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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

How friends and family can help domestic violence victims

Every day, people in Illinois live with domestic abuse. Nationally, a person suffers a physical attack from a partner or spouse every three seconds, and one-quarter of women will experience domestic abuse or violence at some point in their lives. When friends and family want to help a victim, they can take some concrete steps to support the person.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends that the friends and relatives of victims provide a supportive attitude. A concerned person could focus on helping the abuse victim create a safety plan for coping with attacks or eventually leaving the relationship. The plan could include the identification of places in the home to hide or avenues of escape. The location of the nearest shelter should be shared, and children should be told how to get help during an emergency.

Setback for Nia Guzman in Chris Brown child custody dispute

51595049_S (1).jpgIllinois fans of singer Chris Brown may be aware he has been involved in a custody battle with the mother of his daughter Royalty. Nia Guzman, the child's mother, asked that she be granted full custody of their daughter. She also requested that the child be banned from visiting Brown's mother, regular drug tests for Brown, and that Brown only be allowed supervised visits.

However, the judge rejected all of her requests and also ordered that Guzman repay Brown for her legal fees that he had paid. The original agreement still stands, and it allows Brown 12 unsupervised days with the child.

Child support for child athletes

22167896_S.jpgWhile it's not unusual for Illinois parents to think that their kids are pretty special, there are some children who are particularly gifted. These youngsters usually benefit from specialized educational and extracurricular activities that can nurture their talents.

A child who is a gifted athlete requires special equipment and coaching to reach his or her potential. All of this can be expensive and a significant burden on family finances. The question of paying for the child's activities can become even more complicated in situations where the parents are divorced.

Ways of reaching a child support agreement

36912527_S.jpgIllinois parents who are divorcing have several options when it comes to child support arrangements. Parents can negotiate an agreement between themselves and their attorneys, they can use alternative dispute resolution methods, or the court may enter an order for child support in accordance with state guidelines.

The duration, frequency and amount of payments must all be negotiated. This can be done through the couple's respective attorneys, or the parents can have their attorneys review the agreement they make before it is finalized. If parents are not able to negotiate between themselves or with the assistance of their attorneys, then they might turn to an alternative dispute resolution method. Arbitration is not very common in divorce cases, but mediation or a collaborative family law approach are both options. If an arbitrator is used, thefinal decision is not necessarily binding. Alternative dispute resolution methods allow parents who are in conflict to still play an active part in making a decision about child support.

Former football player's peculiar child support case

57076810_S.jpgIllinois residents might remember Andre Rison from his career in the NFL, but he is recently making headlines for a probation violation and failure to pay child support. His story is somewhat unique because he owes payments for Hunter Rison, who is currently living with him.

A judge signed a warrant for Rison's arrest after he didn't meet minimum child support payments and tested positive for marijuana, and the former football player said that he plans to turn himself in. Rison received five years probation for not paying child support in 2013 and must pay $1,000 a month for back payments in excess of $300,000. He reportedly last made a payment in April 2016 for $500 and has paid a total of $35,000.

Property division and dealing with the marital home

11597904_S.jpgIllinois couples who choose to get divorced will need to decide what to do about their marital home. Sometimes, people will wrestle with whether or not they should stay in the house. Before making the decision, they should think about several things.

When people are divorced, they must learn to live on their incomes alone rather than having the help from their spouses to which they have been accustomed. This means that a person may have significantly less money with which to work after he or she divorces. Even if a house is owned outright, it still may not be wise to stay in it if the person can't afford the utilities, property taxes and maintenance costs.

Marital property and divorce in Illinois

43131755_S (2).jpgWhen a couple gets divorced, marital property is usually subject to division between both parties. How it is divided depends on state law and other factors such as whether a couple has a prenuptial agreement. While married, individuals are encouraged to maintain complete records of how property was acquired and what was worth when acquired. This may help establish that an asset is actually solely-owned property that shouldn't be split in any way.

During the course of a marriage, an asset may appreciate in value. Even if it was owned prior to the marriage, the appreciation may be considered a marital asset. Therefore, each person may be entitled to a share of that increased value. If an asset is purchased with separate funds, it may be considered a marital asset if the other spouse pays for a portion of it or helps to maintain it with marital funds.

Jeremy Renner disputes ex-wife's child support allegations

11634403_S.jpgIllinois fans of actor Jeremy Renner might be interested in learning about the star's ongoing child support saga. He was divorced in 2015 and ordered to pay his ex-wife of 8 months, Sonni Pacheco, $13,000 per month in child support.

Pacheco has filed documents with the court, claiming that Renner owes her more than $48,000 in delinquent child support. She also claims that he has refused to pay their daughter's preschool tuition. Their daughter, who is 3, attends a preschool that charges $1,600 per month.

What to know about annulment in Illinois

54781187_S.jpgWhile they may sound similar in nature, there are key differences between an annulment and a divorce. An annulment occurs when a marriage is declared to be invalid. This means that the couple was never married, and any marriage contract that they may have had is null and void. It is important to note that a legal annulment is not the same as a religious annulment done by members of an individual's church.

There are four main reasons why a marriage may be legally annulled. First, one or both parties could not enter into the contract because of a mental impairment or because of age restrictions. If an individual is forced at gunpoint to get married, that may be considered coercion and grounds for an annulment. An annulment may be granted if one person lies about their willingness to have kids or their ability or willingness to consummate the marriage.

What to expect when you're expecting...and divorcing

28631896_S (1).jpgDivorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Having a baby is another stressful event. Unfortunately, there are times when these two events are happening at the same time, which can make everything more complicated.

If you or your spouse is pregnant and you are also considering or have already decided to divorce, there are a few things will want to be prepared for as you navigate such a complex situation.