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joliet divorce lawyerFor couples who are considering a divorce but would like to avoid a sometimes-lengthy divorce court process, mediation may be the answer. Mediation may allow the couple to work out their divorce in a less confrontational and more collaborative setting. Through mediation, couples can negotiate all the terms of their divorce, including child custody, division of property and assets, division of debt, and spousal support. Even though the goal of mediation is often to avoid divorce court, it is still essential to have an attorney who can prepare you for the mediation process and help you advocate for your rights and interests.

Benefits of Mediation

The mediation process has several benefits for couples who can set aside their differences and work together to reach a settlement.

  • Saves time and money – Working with your spouse through mediation can generally take less time than going through divorce court. Time can be saved in planning for negotiations and avoiding the wait to get on a court’s docket. Less time also means it is a less costly option.

  • A higher degree of satisfaction – Since the spouses are driving the voluntary process, they often feel a more of a sense of collaboration. They may be more willing to make appropriate decisions and sacrifices to reach a conclusion. Neither spouse should feel rushed through the proceedings or pressured to approve of a decision they disagree with.

  • Less acrimony – With a path to a final resolution in sight, spouses may feel more at ease, reducing the tensions that may have built up in the last months or years of their marriage.

Mediation is not for everyone. If couples cannot come together to work and agree on some or all of the details of their divorce, try to manipulate or take advantage of the process, or just can’t come to a resolution, it may be time to set mediation aside. If the mediation process is not successful and the divorce will proceed through divorce court, we are ready to negotiate and advocate on your behalf.

Contact a Joliet Divorce Mediation Lawyer

If you are nearing a divorce and would like to learn more about mediation and if it may be the right path for you, contact a Will County Divorce Attorney at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Our skilled lawyers work closely with clients to help them understand the mediation process and protect their best interests. Contact our office at 815-666-1285 to set up your free consultation today.


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joliet child support lawyerIn any divorce involving children, each parent’s financial support for the child’s needs will be a significant factor in the proceedings. To ensure fairness, Illinois uses the income shares method to determine a parent’s level of child support. It is based on a proportion of the parents’ combined net income. Our attorneys have experience in child support cases and can determine the appropriate levels that you and your spouse should be expected to contribute to your child’s daily and long-term needs.

Factors in Income Shares Method

The basis of the income shares method is the combined net income of both parents. In cases of unemployment or underemployment for one or both spouses, the court can estimate their potential income and use that amount as the basis for the rest of the calculations. To determine the level of basic support that the child or children need, the court will include the costs of food, clothing, education, transportation, medical costs, personal care needs, and other daily expenses. The basic support amount will then be correlated to a monthly cost based on the parent’s net income using a formula developed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Each parent will contribute to the monthly basic support expenses based on their proportion of the combined net income. The greater a parent’s share of the combined income, the greater level of support a parent is expected to contribute. 

The parent with the majority of the parenting time receives child support payments from the parent with less parenting time. The parent with the majority of parenting time is expected to make his or her share of the financial contributions by caring for the child and meeting the child’s daily needs. 

Parents may also need to address private school tuition, expensive extracurricular activities, college tuition, or other post-high school educational costs.

If financial circumstances significantly change for either parent after a divorce, we can assist in petitioning the court for a modification to the child support to reflect the current situation.  

Trust a Joliet Child Support Lawyer

Contact the Will County divorce attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. if you are considering a divorce and have questions about child support payments, contact the Will County divorce attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. We will work with you to understand your obligations and ensure that your child receives the proper financial support they deserve. Our experienced lawyers will help determine each parent’s income and the appropriate level of expenses for your child. We offer free consultations. Call our office at 815-666-1285 or contact us via email.


plainfield paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity creates the legal father-child relationship. Confirming paternity is the first step in ensuring that a child will receive the financial support that they need through child support. It is also the first step in establishing the legal rights and responsibilities of the father. For unmarried couples in Illinois, paternity can be established by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. However, if this is not possible, paternity may be established through an Administrative Paternity Order or an Order of Paternity through the court system. If you are involved in a paternity case, as either the mother or the father, it is important to work with attorneys who can represent you and your case effectively. 

How a VAP works

A VAP is a legal document that establishes the paternity of the child of unmarried parents. It is available to be filled out at the hospital after a child is born and can be completed at the same time as the birth certificate. If the parents prefer to take the form home to read and then complete it, it must be filled out and signed in the presence of a witness who is at least 18 years old. It can be filed at any time after the child is born. 

Once a man signs the form, he is officially the child’s parent in the eyes of the law. The father may also be subject to a child support order. Both parents are responsible for providing for the child, including medical care and can be liable for child support payments if they later separate. In a case where you are not sure who the biological father is, you should not sign the VAP. Paternity in this case should be determined by genetic testing.

