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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Selling the house during divorce

35896987_S (1).jpgFor many Illinois couples, their house or condo is their most valuable asset. It is thus not surprising that an impending divorce can create a fair amount of concern about what will happen to their home. Several considerations come into play, including whether the home will need to be sold and when the sale should take place.

While the phrase "Who gets the house?" is often associated with divorce, many couples choose instead to sell the home. One reason for this is that the property is associated with the disappointment and bad feelings that eventually led to the split. Another is that selling the home may make property division easier.

Wrongful conviction settlement may be split in divorce

A Illinois man may have to split his wrongful conviction settlement award with his ex-wife. The couple was married while the man was incarcerated for an event that took place before they were married. After the man was exonerated in an appeal, he filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit and was awarded $20 million. The couple was still married when the lawsuit was filed.

The man was originally convicted for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1992. When the man filed an appeal in 2011, DNA evidence cleared him of the crimes, and he was released the following year. The man was married to his wife in 2000, and the couple filed for divorce in 2014.

Educating people about domestic abuse

40378967_S (1).jpgOctober is designated as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. The goal is to eliminate the many misconceptions about what domestic violence is and the significant impact that it can have on its victims in Illinois and around the country. One is that the police will take the initial aggressor into custody. Instead, they may take the primary aggressor into custody, which may simply be the person who is deemed to be bigger and stronger.

This may create a situation where a smaller person may provoke his or her larger partner into becoming aggressive. It is much different than how such situations would have been handled in the past when one person would simply be told by police to leave for the night. Another problem may arise when an individual wants to escape an abusive relationship but doesn't know where to turn.

Ways to resolve child custody disputes

20637011_S (1).jpgWhen an Illinois divorce involves children, determining where they will live and how often they get to see each parent can lead to major disputes. However, there are several ways that these issues can be resolved.

Litigation is one way to resolve child custody disputes. Courts makes their decision based on what they believe is in the best interests of the child. However, they generally will not make decisions on how the children will spend their day-to-day lives. If parents can work together, mediation is another way that parents may potentially resolve their differences. A mediator may work with both parents to come to an understanding. If parents are having trouble working together, they may each hire a collaborative attorney to help with solutions.

Shared parenting following a divorce in Illinois

20360301_S (1).jpgWhile divorces can always be difficult, they can be especially complicated if children are involved. In the past, the children would primarily live with one parent while the other parent would have the kids for short periods of time. However, this trend is changing as more courts are becoming aware of the benefits that shared parenting provides for both the children and adults involved.

Shared parenting often involves having the kids spend equal time living with both parents. This allows each individual to establish a strong relationship with the children. Additionally, the kids will benefit from getting parental input and attention from two people rather than one.

Factors used to determine who gets a home in a divorce

54394135_S.jpgIt isn't uncommon for Illinois couples who are getting a divorce to wonder who will get the marital home. In many cases, the couple can decide on its own who will keep it or whether it will be sold and the proceeds divided. However, if a couple is unable to come to an agreement on its own, a judge may need to make a ruling.

Even if an individual wants to keep the marital home and is granted the rights to it, it may not be in his or her best interest. Financial advisers say that an asset such as a 401(k) may be more valuable in the long run. This is because a retirement account will grow in value while the house will cost money to maintain. If a couple has children, they may agree that one person lives in the home while the other lives in a guesthouse or in the basement.

Parents who pay child support held to high standards

39507971_S.jpgAn Illinois noncustodial parent could face harsh penalties after missing child support payments. These could include contempt of court and possible jail time in addition to wage garnishment.

In general, the legal system places greater burdens on those paying child support than the people receiving the funds. A custodial parent does not have to provide any receipts or other proof that child support money was used to pay for the needs of the children. A custodial parent could spend the money in any way.

Unlearning child custody and domestic violence myths

40967390_S.jpgIn Illinois and the rest of the U.S., child custody and domestic violence issues plague a number of families. Reports say that domestic violence could continue to affect a child long after he or she has become an adult. A contributing factor to the occurrence of both of these issues is the persistence of commonly held beliefs in domestic abuse and child custody.

The belief that children are safe from an abusive parent is one myth that is particularly harmful. Studies have shown that some parents use their children to manipulate the other parent. According to a parenting expert, young children, especially those who are less than four years old, should remain with their primary caregiver at night. This can help bolster their social development and keep them safe.

Finding an absent parent for child support

37314715_S.jpgIllinois parents who have full custody of their children and who want the other parent to pay for his or her obligations may decide to pursue child support. However, the first hurdle that these parents face is trying to locate the absent parent who has often tried to shirk his or her financial obligations.

Before child support can be ordered, the other parent must be served with legal documents that indicate that the custodial parent is seeking child support so that he or she has proper notice. By gathering as much information about this parent as possible, it may be easier to find him or her. This process is often easier if the parents were married since they may have access to important identifying information through tax returns and other papers. The custodial parent should find as much information as possible and create a list that includes this information, including the parent's Social Security number, children's birth certificates, former addresses and lists of names of people who know the parent and possibly his or her whereabouts.

Buying homes as cohabiting partners

35896996_S.jpgThe trend towards cohabitation has led some Illinois couples to purchase homes together before they are married. This can cause significant problems if the relationship doesn't last and one person wishes to stay in the home that was jointly purchased.

Experts recommend that couples avoid purchasing homes together before they are married. If they decide to do so, they should take steps to protect their individual financial interests by entering into a contract that should spell out all of the terms of the purchase, including the percentages of the mortgage, insurance and taxes each will be responsible for paying.