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Peoria Family Law Blog

Is your soon-to-be ex-spouse hiding something?

A major part of any divorce revolves around the division of marital property and assets. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that several factors are taken into consideration when making decisions related to a divorcing couple's property and assets. For individuals with a considerable amount of wealth, numerous factors must be taken into consideration with regard to the actual value of assets, consequently, high asset divorces often take longer to resolve. This is particularly true in cases where one spouse attempts to hide assets.

While not a household name, John Sculley is the former CEO of Apple and is perhaps best known as the man who, in 1985, fired the late Steve Jobs from the company he would later go on to lead. After leaving Apple in 1993, Sculley went on to start a successful investment firm. More recently, Sculley has gained media attention for being the subject of a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife in which she accuses the millionaire of hiding assets during the couple's 2011 divorce.

Why many marriages aren't able to endure through the retirement years

In recent years, there has been much reported about the so-called graying of divorce. An Oct. 8, 2014 Time article reported that roughly 25 percent of divorcees in the U.S. are over the age of 50. The increase in divorce among this age demographic has raised red flags among social scientists who worry about the ramifications of divorcing later in life such as financial insecurity.

While many have studied and written about factors contributing to the gray divorce phenomena such as growing acceptance of divorce and longer life expectancies, few studies examine the issue from the other perspective. Namely, what it takes, later in life, to make a marriage work.

Why marriage isn't always happily ever after

Individuals who recently wed likely have many goals when contemplating their futures with a spouse. Among some of the most common marital goals are purchasing a home, having children and attaining a sense of financial security. For most, divorce isn't even something they likely think about or contemplate, yet national statistics prove that nearly one out of every two marriages will end in divorce. 

In an effort to understand human behavior and help account for why so many marriages start off well, but end in divorce; social scientists and researchers are continually looking at trends and possible predictors of divorce. For example, a study conducted by reserachers at Kansas State University revealed that above all other conflicts, those related to finances are the number one predictor of divorce. The findings of a national survey indicate that the earlier on in a marraige arguments about money occur, the more likely a couple will divorce. 

Filing for divorce? Here's what to expect: part II

In our last post, we outlined how a divorce typically proceeds. While it's helpful to gain an understanding of the legal divorce process, it's important to keep in mind that, at any point, issues may arise that can delay the process. Most frequently, delays are related to one spouse's objections to the other spouse's responses to a complaint or occur during settlement negotiations. When disputes arise during a divorce, if not handled appropriately, the whole process can quickly be derailed and grow contentious.

While it may seem nearly impossible to do so, divorcing individuals are advised to do their best to keep emotions in check. Yes, essentially your entire future and those of your children are dependent upon the outcome of a divorce settlement. However, viewing a soon-to-be ex-spouse as an adversary can interfere with one's ability to see and understand the bigger picture and may lead one to act or react solely based on emotions.

Filing for divorce? Here's what to expect: part I

As residents in Illinois prepare to ring in the New Year, many will reflect upon this and other years past. There's something about the start of a new calendar year and the promise of new beginnings that prompts an individual to examine his or her life and take stock of what, if any, changes are necessary. For some married couples, the start of this New Year will signal an end to their marriage as divorce papers are prepared and filed.

The decision to file for divorce is one that many divorcees struggle for months or even years to make. Regardless of one's reasons for filing for divorce, once papers are filed, life will never be the same. Of course, this fact is comforting to many spouses who previously felt unhappy, unfulfilled and trapped in a marriage. In this two-part blog post, we'll take a look at the divorce process and provide some helpful tips to keep in mind while going through a divorce.

How can unwed fathers obtain custody and visitation rights?

In a July post, we discussed why it's so important for unwed fathers in Illinois to establish paternity. Most importantly, a father who is not married to his child's biological mother has no legal parental rights to his child. This means a mother retains sole legal and physical custody and can even put a child up for adoption without notifying or obtaining consent from the child’s biological father.

Once an unwed father has taken steps to establish paternity, he is legally recognized as a child's father. This means a father may petition the court to obtain child custody and visitation rights. When possible, it's best when a child's parents are able to come to an agreement on their own and establish a parenting agreement which then becomes legally enforceable when filed with the court.

Survey sheds light on true state of many parents’ marriages

In order to maintain a healthy and happy marriage, spouses must be able to effectively communicate. This becomes especially important when a couple welcomes a child into their family and matters related to childrearing, discipline, finances and education must be considered and addressed.

In a recent UK survey of 2,000 married parents, 25 percent of survey respondents admitted to only staying in a marriage for the sake of a shared child. What's more, one in 20 of those parents surveyed planned to stay unhappily wed for at least 10 more years.

Helping individuals resolve divorce matters

Many legal matters and the related procedural laws are fairly clear-cut and black and white. However, when it comes to legal matters related to family law cases, there are often many shades of gray. For many individuals throughout Central Illinois, family comes first and conflict within a family can be extremely stressful and upsetting.

Divorce is definitely one of the most disruptive of all family law cases. When a married couple makes the decision to divorce, spouses are left to not only deal with their own painful emotions and feelings but also numerous logistical and financial matters. Additionally, in divorces involving minor-aged children, decisions must be made with regard to child custody.

Many states fail to make the grade when it comes to promoting joint child custody

In the wake of a divorce decisions related to child custody are often a major source of anxiety and concern for both parents. Divorced fathers often have special cause for concern as U.S. family courts still award sole child custody, primarily to mothers, in roughly 80 percent of custody cases. This statistic is especially alarming given the number of divorced U.S. fathers who likely want to take a more active role in childrearing duties.

Numerous research reports and studies indicate that children of divorce fare better in shared parenting situations and experienced "lower levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, truancy and other negative behaviors than children who lived primarily with a custodial parent." Why then are family courts in many states continuing to favor primary or sole custody over joint custody arrangements?

Surviving the holiday season while in the midst of a divorce

When going through a divorce and all the challenges the process presents, it's odd to think that, for many people, life goes on as normal. This reality, however, becomes especially apparent during the holiday season as families across the country gather together to be merry and give thanks.

With Thanksgiving Day nearly upon us, it's likely that individuals going through a divorce are experiencing an array of strong emotions. This is often especially the case when there are children involved and when an individual traditionally hosts family and friends for a Thanksgiving feast.