Butler Giraudo & Meister
Peoria 309-407-3332
Morton 309-263-1204

Peoria Family Law Blog

Can your ex-wife change the surname of your children?

When a divorce includes children, the situation can be especially distressing for the father. As a divorced dad, you may not get to see your kids as often, and your ex-wife may not consult you on every issue that arises. One fear you may have is that she will decide to legally change your kids’ surname to her own.

The first step in addressing this concern is to understand the process a custodial parent must go through to modify a minor’s last name. If you disagree with the change, you may be able to prevent it.

Addressing an identity crisis after divorce

When the subject of divorce crosses someone's mind, they may think about how this major life change could affect their kids or their finances. However, the emotional toll of a divorce should not be ignored either, as it can create serious issues for men and women alike. Aside from depression, anger and stress, some people suffer an identity crisis after their marriage ends. For example, someone may have pictured themselves as a spouse for many years, and when they become single after a divorce they may feel as if they do not know who they are.

Sometimes, divorce can make people feel as if they failed as a marital partner. However, these feelings should not get in the way of successfully moving through the divorce process and adjusting to life after the marriage is over. It is important for people to keep in mind that they are not defined by a failed marriage and focus on the future. Whether someone finds a healthier, happier relationship or finds contentment in living without a partner, life can be much better for those who move on from a bad marriage.

Gaming addiction and divorce

In recent years, video games have become increasingly popular among people of various age groups. For some couples, especially younger married couples, video game addiction has become an increasingly concerning issue. Whether someone is addicted to a game they play on a console, smartphone or computer, these addictions can be devastating with respect to personal relationships. Moreover, they can adversely affect an addict's life in other ways, whether they lose the motivation to pursue job opportunities or take care of various responsibilities around the house and in their personal lives.

If you have a gaming addiction and your spouse wants to end the marriage, you may be able to work things out by addressing your addiction. On the other hand, if you are married to someone who struggles with this addiction, you may have given up after years of trying to change their behavior. If a divorce is unavoidable, it is vital to prepare in all ways possible. Whether you have kids or a lot of uncertainty over how marital property will be split up, there are a myriad of issues that may need to be examined carefully.

What happens to a house when the owners divorce?

Once a Peoria couple decides to call it quits on their marriage, they have to choose what to do with their home. According to Nerdwallet, the first step is to assess the value of the home. Once that is accomplished, the equity of each spouse can be determined, which is the amount that each spouse owes on the home. From there, the spouses must make a choice regarding the future of their home.

One option is to sell the house. After the mortgage debt has been paid, taxes have been dealt with and all expenses related to the sale are settled, the remainder from the sale can be split between the spouses. Selling off the house offers each spouse a way to make a fresh start from each other. This might be the more preferable option if the relationship between the spouses has hit rock bottom and amicability is not possible.

What senior men need to know before divorcing

Societal beliefs about marriage and divorce have changed a lot over the years, leading to fewer marital unions and more endings than in past generations. Even the average age of people who tie the knot has gotten higher.

Furthermore, seniors go through divorce more than before. Causes include more financial security and economic opportunities, less stigma and longer lifespans. Whatever the reason, if you are a senior man considering divorce, you need to be aware of the unique factors that affect the process.

Child abduction and custody disputes

Often, when people think about child abduction, they may envision a stranger driving by and grabbing a child. However, children may also be abducted by their parents, and this is especially likely during a custody dispute (or after custody has been awarded). For example, a parent may take the child without the permission of the other parent, or they may violate their custody agreement. Child abduction is a very serious matter and it can have a significant impact on how custody is awarded.

If you are preparing for a custody dispute, it is, of course, imperative to make sure that you avoid anything which could be interpreted as child abduction. Abducting a child can have a significant impact on the outcome of a custody dispute, and even if you take the child for a relatively brief period of time it could cause you to lose a custody case.

Can you keep all of your 401k?

