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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

What to expect when you're expecting...and divorcing

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Having a baby is another stressful event. Unfortunately, there are times when these two events are happening at the same time, which can make everything more complicated.

If you or your spouse is pregnant and you are also considering or have already decided to divorce, there are a few things will want to be prepared for as you navigate such a complex situation.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act

43636581_S.jpgAn Illinois divorce that involves a military spouse is different from a civilian divorce in many ways. One factor that comes into play in a military divorce is military retired pay. If a military spouse is receiving or expecting to receive military retired pay, the non-military spouse may be entitled to receive a portion of that benefit.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act was set up to protect the rights of former spouses of military service members who are entitled to receive distributions from their ex-spouse's military retired pay. The law does not guarantee that non-military spouses will receive military retirement distributions, but it enforces court orders that have awarded non-military spouses with retirement benefits.

The primary caretaker is favored in custody decisions

27567495_S.jpgSome Illinois parents who go through a divorce are able to reach an agreement about child custody outside of the courtroom. However, many others are unable to settle disputes over physical custody and must rely on the family court system. When a family court judge is making the decision, the judge typically awards custody to the parent who is deemed the child's primary caretaker.

In family law cases, a child's primary caretaker is the parent who took care of the child's essential needs. The parent who bathed, groomed and dressed the child and prepared the child's meals would be considered the primary caretaker. A family court judge will also consider which parent made health care arrangements for the child, set up extracurricular activities for the child and taught the child reading and writing skills.

Dwyane Wade's ex-wife sues over 2010 divorce settlement

7183715_S.jpgWhile some divorce cases become highly contentious, it is rare for a case to stretch out for nearly a decade. But it is possible, as long as at least one side remains dissatisfied with the division of property, child custody plan or other aspect of the divorce settlement.

Illinois-born basketball star Dwyane Wade recently signed a contract to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls. But while fans celebrate, the deal appears to have triggered a lawsuit by Wade's former wife, who wants the court to throw out the settlement agreement she and Wade reached in 2010.

New Illinois law helps 'psychological' parents get legal rights

17623440_S.jpgMany Illinois families do not fit the traditional mold of a married mother and father and a couple of kids. The most important thing is not who is raising the children; what matters most is that the children are safe, healthy and in the best possible situation to grow up in.

In some cases, this can mean granting child custody to a relative who is not biologically related to the little boy or girl. A new state law makes it easier for non-biological relatives to be granted custody or visitation rights.

How do you know if you are ready for divorce?

37598803_S.jpgMost of the time, the decision to divorce is not one to take lightly. If you are even considering divorce, there are probably good reasons to end your marriage.

On the other hand, divorce can profoundly alter your life. It could change where you live, how much income you have and how often you see your children. In addition, you and your spouse may have lingering feelings of love and affection for each other, despite the obvious problems in your relationship.

What to do if your ex is cohabiting and getting alimony

11634403_S.jpgIn some cases, after a marriage ends in Illinois one former spouse starts paying spousal support to the other. An alimony order does not always have a set end date, but that does not mean the payments will last forever.

Under Illinois law, one reason to terminate an alimony order is that the ex receiving the alimony gets remarried. Of course, many people are reluctant to give up their spousal support, even if they fall in love again. So instead of getting married, they try to have the best of both worlds by moving in with their partner. They live as spouses without formally marrying.

Man wins lawsuit after getting fired for divorce

45947878_S.jpgIf you are getting divorced, there will be days you will not feel like going to work. But the fact that you have separated from your spouse or are getting a divorce should not affect your job security. In other words, hopefully you won't get fired because your boss finds out you have filed for divorce.

Believe it or not, that is what a New Jersey man says happened to him. He took a wrongful termination lawsuit all the way to the state Supreme Court, which ruled in the plaintiff's favor on June 20.

Illiniois dads hold 'Fatherless Day' protest outside courthouse

15039344_S.jpgWith Father's Day taking place last Sunday, we hope that most dads in Illinois enjoyed spending time with their children. However, many fathers do not get to see their kids as often as they would like, because their former spouse has sole physical custody.

Usually, the noncustodial parent in these situations gets visitation time reserved. But visitation can be quite limited, perhaps just a couple weekends per month -- or less. For their part, many fathers say they do not get fair consideration in Illinois' Family Court system, and lost shared or sole custody rights because of bias against men.

Survey claims women handle divorce better than men

50201232_S.jpgAn intriguing new study suggests that divorce affects women differently than men. If the survey is accurate, females have an easier time adjusting to life after marriage.

According to Essence, 73 percent of women surveyed reported they did not regret getting divorced. In comparison, 61 percent of men denied regretting divorce. A high percentage, but well behind the female subjects.