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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Spousal support could be involved in Green-Fox divorce

5584899_S.jpgFor those who pay attention to tabloids and celebrity news, this will be common knowledge: actress Megan Fox and her soon-to-be-former husband Brian Austin Green have filed for divorce after five years of marriage. The couple has two sons together, and apparently they are going for joint custody, though that hasn't been confirmed. However, Green has asked that Fox pay him spousal support.

This divorce, though a celebrity divorce (which don't always involve circumstances that everyday people can relate to), brings up two topics that are important in divorce: child custody and spousal support.

Prenups: some issues can be included, while others can't

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about prenuptial agreements, and how you and your spouse should at least consider the possibility of a prenup even if you ultimately decide against signing such a contract. It is still an important discussion to have -- but it's up to you and your spouse to determine whether or not such an important contract is right for your marriage.

What is not up for you and your spouse to determine is what, legally, can be included in the prenuptial agreement. The two of you can't have certain language in the contract should you choose to have one, and there are certain provisions that are forbidden in the prenup. So what are the "do's" and "don'ts" in the world of prenuptial agreements? Let's take a look at some of the critical factors:

A property division primer for Illinois residents

13728086_S.jpgProperty division is a fundamental part of divorce, and there are many people out there who are intimidated by the idea of dealing with property division. This is perfectly understandable, because property division can be quite complicated. Allow us to explain some of the basic elements to property division to allow you to go into your property division discussions with more confidence.

There are two types of property division laws. Most states, including Illinois, follow equitable distribution laws. Under these laws, a judge will determine what is "fair" for the divorce in terms of property division. Community property laws, meanwhile, essentially entitle each spouse to a 50 percent stake in any assets or property that is deemed "marital" property. 

Determining whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you

43433220_S.jpgShould you and your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle? It's a difficult question to answer, and you shouldn't decide on anything without having some thorough conversation with your spouse. The two of you need to be on the same page before signing such an important document.

A prenuptial agreement offers a lot of benefits to those who are getting married. Most notably, the document allows the two spouses to establish rules for how their property and assets will be divided in case of a divorce. The prenup can also address numerous other topics, such as responsibilities during the marriage, and making concessions for certain circumstances (such as providing for a child from a prior relationship).

Bitter battles not a prerequisite for protecting fathers' rights

7475205_S.jpgUnder family laws in Illinois, fathers have the same rights and obligations as mothers. Although the letter of the law does not preference one parent over another based on gender, divorce settlements and custody orders don't always reflect that ideal.

Dads need a strong advocate to make sure that their rights are adequately protected, but does this mean that they have to fight to win? Do they have to tear down the other spouse to get their way? The answer is simply, "No."

Maintaining the grandparent-grandchild relationship after divorce

21895862_S.jpgWhen married parents get divorced, any custody decisions made by the court are likely to affect more than just the children and their two parents. In many cases, grandparents also experience the consequences of a child custody agreement - sometimes for better but often for worse. An acrimonious divorce can even lead to severed ties between grandparents and the grandchildren they love.

Here in Illinois, grandparents can sometimes petition the court for visitation rights. However, the process is complex and not all grandparents will have legal standing to bring a lawsuit. That being said, there are other, non-legal means by which grandparents can improve their chances of maintaining these important relationships after the grandchildren's parents have divorced.

Study suggests cheating is likelier near the end of a relationship

In the wake of the Ashley Madison hacking scandal, in which millions of the site's users were publicly outed, there has been a lot of public discussion about infidelity: Why do people cheat on their spouses? Does "looking around" online mean that someone is going to cheat? Are human beings meant to be monogamous, or is monogamy just a social convention?

There may never be a clear answer to these questions. But even if we don’t know exactly why people cheat, we may be able to determine when they would be most likely to cheat. According to the results of a recent study, humans are most likely to deceive other people for their own benefit when they are nearing the completion of an activity or the perceived end of a period of time.

Food Network star will be paying thousands in child support

2562346_S.jpgThe traditional notions of child support and spousal support were very gender-specific. In both cases, it was assumed that men (as the higher earners or only earners) would make monthly payments to their ex-wives and pay child support on behalf of their children. Of course, it was also the norm for women to be granted full custody.

Thankfully, times have changed. And although it is still common for men to pay child support and spousal support, there are plenty of examples of the reverse. A recent celebrity divorce is a particularly high-profile example.

Fighting for the rights of parents to be parents

10511714_S.jpgWhether an individual is going through a divorce or break up, everything changes when a child is involved. A child forever bonds two individuals together, even when both would rather part ways forever and have absolutely nothing to do with one another. For a parent, the end of a marriage or relationship with a child's mother or father means that an agreement with regard to child custody and visitation must be made.

When a minor-aged child is involved, parents should do everything in their power to set aside personal differences and attempt to do what's best for a son or daughter. It's best, therefore, when conflicts can be avoided and parents are able to agree upon the terms of custody and visitation. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible and some child custody cases grow extremely contentious.

When a divorce doesn't make sense to those outside the marriage

11307310_S.jpgOn this blog, we often focus on the common reasons people get divorced: Infidelity, reckless spending, abuse/neglect and trust issues, just to name a few. And, of course, couples may just realize over time that they are incompatible with one another. All of these reasons for divorce are valid and understandable.

But there are also times when couples get divorced for reasons that seemingly defy understanding. Indeed, even when explained, these relationship "problems" seem to other people like assets rather than issues. So why do these relationship virtues become relationship liabilities?