${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} Main Menu
Call Today: 855-805-0595

Bloomington Divorce Blog

Is divorce mediation cheaper than going to court?

60259132_S.jpgDivorcing couples often feel anxious about many aspects of their upcoming separation, not the least of which is the drain the divorce will put on their pocketbooks. This is why a number of Illinois couples will look for cheaper alternatives than going to court, with divorce mediation considered one of those less expensive routes. Here are some reasons why mediation does not cost as much as litigious divorces.

Money Crashers points out that, per Mediate.com, a typical divorce that goes through the court system will cost an average amount of $15,000. An average divorce that goes through mediation, by contrast, runs up a typical charge of just $3,000. The reduction in costs is due to a variety of factors, including the simplification of the mediation process as compared to a court trial and the reduced cost of mediation services as opposed to legal representation in court.

Visitation: What it means and why Illinois courts may grant it

64839260_S.jpgTypically speaking, Illinois family courts will award both parties of a divorce custody of the child or children. Joint custody is the preferred custody setup, as it grants both parents equal decision-making rights and ample time with the child. Visitation, on the other hand, is one of the least favorable options.

According to FindLaw, the Illinois courts may choose to restrict one or both parents' parenting time by awarding visitation if it believes that doing so will prevent serious endangerment to the child. The courts may determine that serious endangerment exists if a parent's conduct leading up to or during a divorce or custody case is such that it would adversely affect the child's emotional development. Generally speaking, for the courts to award visitation over custody, one parent or another party must prove by a preponderance of evidence that a parent's exercise of parental rights would seriously endanger the child's mental, emotional, physical or moral health.  

Divorce and your financial future

80442519_S.jpgIllinois residents who have made the hard choice to get divorced must wrestle with many challenging steps through the process of reaching a final settlement. For families with children, certainly determining when each parent will have time with the kids may be one of the hardest elements of a divorce. When it comes time to focus on financial matters and how to split assets, emotions may run high as well especially when the topic of how to split debt arises.

Money Management International explains that if a particular debt is in one spouse's name only, that debt main remain the sole responsibility of that person. Any debts with both spouses listed, however, may need to be split just like assets. A mortgage or credit card account are two common examples of joint debts.

What is a divorce coach?

42150021_S (1).jpgEven if you opt for a collaborative process rather than litigation, divorce in Illinois can be a difficult process to navigate. A collaborative divorce requires both you and your spouse to hire an attorney to represent you. However, there are tasks involved in the process that are beyond the purview of a divorce attorney to perform. A divorce coach serves a different function than an attorney in a divorce proceeding, providing you with personalized encouragement, guidance and motivation throughout the process as an independent third party.

Divorce Magazine cites the American Bar Association in defining a divorce coach as someone who takes your particular needs, concerns and interests into consideration to help you make the best decisions for your future during the divorce process by means of a flexible, goal-oriented approach. You can identify the areas that you need help with during a divorce and ask your divorce coach to help you specifically with those issues. 

Singer jailed in Cook County over child support arrears

18433345_S.jpgIf asked, most divorced parents in Bloomington might say that they have no issue with paying child support. Even if they happen to harbor resentment towards their ex-spouses, they may understand that their child support payments are not meant for their ex-spouses' benefit, but rather to assist their children. Sadly, disputes between former spouses may ultimately lead to accusations of one withholding child support as a form of punishment. 

That is the accusation being made by the wife of singer R. Kelly. She claims that he has intentionally withheld this $20,000 per-month child support payment as a way of getting back at her. All told, Kelly allegedly owes almost $200,000 in child support arrears. He recently spent three days in a Cook County jail as a result of the missed payments after a judge ordered his arrest following him missing a scheduled payment deadline. 

Taxes and alimony agreements and modifications

35569836_S.jpgThis tax season is the first year that residents in Illinois will be filing returns based on a majorly revised tax code. The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has taken full effect and for divorcing or divorced couples, this law has ushered in some significant changes that you should be aware of.

