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Recent Blog Posts

Divorcing with a Criminal Record — Will I Lose Child Custody?

 Posted on March 24, 2022 in Child Custody in Illinois

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_85725289.jpg Divorcing your spouse presents many complex situations such as division of assets, determining financial responsibilities, and, when children are involved, agreeing upon child custody arrangements. Dealing with children during a divorce is difficult for all family members. Typically, parents and the court try to remain neutral and make arrangements that are in the children's best interests when determining custody. However, there are circumstances where parents are not awarded the custody or parenting time they would like with their children. Extenuating circumstances from the parent's past may present a hurdle when fighting for child custody.

Having a Criminal Record While Fighting For Custody

When judges determine custody during a divorce, they will consider many different factors. As mentioned, the court wants to create the best environment for the children. The judge will take into account:

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What Do I Include in an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement? 

 Posted on March 09, 2022 in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_75952243.jpgWhen considering marriage, it is essential to discuss all of the legal aspects of this new chapter in your life with your partner. While many marriages are blissful, there are times when couples decide to separate or divorce. In the case of a separation or divorce, having a prenuptial agreement will help the process move along peacefully, efficiently, and quickly compared to a divorce proceeding without a prenup. If you are preparing for marriage with your partner, begin by speaking with a skilled family attorney who can create a prenuptial agreement that is best for your relationship.

Why Prenuptial Agreements are Useful

Why draft a document in the case of a divorce if you are sure you are marrying your soulmate? Many people avoid prenups for this reason. However, they could wind up regretting it later in life. Couples may decide to divorce for many reasons, not simply because of mistreatment or lack of love. Often, couples will separate or divorce due to relocation, financial incompatibility, or even disagreements in parenting styles. Even if you are sure your future spouse is the one, it may be helpful to dictate how your assets would be divided if your relationship ended. Having a plan may even help reduce any friction that would cause bad blood between you and your partner during a roadblock in your marriage.  

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Are Debts Shared in a Plainfield, IL Divorce?

 Posted on February 28, 2022 in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1031134915.jpgThroughout a marriage, couples wind up sharing many important assets. Joint assets in marriage can range from physical things such as cars and homes to retirement plans and accumulated debt. Dividing up marital property can be tricky, especially when it comes to each spouses’ financial health. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to help divide the debt between the spouses in a way that ensures both spouses maintain a secure financial position. 

 

Understanding Shared Debt

Both partners are responsible for the debt accumulated during the marriage unless it is explicitly specified that only one spouse was responsible for a certain payment through a prenuptial agreement or other agreement. If the debt owed was created prior to the marriage, then that payment is typically the sole responsibility of that individual. However, there are special situations that deviate from these general rules.

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What to Do If You Can’t Afford Your Child Support Payments Anymore

 Posted on February 21, 2022 in Child Support

joliet divorce lawyerWhen parents decide to proceed with a divorce, many changes to the family occur. From dividing assets to child support, a divorce decree is set to ensure that both spouses continue their financial obligations to the family. Child support orders are set based on the financial health of both parents during the time of the marriage dissolution. However, finances, jobs, and spending habits change over the course of a person’s life. If a change in your financial situation has left you unable to afford your child support payments, you may be eligible to alter your child support order

Step 1: Find a Skilled Family Attorney 

Changing a child support order can be a difficult process. A divorce decree is a legally binding document, so a person cannot just hold off on making payments that align with a court order. When a person becomes unable to afford their child support, it is important to first reach out to a family attorney who can walk a parent through the process of petitioning for a change. A lawyer can help navigate the legal process of modifying child support in a timely and legally correct manner. 

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Reasons People May Fail the Home Study During an Adoption 

 Posted on February 11, 2022 in Family Law

 illinois adoption lawyerThe process of adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a family’s life. The potential for adding to your family is both exciting and stressful, especially considering the many difficulties of navigating the adoption process. Due to the significance of adopting a child, the state and adoption agencies may require prospective adoptive families to undergo studies and tests to ensure that the adoptive child is the best fit for that family, including a home study on the family members. Here are some of the most common reasons a family may not pass the home study during an adoption. 

