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What Cannot Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

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Joliet Divorce LawyerPrenuptial agreements (prenup) are legal documents that couples enter into before marriage to establish property and financial rights in the event of divorce or death. While these agreements provide flexibility and protection, certain provisions are not enforceable. If you are getting married and are interested in signing a prenup, it is crucial to understand what cannot be included in the agreement to ensure its validity and fairness. If you are interested in creating a prenup, contact an Illinois lawyer to help begin the process of crafting the agreement in a legally binding manner. 

What is Prohibited from Prenups?

Here is what you cannot include in a prenup:

  • Illegal provisions – Any provisions in a prenuptial agreement that violate the law are unenforceable. This includes clauses that encourage illegal activities, promote fraud, or undermine public policy. For example, agreements that attempt to limit child support obligations or waive parental rights will be deemed unenforceable by the court. 

  • Non-financial matters – Prenups primarily focus on financial matters, such as property division, debt division, and spousal support. Matters unrelated to finances, such as custody arrangements or personal behavior clauses, cannot be included in a prenup. These issues are typically addressed separately through child custody agreements or court orders, as the child’s best interests take precedence.

  • Unfair provisions – Provisions that are deemed grossly unfair or one-sided may render the entire prenup unenforceable. Courts may invalidate agreements that leave one spouse destitute or significantly disadvantaged. Therefore, the terms of the agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time of signing. 

  • Lack of a complete disclosure – For a prenup to be valid, both parties must provide a complete financial disclosure. Failing to accurately disclose assets, debts, or income can undermine the agreement’s enforceability. If one party can prove that the other party concealed or misrepresented financial information, the court may set aside the prenuptial agreement. 

  • Consideration of public assistance – Prenuptial agreements cannot include provisions that waive or limit a spouse’s right to public assistance. Individuals have a right to seek government aid if they meet the eligibility criteria, and a prenuptial agreement cannot impede this right.

Contact a Joliet, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer 

While prenups offer couples flexibility and protection, there are limitations on what can be included. Consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is essential to ensure your prenup is comprehensive, fair, and legally valid. Contact the experienced Plainfield, IL prenuptial agreement attorneys with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for legal representation in creating your prenup. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.

How Do You Determine Paternity in Illinois?

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Joliet, IL paternity lawyerDetermining paternity is an important legal step, as it establishes the rights and responsibilities of a child’s biological father. In Illinois, two primary methods exist to establish parentage: a form referred to as the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity document (VAP) and DNA testing. Today, we will provide an overview of these options, enabling you to make an informed decision regarding how to best establish parentage in your situation. Contact a family law attorney for legal representation in your paternity matter to obtain the legal guidance you need.

What to Know About the Paternity Form

The VAP  form is a legal document that allows both parents to acknowledge the biological father of a child without the need for a DNA paternity test. It is typically completed at the time of the child’s birth or soon after. This form is a legally binding document that establishes paternity and once signed, it carries significant weight in court. 

Advantages of the VAP Form of Determining Parentage

  • Efficiency – Signing the VAP form can be a straightforward and speedy process. It avoids the delays often associated with DNA testing. 

  • Simplicity – The form is a simple and convenient way to assert your parental rights. It can be completed easily without the need for complex procedures. 

  • Cost-effective – Opting for this form may be less expensive than DNA testing, as it eliminates the need for laboratory fees and court appearances.

What to Know About DNA Testing

This is the scientific method used to establish biological parentage with high accuracy. It involves comparing the DNA samples of the child, the alleged father, and sometimes the mother to determine paternity. In Illinois, genetic testing is typically done through a court-approved facility or laboratory. 

Advantages of DNA Testing

  • Accurate results – DNA tests have a high degree of reliability and can provide a conclusive answer regarding paternity.

  • Legal validity – DNA test results carry substantial weight in court. They can help resolve disputes, establish child support obligations, and determine parental rights.

  • Comprehensive evidence – DNA testing can be particularly helpful if there is any doubt about the biological father’s identity. It can provide concrete evidence and eliminate uncertainty. 

Contact a Joliet, IL Paternity Attorney

The decision between pursuing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form or DNA testing depends on your specific circumstances and goals. If both parties involved have no doubt about paternity and are willing to cooperate, the voluntary acknowledgment form can be a quick and convenient solution. However, if there is any uncertainty or disputes regarding paternity, DNA testing is recommended for reliable and legally recognizable evidence. Contact the Will County paternity lawyers with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for legal assistance in this important matter. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 

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Joliet Divorce LawyerPrenuptial agreements, also known simply as “prenups,” are contracts entered into by couples that are about to get married. These agreements are used to outline the division of assets, spousal support, and other aspects of the marriage in the event of divorce or death. To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is binding and enforceable, there are essential things you need to be aware of before signing on the dotted line. If you are interested in signing a prenup, contact a family law attorney to ensure your rights and best interests are preserved throughout the process of the agreement’s creation.

Crucial Aspects of a Prenuptial Agreement

Here are the aspects of a prenup that are worth considering:

  • Transparency – The most vital aspect to consider when entering into a prenuptial agreement is transparency. Both parties should disclose their assets, liabilities, income, and debts before deciding on the prenup terms. A prenup is not enforceable if a court finds that one party failed to disclose assets or debts fully or if it was signed under duress. Therefore, both parties must enter into the agreement freely and with a complete understanding of each other’s situation.

