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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Deaths by domestic violence go up in Illinois in 2017

27923021_S.jpgAccording to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 61 deaths related to domestic violence in the state in 2017. That is an increase from 49 such deaths in 2016. While the exact reason why the number went up is unclear, it may be related to the fact that the group didn't have a budget for two years. Other domestic violence agencies in the state were also forced to cut services or close entirely.

Among services cut were community education and outreach programs. There were also fewer staff members on hand to preform services for those who were victims of domestic violence. Not being able to help a person in a timely manner may result in additional physical harm or death. When people leave an abusive relationship, they have a 75 percent greater chance of being killed. Their chances of being hurt or killed may go up further if they don't know where to turn for help.

Gun-surrender laws and restraining orders

15939026_S.jpgDomestic violence is a problem that affects many people in Illinois. It can sometimes be fatal. One measure that has been shown to reduce the rates of fatal domestic violence incidents is requiring people who have restraining orders against them to surrender their firearms.

According to a study that was published in the Annals of Medicine, fatal instances of domestic violence occur at a 9.7 percent lower rate in the 14 states that have laws requiring people who have domestic violence restraining orders issued against them to turn in their guns. In those states, gun-related instances of fatal domestic violence are 14 percent lower. Gun Violence Archive reports that more than 380 victims have died in domestic violence incidents in just 2017, and a majority of the victims are female.

Air Force has highest divorce rate of the branches

5769907_S.jpgMilitary life in Illinois carries high stress circumstances at times. Deployments, change of station moves and high operational tempo can all put pressure on a marriage and make divorce more likely. Of the branches of service, the Air Force has had the highest rates of divorce since 2011.

According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, enlisted airmen had a divorce rate of 4.3 percent as of 2013. The same data indicate that the divorce rate was lower for officers, at 1.5 percent, and highest for enlisted women. The Rand Corporation reported finding a correlation between total time spent deployed and the likelihood of divorce in military marriages. An analysis conducted by Air Force Times came to similar conclusions.

Working out custody issues

29493362_S.jpgIllinois parents who are divorcing are often concerned about what will happen to their children. Knowing that it is in the best interests of the child or children to have a strong relationship with both parents, divorcing spouses will often work diligently to set aside their differences and develop a custody plan that works for everyone involved.

Still, emotions can run high at this difficult time. In many cases, parents can negotiate child custody issues between themselves and develop a workable parenting plan. However, there are situations in which these informal negotiations can break down, even when both parents are acting in good faith.

Handling joint accounts in a divorce

41818583_S (1).jpgA divorce can be a long and expensive process. Many accounts and assets become frozen during division and cannot be withdrawn from. An Illinois resident who is considering divorce may want to take preemptive measures to secure funds from joint accounts, but caution is warranted.

If divorce is on the horizon, a person may consider withdrawing from joint accounts prior to the divorce process. Timing is very important because accounts can be restricted by an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order that prevents either spouse from withdrawing money or moving assets that would be considered for division. In some cases, these orders apply as soon as a divorce is filed, and in other cases, they may begin sometime after or at the request of a spouse.

Consequences of nonpayment of child support

33971679_S.jpgNoncustodial parents in Illinois are often ordered by the state court to pay child support. However, sometimes that parent will fail to pay said support to the other parent, which can result in several different consequences.

Time in jail is an option if the amount of the support is significant or the parent simply refuses to pay. If the amount isn't particularly high or there are circumstances preventing the support from getting paid when ordered, such as the paying parent's loss of a job, community service may be handed down as a penalty instead.

Helping abuse victims during disaster response

21816279_S.jpgIllinois residents or others who go through a natural disaster may experience emotional trauma. They may also experience physical injury or stress that comes from not having access to food, water or basic services. These factors may increase the likelihood of domestic violence in the aftermath of a storm like Hurricane Harvey. Therefore, those who study the issue say that domestic violence services should be part of an overall disaster recovery plan.

Effective emergency management takes place in four different stages. During the response stage, emergency personnel should offer basic comfort and support to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. This may take the form of directing them to shelters or providing them with other resources to get past the abuse. The second stage of emergency management is recovery, and emergency management personnel may help abuse victims by pointing them to long-term social support resources.

Military divorce rates differ for men and women

6568349_S.jpgFamilies represent a critical support system for military personnel in Illinois, but not all marriages withstand the extra pressures of serving the country. The Pentagon tracks divorce rates among all service members and separates figures for men and women. In 2016, divorces among men in the military remained stable at 2.6 percent. Divorces among servicewomen, however, rose in 2016 to 6.6 percent from 6.2 percent in 2015.

The Defense Manpower Data Center collects the data about military divorces. The rate is calculated every fiscal year by comparing the number of married personnel to the number of reported divorces. A researcher with RAND Corp. said that 2016 proved to be a bad year for marriages among female personnel. Every branch of service saw an increase in divorces for women. In general, among enlisted troops, women have always had higher divorces rates than the men. In 2016, 2.8 percent of enlisted men got a divorce whereas 8 percent of enlisted women saw their marriages end.

Ex-wife of Paul Anka loses custody rights

18214239_S.jpgIllinois music fans may be interested in learning that the legendary singer Paul Anka has been awarded sole legal and physical custody of his 11-year-old son. His ex-wife, a 46-year-old Swedish model, has filed an appeal.

According to news sources, the family court judge in California awarded Anka legal and physical custody as well as the discretion of whether or not to allow his ex-wife visitation time after attempts at reunification therapy reportedly failed. His ex-wife, Anna Anka, alleges that he has engaged in a campaign of parental alienation against her.

Research supports shared custody arrangements

61314081_S.jpgWhen Illinois parents of young children get a divorce, some might assume there will be an arrangement in which the mother gets custody of the children and the father has some visitation time. While mothers get custody in around 80 percent of cases in the United States, this is slowly changing. Shared parenting, already the norm in countries such as Sweden, is an arrangement in which the child spends roughly equal time with each parent. Missouri and Kentucky are among the states that have passed legislation to encourage shared parenting, and other states may be following suit.

The reason for this shift is a growing body of research indicating that children benefit from shared parenting even in situations in which the child is very young. There are benefits for parents as well. When mothers are not responsible for child care full time, they have more opportunity to reenter the work force and become financially independent. On the other hand, fathers are able to move beyond the role of simply being an occasional parent who pays support and can develop a stronger relationship with the children.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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