In Illinois, more than one third of single mothers live in poverty. Research suggests that, although the economic recession is partially to blame, many mothers who have legal custody of their children are receiving little or no child support from the children's fathers.
At least one state legislature has introduced a bill this year that would mandate pre-marital and pre-divorce counseling. The Illinois General Assembly hasn't tackled the subject, and it may not need to. The divorce rate here is 2.6 per 1,000 residents, lower than the national rate of 3.4 and less than half the top rate of 6.6 (Nevada). Wyoming, the state considering the counseling bill, has the third-highest rate at 5.2 per 1,000.
Financial trouble is often cited as one of the top 10 reasons for divorce or child custody disputes. Being strapped for cash can lead to squabbles over spending priorities, which in turn lead to realizations of differences in core values. On the flip side, when the media report on celebrity divorces -- Tiger and Elin Woods, for example -- the focus is not on the amount of time each will spend with their children, but, rather, on how many millions of dollars Elin got in the settlement.