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What Should I Know about a Guardian Ad Litem in Illinois?

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Child Custody in Illinois

IL divorce lawyerWhen parents get a divorce, they need to work out a settlement that includes child custody arrangements. While the parents’ respective wishes, means, and availability are taken into account, the courts place a great deal of priority on what is in the child’s best interests. Sometimes, parents in divorce proceedings can put their own interests aside for the sake of their child. Other times, this is simply not possible for them. In such cases, the court will likely appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) whose sole purpose is to advocate for the child. A knowledgeable Will County, IL family law attorney can explain what a GAL does and how they might be involved in your case.

What Does a GAL Do?

A guardian ad litem is someone the court appoints to represent a minor child's best interests in a case that concerns her. GALs are typically trained attorneys. They are tasked with collecting as much information as they can from people who are involved in and familiar with the case so that they can determine what sort of custody arrangement would best serve the child. They go through various steps to that end, including:

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Is My Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Valid if I Was Forced to Sign It?

 Posted on February 28, 2024 in Division of Property in Illinois

IL divorce lawyerThe concept of a prenuptial agreement is one that many people are familiar with. However, they do not necessarily understand the specifics involved. People often hear that when someone extremely wealthy marries someone with an average financial background, they will “make” their future spouse sign a prenup in order to protect their assets should they get divorced down the line. However, when you are signing your own prenuptial agreement, the entire matter seems less “intriguing” and more relevant, as it can have a significant impact on your life and your future.

If your spouse’s family has a legal team that takes care of these sorts of things, you might find that you signed something contrary to your rights and interests. Many people feel pressured by their spouse or their future in-laws to sign a prenup. Additionally, during the engagement phase, many couples do not like to even consider the possibility that their relationship might fail. If someone gives them a document to sign, they might very well sign without carefully reading it through, simply to get it over with and push the idea out of their mind again. If divorce is now a possibility, you may be nervous that the prenup you signed might mean financial doom. An experienced Will County, IL divorce lawyer can review what you signed and advise you on how to proceed.

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Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Family Law

IL family lawyerIn the state of Illinois, any time a woman gives birth, she is automatically recognized as the baby’s mother, and if she is married at the time of birth, her husband is automatically recognized as the baby’s father by virtue of being married to her. It is a bit more complicated when a man has fathered a child with a woman he is not married to. In such a case, the woman giving birth will still be considered the baby’s mother automatically, but the man will need to establish paternity to be legally considered the father.

This can have a lot of implications for all of the people involved. It can significantly impact the mother, the father, and the child for years to come. If you are not married to a woman who is about to give birth to your baby, a Will County, IL paternity lawyer can guide you as you set out to establish your paternity.

Why Does Legal Parentage Matter in Illinois?

When a couple is married at the time of their child’s birth, they are recognized as the child’s parents, and their related rights and responsibilities are established automatically. If the couple gets a divorce after the birth, it does not change the fact that both spouses have legal parental claims. They will then need to make arrangements for all the ways they will continue to raise the child and be involved in their life once the marriage ends.

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I Just Lost My Job. Can I Stop Paying Child Support in Illinois?

 Posted on January 24, 2024 in Child Support

joliet child support modification lawyerIt is a simple but unavoidable fact that things change. Some things can feel like a good change while others seem like a negative development. Some things can seem either way, depending on your perspective. For example, some people might feel upset at the news of good friends getting a divorce, thinking it is sad that their friends are breaking up. Others might think this is great news since they could see that the couple did not have a happy marriage and now their friends have a chance for a fresh start.

Another example of a major change would be losing a job. When you are gainfully employed, you feel comfortable in your financial stability. When you suddenly lose a job, questions about your financial future can be extremely stressful to consider. However, at least in the case of child support payments, the courts recognize that circumstances change and generally allow for modifications when either spouse can no longer undertake what they agreed to during the original divorce settlement. You cannot simply stop making payments, but there is a clear process to follow. Speak with a Will County, IL child support modification attorney to find out what you should do.

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Are Stay-At-Home Parents Worse Off in Divorce?

