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DuPage County parental relocation lawyerFor some, relocation can be a necessary step after divorce. There are many reasons why divorcees would want to move after the divorce is finalized. Some wish to be closer to family members, while others move for a new job. Regardless of the reason, a parent must have primary or equal custody of the child in order to submit a relocation request. In Illinois, relocation includes any move that is at least 25 miles from the child’s current home for those that live in Will, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or McHenry County or moves outside of Illinois state borders. If the child lives in a different county than those listed above, relocation boundaries increase to 50 miles from the current residence to any other part of Illinois. Moving with your child can be stressful, especially if your ex-spouse does not approve of the relocation.

Notice of Relocation

Before you are able to do anything, you must provide your former spouse with notice that you intend to relocate with your child. In the notice, you must include the date of your intended relocation, your new address, and whether or not the relocation is permanent. If the other parent signs the notice, it can be filed with the clerk of the circuit court, and if the judge agrees that the proposed move is in the child's best interests, the parenting plan will be modified. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, the parent seeking to move must file a petition with the court requesting to relocate.

Deciding Factors

If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own, they must take the issue to court. A judge will review the petition for relocation and the other parent's objections to the planned relocation to determine whether the move is in the child's best interests. When the judge is making the decision about the relocation, he or she will consider a variety of factors. These include:

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you get a divorce, everyone is impacted. In many cases, children are the ones who are most affected, because they may not always understand what divorce means. Illinois courts believe that a child flourishes when both parents are in their child’s life and play an active role. Even if a person does not have a personal relationship with their child, parents have a responsibility to provide for their child financially. This is where child support comes in. Both parents are expected to contribute to the financial needs of the child, and they must provide a basic amount of child support, which is determined using a formula defined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, this basic child support obligation does not always account for all of the expenses that are involved in raising a child. Parents may also be required to divide other costs.

Extra Expenses

  • Medical Expenses: Medical care is expensive, which is why it makes sense to require both parents to contribute to these costs. The court can require either parent to add the child to his or her insurance plan. The court can also require both parents to split the out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care.
  • Childcare: The courts will divide the reasonable costs of employment-related childcare between the parents based on the percentage of the basic child support amount that each parent is responsible for. The costs will be added to the basic child support obligation, and payments may be paid to the other parent or to the childcare provider directly.
  • School and Extracurricular Costs: A child’s upbringing can be greatly supplemented by extracurricular activities. Because of this, Illinois courts can order either or both parents to pay for reasonable costs of extracurricular or school activities that are meant to enhance the child’s educational, athletic, social, or cultural development.
  • College Expenses: Attending college or receiving post-secondary education is often a key part of ensuring that a child will have success in life. Because of this, Illinois courts can also order one or both parents to contribute to the costs associated with college. These costs can include tuition, room and board, books, supplies, or other materials.

A Naperville, IL Child Support Attorney Can Help You Get Your Child the Financial Support They Deserve

Not only are both parents expected to contribute to the financial responsibility of raising a child, but they are required by law to do so. Illinois courts will order both parents to pay for costs related to their children, and if they do not, they can face penalties. If you are going through a divorce or are looking to collect child support from your child’s other parent, you should contact a knowledgeable DuPage County child support lawyer. At Goostree Law Group, we can help you figure out an appropriate figure for basic child support and also calculate the appropriate costs to add to that figure for extra expenses. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

 

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Naperville divorce attorneyDivorce is full of difficult situations. Even making the decision to get a divorce can seem impossible. Perhaps one of the hardest situations that you will have to deal with during your divorce is breaking the news to your children. Depending on your circumstances, your children may already suspect that something is awry. If there has been constant fighting in the house, your children are likely aware of the fact that you and your spouse are unhappy. There is no way to predict how your children will react to the news of a divorce; each child processes and copes with the news differently. Though this can be a difficult time for everyone, here are a few tips to help you tell your children that you and your spouse are getting divorced:

Act as a Team

This may be difficult for some couples, but telling the children about your decision as a team can make a world of difference. Even if the decision to divorce was not mutual, it is important that the children see that you and your spouse can still work together. After all, you will always have a common connection -- your children. 

Plan What You Will Say

This is one conversation that you do not want to make up as you go along. You and your spouse should sit down and plan out some talking points that you want to get across when you tell the kids that you are getting divorced. You both should be sure that your child understands that the divorce is not their fault, but rather a matter between you and your spouse. You should also remind your kids that you both love them very much, regardless of your marital state.

