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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen parents finally reach the realization that they can no longer be happily married, their first concern is often how the divorce will affect their children. Fortunately, research has shown that children of divorced parents can thrive and be just as successful and contented as children with married parents. However, telling children about an impending divorce can be a near-monumental task to undertake. If you and your spouse have children and plan to separate or divorce, telling the children about the split may be a challenging and emotional conversation. However, there are some steps you can take to make the conversation about divorce less traumatic for you and your children.

If Possible, Tell the Kids Together

If you and your spouse are able to do so civilly, telling the children together can help them feel more secure. Presenting a united front in this way helps indicate to your children that although you may not be married to on another anymore, you will still be their parents. Telling the children as a couple also helps the children feel less obligated to pick sides. Of course, telling your kids about the split together is not always possible. Couples with extreme resentment towards each other may struggle to put the children’s needs first during the conversation and may make the situation more emotionally volatile.

Make the Conversation Age Appropriate

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have several children together, you may be tempted to tell them about the divorce separately. Many experts suggest telling the children all at once instead of individually. Doing this reduces the chances that one child spreads misinformation to the others and adds unnecessary confusion. After the initial group discussion, you may want to follow up with each child independently. When discussing divorce with children under five, experts say that keeping the conversation simplistic and concrete is best. Focus on the vital information: where the child will live and who he or she will live with. School aged children can handle a bit more detail, but parents should be careful not to overshare. Teenaged children may be standoffish when learning about the divorce and act like they do not want to talk about their feelings. However, teens and preteens still need love and attention from parents just as younger children do. Give your teenaged child some time to cool off if he or she gets upset at the news and try to approach the topic later.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can happen to anyone. Both men and women can be perpetrators and victims of unwanted sexual attention or remarks. Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination protected against by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By law, employers must respond to and investigate allegations of sexual harassment thoroughly. This does not only apply to harassment which takes place in person. As online interactions, text messaging, email, and social media becomes more and more a part of our everyday life, more and more sexual harassment is occurring digitally. Everyone deserves to be free from sexual harassment at work.

Online Sexual Harassment Can Be Just as Destructive as In-Person Harassment

Traditionally, sexual harassment has consisted of inappropriate and demeaning remarks or behavior at work. However, as digital communication becomes more and more prevalent in workplaces, digital sexual harassment becomes more common. Digital sexual harassment can include sexually-charged or discriminating emails, text messages, forum threads, and social media posts. In Owens v. Morgan Stanley & Co., a New York district court ruled that unchecked offensive e-mail circulating within the workplace could constitute sexual harassment. However, a single inappropriate e-mail is not enough to establish a sexual harassment claim. In Strauss v. Microsoft Corp., the district court deemed jokes and sexual parodies e-mailed by a manager to employees, were evidence of sexual harassment.

What to Do if You Have Experienced Sexual Harassment

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect at work. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, do not hesitate to take action. Your first step should be to start recording instances of harassment. Keeping a sexual harassment log is often the difference between winning a sexual harassment lawsuit and losing one. If you have not already done so, report the harassment according to the procedure outlined in your employee handbook. If your employer does not address the harassment, you may have a claim for compensation. If you reported sexual harassment or discrimination to your employer and were fired as a result, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen parents get a divorce or were never married, they often wish to share custody of their children. Laws regarding child custody and visitation, officially called the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, are outlined in Section 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. A parent who wishes to share custody of a child must do so within the bounds of the court-ordered parental allocation judgment/agreement. Withholding parenting time from the other parent can potentially have severe consequences.

Custody Agreements Are Legally-Binding

Generally, divorced or unmarried parents have a allocation of Parental Allocation and Parenting Time Agreement that is submitted to a judge. After this agreement is approved, it becomes a legally-binding document. Parents who fail to follow the rules in the document can be considered to be in violation of the court order. Typically, one parent is designated as the parent with the majority of parenting time. Withholding parenting time from the other parent or not returning the child on schedule can result in legal consequences including contempt charges. When a parent refuses to comply with a Parental Allocation Judgment, there can be even more serious consequences. A parent who consistently does comply with the order or moves a child without notifying the other parent can have their parenting time restricted and even lose it.  

How to Address Problems with Parenting Time or Parental Responsibility

Never take family law matters into your own hands. Failure to comply with Parental Allocation Judgments can endanger your own parental rights. If major problems with a parenting plan or schedule arise, they must be addressed through the Illinois family court system.  The parent who feels the parenting time schedule has been compromised should always petition the court, preferably with the help of a family law attorney, to have the schedule enforced as it stands or petition the court to make changes to the parenting plan to better address their needs.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_surgeon-female-concerned-scrubs.jpgA recent study presented at this year’s Academic Surgical Congress analyzed the work environments of surgeons. A little over 1000 individuals working as surgeons in private practice, medical centers, or academic institutions, voiced their opinions about their work environment as part of the study. The results were quite distressing, but unfortunately, not surprising. Nearly 60 percent of the women surgeons had been victims of sexual harassment in the previous year alone. Women in medicine, like those in other professions, often face discrimination and sexual harassment because of their gender. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual harassment at work, you should know that there are laws designed to protect you.

Sexual Harassment Is Not Always Obvious

Unfortunately, many harassers become well practiced at hiding their inappropriate behavior from those other than their targets. Sexual harassment can include obvious behaviors as well as subtle or nonverbal behaviors. Survey responses showed that the most common harassing behaviors directed at surgeons included inappropriate verbal and physical conduct. This can include demeaning or sexually-explicit remarks and body language.

Unsolicited sexual advances and forced physical contact had occurred in just under a quarter of cases reported in the survey. Remarks about sexual orientation occurred in about 10 percent of cases. Blatant sexual harassment may sometimes be easier to prove and stop than subtle harassment. However, even subtle harassment is against the law when it is persistent and affects employees’ ability to do their jobs.

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Wheaton family law attorneysIf you plan to divorce your spouse, you have probably wondered how you will divide your accumulated assets. In Illinois, divorcing individuals are encouraged to work out how their property should be divided by agreement. However, this is not always possible. Couples getting divorced may be unable to come to a decision about who should own the house, cars, art, or other valuable items. If a couple cannot reach a decision about property on their own, a qualified mediator can help. As a last resort, courts have the authority to make property division decisions for a divorcing couple.

How Do Illinois Courts Divide Assets?

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about assets, the court will. Some states simply split martial property exactly in half and assign 50 percent of the wealth to one party and 50 percent to the other party. Illinois courts, on the other hand, make property division decisions using a method called “equitable distribution.” This method divides property fairly but not necessarily equally. Only marital property is divided. Marital property generally includes any assets accumulated during the marriage as well as comingled funds.

Factors Illinois Courts Consider When Making Property Decisions

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes a list of factors that the court will take into consideration when dividing marital property. Courts generally consider the following items when making property division decisions:

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250 W. River Drive, Unit 2A
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-665-7300
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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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