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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Spotlight on military divorce: deployment and custody issues

Thumbnail image for 24447019_S.jpgThere are many military servicemembers in Illinois and Missouri, and they are obviously just as interested as are other military members serving throughout the country and abroad with family law matters that concern them.

Military divorce is one of those matters, with divorce for servicemembers often being more subjected to strains than is the case for civilian couples. In the military, one spouse is often working at a location far removed from his or her family. Aside from the obvious stresses that can add to a marriage, it can also render things like child custody and child support flatly problematic following a marital dissolution.

A recent high-profile military case involving a Navy sailor and his daughter amply bears that out.

In their best interests: checking on kids following divorce

12940457_S.jpgIf you are a just-divorced spouse, an author of a recent family law article in a national publication notes that it is typical for you to be "drifting along finding your footing and discovering new routines."

Imagine how true that is for your kids, regardless of whether they are young children or teenagers.

Adjustments in life following divorce are often many and material, and it is certainly understandable that the process accompanying them is sometimes less than perfectly smooth. In fact, it would probably be a little strange if that wasn't the case.

Premarital agreements and property division

12172964_S.jpgJust as in other states, in Illinois and Missouri, too, the ardor-dampening feelings that many people have long associated with premarital agreements are dissipating.

For a long time, such agreements -- namely, prenuptial agreements executed prior to marriage and postnuptial contracts entered into following marriage -- were viewed with suspicion by many romantic partners and even as marriage breakers.

That image is steadily changing, with more American couples realizing the considerable value that such agreements command for their ability to help identify marriage priorities and plan for the future.

New research focuses on male domestic violence victims

25667626_S.jpgFamily violence is a flatly sobering concern across the country, including in Illinois and Missouri, where stringent laws exist in response to it.

It has long been an accepted presumption among family violence experts and advocates that domestic abuse is predominantly marked by acts of violence committed by men against women and children.

That would certainly seem to be supported by both hard statistics that have emerged from myriad studies and anecdotal evidence. There is no question that the majority of violence victims who report incidents to police and receive help in shelters are women. Reciprocally, it is most often men who are arrested for abusive acts and who face repercussions from the criminal justice system.

Contemporary divorce: You've got to consider your online presence

14131063_S.jpgTechnology breeds egalitarianism, at least in the ability of virtually any person with access to a computer to participate in any number of social forums and online activities.

You want to be an author? Just put your writing efforts online, potentially available for virtually the entire world to see. If you fancy yourself as a social commentator, you can fully engage in that pursuit through Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites.

Although there is certainly an upside to such opportunities, there is also a clear downside, which can readily reveal itself to any person who is simply too cavalier about posting personal information online.

Medical marijuana laws: Things can get murky with pot and kids

22068909_S.jpgSay that you're an adult Illinois resident and parent who consumes cannabis for a medical condition. Provided that you do so pursuant to the requirements of a state law authorizing such use that took effect from January 1 of this year, you should encounter no resistance from authorities regarding your possession or use.

Should having a child in your home change things?

Older divorcing couples, Part 2: making smart financial decisions

12361451_S.jpgWe discussed some special concerns of persons involved in so-called "gray divorces" in our immediately preceding blog post. A financial strategist and media commentator on divorce says that those people -- divorcing individuals in their 50s and beyond -- need to view divorce "as a business transaction."

Jeff Landers additionally notes that divorcing baby boomers "need to crunch the numbers."

We alluded to that in our prior post, noting that finances can be a critically important component of the divorce process for many older couples who are severing the marital knot after years -- often decades -- of living together.

Property division in "gray" divorces: an introductory look

7438549_S.jpgAs we have noted in past blog posts, and as scores of family law commentators have additionally pointed out, divorce is far from a cookie-cutter event in most instances.

That is, the fact patterns, key considerations and outcomes in any 10 divorces in Missouri, Illinois or elsewhere across the country are likely to be easily distinguished and highly varied. Child custody and visitation rights might be a preeminent concern in one divorce, with spousal maintenance (alimony) being a matter of key importance in another marital dissolution. For some couples, excessive drug or alcohol use might have been a dominant catalyst leading to divorce. In other cases, equitably dividing marital property might have been a top-shelf concern.

A recent article in the New York Times stresses that latter concern, and especially in the context of older couples divorcing. The paper notes that so-called "gray divorces" -- decouplings among people 50 years of age or older -- are exceedingly commonplace these days and destined to grow exponentially as years go by, given baby boomer demographics.

Fathers' rights, part 2: More men are purposefully stepping forward

9195264_S.jpgAs has been often remarked upon in media articles focusing on family law over the past few years, important aspects surrounding fathers' involvement in their kids' lives following divorce have undergone a material evolution.

It takes only a cursory look at family-related television shows from bygone decades to note the change. In former times, it seemed commonplace -- an absolute normalcy -- for a dad to essentially be invisible around the house. Fathers worked outside the home, earning the income that supported their families.

In this now largely stereotypical world, moms customarily ran the households, being the central stay-at-home presence in charge of all home-related matters, including the important task of raising the children.

Fathers' rights, Part 1: changing family law perceptions, realities

Thumbnail image for 5525633_S.jpgHere's a readily apparent juxtaposition in family law that shows a clearly discernible trend over time: Whereas only about five percent of all dads who defined themselves as "stay at home" fathers a quarter of a century ago said they were at home primarily to care for their families, that number had increased fourfold to more than 20 percent by 2012.

What that indicates is a changing mindset among many men across the country, centrally marked by their growing perception that, as fathers, they have a meaningful role to play in their children's lives that transcends merely being the provider of income.

Myriad studies now show that far more fathers than in previous generations see themselves as nurturers in much the same that mothers do, and they want to stay closely connected with their children in many ways following divorce.

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