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Naperville prenuptial agreement attorneyEveryone thinks that marriage is forever — and for many people it is. But for some Americans, divorce is still very much a reality. Depending on the source, the divorce rate has lingered around 40 to 50 percent for the past decade or so. Getting a divorce can turn your entire life upside down and can even change your financial situation for the worst. One thing you can do to protect yourself before you get to that point is to get a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that you can use to dictate how certain things will be handled in the event of a divorce. This can be greatly beneficial in reducing the amount of conflict and the length of time it takes to complete a divorce if you and your spouse ever get to that point. In order for your prenuptial agreement to be enforceable and valid, there are certain things that are not permitted in a prenuptial agreement and certain rules and procedures you must follow when creating one. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid while creating your prenuptial agreement:

1. You and Your Spouse Did Not Have Different Attorneys

One of the basic requirements of a prenuptial agreement is that you and your spouse both have independent legal representation. If you and your spouse do end up getting a divorce, what is best for you may not be what is best for your spouse. A single lawyer cannot advocate for both you and your spouse equally.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_childsupport3.jpgFor many divorcing families, the topic that is always at the forefront of every decision is the children. For divorcing parents, a topic that often comes up is child support. In years prior, the calculations for child support were much more basic, but they did not always take into account the factors that more and more parents were dealing with, such as two incomes and shared parenting time. In today’s child support calculation process, more details are taken into consideration than ever before. This includes the amount of parenting time each parent has, the income of each parent, the cost of health insurance for the child, the cost of the child’s extracurricular activities and the cost of childcare. The calculation process can be difficult, but it is important to understand.

Determining the Basic Child Support Obligation

Before the amount that each parent should provide for support is determined, the basic child support obligation is calculated. This is the total finances that both parents should be providing their children each month. To find this, the gross monthly income is determined for each parent. Then, the corresponding value from the 2019 Gross to Net Income Conversion Table is taken, which is the parent’s net monthly income. These two incomes are then added together. The total of both parents’ incomes is used to find the amount that both parents should be using each month to provide for the child’s basic needs.

Determining Who is Responsible for Paying What

Once you know how much should be spent on the child’s basic needs each month, you have to figure out who will be paying what. First, you will determine how much each parent’s income is in relation to the household’s total monthly income. You can do this by taking each parent’s income and dividing that number by the sum of both parent’s income. The percentage of the household income that each parent is responsible for also depends on the number of children. Using the Income Shares Schedule, a single parent of three kids who makes $2,075 per month will be responsible for paying $839 per month.

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Wheaton adoption lawyerIn the state of Illinois, all types of adoptions require that a home study be done at some point during the adoption process. It does not matter whether you adopt a child from a private agency or through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) -- everyone who is a prospective adoptive parent must complete a home study. The home study process can be rather long, but it allows agencies to evaluate the prospective family’s capabilities and to determine whether they are suitable to adopt a child. The home study process also allows families time to become educated and prepare for adoption.

Home Study Components

While some people may think a home study is simply just a visit to their home from a social worker, it is actually much more involved. In fact, the home study process consists of a series of steps and requirements.

Background Check

One of the first steps in the home study process is completing and passing a background check. All adult members of the household are required to consent to a background check and must pass it for you to be eligible to adopt. If there are children between the ages of 13 and 17 living in the household, they must allow a check of the child abuse and neglect registry as well as the child sex offender registry.

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Naperville spousal support lawyerThough modern households often have two working parents, it is still not uncommon for one parent to stay home and take care of the children. Stay-at-home parents face a unique set of worries with it comes to divorce. If you are a stay-at-home parent, your spouse may have provided you with a sense of stability, but as that disappears, you are likely facing a great deal of uncertainty. Now, you may find yourself worrying about things you never thought you would have to worry about, like where you and your children will live and how you will be able to provide for your children.

Fortunately, there are ways you can address these issues when going through your divorce. Specific issues that other divorcing parents may not have to deal with, such as spousal maintenance, suddenly become extremely important to your divorce case. Even issues that most divorcing couples have to deal with, such as property division and child support, can be different when one spouse was a stay-at-home parent. Here are a few tips that may help stay-at-home parents better navigate divorce:

1. Gather All of Your Important Documents

Before you begin with the divorce, you need to make sure you have an accurate picture of your financial situation. For some stay-at-home parents, finances are dealt with by their spouse, and they might not even have direct access to the family’s financial information. Understanding your financial picture will ensure that you get everything you need and deserve out of your divorce. You will need to gather specific types of documents and provide copies to your attorney. You will want to make sure that you have located:

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Wheaton paternity lawyerThe number of babies born to unwed mothers has dramatically increased in the past 50 years or so. According to the Pew Research Center, around 5 percent of births in 1960 were to unmarried women. Today, the number of babies born to unmarried mothers is somewhere around 40 percent. While the acceptance of birth outside of marriage has grown, many mothers now find that they must go about other ways of establishing paternity for their children.

In the state of Illinois, paternity can be established in one of four ways: through assumed paternity, through a signed and completed Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, through an Administrative Paternity Order or through an Order of Paternity.

