We offer the following divorce-related services for your family:
• Psychological reports for attorneys and domestic relations court (such as 604B and 215A)
• Expert clinical interviewing of families and children
• Cutting edge research with knowledge of current evidence-driven and empirical knowledge of dynamics promoting well-being in children and families
• Skilled divorce mediation with nuanced understanding of contextual factors underlining the presenting symptoms to offer effective recommendations to attorneys and judges
• Specialization in issues of diversity and cultural issues for populations straddling different cultures such as intercultural/ biracial/ ethnic families and their children
• Family dynamics observation, and
• Parenting capacity evaluations
Skills for short-term and long-terming planning around the divorce:
No matter how frustrated you are with your partner, the decision to end a relationship is often emotional and traumatic. For any couple this decision isn’t easy and the time preceding this decision is turbulent. Of life’s 43 most challenging stressors ranging from violation of law, work conflicts, or death of a close friend, one’s divorce – or the divorce of one’s parents- is the second most severe stressor; it can result in a weakened immune system, imbalance in blood pressure, and heart rate, disrupted sleep patterns, identity crisis, and a host of other physical and mental health issues such as heartburn, indigestion, weight gain or loss, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Men's Health finds divorced men are hit harder; they are more susceptible to heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes than married men and are thirty-nine percent more likely to commit suicide and engage in risky behavior. Losing a partner can trigger unhealthy patterns and the end of a relationship has long-term consequences for your family.
Handling a turbulent divorce process in a skillful and planned way however, can empower your family and you. The negative impact of divorce on children too, can be alleviated by how parents handle their divorce process. For example, parents who end their marriage in a mature and healthy way can lessen the negative effects of divorce for their children.
At CARE, we give you a headstart for a successful life-after-divorce by preparing you through: education around your children's present and future developmental needs; manage and contain the inevitable negative psychological effects for yourself and your family; calibrating your emotions; adapting to your uncertain situation in a healthy way; and strategizing to de-stress to help you rebuild in a wholesome way. Being present and knowledgeable even while you are grieving or angry can prepare you for healthy and happy changes that await you in the future.
Mediation as an alternative to divorce
Divorcing couples find that experienced mediators can assist them in the equitable the division of assets, and child custody and financial agreements. With mediation, couples may find that expensive litigation may not be necessary for their situation. At CARE, we pair you with an experienced psychologist to plan for your divorce and one who can mediate on your behalf with your lawyers, and/or to sit down in a series of talks with a trained professional and reasonably discuss charged issues with your partner that center around dividing marital debt and property, child-custody agreements and visitations, any financial agreements, issues of marital gifts and other sentimental possessions. Such agreements do not need to be enforced by your lawyers or the court on you and can be arrived through reasonable chats in a safe environment with your partner. Having such conversations with measured outcomes at the end of each session can also help you take charge in this unpredictable journey. Following such agreements, couples can then contact experienced family law attorneys who can then assist them in making them legally binding. Working with an experienced psychologist trained in family health matters can help prepare you both for making more optimal decisions effectively on your own. In contrast, when partners who cannot find a common ground or seek separate legal counsel it can lead to acrimonious and protracted legal battles with expensive bills for both sides. At CARE, we help you think about your future as we prepare you for the present. CARE enables you to be future-perfect and present-savvy with your divorce planning.
For more information, contact us at 773.800.0170.
Resources for Divorce Planning
Reduce The Stress of Divorce
This article by Jane Collingwood titled, "Reduce the stress of divorce" discusses some common challenges faced by divorcing individuals and discusses some healthy ways to cope during the stresses of a divorce. These strategies range from: joining a support group; how to utilize and rely on your friendships; how to stop the negative self-talk; decluttering your environment; assessment of your needs; making the transition to a work-life after being a stay-at home mom; and making the journey from anger to self-healing
- Three reasons divorce is harder for husbands than wives
This article by Tiffany McHugh titled "Three reasons why divorce is harder on men than women," Divorced men face unique and different challenges in comparison to divorced men such as: shame, loss of identity, and mindsets that interfere with much needed grieving. Through sharing stories of divorced men, it offers solutions like joining support groups like the New Warriors Men's Organization, reigniting connections with their children to re-instill their feelings of belongingness and psychotherapy.
Breaking Up: 7 Ways A Split Can Affect Your Physical And Mental Health
This article by Carolyn Gregoire in the Huffington Post titled, "Breaking Up: 7 Ways A Split Can Affect Your Physical And Mental Health" discusses how divorce results in greater problems such as: chronic stress, trouble sleeping, weakened immune system, depression and anxiety, identity crisis, digestive problems, and weight gain.
What makes marriage successful?
Ask any young couple how long their marriage will last, and chances are, they'll say 'forever,' but approximately half of all marriages end in divorce. Anna Miller discusses love strategies for couples that can help in making their love last.
Tips for helping children handle divorce
Much of how children are affected depends on how their parents handle the divorce process. Parents who end their marriage in a mature and healthy way can reduce the negative effects of divorce on their children. Dr. Walter Brown discusses some strategies you can use to help your children understand that they did not cause the divorce, such as: allowing the children to express their feelings about the divorce; not lwithholding information from the children; being sensitive to how each child is handling the divorce; helping the children feel secure by showing love and commitment to them, and other strong strategies.
Divorce Troubles Younger Kids' Later Relationship with Parents
Divorce when kids are young appears to have a stronger effect on parent-child relationships later in life than if the divorce occurred when the children are older. Dr. Rick Nauert and the Huffington Post (Children of Divorce) discusses Dr. R. Chris Fraley's research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaigne that shows how early childhood experiences affect them as adults.
Thirteen Steps Before Your Divorce in Illinois
January sees a spike of divorce filings, but unless you have already discussed the prospect of divorce with your spouse, this article from the magazine Chicago Now talks about the steps you ought to take before you file for your divorce or announce your intentions:
Suggestions range from: Collecting copies of tax returns (at least 3 years), statements for IRAs and other retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards; obtaining your credit report; building up a cash reserve fund to live on and pay legal fees; researching the divorce laws of your state to get a basic idea of what happens in dissolving a marriage of your duration/ number of children; making a list of all the things you have done as a mother and wife; documenting what the marital lifestyle is; familiarizing yourself with mediation and collaborative divorce process and asking lawyers you interview if they practice these divorce resolution styles; and considering finding a new accountant