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Springfield, Illinois Divorce Law Blog

What to know if you pay or receive spousal support

46638040_S.jpgYou may think of your alimony payments as "just money," but there is far more to these critical payments than just numbers on a check. Alimony payments can be awarded in some divorce cases, and when they are, the former spouses involved have a responsibility to keep accurate and proper records regarding the payments they make or receive.

Consider this: what if your ex-wife or ex-husband doesn't pay what she or he is obligated to pay you? Wouldn't it be nice, in such a case, to have evidence documenting all of the previous times he or she has paid and being able to show how he or she didn't pay this time? Furthermore, what if your former spouse tries to claim he or she didn't receive a payment? Wouldn't it be great to have the records to prove otherwise?

Child custody: be prepared for changes to the agreement over time

34789212_S (1).jpgThere are few guarantees in life. When you meet the love of your life, there's no guarantee that your wedding day will go off without a hitch. Once you're married, there's no guarantee that your union will persist through the years. And if you get divorced, there's no guarantee that whatever agreement you reach will be the same on day one of your divorce as day 1,000. In fact, in relation to the latter, it's highly unlikely it will remain the same.

Arrangements after a divorce has been finalized need to change as your life (and your former spouse's life) changes. Your financial situation is bound to change, just as your employment situation is bound to change. Now, imagine you have a child in these scenarios. How can you address the dramatic life events that can happen over the years in your child custody agreement?

The evolution of valuing fatherhood

5333424_S.jpgA 2011 Psychology Today blog discusses how fathers are important to the development of the child. To many readers today, that might sound like an overly obvious point. However, the doctor who wrote the piece addresses how the value placed in fatherhood has changed over time, from Biblical times to today. 

These days, it is not rare for family courts to grant shared custody between mothers and fathers. In fact, it is a common goal of the courts to keep both parents equal parts of a child's life. Divorce and child custody cases have likely taken that turn for the better for fathers due to a shift in research in the 70's that focuses on how fathers serve such a positive parenting purpose.

The issue of pet custody is a delicate and complex one

11188626_S.jpgSome married couples never have kids. There are many reasons that a couple may make this decision, and some of these couples may decide to get a pet instead -- or they may already have a pet before making their decision. They love their pet as if it were a child, training their pet and loving it as a family member. It is not surprising, then, that should a divorce occur, the pet owners are left worrying what will happen to their dog, cat or other animal.

Pet custody is a complex issue in divorce because in many cases, the pet is treated as a piece of property. In such cases, the spouses have to make a difficult case that proves why that "piece of property" should belong with them.

6 mistakes to avoid during your divorce

14332133_S.jpgNo one is perfect; we all make mistakes. At no time can this be more evident than when people are going through a difficult situation like a divorce. This is because it can be very easy for two people to point out any and every bad decision, flaw or unwise choice that each other has exhibited during a marriage in an attempt to protect their own interests.

For better or worse, there is nothing that can be done about mistakes from the past except to address them and move forward. However, you can do yourself and your future a big favor by not making certain mistakes as you navigate the divorce process.

3 lessons you can learn from Johnny Depp's split

11066284_S.jpgReaders of this blog may be aware of the fact that actor Johnny Depp and his wife, actress Amber Heard, are getting divorced. While this story might not seem to have any relevance to you, the fact is there are some things we can learn from this and other high-profile splits.

Below we examine some of the important lessons we can all learn from these situations and how it is possible to address them.

Not paying child support? It will cost you

36333071_S.jpgToo many parents see an order to pay child support as a punishment. They think that they have to pay this money to an ex because they've done something wrong or because they are not a good parent. However, the truth is that child support is not a punishment: it is a way to ensure both parents are contributing to the welfare and well-being of a child.

Regardless of whether you agree with an order to pay child support, it is crucial that you comply with it or seek out legal means of challenging it. Failure to do so can lead to delinquency and with that, serious penalties.

Resolving family legal matters: more complex than you realize

11686437_S.jpgMembers of the military are used to having and following orders. They follow routines and strict schedules; they prioritize speed and efficiency when it comes to getting things done. These skills and behaviors can be critical in military endeavors, but they can actually work against a person when it comes to something like divorce.

If you or your spouse is in the military and you are going through a divorce or trying to resolve another type of family legal matter, you need to prepare for the fact that the legal process is not as regimented and orderly as you might hope for or expect.