The completed signed, dated and witnessed form should be submitted to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Once HFS accepts and files the form, the VAP is considered valid. If either parent chooses to rescind the VAP, they can do so within 60 days of the effective date by submitting a valid Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or Rescission of Denial of Parentage form. 

Contact a Joliet Family Law Attorney

If you are a mother or a father involved in a paternity case, contact the Will County paternity lawyers at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. We offer free consultations and will work on your case with the best interests of you and the child at heart. We know how important it can be for a child to have both parents involved in their life. Call our office at 815-666-1285




joliet divorce lawyerAs children get older, jobs are found and lost, and living situations change, the original agreements that you reached after your divorce may need to be changed too. The settlement that you and your spouse agreed to can be legally amended through mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Based on the reasons for the change, there may be changes to payments for child support or spousal support, or changes to child custody and visitation arrangements. We can work with you to determine whether pursuing a modification is the appropriate action and how best to pursue the action. 

Common Reasons for Post-Decree Modification

Here are seven common reasons why modifications are needed after a divorce:

  • Changing financial situation due to a new job, loss of job, or other factors - This can be triggered by a change in one or both spouses' financial situations. Based on the initial agreement, payments of child support or spousal support can be increased or decreased. For example, if the parent making payments receives a higher paying job, the parent receiving the payments may seek more in support. However, the loss of a job may result in the parent making payments to request that they are responsible for lower payments. 

  • Relocation of one parent - This change may lead to new child custody and visitation arrangements and could be related to a changing financial situation as well.

  • Education needs of the child changed - This can include the need for new tutoring or special education services. 

  • Medical needs of the child changed - If a new or worsening medical condition impacts a child, it can lead to a modification that takes the financial needs and living arrangements into account.

  • Remarriage of one former spouse - With the remarriage of a spouse, their new financial situation and living situation would be taken into consideration during a modification process.

  • Changing parental preference of the child - As children mature, they may have different relationships with each parent. They may want to spend more time with both, or may have grown close to one and want to spend more time with them.

  • Allegations of neglect or abuse - In this serious situation, all prior arrangements may be up for modification. 

Contact a Will County Modification Lawyer 

If you or your spouse is seeking a post-divorce modification to spousal support payments, child support payments, or child custody and visitation, the Joliet Family Law Attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help. We have experience dealing with changing post-divorce situations and can fight for you to meet your goals under a new agreement. Call 815-666-1285 for a free initial consultation today. 





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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_205333231.jpgAdding another member to your family through adoption is a life-changing decision. Many considerations are factored into the adoption process to ensure a child is adopted into the right permanent home. Parents in Illinois looking to adopt can do so in various ways, including private adoptions, adopting through an agency, or adopting as a secondary family member. Suppose you are looking to adopt a child into your home. In that case, it is a good idea to hire a family attorney who can help prepare you for the legal investigation and navigate your family through the processes. 

Becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent 

Parents can take two key avenues to bring a child into their home. The first way may be through foster care. Children who have been separated from their families or removed from their homes may be in state custody and placed into foster care. That child's welfare team will look to place a child with a temporary family who can promote that child's best interest while preparing to move the child into a permanent home through adoption. A foster parent is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the child's health and well-being, including shelter, food, clothing, and medical needs

  • Communicating with the state, birth family, or other necessary individuals 

  • Advocating on the child's behalf 

Adoption is the permanent addition of a child into the family. An adoptive parent will obtain all of a parent's legal rights, and the state will no longer be involved in the care of that child and the child's family. 

Private Versus Agency Adoptions

The adoption process can begin in two ways — through a private family adoption or by using an agency. A private adoption occurs by communicating directly with the biological family. For example, a family looking to place their child up for adoption may seek out potential parents and begin the legal process of shifting custody between the two families. Adopting through an agency includes obtaining custody of a child that has been placed in state care. 

There are many requirements that potential adoptive parents must meet to obtain complete, permanent custody of a child. Typically, the state will investigate the prospective family's health, criminal records, financial documents, and other personal information to ensure a child is placed in the right home. The timeline for adoption will be unique to each family. However, this process is almost always lengthy to some degree. Families should consider having a family attorney to guide them through adoption.


Guardianship is another option for the child's family members looking to retain permanent custody. Suppose a child will not be placed back with their nuclear family unit, and other family members would like to obtain custody. In that case, family members can be appointed as that child's primary caretaker. The biological parents will not have to remove their titles as parents, but the state will shift parental responsibilities and custody to another family member such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling. 

Discuss Adoption With a Joliet Adoption Lawyer

Adoption can often be a complicated process. At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our Plainfield family attorneys have experience working with families looking to obtain custody of a child through foster care, adoption, or guardianship. Our firm offers a free initial consultation for clients. Please contact us by calling 815-666-1285



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