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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

How your divorce may impact your child's college funding: Part I

Now more than ever, going to college is a financial investment that spans a lifetime. Students who take out loans to finance a college education may be paying those loans back for decades afterward. And for students whose parents can afford to foot the bill for a college education, saving may have started at birth.

Unfortunately, parental divorce can significantly complicate plans to save for college. If you are experiencing divorce and have minor children at home, you may be wondering how the divorce will impact a college savings fund or plan. The good news is that continuing to save for your child's college education is possible if you pay attention to some important details.

Basic good advice as you prepare for your divorce: Part II

11696462_S.jpgIn our last post, we began a discussion about what we can learn from celebrity divorces - or more precisely, what wisdom we can gain from celebrity divorce attorneys. In a recent interview with Parade magazine, family law attorney Ira Garr shared what he has learned while representing celebrities in divorce and other family law disputes.

The previous post discussed three pieces of advice that nearly every divorcee could benefit from. But there are also frequent mistakes individuals make when going through divorce. In his interview, Garr shared the three biggest mistakes he sees clients making:

Basic good advice as you prepare for your divorce: Part I

29765997_S (1).jpgCelebrity divorce is a familiar story here in the United States. In fact, it is more noteworthy when famous actors, sports stars and other celebrities enjoy long and happy marriages. Yet when these high-profile divorces occur, many people can't help being interested spectators.

In most cases, the ways in which celebrities go through the divorce process are cautionary tales rather than models to follow. That being said, the family law attorneys representing Hollywood clients might just have some wisdom to share.

How to reach a fair divorce settlement when a business is involved

9901795_S.jpgIf you're a business owner going through divorce, then you probably have concerns about the future of your business. After all, the law in Illinois requires that marital property be divided equitably between the spouses, and business assets acquired during the course of a marriage can be subject to property division.

So how can you reach a fair divorce settlement while also protecting your business interests?

Attitudes about divorce may need to change, researchers say

7071965_S.jpgYou can ask most anyone about their thoughts on divorce and they'll probably feel confident speaking in generalizations. You may hear that "divorce is failure," or that "divorce is selfish." Some might say that "divorce harms children" or that someone getting a divorce hasn't "found their one true love."

Are any of these generalizations accurate? Are they even helpful? Certainly, there have been plenty of sociological studies about divorce and its effects on the whole family, but controlling the variables in such studies can be nearly impossible. And according to one couple studying the "sacred cows" of marriage and divorce, American society needs to reframe how it views these two institutions.

Divorce & dangerous jobs are usually not a good mix: Part II

9790074_S.jpgEarlier this week, we began a discussion about divorce rates among certain professions. Specifically, there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that firefighters and police officers are at greater risk for divorce, possibly due to the nature of the work they do.

In an article on the Fire Engineering magazine website, the author alludes to an estimate that divorce rates among firefighters are up to three times higher than average. In a similarly themed article on, the author cites estimates that place the divorce rate as high as 75 percent for law enforcement officers. Even if these numbers are a little exaggerated, it is easy to see how both of these professions could put significant strain on a marriage.

Divorce & dangerous jobs are usually not a good mix: Part I

9322999_S.jpgIn this week's posts, we'll be discussing the relationships between career and divorce. The connections are at least two-fold: How divorce risks may vary by profession, and how the stress of divorce can impact a person's job performance.

There does not seem to be a lot of hard data on divorce rates by profession, save for military families. Sadly, divorce rates among military couples tend to be higher than for the civilian population. But even without hard data, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that individuals in certain professions are at a greater risk for marital instability and divorce.

Alleged parental alienation case raises concern for kids: Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a child custody case that has received national media attention. It concerns a divorced couple in Michigan (originally from Israel) and a child custody battle that first began in 2009.

What make this case so complicated and so sad are allegations and observations that the children have been victims of parental alienation disorder. While children (and especially teenagers) can harbor resentment and anger against one or both parents in divorce, this level of anger seems difficult to explain without some sort of psychological manipulation.

Alleged parental alienation case raises concern for kids: Part I

11684990_S.jpgWe have previously written about the problem of parental alienation in divorce and child custody cases. Extreme cases of parental alienation involve one parent's deliberate attempts to convince children to hate and reject the other parent. This is often done through telling lies about the other parent, verbally disparaging them and cutting off the other parent's access to and contact with the children. The end product in such cases is nothing short of brainwashing.

Allegations of parental alienation can be difficult to sort out, because kids can legitimately be angry at one or both parents in divorce. Examples include when one parent has cheated on the other or has been physically abusive. Although it didn't occur here in Illinois, an alleged parental alienation case making national headlines demonstrates that under such circumstances, the children almost always suffer the worst psychological and emotional harm.

The problem that was and is facing same-sex couples

24354803_S.jpgWhen the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision regarding same-sex marriage last month, it changed the face of family law across the entire nation. No longer were same-sex couples forced to live as second-class citizens, some had said, in states that did not recognize their unions. They now had the same rights as heterosexual couples -- rights that might not have been possible if the high court had ruled differently.

Here in Illinois though, same-sex marriage has been recognized as legal since 2013 when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that allowed same-sex couples to legally wed in our state. It was a momentous occasion for our state because it provided rights to Illinois residents long before the U.S. Supreme Court decision. But, as you can imagine, it also brought with it a very small issue concerning divorce and property division.