that the amount owed is much less.

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Why You Should Consider Signing a Confidentiality Agreement in an Illinois Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on July 13, 2011

A confidentiality agreement, or confidentiality protective order, outlines specific confidential information that both parties share with one another for purposes of their divorce litigation, but want to keep from public view or access. Under such an agreement or order, the parties agree that the information covered by the agreement will not be disclosed. These agreements may restrict both parties from using the information, or they may restrict only one party’s use of the information.

In most cases, these agreements are typically entered into for business purposes, but in some situations, a couple may sign a confidentiality agreement in Illinois. For example, signing such an agreement may be desirable if one spouse was in the public eye or if the couple ran a business together.

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Bernie Madoff Fraud Victim Attempts to Renegotiate Divorce Settlement in Unusual New York Divorce Case

By Nottage and Ward on July 5, 2011

The New York Times reports on an unusual case in New York that has divided the legal community. In 2006, a couple divorced after 33 years of marriage and agreed to equally split their wealth. Two years later, however, the man wanted to revise their divorce settlement, following the news of the Bernie Madoff fraud case. The woman refused, and the man sued. The case has reached the highest court in New York.

While divorce agreements are typically rarely overturned, the man’s request is receiving increased attention due to the circumstances created by the Madoff case. When the couple’s assets were split equally, a large portion of money was invested with Madoff under the man’s name. The woman received her settlement in cash. In December 2008, when news of the Madoff scheme broke, the man filed to drastically change the terms of the divorce settlement, arguing that his ex-wife should have to give him millions of dollars she had received in the settlement to replace the losses he suffered due to the fraud.

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Census Bureau Survey Discovers U.S. Divorces Decline Slightly, But “Seven-Year Itch” Remains

By Nottage and Ward on June 13, 2011

ABC News reports that new data released by the Census Bureau shows that divorces in the U.S. have tapered slightly after decades of steadily increasing. Couples are now more likely to achieve 10 years of marriage. However, the trend of couples getting a divorce after seven years of marriage, called the “seven-year itch,” remains.

The Census Bureau obtained the data after conducting its Survey of Income and Program Participation in 2009, which surveyed 55,497 adults who are or have been married. Approximately 75 percent of people who have been married since the 1990s reported they had been married for 10 years or more, an increase of around three percent as compared to people married in the 1980s, when divorce rates in the U.S. began to peak. The 1960s and 1970s saw the highest divorce rates as the result of new laws that were passed that made it easier and faster to divorce.

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The Importance of Prenuptial Agreements for Married Couples Who Own a Business

By Nottage and Ward on June 6, 2011

Recently, Forbes featured an article that discussed how divorce can complicate business ownership, particularly if the value of a business increased during a marriage. The value of a marital business in Illinois will usually be included in marital assets that will need to be split between divorcing spouses following a business valuation. However, there are steps a party can take to protect the business and their investments. If they have a greater stake in the business or if they consider the business to be separate property, they may be able to prevent a business valuation from being conducted.

While marital and separate property can be incredibly complicated, typically, one party will claim a right to a certain percentage of the other party’s business, whether or not they contributed directly to growing it. One of the biggest steps a person can take to protect their business during a divorce is to have a pre-nuptial agreement in Illinois in place before the marriage begins. In order for the prenup to be most effective, it should contain certain elements, including:

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