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When parents are in the middle of a battle over the allocation of parental responsibilities, the state of affairs can be intense. In some cases, the parenting dispute can result in one parent taking the child without the consent and knowledge of the other parent or the court. Despite their status as a legal parent, this still qualifies as “kidnapping” or “child abduction” and can turn a civil case into a criminal case with harsh consequences for the offending parent. Child Abduction Kidnapping is a felony in Illinois, and a conviction can result in fines, probation and jail time.…
Adopting a child is not something to take lightly. Whether you are a grandparent, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle, or unrelated to the child you wish to adopt, once the adoption process is complete, you are responsible for making sound-of-mind decisions based on the best interest of the child. However, if you have a criminal record, adopting a child may be more difficult, or in some circumstances, off the table. What To Expect According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the following is done during the adoption process: A fingerprint-based FBI and state criminal background check. This background check is…
Prenuptial agreements are not mandatory within an Illinois marriage, but any engaged couple that has personal or business assets may want to protect what is theirs before getting married. A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement that both you and your future spouse construct before getting married. This agreement lays out how property and assets will be divided if divorce or death were to occur. Items that can be included within a prenuptial agreement include: Division of property and/or assets The right to manage and control property belonging to the other spouse Changes or elimination of spousal support/maintenance  Establishing a…
Grey divorce, also known as Silver Splitter or Diamond Divorcees, refers to the older “grey-haired” couples who decide to file for divorce after being in long-term marriages. According to the Pew Research Center, a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau found that for every 1,000 married couples aged 50 and over, 10 of them ended in divorce. Grey divorce entails many issues a traditional divorce carries, such as the division of marital property and assets and spousal maintenance, but is unlikely to include the allocation of parental responsibilities or child support. Reasons…
Going through a divorce is tough, but going through a divorce during the holidays can add to the hurt. If this is your first holiday season since separating from your spouse, it is natural to feel lonely and sad. It is important to not let these emotions control you and prevent you from enjoying the holidays. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you maintain your mental health and manage your stress throughout the holidays: Take It One Day at a Time: It is only natural to want to rush through a time in your life that you would…
Divorce is a common challenge that people face in their lives. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 75,131 couples got married, while 26,132 got divorced in 2016.  Tensions run high, and it is easy to find yourself doing or saying things that can cause additional issues. Listed below are the top ten things you should steer clear of doing during your divorce: Do Not Post on Social Media: Nothing is private on the internet. Avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media outlet during your divorce, as anything and everything can be used as evidence against you.…
Contrary to what you see in movies and television shows, settling your divorce case in court is almost always a last resort. Illinois courts highly encourage couples to try to make decisions pertaining to their divorce on their own without outside intervention. Not only does that save you time and money, but it also allows you to keep the control in your hands and enables you to decide your own future. Some couples have tried to avoid going to court and are unable to come to their own resolutions, but most couples see the benefit of settling their divorce outside…
Child support is relevant in any case involving a child whose parents are not married or in a relationship. Many times, the parent who takes care of the child a majority of the time will receive child support and use it to help cover some of the costs associated with raising a child, like clothes, food, healthcare, and schooling or extracurricular expenses. Both the courts and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can issue orders requiring a parent to make support payments, but that does not always mean that the parent will obey. Unpaid child support can be frustrating…
It is not uncommon for people to get remarried after they have ended their first marriage. Remarriage is a second chance at happiness for many people. When you get remarried, you often bring many things with you from your previous life, including your children. Creating a blended family can be extremely rewarding, but it comes with its challenges. Remarriage itself can be difficult, but you can overcome its challenges by preemptively planning your future with a skilled family law lawyer. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful and happy blended family: Help Your Children Adjust to…
College is not cheap. Since the 1980s, college tuition costs have risen more than 200 percent for public universities across the country, making covering the expense of higher education more difficult than ever. Because of this, young adults are living with their parents longer than any generation prior to them. For parents getting a divorce, paying for their children’s college education can be a point of contention during the divorce negotiations. Fortunately, Illinois law has included provisions in the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) on how post-secondary education expenses are distributed between parents. Covering the Costs The…
Almost everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement. Most of what many people know comes from movies or television shows portraying a woman marrying a wealthy man and signing a prenuptial agreement to protect his riches. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements come from the same family of legal documents and can do just about the same things. Both agreements can dictate which property is and is not marital property, how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce and the terms of spousal maintenance, among other things. The thing that differs between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement…