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Columbia Divorce and Family Law Blog

Custodial interference violates the law

When fathers in Illinois find their custody time frequently interrupted, delayed or denied, they may need to take legal action. Custodial interference occurs when one parent attempts to block or undermine the other parent's right to custody of their children. In addition to interfering with the practical matters of arranging custody, the practice could harm the emotional bond between the parent and child. Custodial interference is not simply a matter of differing schedules or resolving small issues; it is a criminal matter that should be taken seriously.

In order for a parent to be held accountable for custodial interference, it is necessary to have a child custody agreement on record with the court. Many parents neglect to establish a custody agreement when separating, especially if they were never married. This can make it more difficult to fight back later. A custody agreement could reflect joint custody, shared custody or primary custody for one parent with explicit visitation for the other parent. When this kind of custody order is in place and a parent refuses to hand over the child, courts may charge custodial interference.

How child custody cases are decided

Judges in Illinois and throughout the country use a variety of factors when making a ruling in a child custody case. The top priority in any case is the best interest of the child. In most cases, both parents will be given equal access to a child assuming that they are both fit to do so. However, a final determination as to a child's best interest can only be made after reviewing the facts relevant to a given case.

Equal custody may not be possible in the event that the parents live far away from each other. A judge may also consider the ability of a parent to provide a stable home life in general, which may depend on his or her work schedule or ability to earn a steady paycheck. In some cases, one parent may win physical custody of a child.

Maintaining separate property during marriage can be complex

18148501_S.jpgFor Illinois couples going through a divorce, property division can be complicated. However, thinking about property ownership can be just as important for people starting a marriage, even if it is unpleasant to consider ending a marriage before it begins.

A prenuptial agreement can address questions of marital property and delineate exactly which property is subject to division after a divorce or even death. In addition to a prenuptial agreement, however, maintaining accurate and precise records to establish the independent nature of some property can also be important. This includes property that belongs to one party before marriage or assets that came through a gift or inheritance during the marriage.

Alleviating stress during a divorce

Anyone who's ever been through a divorce knows it is a painful process. There are, however, some things Missouri residents can do to alleviate the pain and stress associated with the divorce process.

The first step is to retain a competent attorney. Those who use Google search to find a lawyer should know that the ones that appear at the top of the results usually pay for this premium position. These attorneys may be 'divorce factories" that may not provide their clients with the individual attention they need. It is better that someone pays for a consultation with a lawyer and interviews him or her to see if he or she meets the potential client's expectations and needs. Once an attorney has been found, the client needs to be honest with him or her and should not hide or distort facts.

Divorce rates rise as the new year dawns

5078627_S.jpgMissouri couples who are in unhappy marriages may find themselves looking to make a change in their lives with the turn of the new year. It is accompanied annually by an upsurge in new filings for divorce every year as rates spring up from a December slowdown. There are a number of reasons why the new year can accompany a divorce filing, from resolutions to make changes to one's life to stressful or unhappy family holidays prolonged in order to please children or other members of the family.

As the winter holidays consume the attention of families across the United States, divorce filings annually fall to their lowest point in December. Many families seek to maintain fun holidays for their children even as their marriage is coming to an end. In January, a sharp upswing begins until March each year, before fluctuation throughout the remainder of the year. For people considering divorce with the dawning of the new year, there is some advice to keep in mind.

Common reasons cited by people for divorces

92219515_S.jpgIn Missouri, many marriages end each year. When people are preparing to marry, they likely do not consider that they may end up divorcing in the future. It is important for people to understand some of the common factors that contribute to divorce so that they might work to prevent them from affecting their own marriages.

Business Insider reports that there are seven primary reasons that people list when they are asked about why their marriages ended. It is probably obvious to most people that one of the top causes of divorce is infidelity. While some couples are able to work through and move past infidelity, it may prove to be an insurmountable issue for most marriages. Drug use and drinking are also cited as common causes of divorce. A lack of commitment to the marriage can also lead to a breakup.

The challenges of being a single father

28863180_S.jpgMissouri dads may be capable of raising their children as well as mothers are. In some cases, mothers still get full custody while asking the father to pay child support without fully analyzing the situation. This may be despite the fact that women are just as likely to have issues with substance abuse or neglect their children. However, society may still feel as if a father is not capable of being a single parent.

Part of the reason why being a single father may be difficult is because it can be challenging to be a parent and grow in a career. One way that single parents can help themselves is by looking for training courses or jobs that can be completed from home. Working as a freelancer may provide the opportunity to work from home while earning enough to pay the bills.

Parental alienation after divorce

66579833_S (1).jpgIn Missouri, many families have been affected by divorce. In most cases, the adults involved understand that it is critical for children to have a positive relationship with both parents. Unfortunately, some parents deliberately attempt to manipulate their children into having negative feelings about the other parent.

This phenomenon, called parental alienation, can take many forms. The parent who perpetrates the alienation may frequently disparage the other parent or make accusations against him or her. A child may respond by refusing or sabotaging visitation or treating the other parent with disrespect and hostility.

Assembling a support team during divorce

39243747_S.jpgWhen couples in Missouri are getting a divorce, they might want to seek emotional support from friends and family. A therapist might also be able to assist in this. For financial and legal issues, a person may want to hire a financial adviser and an attorney.

A financial adviser who has a background in matrimonial finance might be able to help people with different stages of the divorce process. At the beginning, the person might need to assemble a financial history. When the couple negotiates the terms of the divorce and property division, a financial adviser may be helpful in evaluating various options. After the divorce, some people also need assistance in rebuilding their financial lives on a single income.

Retirement-age couples have unique divorce challenges

42108612_S.jpgMany unhappy spouses reaching retirement age in Missouri may find it uncomfortable to discuss the possibility of divorce. However, since 1987, the divorce rate for U.S. couples over 50 has escalated continuously, even as the overall rate of divorce has been on a downward trend. Recent studies show that about one out of four couples over the age of 50 decides to divorce, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. For older couples, existing difficulties in a marriage can be aggravated by the departure of adult children and changes to lifestyle brought about by retirement.

"Grey divorces" can carry some unique concerns, especially for those who have already retired or who are planning for retirement. Many couples who divorce over the age of 50 have had relationships that have lasted for many years. With long-term marriages comes a range of financial entanglements, from life insurance and Social Security benefits to investments, real estate, 401(k) plans and other retirement savings accounts.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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