When you choose to get a divorce in Peoria, you may be prepared to have to split the value of a number of your assets with your spouse. One of the assets you may not be prepared to share, however, is your 401k. The funds in your 401k are the result of your employment; why, then, would they be considered a marital asset? First off, you should understand that the entire amount of your 401k may not be subject to property division; only the amount contributed to it during your marriage is. Since these contributions are made from your income, they are considered marital property. 

In a divorce, the court will typically issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that authorizes your 401k administrator to make disbursements to an alternate payee (which would be your ex-spouse). They then can do whatever they please with their portion. Yet what if you are set on keeping the entire amount of your 401k? 

The impact of domestic violence allegations

We have written about some of the reasons why some fathers are falsely accused of domestic violence. In this post, we will take a closer look at the consequences of these allegations, regardless of whether or not they are true. Those who have been accused of domestic violence may face all sorts of hurdles in their personal and professional lives, and the impact of these allegations can be very damaging from a family law standpoint as well.

When someone is charged with domestic violence, they may become overly depressed and very upset with their former partner, which can lead to additional problems. Their performance at work may suffer and they may even have difficulty landing a job due to their shattered reputation. Aside from emotional difficulties and career problems, some may also struggle with adverse outcomes in court as a direct result of domestic violence accusations. For example, a father who has been accused of abusing someone in the family may not be able to secure custody or visitation.

How to be an involved father after divorce

If you are a divorced dad in Illinois, and your ex got primary custody, you may be struggling with how to stay involved and relevant in your child's life. Even though things are different, there are things you can do to make a better connection with your child, even when you are apart. There are also things you can do if you want to have more of a custodial role as a father.

If you are struggling with how to deal with being away from your child, Fathers.com outlines some ways you can put on a good front and show up for your kid. One is to remain positive and honest, even when you are feeling anything but, because this will help the confidence of your child. You should also always keep your promise, whether it is a certain time you will call or showing up for visitation on time. No matter how hard it may be, honor your ex-spouse and never say a bad thing or fight in front of your child.

Different ways fathers pass assets to their children

Even though divorced Illinois fathers can leave their children an inheritance, it is natural to be concerned that a former spouse might try to lay claim to a portion of the inheritance, perhaps when the estate of a father goes through probate following his death. However, there are other options available for divorced or single fathers to bypass probate and leave assets and property to sons and daughters. These methods can minimize the risk of your wishes being challenged.

As FindLaw explains, spouses have a right to leave their children anything from their separate property and also their share of marital property. However, if you do not spell out what you want your child to receive in your will, a judge may end up deciding what your child receives. You also have to consider what could happen if you remarry or are remarried now, as your new spouse will very likely receive a share of your assets before your children are given anything. Specifying what your child should get from you in your will lessens the risk that your new spouse receives it instead.

  • I cannot even express in words the level of gratitude that I feel. ‘Thank you’ doesn't seem to be enough. Please know that your services and compassion will never be forgotten! I am forever grateful!

  • Thank you so much for your hard work and expertise. I feel as a father in the state of Illinois that what I am trying to achieve is nearly impossible. I am so glad I chose to have your office full of extremely intelligent women represent me.

  • We would like to say thank you for your expertise, education, and kindness when we met with you! Your confidence has helped to comfort us and give us hope that resolution of the issue is possible.

  • I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your time, energy, and efforts you put into our case. Thank you for helping make our son's quality of life better. I cannot tell you how happy we are!

More Testimonials
Contact Us Today

Contact Our Lawyers About All Areas Of Family Law

We are driven and committed to a successful outcome for all of our clients. To arrange a consultation with attorney Susan Butler, Kelly Giraudo or Tamara Meister, call 309-263-1204 (Morton) or 309-407-3332 (Peoria). You can also contact our law firm by filling out the form below. With offices in both Peoria and Morton, we work hard for our clients while getting to know them as people.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Morton Office
100 S. Main Street
Morton, IL 61550

Toll Free: 888-314-9667
Phone: 309-263-1204
Morton Law Office Map

Peoria Office
416 Main Street
Commerce Bank Building
Suite 927
Peoria, IL 61602

Toll Free: 888-314-9667
Phone: 309-407-3332
Peoria Law Office Map

Morton Office Peoria Office