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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Part 1: The increasing role of technology in divorce

Technology and social media are increasingly playing a role in divorce. Even just this past March the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that in the past five years roughly 80 percent of divorces included some aspect of social media.

Specifically, when looking at how social media is playing a role in divorce, outside of increasing the urge for infidelity and leading to a divorce, social media posts are frequently being submitted in child custody cases in order to try and call into question the other parent's ability to care and raise children.

T.O.'s unpaid child support teaches lesson to Illinois fathers

Terrell Owens, the former wide receiver for the Bengals commonly known as "T.O.," was once again in the news for issues related to child support. Over the months this has been an ongoing issue for Owens, as the mother of his child has filed three complaints in the last year related to him supposedly not paying his court-ordered child support.

Owens was scheduled to appear in court yesterday for a child support hearing. However, due to a reported miscommunication, he did not show up and the hearing was rescheduled for next week.

More couples choosing collaborative divorce

When it comes to divorce we tend to think of the two spouses who are in court battling over every piece of property the two ever owned together. However, for many divorcing couples this is not the way, and rather, more and more are turning to mediation and collaborative divorce.

With collaborative law each spouse has a lawyer and there is a neutral financial advisor. In some cases, there may also be a mental health professional. From there, each spouse sits down with their lawyer to talk through issues related to things like child custody and property division.

Tips for answering questions about your divorce

No one likes anyone in their business, especially when it's about divorce. The truth is that even in cases where a person knows that getting a divorce is the best thing for their family, and their personal well-being, it still may not be on anyone's list of top favorite things to talk about with friends, family and coworkers. However, people going through a divorce should be prepared, for as the word gets out, others will most likely be asking questions.

For fathers, the first thing to keep in mind is the kids. Think about how the kids will feel about how the questions are being answered. Will they be hurt? How do they feel about the situation? By framing it in this way, a person is less likely to snap and say something regrettable.

Stange Law Firm Opens Office in Madison County, Illinois in Edwardsville

Stange Law Firm, LLC, a family law firm, with offices in St. Louis (Brentwood), St. Charles, and Jefferson County (Arnold) and St. Louis City (by appointment only), Missouri and Belleville, Illinois, has now opened an office in the St. Louis Metro East, in Madison County at 5 Club Centre, Suite A, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025.  This new office office will better serve the firm's clients in the St. Louis Metro East in Illinois. The opening was July 2, 2012.

Will parental relocation affect child custody in Illinois?

There are a number of different reasons why a parent would want to move after a divorce. Maybe the family home is just no longer affordable. Or maybe the neighborhood or county where the family used to live in Illinois is just not longer financially feasible. However, before either parent just picks up and moves, it's important to first learn about relocation.

For custodial parents, the first thing to do is look at the divorce agreement. If there are no stipulations that address what would happen in the case of one parent relocating, now is the time to talk with a family law attorney and file a petition with the proper court to ask for permission to move.

Communication with an ex-spouse is key to parenting

Being a divorced parent can be frustrating and emotionally draining. However, when both ex-spouses take the time to learn to let go and forgive, children can benefit from having grounded parents. Of course, this isn't something that happens overnight, but rather something both spouses have to work on.

When looking at parenting during and after a divorce, good communication with an ex is essential. And, not only is this very important, but it is also a skill that will continue to develop over time.

Make sure to protect yourself in divorce too

When talking about divorce, we often think of the couple who is fighting over every dish, knife and bowl in the house. These are the people who go through a contentious divorce where every aspect of child custody, child support, property division and alimony is fought over in the courtroom. However, the truth is that not all divorces go like this. Rather, some go out of their way to be nice and courteous, and even end up financially hurting themselves in an attempt to not rock the boat.

For example, instead of weighing the pros and cons of having the family home versus the cash or liquid asset, many times one spouse just decides to move out and one decides to just keep the home. Quite often the thought is that it's best for the children to remain in the family home. However, without looking at the whole financial picture, people may be selling themselves short on what is really best.

Fathers are awarded child support too

In the context of talking about child support, many people assume that the mother is the custodial parent, and the father is paying child support on a weekly or monthly basis. However, this is not always true and there are plenty of situations where a father has custody and receives child support from the mother.

An example of this would be the fact that actress Halle Berry has been ordered to pay her ex $240,000 a year -- or $20,000 a month -- in child support for their 4-year-old daughter Nahla. This ruling came after years of the couple battling it out in court over custody.

Do you think 35 percent of parenting time is enough in Illinois?

Many dads want equal parenting time. Yet, they find themselves stuck with just seeing their kids every other weekend, sparingly for a week night dinner -- and in some cases -- for a few weeks in the summer. However, the issue is no longer being brushed under the rug, and instead many states -- including Illinois -- are considering child custody laws that reflect a situation closer to equal parenting time.

When looking at the research behind the importance of a child having equal contact with both of their parents, as long as there aren't situations where domestic violence or substance abuse is of concern, it turns out that children fair better when they have equal relationships with both of their parents.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
115 Lincoln Place Ct.,
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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