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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Are there outstanding student loans before marriage? Discuss them

20726300_S.jpgIn virtually every venue, people's heads are going to turn around when the subject of student loans comes up.

The reason why is simple: Many millions of Americans have amassed student debt in piling up college, vocational or other training credits.

And the amount they owe is often far from trivial.

In some cases, it is flatly mind-numbing. It is far from uncommon to hear stories of six-figure debt levels confronting even persons who have graduated from college with bachelors' degrees. And it can take decades for some persons with advanced or narrowly focused professional degrees to pay the last dime on their loan obligations.

Divorce comments: third-party advice, the role of proven counsel

15095682_S.jpgAs a recent family law article notes, virtually every person in the country who is going through the divorce process gets an earful of advice from third parties.

Except for the occasional snide comment or two that might be offered (most likely from a significant other's family members, friends or co-workers), most advice that is tendered is well-intentioned and made in good faith, with a sincere desire to pass along some kernel of truth or instructive wisdom.

Overall, the value of what is offered generally ranges widely. Although some advice is worthy of consideration, people who have nothing to do with a divorce and opine on it nonetheless often say irrelevant -- even stupid -- things to a divorcing party.

Proven combination: divorce attorney with collaborative law acumen

26312886_S.jpgA financial adviser and wealth manager recently made some comments of a family law-related nature in an article he penned for the Wall Street Journal, which we think some of our readers in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere might find both relevant and instructive.

For starters, George Papadopoulos passes along some advice that is certainly worthy of consideration by many people who are currently single yet contemplating marriage.

In a word, and to borrow the exclamation point used by Papadopoulos: Prenup!

Opinion: the perils of an online "cookie cutter" divorce

I25337095_S.jpgn discussing divorce, media commentators sometimes query whether a proven family law attorney with ample experience across the broad spectrum of divorce-related considerations really needs to be on board in a marital dissolution proceeding.

Truly, how hard can a computer-assisted do-it-yourself divorce be? Is it necessary to muck up the process with details and added levels of complexity relating to matters like child custody and visitation, support and property division?

Maybe not -- if you're in close proximity with Einstein's gene pool.

Fathers' rights on display in state's recent adoption law change

20784372_S.jpgUtah would certainly qualify for inclusion on any list of states that serve as lightning rods for triggering fathers' rights cases in family law matters.

In fact, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's recent signing of new legislation that modifies existing adoption law in that state has attracted the attention of fathers' rights groups across the country.

Here's why. Until passage of the bill, entitled Adoption Act Amendments, a gaping loophole in Utah's statutory scheme governing adoption allowed a woman from outside the state to simply enter its confines to give birth and thereafter put up her child for adoption. Any woman was free to do so without any requirement that she first notify the child's biological father or obtain his consent for the adoption.

U.S. case puts spotlight on international child abduction

17106108_S.jpgA Colorado dad's family law case is finally coming to an end after years of court battles and international intrigue. Because we believe that many of our readers in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere will find the tale broadly instructive, we convey its material details here.

The story starts back in 2010 with a divorce proceeding and protracted child custody battle between Dennis Burns and the mother of his two young daughters. A Colorado court ruled in favor of Burns as the primary residential parent. Following that ruling, the mother illegally took the girls out of the country. They have been living in Argentina since their abduction.

Energy tycoon's divorce case centers on division of assets

12394625_S.jpgSometimes celebrity-related stories regarding family law topics are more than purely entertaining. For many people, indeed, they can be highly instructive and broadly relevant, notwithstanding the sometimes singularly large dimensions of what is at stake.

Take the unfolding divorce drama of multibillionaire Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Hamm, for instance. Although some people might reasonably argue that the Hamms are not a celebrity couple in the most popular sense (think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), very few couples can match the Hamms for sheer clout and the assets under their control.

In other words, they are a true "power" couple commanding a nearly incomprehensible amount of wealth, and their divorce battle is instantly notable for the outsized dimensions of its property division considerations.

Illinois child custody bill would tweak existing statutory law

15423685_S.jpgIn matters relating to physical and legal custody in a divorce proceeding, judges in both Illinois and Missouri make decisions guided by the best interests of the child or children involved.

That standard is a longstanding cornerstone in American family law that courts look to when asked to make important rulings regarding children. Those rulings commonly address where a child will live, how much visitation will be awarded a noncustodial parent, which parent might be better tasked to make important decisions about a child's schooling, religious upbringing and medical care, and many other key considerations.

Child custody is a topic that always seems to be front and center in the national media and with legislators who seek modifications to their state's statutory enactments regarding the subject.

Marital contracts: on the rise and covering more ground

26008597_S.jpgNoting in a recent media article that "the stigma that was once attached to these agreements is fading," one family law attorney echoes what many of her peers across the country say regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, namely this: Such contracts are on the rise, and for a number of reasons.

Many divorcing couples in Illinois and Missouri are primarily motivated to execute marital contracts prior to or following marriage for the same reason that most couples nationally do so. In most instances, prenups and postnups are negotiated and signed with property division considerations in mind.

Newly published divorce research presents interesting findings

7098573_S.jpgSo, is the divorce rate in Illinois and nationally going up or down?

Although that is certainly a straightforward and simple enough question to ask, a definitive and unequivocal answer has long seemed to be more than a bit elusive.

A professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign readily weighs in on the subject.

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