Assumed Paternity

One of the most common ways of establishing paternity is through assumed paternity. The state of Illinois assumes that when a child is born to a married mother, the husband is the father of the child. If the mother was married or in a civil union when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, the husband is legally presumed to be the father of the child. If the mother was not married during that time, she must go about establishing paternity through one of the other ways.

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DuPage County Parenting plan attorneyGetting a divorce when you have children is much different than getting a divorce when you do not have children. Couples who divorce and have children often face a more complicated and stressful situation than couples who do not have children. With the addition of children, there are many different things that must be addressed before you can finalize your divorce. In the state of Illinois, couples are required to have a parenting plan in place before their divorce can be completed. A parenting plan is a document that details the agreement between the couple and outlines many of the issues and procedures relating to the children, including how parenting time will be allocated and how decision-making responsibilities will be handled.

Before you go to court about your parenting plan, you must first attend mediation. Illinois courts believe that families benefit from the use of mediation when issues need to be settled, but they also understand that mediation does not work for everyone. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement during mediation, you will have to take your case to court where a judge will make determinations about your case.

Components of a Parenting Plan

In your parenting plan, there are certain elements that must be present before the court will approve the plan. At a minimum, the parenting plan should contain information about:

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Wheaton prenup lawyerWhen you see wedding bells in your near future, there are probably 101 things on your mind -- and a prenuptial agreement is not likely to be one of them. Though it can seem unromantic and it may feel like you do not trust your future marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be a hugely beneficial tool in the event that you and your spouse ever get divorced. Prenuptial agreements give you freedoms from certain laws that you would not otherwise have. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that allows you and your spouse to basically plan your divorce before it happens. Prenuptial agreements allow you to address issues such as property division, spousal maintenance and ownership of businesses or professional practices.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous -- they are useful for almost everyone. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot:

1. One of You Has Been Married Before

If this is the second trip down the aisle for either you or your spouse, you should strongly consider getting a prenuptial agreement. A prior marriage means you are probably coming into this marriage with more property and you may have other obligations from your previous marriage, like child support. A prenuptial agreement can protect these obligations.

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DuPage County parenting time lawyerWhen it comes to divorce cases and issues involving children, the Illinois court system places the needs and well-being of the children above all else -- including the parents. Child custody can be a contentious issue in divorce cases, but the job of the judge assigned to your case is to ensure that the child is safe, well cared for and loved, no matter the custody situation. Illinois courts understand that children do their best when both parents are present in their lives. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifically states that “it is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time.” A judge will, however, place restrictions on parenting time if he or she feels the child would be in danger by spending time with one or both parents.

Considering Parenting Time Restrictions

It is widely understood by most people that a child not only deserves to have both in his or her life, but that they also thrive when they form a relationship with both parents. In most divorce cases, there will be an equal or nearly-equal allocation of parenting time. Unless a parent petitions to have the other parent’s parenting time restricted or the court learns of a danger to the child, parenting time will not be restricted. Before any decisions are made, a hearing will be conducted to determine whether the child’s mental, emotional, physical or moral health would be in danger if he or she were to spend time with the parent.

Types of Parenting Time Restrictions

Once you have attended the hearing, the courts will determine whether a parenting time restriction is appropriate. The court will examine all aspects of each parent’s life, such as his or her living arrangements or work schedules. If the court finds any of these aspects to be questionable, then they may place restrictions on the type, duration or supervision of the parenting time. Restrictions on parenting time can include:

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Wheaton property division attorneyOne of the most difficult issues that all couples have to face when they get a divorce is determining how they will divide the marital property. Most people think that property division only pertains to assets such as the family home, vehicles, cash and other household items, but all of a couple’s property needs to be divided during a divorce -- including assets and debts that are not necessarily tangible. Property division tends to become more difficult the longer a couple has been married because couples that have been together for many years have typically accumulated more together.

Marital and Non-marital Property

Before you go to court, you must first determine which property is actually subject to division. In Illinois, all marital property is subject to division and non-marital property is not. Marital property is any property or debt that was acquired by either spouse after the marriage. All other property is considered to be non-marital property.

Factors Used in Making Determinations

If you and your spouse, along with each of your attorneys cannot come to an agreement about marital property, a judge will assign the property to each spouse as he or she sees fit. There are certain factors a judge must take into consideration before he or she assigns the property. These factors include:

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DuPage County Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage lawyerYou have had it up to your ears with your spouse, and your spouse is fed up with you. You both know that you want to end the marriage, but you both also know how stressful, long and drawn out divorces can become. You know you want something that is as quick and easy as possible. 

One option that you may have is to apply for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. This type of divorce is expedited and can allow you and your spouse to complete a divorce much quicker than a traditional divorce. Importantly, there are certain requirements that couples must meet in order to qualify to use a joint simplified dissolution of marriage.

