The Chicago Family Law Blog

April 2011 Archives

Dealing With An Ex And Agreeing On A Visitation Schedule

While some divorces or separations can result in rather hostile relationships, it does not always have to end that way, especially when there are children in the picture. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, those dealing with an ex-wife or husband should consider maintaining their child's feeling of security by finding ways to remain cordial and not talking ill of the other in front of them.

Parents are also encouraged to try and be on the same page as their ex so that they can work together to raise their children with a more united front. When it comes to child custody issues, part of having to work together includes agreeing to a reasonable visitation schedule for you and your ex-spouse.

Jay Cutler Engaged To Kristin Cavallari, Will They Get A Prenup?

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and MTV reality star Kristin Cavallari from "The Hills" are now engaged to be married, according to CBS News. The couple began dating this past fall and recently returned from a vacation in Mexico, where Cutler, 27, reportedly popped the question to Cavallari, 24.

"He surprised her with a quick trip to Cabo San Lucas to ask her to marry him," said a source.

Kristin Cavallari is one of a number of celebrities who has found romance with sports stars. NFL star Eric Johnson and singer Jessica Simpson, also engaged, is just one more example. However, each of these stars likely has considerable assets and property, which raises a common pre-marriage question: will they create a prenuptial agreement?

Skokie Police Find Missing Teen Zaineb Chaudhary

Police officials in Skokie reported they recently found Niles North High School student Zaineb S. Chaudhary, who was missing for more than month after she allegedly ran away to escape an arranged marriage.

Authorities said Chaudhary, a 16-year-old Pakistan native, appeared safe and unharmed, though she did not disclose any more information about why she disappeared. Illinois State Police said Chaudhary may have run away to avoid a marriage her father had arranged for her last October, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Nicholas Cage Arrested For Domestic Violence In New Orleans

The New Orleans Police Department reported Academy Award-winning actor Nicholas Cage, 47, was recently arrested after he was found drunk in the city’s French Quarter and arguing with his wife in the street, as many Chicago locals may have heard.

According to CBS News, NOPD spokesperson Officer Garry Flot said Cage, who was in New Orleans shooting the film “Medallion,” was arguing with his wife Alice Kim in front of a residence that the actor claimed they were renting. When she disagreed with him, Cage then allegedly “grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her to what he believed was the correct address.”

Women In Military Have Higher Divorce Rate Than Men

Pentagon statistics indicate that 7.9 percent of women in the armed forces have gotten a divorce over the last year compared to men, who total at 3 percent, according to The Huffington Post.

UCLA psychology professor Dr. Benjamin Karney, who has evaluated marriage and divorce rates in the military for over ten years, said the numbers are part of a continuing trend where studies have shown that between 1996 and 2005, “divorce rates for women in the military were two to three times higher than men in every branch of the military.”

Kate Gosselin Allegedly Owes Money For Marriage Counseling

As many Chicago "Kate Plus Eight" fans may have heard, 36-year-old reality television mom Kate Gosselin, of the popular TLC show, currently faces a lawsuit accusing her of allegedly failing to pay for marriage counseling services received in 2009.

According to MSNBC, the Pennsylvania-based company known as Creative Energy Options has filed the suit claiming Gosselin owes them $10,476 for the counseling services provided to her and her former husband, 34-year-old Jon Gosselin.

Older Would-be Parents Are Adopting Older, Teenage Kids

Some Chicago locals may be surprised to hear that a growing minority of older prospective parents are adopting children in a demographic that is often overlooked by younger would-be parents: teenagers.

Although there are no available national or local records tracking the ages of adoptive parents in the United States, Abby Miller of the adoption agency Bethany Christian Services said she noticed over the last few years that "more people in their late 40s, their 50s, and even their 60s - single and married - are exploring adoption."

Child Abuse: Recognizing Emotional Abuse As A Serious Issue

Many Chicago locals may hear more child abuse stories that involve cases of physical maltreatment, while instances of emotional abuse, which can sometimes be just as destructive, are often overlooked. The Chicago Sun-Times writes that thoughtless remarks or cruel words can potentially torment a child for life.

According to the Sun-Times, because the emotions of children are already fragile, emotional abuse can destroy their ability to get along with others, love themselves, and be free of self-destructive behavior. Their self-esteem also continues to drop when the hurtful words or phrases are repeated often enough and can cause children to agree with how they think their parents see them.

Illinois Parents Seek Court Reviews To Lower Child Support Payments

Illinois child support reduction requests have almost tripled during the last few years. Chicago parents seek court reviews to lower the amount of support they have to pay. Last year, 12,629 parents requested reviews for their child support, which is a significant jump from the 4,219 in 2006.

Chicago lawyer Michelle Lawless said family courts are quickly becoming flooded with custodial parents who are becoming more aggressive in seeking court action before the other parent's debt turns long overdue. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, unemployment and reduced incomes are major factors in why a number of parents are struggling to pay for their support.

Illinois Children Owed $3 Billion In Child Support

Paying child support can be crucial in making sure a child's needs are taken care of. A report from Urban Institute Senior Fellow Elaine Sorensen released last December found that 625,000 children nationwide would have been poor in 2008 had they not received child support. It also showed that 1 million people were brought out of poverty that same year because of child support.

Yet nearly $3 billion in unpaid child support is currently owed to children in Illinois, with the state receiving only about 58 percent of support due. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, most children are not likely to get what they are actually owed.