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Get Your Happiness Back After a Divorce

By Leslie Fineberg on July 18, 2013

The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at the family law firm of Nottage and Ward know that the divorce process is tough for everyone. There are all kinds of disputes over assets and children that tend to bring out aggravation in the involved parties. The experience can seem endless at times, and one may feel emotionally drained and mentally exhausted by the end, but once the end comes, a new life comes with it.

Divorce party planner Lois Tarter of The Huffington Post advises newly divorced people to let go of the past and be active and productive with their time. She suggests these ten guidelines all divorcees should follow on their path to newfound happiness:

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New Fathers Turning Down Paternity Leave

By Leslie Fineberg on June 20, 2013

Illinois Family LawMore and more companies are allowing new fathers time away from work to help care for newborns, but many are turning down the offer because they are afraid of losing status at work or losing face in light of traditional stereotypes that still exist. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, companies are catching on to paternity leave, but dads? Not to the same degree.

In countries such as Portugal and Sweden, paternity leave has been made mandatory. In America, paternity leave remains brief if taken at all. According to a 2011 Boston College Center for Work and Family study of employees at four Fortune 500 companies, 85 percent of new fathers do take some time off after the birth of a child. The majority, however, take no more than a week or so.

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Children and Divorce: Nine Things to Do and Not to Do

By Nottage and Ward on January 23, 2013

In 2011, over six million U.S children were coping with living with divorced parents. Many children may need help getting through their parents’ divorce. As reported on, family therapist, Isolina Ricci, PhD, author of Mom’s House. Dad’s House, suggests using the following nine tips to lessen the negative effect of divorce on children:

  • Do not denigrate your spouse in the eyes of your child.
  • Do not use your children as substitute therapists. Don’t confide in them about adult matters such as money worries, for example.
  • Do not stray away from family routines. Try to keep change to a minimum.
  • Ask only general questions about time spent in your ex-spouse’s home. Don’t be meddlesome.
  • Don’t give in to feelings of guilt you may have over the divorce. Remain the parent you always were. Don’t shower your child with gifts or privileges in order to “make up” for the divorce.
  • Do go look for help from a family therapist or mediator if you and your ex-spouse cannot get along without being hostile to one another.
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Survey Finds Cohabitation Agreements on the Rise

By Nottage and Ward on March 14, 2011

The Detroit Free Press reports a recent survey discovered that many couples who live together, but are not married, are increasingly choosing to sign a cohabitation agreement to protect themselves in case of a split.

The survey was conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a group of about 1,600 divorce attorneys. According to the survey, approximately 48 percent of the lawyers have seen an increase over the past five years in the number of couples that are “duking it out in court.” However, 39 percent of those lawyers report a rise in the number of cohabitation agreements for couples who live outside of legally recognized marriages.

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Alienation of Affection: South Dakota Votes to Keep Law

By Nottage and Ward on February 22, 2011

Recently, the House Judiciary Committee in South Dakota voted to keep a law that permits a person to file a lawsuit seeking financial damages from someone who seduces and steals their spouse, reports

It was a 7-5 vote by the committee to reject legislation that would have abolished the law, which has been in effect since before 1889, when South Dakota became a state. The law allowed a husband to sue if another man seduced and stole his wife. In 2002, the law was changed to allow a woman to sue if her husband was stolen by another woman. The practice is often referred to as “alienation of affection” and seven states in the U.S., including South Dakota, still permit lawsuits for alienation of affection. The other states are Utah, North Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, Illinois, and Hawaii.

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