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West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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Kane County Family Law Attorney

Divorces are often contentious and stressful for everyone involved, including any children you share with your ex-spouse. Throughout the divorce process, you have to determine child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, and more. Unfortunately, sometimes the child’s other parent will attempt to subvert their love for you and turn them against you.

This practice is called parental alienation and is considered by many psychologists to be child abuse due to the manipulative nature of the act. If you do not realize what is happening and your child becomes alienated from you, there are steps you can take to try to repair the damage that was done to your relationship by your ex.

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Posted on in Divorce

Carpentersville divorce lawyer substance abuseThe decision to file for divorce is a tough one to make. The mental and emotional toll of ending a long-term relationship is stressful enough in normal cases. However, if you are married to a person who is a drug addict or alcoholic, this can make the divorce process even more difficult. Even if someone is not an addict when the marriage begins, that addiction can develop over time and lead to a number of negative changes in the relationship. People who are considering divorcing their substance abusing spouse should make sure to consider the following factors:

Grounds for Divorce

Even if your spouse’s substance abuse is one of the main reasons for the breakdown of your marriage, it is not necessary to state this when filing for divorce. In Illinois, the only acceptable grounds for divorce is “irreconcilable differences,” which means that the divorce petition only needs to say that the marriage has broken down to the point where reconciliation is not possible or is not in the family’s best interests. The substance abuse will most likely be brought up during the divorce case, but it is not used as the actual reason for divorce on the divorce petition. 

Finances

When your marriage is about to end, you need to take stock of your finances. Making sure you are able to support yourself during and after the divorce process is crucial. Depending on your situation, it may be possible to receive temporary spousal maintenance before the divorce is finalized. If your spouse is a substance abuser, money may be tight for various reasons, especially if they have difficulty keeping a job or have been spending marital funds on their addiction. It is important to protect yourself by opening up your own bank accounts or credit cards and creating a budget that will allow you to live without your spouse’s income. 

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West Dundee divorce parenting time lawyerOne of the biggest concerns for divorcing parents is how no longer being married will affect their relationship with their children. Because both parents will likely be granted some parenting time and parental responsibilities, it is true that parents will probably see their children less than they did when they were married.

There are many misconceptions about how a court will determine these legal issues related to children. Many parents believe that a judge will assign the most parenting time to the parent who is the better person. For example, one may think that a parent who had an affair or a parent who has less money may not get as much parenting time.

This is not the reasoning that a court will use to determine parenting time, however. According to Illinois law, parenting time is determined based on what is in the best interests of the children. What is good for the parents or what is fair for the parents is not what the court will look at. By law, the courts must base decisions on what is best for the children.

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