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spousal maintenance, Joliet family law attorney

Originally Posted June 8, 2016 - Updated 11-9-2021

Spousal maintenance or alimony offers a lesser-earning spouse the financial support they need after a divorce. However, Illinois laws regarding spousal maintenance have changed in the last few years. If you or your spouse are interested in pursuing a spousal maintenance award during your divorce, it is important to know how these legislative changes can impact your case. 

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Joliet Divorce attorneyDivorcing couples often struggle to see eye-to-eye. However, some divorce cases are especially wrought with conflict. If this describes your situation, you may be worried about how you and your soon-to-be-ex will handle child custody issues. Some divorced parents are able to continue a close relationship and even attend holidays and vacations together, this is nearly impossible in a high-conflict divorce. One option some parents find useful is a method called “parallel parenting.” In a parallel parenting scenario, each parent handles parenting obligations with little input from the other parent. Communication between the parents is limited and each parent’s independence is prioritized over collaboration.

Parallel Parenting Minimizes Contact Between the Parents

Multiple studies show that parental conflict has a major impact on kids. This is true even if the parents are divorced and living separately. If you are in a high-conflict divorce or soon will be, parallel parenting may be the best way to minimize hostility between you and the other parent. In a parallel parenting situation, parents rarely communicate with each other. When they do communicate, they do so through text messages or email.

A Strong Parenting Plan is Key

Parallel parenting only works when both parents understand their rights and obligations. This means that you will need to have a comprehensive parenting plan involving a detailed parenting time schedule. Remember to include provisions describing how you will handle holidays, school vacations, birthdays, and other special occasions. Include exhaustive information about how and when you can change the parenting time schedule or allocation of parental responsibilities.   

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How is DNA Paternity Testing Used in Illinois?

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Joliet Paternity attorneyThe word “paternity” refers to a father’s legal relationship with his child. When a mother gives birth, she is automatically the child’s legal parent. However, the same is not always true for fathers. If a mother is married, her husband is presumed to be the child’s father. However, many mothers are not married at the time of their baby’s birth. Furthermore, relationships are complicated, and sometimes a woman’s husband is not the baby’s biological father. If you are involved in a complicated situation like this, you may wonder how Illinois uses DNA paternity testing to confirm parentage in a family law case.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

There are three main ways that a parent can establish legal parentage or paternity. The simplest method is for the parents to sign a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and put the father’s name on the baby’s birth certificate. However, this option may not be feasible if paternity is unknown or contested. Paternity may also be established through an administrative paternity order or court order. In some cases, DNA testing is needed to confirm that a father is indeed a child’s biological parent.

How Does DNA Testing Work?

Children get half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Laboratory technicians can analyze a baby’s DNA and compare it to the presumed father’s DNA to see if the man is actually the child’s father. During paternity testing, DNA may be obtained through the test subject’s cheek cells or blood. To get a cheek cell sample, a cotton swab is lightly scraped on the inside of the subject’s mouth. DNA is extracted from cells on the cotton swab and analyzed. In some cases, blood samples are taken from the test subjects instead of cheek cells. DNA paternity testing is extremely accurate.

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Joliet divorce attorney for AdoptionstAdopting a child is one of the most meaningful responsibilities a person can undertake. For many prospective parents, conceiving a child naturally is not possible due to age or medical conditions. For others, adoption represents a personal choice to give a child in need a loving home. Sadly, some unscrupulous individuals take advantage of hopeful parents. If you are thinking of adopting a child, it is crucial that you remain cautious of adoption scams.

Private Adoptions Can Leave Parents Vulnerable

There are many ways to adopt a child in Illinois. Many people choose to adopt a child through an adoption agency or the Department of Children and Family Services. Others opt for an independent adoption. In an independent adoption or private adoption, the adoptive parents work directly with an expectant mother. Unfortunately, independent adoptions are more susceptible to scams than other types of adoption.

The majority of the women who seek adoptive parents for their babies are kind, selfless mothers hoping to give their children a better life. However, some women who claim to be looking for adoptive parents are simply scam artists. They use deception to extort thousands of dollars from couples under the guise of medical expenses or other baby-related needs. Some scammers even go so far as to send parents fake ultrasound pictures or other fabricated evidence. Parents hoping to adopt a child can sometimes be blinded by excitement and optimism to recognize red flags of deception in a situation like this.

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How Can Social Media Affect My Divorce?

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Joliet divorce attorney for Child SupportMost Americans in the 21st century spend a significant amount of their daily lives online. If you are used to regularly posting photos or sharing updates about your life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or other platforms, it may make sense to also discuss changes in your life, such as divorce. However, doing so can have a number of unexpected consequences. Before sharing information on social media, you will want to understand how this could potentially affect your divorce, and you may also want to take steps to protect your personal information and your privacy.

Social Media Posts That May Play a Role in Divorce Proceedings

It is important to understand that anything that is shared on social media may be public information that could be raised in divorce court. Even private messages or posts that are restricted to people you trust could eventually make their way to your spouse, so you will want to be careful about what you share. Some activities that you may want to avoid include:

  • Complaining about your ex - Social media may seem like the perfect forum to vent about the anger, sadness, or other emotions you are feeling during your divorce. However, making inflammatory comments about your spouse could undermine your attempts to negotiate a settlement or reach agreements in divorce-related disputes. While your divorce is ongoing, it is often best to avoid blaming your ex for your divorce, complaining that they are being unreasonable, or stating that you are being treated unfairly during the divorce process.

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