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 | 630-200-4882
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Evening and Weekend Hours by Appointment
West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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Serving Kane, McHenry, DuPage and Cook Counties

st. charles divorce lawyerIn a perfect world, divorcing spouses in Illinois could reach an amicable settlement using the help of skilled mediators or collaborative divorce experts. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Court trials can be very time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally taxing, but when spouses cannot negotiate a settlement, this may be the only option. 

If you can accurately assess your situation and recognize that a divorce trial is likely in your future, a divorce attorney with experience in litigation can help you better prepare yourself to resolve important issues like property division, parental responsibilities, spousal support, and child support

When is Divorce Litigation Inevitable?

There are several possible signs that your divorce may need to be resolved through litigation. These signs include: 

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 st. charles adoption lawyerWhen parents with children from previous marriages get married to a new partner, that new partner often plays an active role in raising children that are not biologically their own. Over time, a stepparent can create a relationship with a child that is as close as that of a biological parent and child. 

When this happens, a stepparent may wish to adopt their stepchild. In Illinois, this is known as a related adoption. Other types of related adoption include older siblings adopting younger siblings, grandparents adopting their grandchildren, or parents adopting the infant of their own teen child. 

This article discusses the process of related adoption for stepparents and stepchildren, as well as some of the pros and cons of this type of adoption. As always, an experienced Illinois adoption attorney is the person best qualified to answer any questions you may have about the adoption process. 

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kane county custody lawyerSharing parenting responsibilities and parenting time for your child can be complicated, especially when parents have different opinions on where the child should live. People in America today are also exceptionally mobile, and moving out of state is common. However, after a divorce in Illinois, moving out of state - or even outside of a certain distance - when you share parental responsibilities for your child may require approval from a court.

How Far Can I Move in Illinois with My Child? 

If you have parental responsibilities and parenting time for at least half the time, you may ask the court’s permission to move and take your child with you. However, the distance you can move depends on a few factors. 

If you live in Kane, Cook, DuPage, McHenry, or Will County, you can move up to 25 miles away from where you lived previously without asking permission from the court, even if the move is across the Illinois border to a city in a neighboring state. If you live in any other county in Illinois, you may move up to 50 miles away. Any farther than this, and you must file a notice for approval with your local court. 

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kane county family law attorneyUnder Illinois law, a couple has the ability to enter into a prenuptial agreement that defines each spouse’s interests in marital and non-marital assets. A prenup can be especially helpful if the marriage later ends in divorce, as it can allow the spouses to smoothly divide their property and resolve questions of spousal maintenance on their own terms. However, there are cases in which a prenuptial agreement can be an additional source of conflict during the divorce process, particularly when a spouse tries to claim that an agreement is invalid and unenforceable.

Reasons to Invalidate a Prenup in Illinois

In most cases, prenuptial agreements are valid and legally enforceable, and they cannot be dismissed simply because a spouse is no longer satisfied with terms they had previously agreed to. However, you may be able to make the case that the court should not enforce your prenup if you have evidence of at least one of the following:

  • You were never legally married after signing the prenup. A prenuptial agreement only takes effect upon marriage, so if you decide not to go through with the marriage, or if the marriage is void for whatever reason, your partner cannot lay claim to any of your assets that the prenup may have granted them.

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st charles paternity lawyerAccording to recent statistics from the Pew Research Center, around 35 percent of unmarried parents are in cohabiting relationships. This includes many parents who have a child without getting married, but continue to live together in a committed relationship. In a case such as this, you might assume that establishing legal paternity is unnecessary, as the child’s father is living with the child and actively involved in raising him or her. However, failing to take the steps to definitively establish paternity can be a costly mistake in the long run.

Does Cohabitation Create a Presumption of Paternity?

In Illinois, there are certain situations in which a man is automatically presumed to be a child’s legal father. This includes when the man is married to the child’s mother when the child is born, as well as when the man is in a civil union or “substantially similar legal relationship” with the child’s mother, such as a domestic partnership or common law marriage established in another state. However, cohabiting alone does not qualify as a substantially similar legal relationship. This means that even if a man lives with his child, he may not be recognized as the child’s father under the law.

Taking Steps to Establish Paternity

There are several major downsides of failing to establish legal paternity after a child is born. It will be more difficult for the child and the child’s mother to secure child support from the father, and the child will also not have access to other benefits through the father, including inheritance rights, insurance coverage, and government benefits. Also, if the man’s relationship with the mother ends, he will not have the right to petition for parental responsibilities and parenting time unless he has been recognized as the child’s legal father.

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