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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Billionaire's ex-wife receives seemingly unbalanced settlement

Among the most-watched divorce cases this year has been the divorce of oil baron Harold Hamm and his now-ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm. Although their divorce was decided in an Oklahoma court, there are many details applicable to high-asset divorces here in Illinois and around the country. At stake in the divorce was a fortune worth as much as $18 billion as of last August when proceedings began.

Their estimated wealth has since dropped to about $13.3 billion due a reduction in stock share prices. Still, that’s a lot of money. And the former Mrs. Hamm was none too pleased when a judge recently ruled that her post-divorce share will be less than $1 billion.

There are ways to expedite your divorce and help you move on

When you hear the word "divorce" your mind probably immediately conjures up a couples that is screaming at each other, and then you probably imagine them going to court and bickering over various aspects of their marriage and divorce. Maybe you think this imaginary couple gets their divorce done in a year or two, but you're not really sure about the specific time frame of the divorce.

Such an idea is shared by many people all across the country, and though it may be a prominent thought, there are ways for divorcing couples to not only divorce amicably, but to do so in an efficient and timely manner.


What goes into determining the best interest of the child?

31278169_S.jpgAs our readers may know, child custody determinations are among the most important decisions that are made in divorce proceedings. Couples who cannot agree on a custody arrangement have to get a court involved, which will then bring up the issue of what arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

That term, best interests of the child, is the guiding factor for judges in making child custody determinations. But exactly how are these decisions made? What factors go into determining what is truly the best custody arrangement for the child? State statutes lay out the various factors judges are to take into consideration. Here in Illinois, state law provides a non-exclusive list of factors.  

It's your identity: Safeguard it following divorce

7051125_S.jpgAs this blog and numerous family law commentators have often noted, marriage is a flatly unique human relationship in every instance. No two couples are alike, and the life a couple forges together is largely defined by highly singular considerations that easily distinguish them from other married parties.

Notwithstanding the differences, though, one thing is often a commonplace for couples in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere across the country, and that relates to accumulation.

In other words, couples amass stuff during married life. Empty rooms become filled with things. Garages become repositories for artifacts collected over the years.

Voices on both sides of gay-marriage debate solicit SCOTUS input

2114501_S.jpgWhen compared with the legal systems of other countries, American jurisprudence can easily impress for its complexity and the manner in which federalism has played out across the country's history to influence legal spheres of influence and outcomes in a singular way.

For example, the U.S. Constitution binds us all, but states also have their own constitutions. The federal government commands total oversight and enforcement powers regarding certain subject matters, but willingly cedes power in some instances to the states. On certain subjects, both federal and state officials exercise legal powers concurrently.

You're divorced and now leaving the house: Truly, leave it behind

16327699_S.jpgRemember that schoolyard game tug-of-war? A number of commentators on the divorce process say that many divorcing and freshly divorced couples continue to play it as adults, but for all the wrong reasons and without a trace of joy.

What are they trying to wrest from each other?

Unsurprisingly, an article on divorce-related property division notes that couples argue as one or both of them head out the door with finality post-divorce about the same "things" that they happily lugged into the house years ago during happier times.

Things like sofas and tables. Mattresses and towels. Pictures and chairs.

Marriage and divorce: some salient observations

11615436_S.jpgIt seems to have always been the case that statistics, trends and related information focused upon marriage and divorce have garnered the close attention of many Americans.

In fact, the subject area arguably fascinates scores of millions of people across the country. That is clearly evidenced by the headline titles that routinely leap out from magazines and newspapers at store check-out counters, the plot lines of many movies and television sitcoms, the talking points of talk show hosts and the details that typically dominate celebrity-related stories.

The apparent national obsession is understandable, given how important human relations and interaction are among, well, humans. We spend a lot of time thinking about feelings and emotions directed at other people, and our relationships -- for both better and worse -- can be incredibly intense.

Advice for Illinois parents facing a child custody battle

32559092_S.jpgGoing through a divorce can be emotionally draining enough. However, throw the threat of a heated child custody battle into the mix, and it can quickly feel overwhelming. As a parent, you want to make sure your children's best interests are protected, while also protecting your rights as a parent. This leaves many wondering what their options are and how to proceed.

A recent Huffington Post article titled "4 Ways to Fight Your Fears During a Custody Battle" discusses some of the common worries parents have and how to overcome them. This advice could be helpful to any Illinois parent going through a divorce or thinking about filing for divorce. 

Survivor benefit plan a unique aspect to military divorces

21060007_S.jpgWhen going through a divorce, you will have questions and concerns related to your specific situation. It is important to ask these questions and to know all of your rights when going through a divorce. In cases where you or your spouse are military members, know that the rights and options you may be entitled to will be different from non-military families. 

One important aspect of a military divorce is the survivor benefit plan, commonly referred to by the acronym SBP. This benefit plan should be discussed with a military divorce lawyer, in addition to conversations around military retirement pay, the 10/10 rule and the Service Members Civil Relief Act. 

Divorce advice, Part 2: a few careful thoughts and tips

10361097_S.jpgWe referenced the wide world of divorce advice in our immediately preceding blog post (please see our October 22 entry), noting that it ranges widely from truly inane and useless writings to quite perceptive reflections and tips for surviving -- even thriving throughout -- the process.

We alluded to one particular article discussing divorce in that post, promising readers a closer look at some of its author's observations in today's post.

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