  • Legal representation – To mitigate the chances of the judge invalidating the prenuptial agreement, each party is advised to have an attorney independently represent them. Moreover, each party should make sure that their respective attorney understands their financial position entirely. Failure by either party to obtain legal counsel or waiving the right to have legal representation can result in the invalidation of the agreement.

  • Specificity – Prenuptial agreements have to be specific about what will happen in certain circumstances. Overly ambiguous agreements may not be enforceable. For example, a clause stating that all assets will be divided “fairly” may not stand up in court. It is better for couples to be specific on how liability and assets should be split in the event of a divorce or death.

  • Amendments – It is also vital to consider the possibility of future amendments being added to the agreement. The possibility of future modifications should fit specific scenarios which may arise in the couple’s future.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Family Law Attorney

Prenuptial agreements are excellent tools and can be hugely beneficial for many couples about to get married. Essentially, prenups are there to provide security to couples getting married in case something unforeseen happens during their marriage. Contact an experienced Plainfield, IL, family law lawyer with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for more information about the prenuptial agreement process. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 



What is a Guardian Ad Litem? 

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Plainfield Family Law Attorney Many people involved in family law cases such as a divorce or child custody dispute have questions about the role of guardians ad litem (GAL's). They misunderstand the purpose of a GAL or confuse a GAL with an actual guardian who takes on a caretaking role.

A guardian ad litem is an individual, typically a trained attorney, who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a minor child (or children) in family law matters. A GAL is charged with gathering information from all relevant parties, including parents and family members, and making recommendations to the court about what arrangement would be best for the child or children’s welfare.

Why Was a Guardian Ad Litem Assigned to My Case?

If a GAL was assigned to your case, it might be because the judge in the case wants more information before making a decision. Or, another party involved in the case, such as your child's other parent, may have requested a GAL. Do not worry if a GAL is assigned to your case. The assignment is not a reflection on your or a statement about your parenting. However, it is important to cooperate with the GAL and comply with any requests for documents or information.

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

A guardian ad litem works as an investigator in a family law case, obtaining additional information and using this information to make an informed recommendation to the court. The investigation may involve:

  • Interviews with the children

  • Interviews with the parents

  • Visits to the homes of the parents

  • Review of medical, school, and other records related to the child’s welfare

The GAL may also attend hearings and provide written reports or oral testimony about their findings. The judge does not have to follow the GAL's recommendation. However, he or she will take the GAL's assessment into consideration when making a decision in your case.

It is important to note that GALs are not appointed to take sides in family court matters. The goal of the GAL is to make unbiased recommendations based on what they believe would be in the child’s best interests. It can be uncomfortable to have someone poking around your home, interviewing your children, or asking you personal questions. However, keep in mind that the GAL is ultimately there to benefit your child.

Contact our Plainfield Family Law Attorney

The Joliet family law attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. understand that legal disputes become even more complicated when a child is involved. Our skilled team provides dependable advice, support, and representation to parents and other family members during divorce, child custody cases, and adoption.

If you are involved in a family law case that involves a guardian ad litem, we can help you understand the process and protect your rights. Call 815-666-1285 today to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable legal team.


FAQs About Paternity in Illinois

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Will County paternity attorneysPaternity refers to the legal father-child relationship. The gender-neutral term "parentage" is currently used in Illinois law. However, "paternity" is still used informally, and the terms will be used interchangeably throughout this blog. 

Whether you are a mother or father, or soon will be, it is very important that you understand what your rights are responsibilities are regarding paternity.

Do I Need to Take Steps to Establish Paternity?

In Illinois, the paternity of a child is presumed in certain situations, including when the mother of the child is married to the father. If paternity is presumed, the parents can sign the child’s birth certificate and do not need to take any additional steps to verify parentage. However, if the parents are not married, paternity must be established through one of several legal avenues. Paternity can be established through a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form or an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Does Establishing Paternity Benefit the Child?

Establishing paternity provides many benefits to the child, including access to important information such as their family medical history on the father’s side of the family. Children may be able to get health insurance or other benefits through their father. Inheritance rights are also established when paternity is established. Another crucial reason to establish paternity is to pave the way for a child support order. A father’s paternity must be established before the mother can petition the court for child support. 

However, one of the most important benefits of establishing paternity is that it promotes a father-child relationship.

What Happens if a Father Denies Paternity of a Child?

If a father denies that he is the biological parent of the child, the court may order that the father and the child undergo DNA testing. A DNA paternity test involves taking a cell sample from the inside of the mouth. It is a non-invasive procedure using a simple cotton swab. A laboratory will analyze the DNA from the child and the father and determine if there is a biological relationship. If the father is indeed the biological father, he may be required to pay child support and take on other responsibilities.

Does Establishing Paternity Benefit the Father?

When paternity is established, the father gains the right to pursue parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parental responsibilities refers to the authority to make decisions about the child, such as where the child will go to school. Parenting time is the time a parent spends with the child. Establishing paternity does not automatically give the father parenting time or parental responsibilities, but it is the first step in securing these important rights. 

Contact Our Joliet Family Law Attorneys

The skilled Plainfield paternity lawyers at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. represent both mothers and fathers in paternity-related matters. We can help you establish paternity, establish child support, enforce child support if a parent is not paying, address parental responsibilities and parenting time, and handle other family law concerns. Call our office at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.


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