 Posted on January 09, 2024 in Divorce

Plainfield divorce lawyerPeople who get married can often come from different backgrounds and with different careers. The professional differences can be felt in how demanding or flexible their job could be. One spouse can have a job where they need to work long, inflexible shifts married to people who work a regular 9-5 job. A CEO of a large corporation could be married to someone who’s writing a novel from the comfort of their home. If the spouses have similar job schedules and demands, they might decide that it would be best for one to stay home and handle all the household responsibilities, especially if they become parents. If you are now a stay-at-home parent and you are worried that this will negatively impact your divorce settlement, a Joliet, IL, divorce attorney can help guide you through this process with compassion and advocate aggressively for your rights. 

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Will I Owe My Disabled Wife of 25 Years Spousal Support?

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Divorce AttorneyRegardless of the circumstances, most divorces are very hard on everyone involved. The situation becomes even more complicated when a disabled spouse is involved. In Illinois, spousal support is determined based on a number of factors. These include the duration of the marriage, the financial needs of each spouse, and the ability to pay. If you are pursuing a divorce after many years of marriage and your spouse is disabled, discuss your options with your attorney.

Factors in Determining Spousal Support in Your Situation

  • Marriage duration – The duration of the marriage is an essential factor in determining spousal support in Illinois. A 25-year marriage is considered a long-term marriage, and the court will likely consider this when determining the need for spousal support. In cases where a disabled spouse has been financially dependent on the other spouse for a significant period of time, the court may be more inclined to award spousal support to ensure the disabled spouse’s financial stability post-divorce.

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When May the Court Restrict My Visitation Rights to My Child?

 Posted on December 08, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Child Visitation AttorneyIn Illinoisvisitation rights are crucial for maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship. However, there are instances where the court may restrict or limit these rights. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns regarding what the divorce will mean for the contact between you and your child, contact an experienced lawyer to get the legal assistance you deserve.

Understanding Visitation Rights in Illinois

Visitation rights, also known as parenting time, refer to the time a noncustodial parent spends with their child after divorce. In Illinois, the court encourages both parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their child unless it is deemed detrimental to the child’s well-being. However, there are situations where visitation rights may be restricted to ensure the child’s safety and best interests.

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Is Gender Considered in Illinois Custody Cases?

 Posted on November 21, 2023 in Family Law

Will County Divorce LawyerMany stereotypes exist when it comes to child custody. It is most important to understand that Illinois law prioritizes the child’s best interests above all else in custody situations. However, many people wonder if gender plays a role in determining custody and if there is a preference for either the mother or father. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns regarding child custody, contact a lawyer in Illinois to obtain the legal representation you need as you work through the consequential divorce and custody process. 

No Preference Based on Gender

Illinois law explicitly prohibits any preference based on gender when determining custody. The courts are required to consider each case on its merits, without any presumption that one parent is more suitable based on their gender. This approach aims to eliminate any gender bias and ensure that custody decisions are fair and unbiased. 

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Changes in Income and Post-Divorce Modifications

 Posted on November 03, 2023 in Divorce

Plainfield, IL post-divorce modification attorneyThe financial circumstances of both parties influence divorce settlements at the time of divorce. However, life is often unpredictable, and changes in income can occur post-divorce. In such situations, post-divorce modifications may become necessary to correspond with the shift in financial status, potentially affecting issues such as spousal support, child support, and other financial obligations. If you believe post-divorce modifications may be relevant to your situation, do not hesitate to contact a divorce lawyer. They will examine your situation and advise you on the most advisable course of action at this time. 

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Minimizing Risk When Splitting Debt in an Illinois Divorce 

 Posted on October 24, 2023 in Divorce

Joliet Family Law AttorneyDivorce proceedings often involve the division of assets and liabilities, including debt. Splitting debt can be a complex and delicate process that requires careful consideration to minimize financial risk for both parties involved. If you are concerned with how the splitting of debt may affect your divorce proceedings, contact a lawyer to secure the legal representation you need to ensure any debt relevant to the divorce proceedings will be split in a way that is favorable to you and your situation. 

Identify and Understand the Debts

After hiring your attorney, the first essential step to minimizing risk is identifying and categorizing all debts accurately. This includes mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, and other liabilities. Gathering documentation and creating an inventory of debts will help ensure transparency of debts and prevent any surprises later in the process. Additionally, understanding the terms, interest rates, and responsibilities associated with each debt is crucial for making informed negotiation decisions. 

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