As explained by MarketWatch, taxation for spousal support payments is getting a lot of attention these days. Historically, the person who received alimony was required to claim the money as income on their federal tax return. This meant that they were solely responsible for the income tax payments on those funds. In addition, the person who was ordered to pay alimony was able to deduct the amount from their return. This deduction often softened the blow for people required to pay spousal support.

Relocating following your divorce

65125308_S.jpgWhile a divorce can certainly introduce a lot of uncertainty into your situation, one inevitability you can count is your life continuing on. That may include new personal or professional opportunities that may prompt you to relocate. This can cause pose quite a challenge to your current custodial situation. You moving away from Bloomington will impact every member of your family, from your ex-spouse potentially needing to change their expectations in terms of custody and visitation to your kids having to re-establish themselves in new neighborhoods and schools. Such complexities cause many to come to us here at the Stange Law Firm questioning what is needed to keep their relocations from becoming family catastrophes. 

The first thing you need to understand are your legal requirements. Per Illinois' Compiled Statutes, the state considers "relocation" to be any of the following: 

  • Moving a child to a new residence that is more than 25 miles away from their current home
  • Moving a child to a new county that is more than 50 miles away from their current residence 
  • Moving a child to a new state that is more than 25 miles away from their current residence 

Dealing with your mortgage in a divorce

108804284_S.jpgIf you and your spouse in Illinois are contemplating a divorce and you own a home together, you are likely wanting to know how to best deal with the house. If you have young children, you may well feel a strong emotional pull to keep the house so the kids do not have to move. You might want to do this whether you stay in the house with the kids or whether your spouse stays there with the kids and you move somewhere else.

Despite the understandable desire to keep a home, it may not be the right financial decision and certainly is one that requires care to avoid potentially serious financial consequences. If you end up leaving the home, you will want to ensure you are not financially liable for it, unless that is part of your overall divorce settlement. As explained by Bankrate, even if your divorce decree stipulates that your spouse must make the mortgage payments, if your name remains on the loan, you can still be held responsible for this debt.

The importance of dads in children's lives

38167587_S.jpgDespite shifts in people's attitudes and changes in societal awareness, many men in Illinois may remain very concerned about their ability to stay connected to their children during and after a divorce. The role of fathers in children's lives is essential and it is important that a parenting plan or custody agreement take this into account for the good of the kids.

As explained by Fatherly, a leading digital brand for dads, there is an increasing amount of scientific exploration happening into the impact on children of having fathers actively involved in their lives. A dad does not need to be married to a child's mother for the child to gain benefits from his participation in their life. Kids with involved dads have a reduced risk of aggressive behavior, experiencsing psychological problems, engaging in risky sex, struggling with obesity and even of becoming homeless.

Renowned model agrees to child support obligation

40164835_S.jpgMost in Bloomington may recognize the need for divorced parents to pay child support in order to ensure that their kids are well-cared for. Yet the amount that is actually needed may often become a hot topic for debate. Many may think that all that should be required in child support is what is needed to meet a kid's basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, health care). they often may base that number of what their individual frames of references are. For this reason, news of the large amounts that divorcing celebrities are ordered to pay on child support often seem astonishing. 

Take the recent case of popular male model Jeremy Meeks. As part of his recent divorce settlement, he agreed to pay his ex-wife $1,000 per month in child support. While at first that may not seem to be such an exorbitant an amount, perceptions may change when one learns that the couple shares only one child together. Child support is typically not the sole obligation of one parent, either. Most state calculation formulas require each parent to contribute a portion of the ordered obligation equal to the percentage they contribute to the family's income. Thus, Meeks' ex-wife may likely also be paying her portion. 

Contact Our Team To Get Help Now

Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

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.


Privacy Policy

Stange Logo

Stange Law Firm, PC
1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4
Bloomington, Illinois 61704

Toll Free: 855-805-0595
Fax: 314-963-9191
Law Office Map

DHQ | Divorce Headquarters Divorce
Headquarters ® App Download The App
Questions? Live Chat Pay Your Bill Online
States of Service

Other Office Locations

  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806: Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 5 Club Centre Ct., Suite A, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025: Edwardsville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision & should not be based solely upon advertisements. See additional disclaimers here.