There are many issues of primary importance when people are considering divorce. Others items, however, may seem unimportant or too far into the future to matter. Among the items that are often neglected in a divorce proceeding are Social Security benefits. However, ignoring the ramifications of divorce on Social Security claims can be a costly mistake.
We were talking about military women and their marriages -- and the fact that the divorce rate among military women outpaces the rate for either military men or civilian women. The numbers are known, but the reasons are not. While there is little research about the causes of these break-ups, psychologists and military experts have some ideas.
According to Pentagon statistics, about 220,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have faced the challenges of warfare, terrorist attacks, weather and terrain alongside their male counterparts. These women trained and learned to expect and to accept the unexpected during their tours of duty. Personal sacrifice is common, but it's hard to imagine that women prepared to sacrifice their marriages.
For those of us who pay attention to movie stars, it was a surprise when Warren Beatty married Annette Benning in 1992. It may have been less of a surprise when Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise filed for divorce, but she elicited such sympathy that hundreds of people partied outside her hotel when she remarried in 2006. Both women are Best Actress nominees this year, and if Oscar has his way, if one of them wins, she'll soon be negotiating child support and custody, spousal maintenance and property division with her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
This is another story about financial woes and their effect on a marriage. We've said often (our last post notwithstanding) that money troubles are among the top reasons couples divorce. According to a recent survey, though, it's not just that there's not enough money or that the couple disagrees on financial priorities. No, some marriages fall victim to "financial infidelity."
Most of us know all too well the effects of the Great Recession on Chicago: unemployment up 4 percent in 2009, one foreclosure every 22 minutes and so much more. Researchers recently delved into the effects of the Great Recession on married couples, with some expected and some surprising results. The "Survey of Marital Generosity" revealed two positive outcomes along with the negative. Overall, the study's findings are consistent with research from other sources in its main conclusions: Divorce rates have declined since the onset of the economic downturn, and, as financial woes increased, so did the risk of divorce.
Believing that her daughter's "long, bitter, hostile divorce" had finally come to a close, an Illinois woman found herself making arrangements for her daughter's funeral. The 34-year-old died a week ago, leaving no will and no instructions about her funeral beyond telling her brother years earlier that she'd like to be buried near her father, in Illinois. She died in Florida, near her son and her ex-husband.
One Illinois county has used pink paper for brides and blue paper for grooms who apply for marriage licenses. That may all have to change, according to a county employee, now that Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation recognizing civil unions in the state. County clerks have a few months to work out the details; the law doesn't go into effect until June 1 of this year.
Illinois families going through divorce or working on a custody arrangement will want to take note of two recent developments regarding electronic communication. First, a man is facing criminal charges in Michigan for hacking into his wife's e-mail account. Second, Facebook has become a popular source of ammunition in divorce and custody disputes.
It seems divorce court could be renamed family court. That's because divorce statistics have hit 20-year lows, mainly because fewer people are getting married in the first place. Family court is the venue unmarried couples are using for ending their relationships and working out parenting issues such as custody and visitation.