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Naperville child support lawyerWhen parents get divorced, there are many things that suddenly become a topic of concern for their children. Once you determine how you will split parenting time, you can then begin to calculate how much child support will be paid by whoever has the least amount of parenting time. In the state of Illinois, child support calculations take into account both parents’ incomes, the number of children, and the amount of parenting time that is allocated to each parent. Child support may also include a child’s medical expenses, which either or both parents can be responsible for. Child support calculations can be complicated and disputed, but an Illinois divorce lawyer can help you ensure your parenting plan addresses your child’s medical needs and his or her medical expenses.

Who Maintains the Child’s Health Insurance Coverage?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a portion of the basic child support payment made each month to the custodial parent is intended to be used for basic medical expenses, such as cough medication if the child had a cold. However, the court does have the authority to order either or both parents to add the child to an existing policy held by either of the parents or purchase health insurance coverage for the child.

How Are Other Medical Expenses Managed?

It is rare that all of a person’s medical expenses will be completely covered by insurance. Typically, insurance companies pay for a portion of your healthcare services while you are responsible for the remainder of the cost. These costs can add up quickly, which is why it is important to denote how you will allocate those costs for your child in your parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court has the discretion to order either or both of you to pay for medical expenses beyond insurance coverage, dental care, orthodontic care, and vision care.

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Naperville family lawyerGetting a marriage annulled is not simply another way to end a marriage. While divorce terminates a marriage, an annulment declares that a marriage was never valid in the first place. In Illinois, an annulment is technically called a “Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.” An individual cannot get their marriage annulled simply because they regret getting married. In order to qualify for an annulment, there must be some reason that the marriage is considered invalid. Fortunately, if a marriage does not qualify for an annulment, the couple will still be able to end their marriage through divorce.

Reasons That a Marriage May Be Considered Invalid

In many cases when we hear about a married couple getting an annulment, it is a religious annulment through their church. However, a civil annulment is only issued if a marriage is invalid for some reason. The justifications for annulment include:

  • One or both of the spouses did not meet the age requirements to be married according to Illinois law. Individuals aged 16 or 17 may marry, but they must have written permission from a parent, guardian, or Illinois judge.

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Wheaton family law attorney legal separation

The term “separation” holds a certain negative connotation when explained to family or friends. If you and your spouse decide that you both need some time apart, others may jump to conclusions and assume that this is your first step toward divorce. While this may be the case for some couples, experts have shown that time away from your spouse can often help you make a better decision about how you would like to proceed. Some may simply live separately while others may file for a legal separation agreement. There are benefits and drawbacks to separation, some of which may bring you closer while others could drive you apart. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you navigate the legal process of separation.

How to Facilitate a Healthy Separation

Living apart from your spouse for a period of time does not have to end in divorce. In fact, many psychologists and marriage counselors actually encourage time apart if you are struggling to make things work. Once apart, you may recognize how much you miss and rely on your partner and decide to put in the additional time and effort to improve the relationship. In order to be productive while you are separated, here are a few things that experts suggest:

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Wheaton paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity is something that every Illinois mother should consider for her child. Legally establishing paternity for your child can guarantee rights for both your child and your child’s biological father that neither would have otherwise. In some cases, you will not have to do anything to establish your child’s paternity. A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he is married to the child’s mother when the child is born or gets married within 300 days of the child’s birth. If the mother is unmarried when the child is born, she will have to establish the child’s paternity through a different route.

The easiest way to establish paternity is by having both parents sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form at the hospital when the child is born or shortly thereafter. If both parents do not agree about the child’s paternity, the case can be brought to court. In cases of contested paternity, genetic testing is often conducted to eliminate any doubts or disagreements about who the child’s biological father is.

How Does Genetic Testing Work?

If the paternity of a child is contested, the child’s parents can choose to go to court to settle the issue. If the couple does go to court for their paternity lawsuit, the judge will most likely order the mother, father, and child to all be genetically tested to determine the child’s paternity. Each person's DNA will be tested to look for matches. Every child gets half of their genes from their mother and half of their genes from their father. This means that portions of the child’s DNA will match parts of each parent's DNA. The child’s father is determined by finding matches between the child’s DNA and the father’s DNA. A man is ruled out as being the child’s father if the man’s DNA does not match the child’s.

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Wheaton postnuptial agreement lawyerEven if you love your spouse and are happy with them when you get married, you cannot predict the future. People change and evolve over time, and it is impossible to know what will change down the road. The way you feel about your spouse when you get married may not be the same as the way you feel about them 5, 10, or 15 years later. When things get tough in a marriage, one or both spouses may begin to consider divorce. The decision to divorce does not take place overnight, nor is it an easy one to make. When a couple is unhappy, yet not quite ready to call it quits, talking with a divorce lawyer and creating a postnuptial agreement may actually help save the marriage.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is a legally-binding agreement that is signed before the marriage. The main difference between the two is that a postnuptial agreement is signed after a couple is already married. The two types of agreements may also address different areas — a prenuptial agreement tends to focus on issues that might come to light during the marriage, such as infidelity or financial issues, whereas a postnuptial agreement typically looks at the current life that you have built and what that will look like moving forward.

How a Postnuptial Agreement Can Save Your Marriage

Many couples reach a stage in their marriage where they are unhappy with the marriage and/or the spouse, but they are still not ready to call it quits. This time is crucial in a marriage. Failing to address your unhappiness will likely lead to divorce, but being proactive about it can actually help you save your marriage.

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