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Wheaton prenup attorneyPrenuptial agreements are marital contracts that cover a wide range of issues. These documents are grossly misunderstood by the general public. Some people assume that prenuptial agreements are only necessary if a spouse intends to get divorced or does not take the marriage seriously. Others assume that if a spouse asks for a prenuptial agreement, he or she plans to take advantage of the other spouse financially. Although these myths are slowly being replaced by facts, it can still be a difficult topic to broach with a fiancé(e).

Wait Until the Right Time to Talk About a Prenup

Prenuptial agreements are increasingly popular among engaged couples, especially couples who own substantial assets or investments or have substantial debts. If you are interested in signing a prenup before tying the knot, you may be unsure of how to bring it up with your partner.

If you and your significant other have just gotten into an argument or you have a dinner date scheduled in 40 minutes, that is not the right time to bring up a prenuptial agreement. This conversation is extremely important, and it deserves ample time and attention. Wait until you have several hours free and you and your partner are on good terms before bringing up the prenup.

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Naperville family law attorneyDomestic violence affects the lives of millions of people every day in the United States, and Illinois residents are no exception. If you or a loved one has experienced domestic violence or abuse, you may have questions about protection orders. In Illinois, an Emergency Order of Protection is often issued on the same day that it was requested. It prohibits the subject of the order from contacting or coming near the petitioner and may also contain other provisions such as a provision requiring the subject to surrender his or her firearms. An order of protection also helps to create an official record of the abusive person’s behavior. However, many abuse victims fail to get this important and potentially life-saving protection because they do not know if what they experienced was technically abuse under the law.

Can I Get an Order of Protection If the Abuser Never Physically Harmed Me?

A few years ago, the social media hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou flooded Facebook and Twitter. Using the hashtag, many abuse victims shared stories of abusive relationships that did not involve typical abusive tactics like punching, slapping, or kicking. The campaign was a valuable reminder to many that abuse takes nearly countless forms and not every form is physical.

If you are being stalked, harassed, financially manipulated, gaslighted, or otherwise abused in a non-physical manner, you may worry that you do not meet the criteria for an order of protection. Fortunately, Illinois law reflects the fact that abuse can involve much more than physical violence.

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DuPage County family law attorneySome of the most heated disputes during an Illinois divorce are those that deal with issues concerning the children. In some cases, a parent may use the child as a way to hurt or “get back” at the other parent for whatever reason. In other cases, a parent may just be so worried about the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities that they decide to take the child without the permission of the other parent before they lose them. If you believe that your child has been abducted or is at risk of being abducted by their other parent, you should speak to an Illinois family law attorney to discuss your options.

Defining Child Abduction

It can be frustrating when your child’s other parent is late to drop off the child or does not exercise their visitation rights consistently. However, in some cases, a parent may act much more irresponsibly than inconsistent drop-offs. In some cases, a parent may go so far as to even abduct the child from their other parent. In the legal context, child abduction is a rather specific act that comes with serious consequences.

According to Illinois law, child abduction occurs when a person:

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DuPage County family law attorneyMost people would agree that the bond between a parent and their child is a special, sacred one. Illinois courts have adopted this principle and use it in nearly all legal matters concerning children. When parents are unable to agree on certain issues, like parenting time or visitation, the judge will make the final decision with the intention of preserving the relationship the child has with each parent. Under Illinois law, fathers have just as much of a right to a relationship with their children as mothers do. Even though it may feel like a never-ending battle when you are an unmarried father, it is important to realize that there are ways to secure and protect your parenting rights regarding your child.

Is Your Child’s Paternity Established?

Before an unwed father can legally claim any rights to his child, he must first establish paternity of the child. In many cases, establishing paternity can be as easy as filling out and signing the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form at the hospital when the baby is born. In cases in which the child’s paternity is contested, you may have to use other methods of confirming the child’s paternity, such as genetic testing. Either parent can request genetic testing to determine whether or not the alleged father is truly the biological father. Once you have established paternity through any legally recognized method, you can petition for rights regarding your child, such as parenting time and parental decision-making responsibilities.

Rights to Parenting Time

Any issue involving children in Illinois family courts is decided with the child’s best interests at the forefront. When it comes to parenting time, in most cases, the judge will determine that spending time with both parents is in the best interest of the child. In addition, the law clearly states that it is presumed that “both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time” unless it is found that either parent would endanger the child’s wellbeing.

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Naperville child support attorneyDivorce affects families from all walks of life, but the specific issues that each family deals with are different depending on their circumstances. When it comes to families with high incomes, the division of property and assets can be especially challenging. Child support can also easily become a contentious issue between high-earning parents, especially if the parents’ financial situation is not covered under the Illinois child support guidelines.

Understanding the Income Shares Model

In an effort to maintain as much fairness as possible, the state of Illinois currently uses an income shares model to calculate the amount of child support that should be paid each month. It is not the responsibility of just one parent to financially support a child, and as such, instead of just the paying spouse’s income being considered, both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration when the payment calculation is made. The calculation also takes into consideration the number of children that are being supported and how many overnights the children spend with the non-custodial parent each year.

Situations With Income Above and Beyond Guidelines

Calculating child support is standardized in Illinois according to the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). In the vast majority of cases, these guidelines will make sense and will work. In some cases, however, the judge may deviate from the guidelines if he or she believes that using the guidelines would create a situation that is unequal or inappropriate. If parents earn income that is above and beyond the income shown in the basic child support schedule, the judge has the discretion to determine the amount of child support to be paid each month, though it cannot be less than the highest amount in the shares schedule.

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