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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Illinois judge denies protection order, says abuser 'loves' victim

21924135_S.jpgFar too many people in Illinois suffer domestic abuse in silence. Some believe their abusive spouse or partner will change, or may fear even worse violence if they try to leave. It can take a lot of courage to escape abuse and take legal steps to protect yourself from your abuser.

So it can be terrifying when the judge disbelieves your case and declines to issue an order of protection. Recently, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois reversed such a decision by a circuit court judge. The judge refused to issue the order, instead issuing a civil restraining order, which is less stringent. He reasoned that the abusive partner in the case "loves" the victim and therefore should not be subject to the tougher order.

7 conversations to have with your partner to reduce divorce risk

27245309_S (1).jpgWant to know if you have truly found "The One"? Before you walk down the aisle, would you like a guarantee that you and your spouse-to-be will never get divorced?

Of course you would, but there is no crystal ball that can predict how long a marriage will last. The best thing you can do is be as sure as you can that both of you are in love and compatible life partners. To that end, here are seven conversations you and your partner should consider having, to test how well your lives will fit together long-term:

'Brainwashed' daughters returned to dad after being found

7208822_S.jpgMost of the time, after divorce parents recognize that their relationship has changed, but not ended. They must continue to co-parent their children, working together to make sure they are as emotionally and physically healthy as possible as they prepare for adulthood.

Unfortunately, in Illinois not every former couple is able to do this. Their relationship has deteriorated to the point that they cannot work out a child custody plan that is fair to both parents and in the child's best interests. Even more troubling is when one parent puts the kids in the middle by insulting the other parent in their presence. Making a child choose between their parents can be deeply traumatic and destructive.

Dads must fight for their rights when child is born out of wedlock

19224160_S.jpgThough Missouri's family law has changed in many ways to adapt to our evolving ideas of what a family is, in some ways the law remains behind the times. In one important example, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if the child was born to his or her "natural mother" while the man was married to the mother, or within 300 days of the end of the marriage.

On the other hand, when a child is born outside of marriage, there is no presumption of paternity -- even when the mother is living with a man in a situation very similar to a marriage. This can create serious complications regarding paternity and child custody if the parents' relationship ever sours, and the father had not taken steps to establish paternity over the child. One way to get around this is to get on the putative father registry.

Patrick Dempsey's divorce seems to be called off

17206645_S.jpgMarried people who file for divorce do not always go through with it. Sometimes, the reality that a person's marriage will soon end is jarring, and causes the person and his or her spouse to work out their problems.

That may be what happened to actor Patrick Dempsey and his wife. The Los Angeles Times reports that the couple has called off their divorce and appears to be happy together.

When divorced parents pit the kid against the ex

31020940_S.jpgOne of the most important things you can do as a parent going through divorce is to avoid putting your children in the middle. No matter how you feel about your ex right now, he or she is your kids' other parent. When possible, children generally do better when both parents remain a source of love, affection, discipline and support for them -- even when the parents are no longer together.

Sadly, some parents put their own desire for "revenge" over their children's well-being. They complain about their ex to the kids, insulting him or her and generally poisoning the children's minds against the other parent. In the worst cases, the confused child becomes totally alienated from the other parent and the relationship is damaged for years.

Could you live in the same house as your ex?

42188242_S.jpgHow many divorced people in Illinois and Missouri could be next-door neighbors with their ex? Can any of our readers ever see themselves living in the same building -- or even the same house -- as the former love of their lives?

More people than you might think would answer "yes." Often, there are practical reasons for divorced couples to live near each other, especially if they have children together. As one divorced dad recently told The New York Times, living in the same building as his ex-wife means their daughters need not pack their bags every time there is a custody changeover. He also enjoys the fact that his ex-wife can help when he has a work emergency, and vice versa.

Mother ruled 'too poor' to have visitation rights over daughter

14961548_S.jpgA heartbreaking child custody case out of New Jersey may make our Illinois and Missouri readers consider whether a parent can be made to give up his or her rights due to poverty, and whether parents facing the loss of custody have a constitutional right to an attorney.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that pits a 2-year-old girl's mother against the girl's foster parents, who want to adopt her and have the biological mother stripped of her parental rights. An attorney for the biological mother said the basis for taking away her client's rights over her daughter was entirely her being poor.

Study: divorce risk rises if you wait until your 30s

27071771_S.jpgOne might think that waiting until after you turn 30 to get married would assure you of being experienced enough in relationships, and mature enough, to give your marriage a better shot at lasting than if you got married young. But a study indicates not getting married until your 30s or 40s is no bulwark against divorce. In fact, your marriage may be more likely to fail than if you had married in your late 20s.

The study, discussed in The Washington Post, measured divorce risk by the spouses' age at the time of their first marriage. The riskiest marriages were those whose spouses got hitched as teenagers. The risk of divorce drops significantly after age 20 and bottoms out around 28 or so.

St. Louis woman seeks 'custody' of frozen embryos after divorce

3226154_S.jpgMany divorces require the spouses or the judge to determine child custody. Much less common is a legal determination about what to do about embryos. But with alternative forms of conception becoming increasingly popular, perhaps it was inevitable that such a case arise in Missouri.

As WFMY-TV reports, the case pits two St. Louis County parents and former spouses against each other. The mother used in vitro fertilization to give birth to twin sons in 2014. The process created two additional embryos made from the mother's eggs and the father's sperm.