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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

The difference between divorce and annulment in Illinois

11066284_S.jpgDivorce is the most common way to end a marriage in Illinois, but it isn't the only way. In limited circumstances, it is possible to annul your marriage instead.

The main difference between divorce and annulment is, divorce ends a marriage, while annulment makes it so that, under the law, the marriage never occurred. Instead of dealing with things like property division, each party just walks away with what they brought into the marriage.

An affair won't get you in trouble at work, unless you're a judge

While an affair by a married person can tear his or her family apart once the person’s spouse finds out about it, there are few legal consequences for infidelity in 21st Century Illinois. For the vast majority of people, the only time cheating on their spouse might directly cost them is in a child custody dispute, when the other spouse might use the affair as evidence that the cheating spouse is not a fit parent.

Similarly, having an affair is unlikely to get you in trouble at your job -- unless you are an Illinois judge, that is. A pair of judges recently received punishment when the affair they were having with each other came to light.

2 charged with defrauding child support system, parents

37197042_S.jpgIt can be frustrating and frightening when your ex falls behind on child support. Most custodial parents count on that money to help them pay for their children's basic needs. So when the money does not arrive, it is natural to be tempted to listen to anybody who says they can help.

But real help can come from a family law attorney, not a stranger whose real goal is ripping off single parents and the state child support system. That is what authorities in Florida are accusing a couple there of doing. The defendants allegedly used bad checks to defraud parents and the state.

Should I use social media during divorce? Probably not.

41862079_S.jpgYou have probably heard a lot recently about social media and how it can actually influence couples' feelings about each other. Just a quick Google search will show you just how many stories are out there on the topic of the link between social media and divorce.

But what about couples who are currently going through a divorce? What do they need to know about their social media use? For that matter, what do they need to know about the content that is already on their social media account, and how that data can be used in a divorce proceeding?

Is crowdfunding your divorce necessary?

36086326_S (1).jpgThese days, if you have a favorite cause or promising business idea, instead of trying to get a charitable grant or a loan from the bank, you turn to crowdfunding. Websites like Kickstarter let you solicit donations from the public, often in exchange for gifts, until you reach a predetermined goal.

So it may have been simply a matter of time until someone came up with the idea of crowdfunding their divorce. In March, a site called Plumfund, began offering crowdfunding pages for people struggling to afford getting divorced.

Could you share a 'birdnest' for your kids with your ex?

4444735_S.jpgTraditional child custody arrangements involve sending the children between their parents' homes, whether the parents share custody equally or one parent is limited to visitation time. Recently, some divorced parents are trying a different arrangement: the children live at one home, and the parents are the ones shuttling in and out.

The New York Post calls this "birdnesting," and says it is an increasingly popular arrangement. Some vary it slightly, by having one parent live with the child full-time, while the other parent lives nearby and comes over regularly for meals and other bonding time.

When can you seek a custody modification

21618005_S.jpgThe troubles you had during your marriage are supposed to go away after your divorce is finalized, but if you have children with your ex-spouse, you may still have difficulties as co-parents. This may also mean that the differences you had while you were married may still exist when it comes to the kids. In fact, your ex may still try to needle you by criticizing your parenting choices and making threats about continued court intervention if you don't change your parenting decisions.

However, before succumbing to the threat of a custody modification motion, parents should understand the types of disputes that family court judges may not want to be involved in. This post will identify a few of them. 

The country that outlawed divorce until 2004

3240037_S.jpgIf you think getting divorced in Illinois is complicated and time-consuming, be grateful that at least you live in a country where divorce is legal. Believe it or not, there are still a couple of countries on Earth where divorce is banned.

Until 2004, Chile was a part of that small handful of countries, according to Ozy. That's right; until 12 years ago, in Chile, it was not possible to divorce your husband or wife.

Is there pet custody in Illinois divorce law?

For parents getting divorced, often the most i10761672_S.jpgmportant and difficult thing to decide is what to do about the children. Sharing child custody means not getting to see your kids part of the time, but giving sole custody to one parent, with visitation rights to the other, can put a large burden on the custodial parent, and severely restrict the relationship the other parent has with his or her kids.

Then there are pets. For many couples, especially childless ones, the family dog, cat or other animal is family. Anyone who has ever had a beloved pet knows the love and attachment they feel toward their furry (or feathered, or scaly) companion. So it might be natural to assume that Illinois family law provides for "pet custody" arrangements after divorce.

4 of the strangest divorce stories ever

17623440_S.jpgWe love our clients, the vast majority of whom are reasonable people doing their best to get through a difficult situation. Unfortunately, one cannot always say the same thing about their exes, who may be driven by spite or immaturity instead of a desire to negotiate in good faith.

Still, the bizarre divorce stories recently published by the Huffington Post take the cake. The site asked family law attorneys for their strangest client stories. Here are some samples: