1770 Park Street, Suite 205, Naperville IL 60563

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube
Search

Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Us630-364-4046

Naperville | Wheaton | St. Charles

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Naperville family law attorney

DuPage County divorce attorneyGetting a divorce is a stressful process for most people. In many cases, it can be difficult for a person going through a divorce to look toward the future and preemptively plan for something like their finances. However, it is extremely important that you begin looking at your financial situation before or during the divorce process so you do not suffer unnecessarily after everything is said and done. Most people who go through a divorce experience some sort of change in their financial situation, especially when it comes to their income and financial goals. Making a solid financial plan before you are thrust into post-divorce life can be helpful and even crucial for success after divorce.

Assessing Your Financial Situation

In many marriages, only one of the spouses really knows the details of the family’s finances. This person is commonly referred to as the “in spouse” while the other spouse is referred to as the “out spouse.” The “in spouse” is typically the person who pays the bills each month, does the investing, and possibly consults with a financial planner. Because of this, the “in spouse” usually has a leg up in a divorce because they have a better understanding of the household finances. If you are the “out spouse,” the first thing you should do as you prepare for divorce is to assess the situation and attempt to gain an understanding of your finances.

Seeking Professional Help

In most cases, the best thing for the “out spouse” to do is to seek help from a professional who is familiar with financial planning. In a divorce, the best type of person to contact is usually a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). These professionals are highly trained and are certified to examine and analyze different financial aspects of divorce. Their job is to help you understand how the decisions you make about your finances can affect your future after the divorce. The CDFA will also help you understand any tax implications during the asset division process, determine whether or not you can afford to keep the family home, and explain how your retirement accounts may be affected.

...

DuPage County divorce lawyerMaking the decision to divorce your spouse is a huge step. In many cases, making that decision takes months, if not years, to solidify and begin the process. One of the first steps in the process is to find a divorce attorney who can help you accomplish your goals in your divorce. Before you hire just any attorney, however, you would be wise to set up initial consultations with any lawyers you are considering working with. An initial consultation is a way for you to meet the attorney, ask questions, get to know your attorney, and discover how they can help you and what they can provide during your divorce. Many people getting a divorce find the process of hiring an attorney to be intimidating, but as long as you are prepared, your consultation can be a productive one.

Make Sure You Come Prepared

When you go to a divorce consultation, you are in control. You will get the most out of your divorce consultation if you bring information to the meeting. The more information you are able to bring, the more productive your consultation will be. You should try to bring basic information about your financial situation, like recent pay stubs and tax returns. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you should bring that. You should also be prepared with basic information about you, your spouse, and your children, along with things like the date you were married and the date you and your spouse began your separation.

Ask About the Attorney’s Experience and Fees

An important thing to ask the attorney about is their experience handling divorce cases and how much they charge for the average case. You should be looking for an attorney who has experience dealing with the types of issues that you may be facing, such as divorcing as a business owner or dealing with divorces involving domestic violence.

...

DuPage County family law attorneyOne of the biggest concerns that many parents have during the divorce process is the effect it will have on their children. The irony of this is that the parents themselves have significant control over how their children are affected. Many people think the mere fact that parents are splitting up will be enough to permanently harm a child for life, but studies have shown that the level of conflict parents display to their children is a much more important factor when it comes to determining how much of an effect a divorce has on the children. Children whose parents are constantly in conflict suffer from more negative effects than the children of parents who get along.

Co-Parenting For Your Children’s Best Interests

With this in mind, it is important that you and your spouse keep the conflict to a minimum, especially when around the children. Co-parenting after your divorce can be complicated, especially if your divorce was less than amicable. Here are a few things you can do to help keep the conflict at bay during and after your divorce:

  • Follow your parenting plan. One of the easiest things you can do to reduce the amount of conflict between you and your spouse after your divorce is simply to follow the terms of your parenting plan. Before your divorce is finalized, you and your spouse will be required to submit a parenting plan to the court to be approved by the judge. That plan should contain information about most issues that may arise while co-parenting and ways to cope with those issues.

    ...

DuPage County divorce attorneyThere are not many divorces that are completely amicable, with both spouses on the same page about all of the issues to be resolved. Sometimes, disagreements between spouses can lead to one or both lashing out in the form of destructive, high-conflict behaviors. Not only can this distress everyone around them, but it can also make the divorce much more difficult. Going through a divorce with a high-conflict spouse can be unpredictable, but temporary orders can help take some of the uncertainty away.

What Type of Temporary Orders Can I Petition For?

In almost all divorce situations, the family unit has been disrupted and the household no longer functions as it used to. Both spouses may not even live in the same home anymore. In high-conflict divorces, this marital breakdown can bring much uncertainty, especially when it comes to things such as spending time with the children and paying household bills. Temporary court orders can be requested when there are concerns of a high-conflict spouse.

A temporary court order during your divorce is legally binding, the same as an order for child support you might get after your divorce. The difference here is that these orders will be focused on your immediate needs and will only last until your divorce is finalized. There are various things that you can request to have included in a temporary order during your divorce. Some of the most common and useful inclusions in a temporary order can be:

...

DuPage County divorce attorneySo many uncertainties pop up when you know that divorce is in your future, and one of the biggest questions people have is about the price tag. It is no secret that getting a divorce can be expensive, but many people do not realize just how expensive a divorce can be until they are in the middle of the chaos. Some divorces can be completed for as little as a few thousand dollars, while other divorce price tags can jump into the hundreds of thousands. But why is there such a big price difference from divorce to divorce? For the same reason there are such big differences in the divorce agreements: no two situations are the same.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Divorce

There are various elements that factor into a divorce that can affect the cost of the process. These factors can include:

  • Whether your divorce is contested or amicable: One of the biggest factors in determining how expensive your divorce ends up being is the ability for you and your spouse to cooperate. If you and your spouse are on the same page and you do not have any major disagreements, your divorce will likely cost much less than if the same issues were contested.

    ...

DuPage County marital debt division attorneyWhen going through the divorce process in Illinois, couples typically focus on how to divvy up assets they acquired during the marriage. Less attention is paid to the financial obligations the parties incurred since the wedding date, so debt in divorce is often overlooked. In particularly contentious cases, bitter disputes and court battles may erupt as one spouse attempts to hold the other accountable for the amount due. Even if you are on relatively good terms, marital debts can often stand in the way when you are trying to reach an agreement on distributing real estate and personal property.

It is always wise to rely on experienced legal counsel when addressing divorce-related issues, so you should consult with an attorney about your specific circumstances. However, an overview of Illinois law may help you understand the basic concepts.

Illinois Law on Dividing Assets and Debts

Illinois’s statute on the disposition of property in a divorce requires an equitable distribution of all property and assets that belong to the marital estate. The law goes on to include debt and financial obligations in the definition of “marital property.” Therefore, it is important to consider the following regarding any debt belonging to you or your spouse:

...

Naperville IL parenting plan lawyerSome of the most contentious issues in a divorce are often the issues that revolve around the children, such as parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Before a couple with children can divorce, they must come to a consensus on all of these issues and put their agreement in writing into what is called a parenting plan. If you and your spouse are able to come up with the agreement on your own, this can be extremely helpful in the long run. Keeping the negotiations between you and your spouse, rather than taking the issue to court, also allows you to personalize your parenting plan and include provisions that are specific to your family’s situation. 

Items to Address in Your Parenting Agreement

Though you should further discuss your parenting plan with an Illinois divorce lawyer, here are a few things you should consider adding to your Illinois parenting plan:

  • Dietary standards for your child: Though it may sound strange, in some cases, one parent may want their child to follow a certain diet. For example, a parent may want their child to follow a vegetarian or gluten-free diet. Including a provision in the parenting plan could help ensure both parents stick to the diet.

    ...

DuPage County high-conflict divorce attorneyGetting a divorce is rarely easy, but for some couples, the divorce process can be especially troublesome. It is normal for a divorcing couple to have disagreements, but when it seems as if the conflict will never cease, you can begin to feel worn down and burnt out. This can end up affecting not only your divorce case, but your physical and mental health, too. In many cases, a high-conflict divorce is the product of a high-conflict spouse. Often, it is possible to predict whether or not your spouse is likely to be combative or difficult to work with during your divorce process, allowing you to prepare yourself emotionally, mentally, and practically. 

Managing the Divorce Process With a Difficult Spouse

If you are going through a high-conflict divorce, here are a few ways to help you survive:

  • Limit the contact you have with your spouse. The easiest way to limit the stress of a high-conflict divorce is to limit the amount of communication you have with your spouse. A high-conflict spouse may thrive off of the arguments and the rise they can get out of you, so limiting the amount of time you spend talking with one another limits the amount of time they have to escalate the situation. Try to cease face-to-face communication and keep emails, text messages and phone calls short and simple.

    ...

Naperville IL paternity attorneyOver the years, there have been many significant advancements in law and society when it comes to recognizing different family situations. For example, same-sex marriage was not only frowned upon but was illegal in many parts of the country for hundreds of years until a 2015 Supreme Court ruling. Unfortunately, there are also many ways that the laws still reflect traditional family structures. For example, Illinois generally presumes the father of any child born to a married mother to be the mother’s husband, though there are many situations in which this may not actually be the case. If a person wants to contest the paternity of a child, it is possible but it can be difficult, which is why hiring a paternity lawyer is recommended.

How Do I Contest Paternity If I Am Married?

When a child’s mother is married when the child is born or within 300 days before the child was born, the person the mother is or was married to is legally presumed to be the father of the child. Establishing paternity is a crucial step in solidifying a father’s rights to his child, but it also means that a legal father will be held to certain parental responsibilities, like child support, in the event of a divorce. If a man learns or suspects that he is not the biological father of his wife’s child and wishes to contest his paternity, he must take swift legal action, or the judge could choose to deny his petition.

How Can Paternity Be Disproven?

Once the father files the petition to contest paternity, the court will almost certainly order genetic testing to be completed. Genetic testing is an extremely accurate way of being able to tell whether or not a child is biologically related to an adult and usually only requires a simple cheek swab. Once the orders are given for genetic testing to be completed, the presumed father, mother, and child must all give samples so the DNA can be compared. If the results indicate that the man is not the child’s biological father, the legal parent-child relationship may be ruled to be nonexistent.

...

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:

...

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.

...

Naperville open and closed adoption attorney

Adoption is defined as the act of legally taking on the responsibility of another person’s child and bringing the child up as your own. It can be a wonderful way to achieve your dream of becoming a parent if you are unable to have biological children. Increasing the size of your family comes with a long list of decision-making, and choosing to adopt is only the first step in the process. The prospective parents must then decide if they would like to conduct an independent adoption or find their child through an agency. Once this is decided, the prospective parents must consider the terms of each adoption, otherwise known as open or closed adoption.

Leave Things Open or Close Them Altogether?

Regardless of the means of adoption that you choose, you will have to consider the degree of “openness” that you would like your future child to have with his or her birth parents. Open adoptions allow some form of contact between the adopted child and his or her biological parents. This can include the simple exchange of information, direct contact before the finalization of the adoption, and/or the creation of post-placement contact agreements. Closed adoptions eliminate all forms of contact, keeping the biological parents' identities unknown to the child and the adoptive parents.

...

DuPage County paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity is not something that many mothers think about, since most fathers are presumed. In a legal sense, paternity is the established legal relationship between a child and their father. Establishing paternity gives both the child and the father rights that they would not have without the legal classification. Many (including Illinois courts) agree that most children thrive when they have both parents playing an active role in their lives. Not only does establishing paternity authorize legal rights, but it also helps facilitate the parent-child relationship. Many other benefits come with establishing the paternity of a child, which is why you should consider completing the legal process if your child’s paternity has not been legally recognized.

Presumed Paternity

In the state of Illinois, paternity is presumed if the mother and father were married at the time the child was born or if they were married within a 300-day time period before the child was born. If neither of those situations applies, either the mother or father must take action to legally establish the paternity of the child. This can be done by filling out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while at the hospital or by filing it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Paternity can also be established through the use of genetic testing and an administrative or court order.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are many reasons why a mother or father would want the court to recognize their child’s biological father. In most cases, the parent seeking to establish paternity of their child does so because they want to initiate the legal relationship and the benefits that go along with it. Benefits of establishing paternity include:

...

Naperville step-parent adoption lawyerThe most common form of adoption in Illinois is a related adoption, meaning the adoptive parent is related in some way to the child. Specifically, step-parent adoption is very common in the United States and in Illinois. Step-parent adoptions take place when either the child’s biological mother or father marries someone other than the child’s other biological parent and that person wants to assume legal rights and responsibility of the child. Often, step-parent adoptions take place because they allow for the formal declaration of a parent-child relationship between the step-parent and the child. In addition, the step-parent may pursue an adoption of the child because the child’s other biological parent is not involved in the child’s life.

Things You Should Know Before You Pursue Step-Parent Adoption

In certain ways, it can be a lot easier to adopt a child that is related to you than a child who is unrelated. Related adoptions go through a different process than unrelated adoptions, but related adoptions can still be difficult. 

Before you adopt a step-child, you should consider the following factors:

...
Back to Top