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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Take care of insurance plans after divorce

When two people get married it's normal to start combining insurance plans. In many marriages this means one spouse is in charge of the health insurance, car insurance and home insurance, with the other spouse's name simply added to the policies. But then what happens when there is a divorce? Who is in charge of splitting up the plans and what are the possible repercussions?

When it comes to health insurance, it's important to take an ex-spouse of a plan. For if there was some sort of a problem and the health insurance carrier found out the ex-spouse was still being covered, this could result in the person with the policy being charged with insurance fraud.

Illinois and child support guidelines

Child support continues to be a confusing topic for many Illinois parents. How much will a father need to pay? How is the amount determined? Can payments be adjusted later on down the road if there are financial changes?

These are just some of the questions that often arise. Part of the reason for the constant confusion is due to the fact that across the country there is no uniform rule on how payments are determined. Rather, each state has its own rules to figure out just how much one parent needs to pay to the other.

Postnuptial agreements can take the hassle out of divorce

Divorce can get messy. There's dividing up property, figuring out child custody and visitation schedules and coming to some sort of agreement on just how any marital debt should be taken care of. Without having an agreement beforehand on what to do in the case of a divorce, these issues can end up being drawn out in court with each spouse racking up litigation costs.

This is why more couples who did not create prenuptial agreements before walking down the aisle are now starting to create them after already being married. These postnuptial agreements, which are sometimes referred to as post-marital agreements, specifically spell out the terms of a divorce, such as child support, property division and alimony.

Individual circumstances need to be weighed in custody decisions

When it comes to figuring out child custody arrangements, it's important to realize that there is not a one size fits all approach. Rather, each situation is truly unique and judges and attorneys need to take into account what would be in the best interest of the child, not necessarily the best interests of the parents.

This is why many push back against the idea of statutory policies mandating equal parenting time. Of course this doesn't mean one parent should have sole custody and be calling all of the shots, but rather that the family dynamics are taking into consideration when creating a parenting plan.

Change in finances leads to child support modification request

Family circumstances can change for a number of reasons. A father can end up laid off and out of work, or taking a job where he earns less. Or maybe, he knows he is going to be going through a surgery and will be out of work for several months. In all of these situations, the father may attempt to have his child support payments reduced by asking the courts for a modification to an existing order.

One former agricultural commissioner recently did just this. The father has been out of work since his term expired on the first of the year and he knows he will be unable to work for at least two months after he goes through surgery this month.

Avoid trash talking online during a divorce

There's no doubt that going through a divorce is an emotional and frustrating time. However, with more and more people using social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, many soon-to-be ex-spouses should take heed that these platforms are not the appropriate place to trash talk an ex for it could come back to hurt them in the courtroom.

The first thing to remember is that while everyone does have the right to feel a certain way, straight out lying about someone could lead to a person being sued for libel. This means that if a wife is claiming her husband is an abusive, alcoholic -- if he can prove otherwise -- this could be the grounds for a lawsuit.

Who gets Fido? Pet custody disputes and divorce

Property division during a divorce can be quite complicated. Questions often arise over who paid for the item? Who needs it? Who has an emotional attachment to it? And while these types of questions can wind up before a family law judge, property division becomes particularly difficult when the "property" is a living, breathing, family pet.

Deciding who owns a pet during a divorce can be quite complicated. Over the past few years the legal system has started to award animals more rights with anti-cruelty laws. Additionally, the family dog or cat can even be left millions of dollars when an owner passes away. However, when it comes to who should be the sole owner of a pet after a divorce there is no clear cut path for judges to necessarily follow.

Part 2: How to protect your credit score after a divorce

In our last post we focused on the importance of making sure to remove a name from a joint credit card account in order to protect a credit score after a divorce. In this post we'll continue to focus on credit scores and dividing up marital debt, only this time we'll focus solely on auto loans and real estate that was purchased when a couple was still married.

When it comes to auto loans, let's say a wife buys a brand new car with the loan in her name and her husband's name. Then, a year later, the couple files for divorce. In this type of situation, it is rather easy for the husband to make sure his credit score is not negatively affected by simply making sure his name is no longer on the title and that his ex-wife has refinanced the vehicle solely in her name. By making these changes, the ex-husband would no longer be held responsible if she stops making auto loan payments.

Part 1: How to protect your credit score after a divorce

In divorce, while there are certainly decisions that need to be made regarding property, there are also equally important decisions that need to be made about how to divide up marital debt. And while the simple act of being divorced will not negatively impact a person's credit score, how finances are handled during the separation and divorce can greatly impact a person's overall score.

For example, let's say a couple had a joint credit card and the divorce settlement reached states the wife will pay back the debt on that card. However, she fails to do this and falls behind on payments. In most cases, while the divorce settlement may hold her responsible in terms of the debt this will not necessarily stop the creditor from attempting to collect from the ex-husband. In this type of scenario, both spouses' credit scores could end up being negatively impacted.

So just what is a person to do to ensure this doesn't happen to them after a divorce?

Tips for a less contentious Illinois divorce

When we think of divorce, many of us think of the back-and-forth arguing, the fighting in court over every piece of property, and the ongoing battles over who should have primary custody and how decisions regarding the children should be made. And while this is certainly a reality for many couples, it's important to remember it is not the only way to handle a divorce and that it is possible to have a peaceful dissolution.

When trying to set the tone for divorce, the first question a person should ask themselves is whether it would be possible to be friends after the divorce. In this regard, there were certainly positive qualities in a soon-to-be ex-wife, as there once was a reason for the marriage. In some cases, by re-focusing on the positive it can start to balance out the negative.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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