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DuPage County divorce lawyerTragically, addiction is something that touches millions of Americans’ lives every year. Drug and alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, and even compulsive shopping can rob a person of their joy, career, and even marriage. If you are considering leaving your spouse due to his or her addiction, you may feel lost, confused, and unsure of how to move forward with a divorce. The bad news is that divorcing an addict is often much more challenging than divorcing a person without addiction issues. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help prevent complications as well as protect yourself and your rights during the divorce process.

You Do Not Need to Prove Your Need for a Divorce

Television and movies have only added to the confusion surrounding separation and divorce. In many films, a spouse can be seen explaining how and why the other spouse created the need for the couple to divorce. In real life, you will never need to justify your desire to end your marriage. Illinois, along with every other U.S state, allows married spouses to file for divorce without specifying the “grounds” or reasoning for the separation. You will be able to file for divorce based on no-fault grounds. In Illinois the only official grounds for divorce is "irreconcilable differences," meaning that the marriage is irretrievably damaged and cannot be salvaged.

Addiction Issues May Affect Child Custody Decisions

Courts making decisions about child custody and visitation understand that many parents have the occasional stiff drink. However, any substance abuse or addiction issues that are severe will likely be seen as red flags by the court. Anything that the judge thinks will affect a person’s parenting ability will be taken into consideration. In order to create the healthiest environment for children possible, a judge may order that the addicted parent only visit with their child during the daytime and forgo overnight visits. The judge also has the option of requiring visits to be supervised by a professional appointed by the court. Parents who struggle with severe drug and alcohol addiction but wish to maintain parental responsibility may be required to submit to occasional drug and alcohol screens or attend an addiction recovery program or support group. If the court believes an addicted parent represents a danger to his or her child(ren), full custody may be awarded to the non-addicted parent.

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Naperville family law attorneyArchaeologists recently found the world's oldest known marriage contract in Turkey. The contract, which is inscribed on a clay tablet, mentions infertility and divorce. Experts believe the tablet is approximately 4,000 years old. The tablet is astonishingly similar to a modern-day prenuptial agreement, as it represents a marriage contract between a man named Laqipum and a woman named Hatala.

Among the provisions in the contract is one that specifies what will happen if Hatala is unable to have a child. It says that if this happens that Hatala must buy a slave woman to effectively serve as a surrogate. It also details stipulations in the event of divorce. According to a rough translation of the tablet, If Laqipum chooses to divorce his wife, he must pay her a certain amount of money. Likewise, if Hatala chooses to divorce her husband, she must pay him the same amount.

The Benefits of Using a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements (also called “prenups” or premarital agreements) are a common legal step taken before marriage. A prenup establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce or, sometimes, the death of either spouse. Although they often address uncomfortable topics, prenuptial agreements can be vital in protecting your assets in the event your marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, no one who gets married wants to imagine that it will end, but sadly, many marriages do. Therefore, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario even if your relationship is presently strong.

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DuPage County family law attorneyAfter a divorce, it is not unusual for the spouses to seek new beginnings. They may find new partners, look for new jobs, or move to a new town. Divorced parents, however, are not usually free to move their children with no strings attached. There are several circumstances in which a court may intervene - most importantly, if the parent with primary residential responsibilities wishes to move a significant distance or out of state.

The Rights to Parenting Time

The most common situations in which a child need to relocate are (1) when his or her parent remarries; and (2) when the parent or the parent’s new spouse receives a job offer in a different city or state. A parental move, however, can affect the parenting time rights of the other parents, which may be inequitable and unjust.

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