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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Men can also be victims of domestic violence

40967390_S.jpgMost Illinois residents take allegations of abuse seriously. However, when people think of "domestic violence," they often assume that the victim is a woman. However, domestic violence committed against men also occurs regularly.

Domestic violence covers a wide range of violent acts that are committed by one family member against another one. Although domestic violence often covers physical harm, it can also cover emotional, psychological and sexual abuse. When domestic violence occurs, a common trigger is accusations of infidelity, though alcohol and drug abuse also often play a significant role. Many female abusers often restrict or control the victim's finances or may even threaten to reveal embarrassing personal information.

Rule allows child support modifications for incarcerated parents

14582730_S.jpgIllinois parents who are incarcerated will be able to file for a modification of child support under a rule that Barack Obama signed and which went into effect on Jan. 19. So far, the Trump administration has not indicated that it plans to roll the law back although this may change when more positions within the administration are filled.

Because some states considered people who were incarcerated to be voluntarily unemployed, incarcerated parents were not able to get their child support reduced due to a change in circumstances despite having very little or no income. In some cases, this would result in the parent accumulating a significant child support that they would then be unable to pay once they were released. The parent would then be returned to prison due to nonpayment of support, and the cycle would resume. These laws remained in place in more than a dozen states despite the findings of the U.S. Supreme Court that parents' due process rights were potentially being violated.

Singer Robin Thicke loses custody of 6-year-old son

Illinois parents who are going through a custody dispute may be interested to learn that on Jan. 26, singer Robin Thicke lost custody of his 6-year-old son. Further, the judge also allowed a restraining order against him, preventing him from seeing or contacting both his son and the child's mother.

The dispute began in early January when the child's mother claimed that he excessively spanked the child. School staff gave their statements to the court, stating that the child told them that his father hit him "hard" and that he did not want to see him.

Judge says Sherri Shepherd's ex won't get more child support

67022316_S.jpgIllinois residents might have heard about the divorce of former "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd. Since her divorce in 2014, Shepherd has been involved in legal disputes over the parentage of a child that was born through surrogacy. The ex is now raising the child, and Shepherd is paying $6,400 per month in child support.

The ex filed a petition in December asking a California family court to order Shepherd to pay more child support and reimburse him for his legal fees. According to the ex, Shepherd now earns significantly more money than she did when the initial child support order was calculated. The former husband also claims that the former couple's 2-year-old son has a genetic condition that requires frequent visits to the doctor and a strict diet.

Delinquent child support payments

Divorced Illinois parents who have to pay child support should be aware that if their exes missed a payment, that doesn't excuse them for being responsible for it. The obligation to make delinquent child support payments will continue.

Parents who are late submitting their child support payments are referred to as being 'in arrears." Any orders for child support that was supposed to have been paid before the child turned 18 will still be enforceable.

Robin Thicke in custody dispute after spanking accusations

49949771_S (1).jpgIllinois residents who follow celebrity news may be interested in learning that crooner Robin Thicke and his ex-wife Paula Patton were back in court over a custody dispute on Jan. 12. The return to court was prompted by a report filed by their 6-year-old son's school after he claimed that his father had hit him.

Thicke's ex-wife filed the motion seeking an emergency order of custody. In the motion, she claimed that she was concerned that the child was not safe as the son stated that Thicke had hit him. The statement said that the 6-year-old claimed that Thicke had struck him very hard. An affidavit from a school official, which was also submitted, said that the child had reported that Thicke had punched him.

Establishing visitation rights as an unmarried father

50356079_S.jpgEstablishing paternity and visitation rights can be slightly more challenging for unmarried fathers. Illinois law provides all biological parents with the right to access their children in most circumstances regardless of marital status at the time of conception or birth. While paternity is automatically assumed if a child is born while a couple is married, an unmarried father may have to take some extra legal steps before he is allowed legal access to his child.

The first step toward visitation is to establish legal paternity. If the mother agrees, then this is a relatively simple process. Both parents will sign a form that establishes paternity. If the mother disagrees or if there is another man claiming paternity, then DNA tests will usually be conducted to establish paternity. A court order will then be provided legitimizing the father's claim and rights.

Shielding children from the emotional consequences of divorce

49451774_S.jpgDivorce negotiations can be challenging when potentially volatile issues like alimony and property division are discussed. However, divorcing parents in Illinois and around the country are usually able to suck it up and discuss child custody and visitation arrangements in a more productive way. This is because most parents want their children to be happy, and shielding them from the emotional trauma common in divorce cases is often paramount.

Bitter child custody battles can take a heavy toll on parents and children. However, a co-parenting arrangement can make the process much easier. Co-parenting works best when rules and punishments are consistent because a cooperative approach is ultimately better for most children.

What to know about child custody transfers

67009510_S.jpgChild custody is among the most contentious issues that parents in Illinois or elsewhere may face. Even those who are able to resolve financial or other issues on their own may need help when it comes to child custody matters. Many times, parents will create a specific schedule that outlines where, when and how a child is to be transferred from one parent to the other.

However, it is possible that disagreements or other problems come up related to a child custody schedule. It is important that parents manage these disagreements as children who see their parents fighting could experience emotional or other problems. In some cases, a parent or child could face physical harm or even death during a child exchange. Therefore, it may be necessary to involve law enforcement or other neutral parties during the transfer process.

There are mandatory report requirements for domestic abuse

51187929_S.jpgIllinois has mandatory reporting requirements when it comes to domestic violence. Essentially, health care providers are required to report potential domestic abuse cases to local law enforcement. If someone who is required to file a report does not do it within a specific time period, he or she could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Those who are required to report potential cases of domestic abuse vary by state. In Illinois, any person who is certified or licensed to provide medical care is required to notify law enforcement about potential domestic abuse. The report needs to include the patient's name, the injuries they suffered and the name of the abuser if it is known. If more details are available, the report should also include them. Health care workers may not have to tell patients about the report; however, if the report is to be sent out, the patient must be informed so that they can prepare to speak with law enforcement. The only exception to this rule is if telling the patient about sending out the report puts him or her in danger.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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