Family Law

Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody, Visitation and Support:

In military divorces, military retirement benefits and healthcare benefits must be divided.  Child custody, support and visitation are at issue, in addition to property settlements.  If your divorce involves a military retiree or an active military person, we can help.  Getting a divorce is rarely a simple matter.  Add the complications of long distances, and you will find an additional level of complexity.  A soldier stationed in Germany or Iraq may need to pursue a divorce action.  Our Belleville, Illinois law firm uses depositions, emails, telephone calls and faxes to settle issues in a long-distance divorce.  Our St. Clair County, Illinois law firm has helped officers and enlisted personnel with military divorce, and other family law legal issues such as change of custody, in Germany, England, Italy, Japan, Peru, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other worldwide locations.  We have also helped civilian government employees and civilians in overseas assignments get through the Illinois divorce process.

Whether you are part of a traditional family or non-traditional family, sometimes legal issues arise that need the attention of a knowledgeable family law attorneys who bring sound and mature judgment to family situations.  Blake Law Group, P.C. has been involved in military divorce cases and other matters effecting the military for decades.

Most parents want what is best for their children.  Problems occur when they cannot agree on what those best interests are.  Custody battles in a divorce can have long-term effects on parents, children and extended family.  At Blake Law Group, P.C., we help our clients understand the reality of the situation.

Parents have an obligation to support their children.  No matter what the conflicts are between the parents, the children need and deserve the active support of both parents.

There is rarely a good reason to deny a parent the right to see a child.  When there is a reason to deny access, that reason should be determined by a judge, not by a custodial parent.  Our visitation rights law firm can help you with denial of access, as well as changes in visitation schedules or custody and/or visitation modification.

Alimony, Marital Property Division, Removal and Relocation:

Divorce and the military require a special knowledge of laws not applicable to civilian divorces.  For example, federal legislation entitles active members of the armed forces to delay a divorce and to Court-appoint a counsel in certain circumstances.  Military pensions, like their civilian counterparts, are divisible in the event of divorce, but are subject to different rules than the more common Qualified Domestic Relations Orders or private retirement accounts or Domestic Relations Orders for state and municipal pensions.  Alimony and child support are also subject to special rules.  Calculating income and calculating support can be more complicated because of regulations governing alive or retired members of the military.  Familiarity with the definition of “disposable retirement income”, for example, is key to establishing support Orders when dealing with retired military personnel.

After divorce, one parent cannot move far away without effecting the established custody and visitation schedule.  There are legal procedures for dealing with removal of children to another state.  It is common for one parent to want to move to another state and take the children.  Parents have the rights to move wherever they wish, but they cannot necessarily take the children with them.  The further away the children go, the less parenting time is possible for the parent staying put.  Often, a parent moving away with the children must make allowances for the other parent’s long-distance visitation.  This could mean either paying for the travel expenses for the other parent to visit the children or the expenses of the having the children visit the other parent.  If the children are flown to see the other parent, and the children are very young, a chaperone must be provided.

Illinois Courts have the power to determine the duration and the amount of spousal support for each case.  Determining the amount of Illinois spousal support, if any, is complex, depending on the earning capacity of each spouse, any necessary rehabilitative support, the established standard of living, the duration of the marriage, etc.  To get a reasonable estimate of any support involved in a case, you should speak with an attorney.

Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Grandparent’s Rights:

Unmarried fathers usually seek to establish legal child custody and visitation rights in Court after their relationship with the mother has ended.  Following an emotional break up, many mothers allow or deny visitation by whim, leaving the fathers without regular access to their children.  A paternity action is similar to divorce except that it does not address property issues.  The two parties can negotiate a child custody and visitation agreement, or the issue can be decided in Court.  In the past, paternity actions were usually initiated by unmarried mothers who wanted an unmarried father to pay child support.  Today it is just as common for these actions to be started by unmarried fathers who want the legal right to have regular visits with their child.  At Blake Law Group, P.C., we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your goals for seeking a paternity action and to explain the legal process.  At Blake Law Group, P.C., we have experience in handling cases involving father’s rights, mother’s rights and grandparent’s rights.

Post-Judgment Disputes, Order of Protection, Domestic Violence:

Even after a decision is rendered in a family law case, you have options for seeking the modification of the Order that was established.  At Blake Law Group, P.C., we understand that circumstances often change after the final judgment has been entered.  Our firm is sensitive to the concerns that modifications have not been adequately incorporated into the standing Orders.  Modifications are possibly in many cases.  We are committed to thoroughly examining all aspects of your case to determine if post-judgment modifications are warranted in your specific situation.  Modifications can be sought regarding a variety of types of prior judgments, including child support, child custody, visitation and alimony.
In regard to Orders of Protection and domestic violence, issues include what is the legal definition of domestic violence, what are protection Orders, how can a permanent protection Order protect a person, in which county can a person file for a protection Order, is a person eligible for a domestic violence protection Order, can I get a protection Order against a same sex partner, what types of protection Orders are available, how long do they last, how much does it cost to get a protection Order, and various other questions.  A protection Order is a special type of Order issued by a judge which orders someone who has been harming another person not to harm that person again, or any other relief the Court deems appropriate.  Relief from a protection Order may include stopping your abuser from restraining you, stopping your abuser from threatening or assaulting you, stopping your abuser from contacting you, removing and excluding your abuser from your residence, ordering your abuser to stay away from certain locations, such as work, or granting you temporary custody of your children.

Illinois Attorneys Representing Scott Air Force Base, Illinois Members Including Located in St. Clair County, Madison County, Bond County, Washington County, Monroe County, Randolph County, Illinois and Members of the Military, Including Stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, located in O’Fallon, Mascoutah, Okawville, Nashville, Belleville, E. St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Granite City, Greenville, Shiloh, Swansea, Lebanon, Trenton, Breese and Carlyle, Illinois and Other Areas Located in the Central Illinois and Southern Illinois Regions.

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