A Parent Has a Criminal History 

During the home study, adoption agencies are looking for parents who will be the best role models for their kids. Although a criminal history, including felony or misdemeanor convictions, is not always representative of who a person is, an adoption agency may feel that a parent with a criminal background is not the best fit for a child. As long as a parent is truthful regarding their background, most minor charges will not prevent them from adopting. However, adoption is usually prohibited for people with convictions for sex crimes involving a child or child abuse charges. 

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Understanding Voluntary and Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in Joliet

 Posted on January 27, 2022 in Family Law

Will County Family Law AttorneyWhen a parent-child relationship is officially established through birth or a paternity action, the parent gains parental rights. Among these rights are the right to seek parental responsibilities and parenting time. In some situations, these rights are terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Illinois courts consider the parent-child relationship to be one the most sacred relationships in a child’s life. Because all child-related family law decisions are made with the child’s best interests at heart, parental rights are only terminated in a narrow set of circumstances.

Giving Up Your Parental Rights Voluntarily

Voluntary termination of parental rights usually coincides with an adoption case. Children may only have two parents. If a stepparent, grandparent, or other adult wishes to adopt a child, the child’s parent may need to give up his or her parental rights to allow the adoption to proceed. Once parental rights are terminated, the parent loses the right to parenting time with the child. The parent is also absolved of his or her child support obligation.

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Ownership of the Marital Home During Divorce: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

 Posted on January 24, 2022 in Divorce

Will County Divorce LawyerIn Illinois, both spouses have a right to a fair share of any property considered marital property. In most cases, the marital home is considered marital property. It can be difficult to know what to do with your house or condo during divorce. Should you fight to keep the home in order to retain some sense of normalcy? Should you sell the home and use the proceeds to benefit your post-divorce life? Should one spouse buy out the other spouse’s share of the home? If you are unsure of what to do with the marital home during your divorce, ask yourself the following questions.

What is My Home Worth?

If you are getting divorced and you are unsure of how to address the marital home, the first step is to get the home professionally appraised. You cannot make a sound decision about what to do until you know what the home is worth.

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Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity: What You Need to Know

 Posted on January 12, 2022 in Family Law

Plainfield Paternity attorneys

When a woman gives birth to a baby, she automatically becomes the child’s mother in the eyes of the law. However, the same is not true for fathers. In many cases, a father is not considered a child’s legal parent until paternity is established. You cannot put a father’s name on a birth certificate until paternity is established either through a VAP or other means. If you are a mother who wants to seek child support from the father, you will need to establish paternity before you can do so. One of the easiest ways to establish paternity is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP).

What is a VAP?

A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) is a document that confirms paternity, or the legal parent relationship between a child and the father. Both parents must sign the VAP in front of a witness for it to be valid. If one of the parents refuses to sign the VAP document, it may not be used to establish paternity.

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Help! My Spouse is Hiding Money From Me During Our Divorce

 Posted on December 30, 2021 in Divorce

plainfield divorce attorney for hidden assets

Financial disclosure is a crucial aspect of any divorce. Spouses cannot address the division of property, child support, or other financial concerns unless they are on the same page financially. Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses are more transparent than others when it comes to finances. If your spouse is trying to hide money from you or otherwise lie about finances during divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for help. Your spouse’s deceptive behavior can have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce.

Signs of Financial Fraud in a Joliet Divorce Case

Hiding assets can take many different forms. Some spouses literally hide cash or valuables in order to shield them from division during divorce. They may use a safety deposit box, secret bank account, or transfer assets to a friend or family member. Business owners may manipulate their business’s financial records to hide money through the business.

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How Does Parenting Time Influence Child Support in Joliet?

 Posted on December 22, 2021 in Child Support

plainfield divorce lawyerParents who divorce or who are not married when the child is born are often subject to court orders, including child custody orders and child support orders. Presently, Illinois law does not use the term child custody or visitation. Instead, the law describes parenting duties in terms of “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Parenting time is the amount of time the parent spends caring for the child. If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, it is important to understand the relationship between parenting time and child support.

Are Child Support Payments Based on the Amount of Parenting Time?

Illinois child support payments are calculated using the Income Shares formula. Both parents’ incomes are used to determine the amount of financial support the child should receive. This amount is split between the parents based on their respective incomes. The parent with the least amount of parenting time pays his or her share of this financial support to the parent with the most parenting time.

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