Requirements for a Simplified Divorce

Only certain couples qualify to file for a joint simplified divorce. According to Illinois law, the following requirements must be met before a couple can file for a simplified divorce:

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Naperville prenup lawyerIn recent years, prenuptial agreements have been on the rise. What once was only for the rich and famous is now being utilized by people from all walks of life. The idea of a prenuptial agreement used to be taboo -- it was thought you should not be planning for your divorce before you are even married. Now, it is thought to be good planning to have a prenuptial agreement. 

Young people are waiting longer to get married and are older than previous generations when they get married for the first time. This means that people are usually bringing more assets and debt into marriages and using prenuptial agreements to safeguard their finances. Prenuptial agreements are on the rise, but they may not be right for everyone. 

Here are a few situations in which you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement:

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DuPage County parenting time lawyerDivorce is never easy for anyone, but it can be particularly stressful when a couple has children and they intend to divorce. With children comes a slew of extra issues and arrangements you must agree upon before you can finalize your divorce.

Illinois courts require that you and your spouse have a parenting plan filed with the court before you can finalize your divorce to your spouse. A parenting plan is a document that outlines both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time (which is now the term used for child custody). Coming to an agreement on child-related issues can be stressful and sometimes a judge must step in to settle disagreements.

Factors for Consideration

Before a judge steps in and begins allocating parenting time, the parents are encouraged to come up with a parenting time plan on their own. This both increases the likelihood that both parents will stick to the plan, but it also helps foster cooperation and communication between the parents. 

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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:

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DuPage County divorce attorneyOne of the things that holds back many couples from divorcing is the children. Many parents worry and wonder what kind of effects the divorce would have on their children, even if they know that a divorce would be best for their personal wellbeing. In reality, many parents do not know that staying in an unhappy marriage can actually be more detrimental to a child’s wellbeing than divorce. Here are a few ways as to how staying in an unhappy marriage could harm your children:

Chronic Stress and Tension

If you are feeling the stress at home, then your children probably are too. Constant fighting or bickering can mean chronic tension in the home and that is not good for anyone. Your children will feel it and will feel uneasy in their own home.

Low Self-Esteem

Children absorb everything around them. When their surroundings are full of fighting and rejection, children tend to internalize that, which turns into low self-esteem. Constantly being at odds with your spouse can cause your child to feel uncertain and rejected.

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Wheaton asset division attorneyIf you own a business or professional practice, chances are that is one of your most valuable assets. It takes endless work and a lot of dedication to grow a business and have it become successful. The last thing you want is to have half of it taken away when you get a divorce. Everything you and your spouse have together must be divided before you can finalize your divorce -- and that can include businesses and professional practices. Do not worry -- there are things you can do to make sure your business remains in your possession. Here are five ways you can protect your business during your divorce:

1. Get a Fair Valuation

The first step you should take before you begin dividing up your assets is to get a valuation of your business, so you know what it is worth. Instead of estimating what your business is worth, you may opt to use a court-appointed evaluator who will look at multiple facets of your business to arrive at a valuation. Such aspects include your business records, the business’ goodwill, and business competition. Then, you can hire an outside professional to review the numbers just to make sure everything is square.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyerAny public activity is potential evidence in court proceedings, including your social media activity. Anything you choose to share or post can become a legally admitted court document in any court case, including your divorce. Although your short rant about your soon-to-be ex-spouse was temporarily stress-relieving -- not to mention the complete validation you felt when your friends and family members supported you through likes, loves, and comments -- you are less likely to experience the same satisfaction when it comes back to haunt you in the courtroom.

Try These Tips at Home

It is ill-advised to avoid social media entirely. Not only is social media an excellent way to grow and maintain the ever-important support system, but it is also a free source of unlimited information. Be on the lookout for posts regarding you or your ex’s behavior, and enlist a trusted friend or family member to help. Immediately address anything that could be potentially damaging to your case. Simultaneously, anything that could help should be brought to the attention of your attorney immediately. Here are some ways you should use social media to your advantage:

  • Watch what your friends and family say about you;
  • Make yourself look good by boosting your personality and good deeds;
  • Grow your emotional support team;
  • Post with caution; and
  • Gather information in your favor.

Avoid These Damaging Behaviors

First and foremost, whatever you do decide to post, leave it be. If you are caught deleting photos -- even if you later decide you did not like the way you look --  it can be depicted as removing evidence, an offense which can result in hefty fines for both you and your attorney. Not only that, but judges often assume that you are actively hiding negative details about yourself. Their assumption is legal and is known as adverse inference. Therefore, if there are pictures and messages, leave them there, but be extremely cautious about what you post. It is best to avoid these shares:

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Naperville asset division divorce lawyerToday, nearly three million ex-spouses within the United States earn Social Security benefits from their former spouse's work records. If you or your ex have Social Security benefits and are officially divorced, you may want to know what rights you have under the law. Additionally, if you are considering divorce, you will want to understand what your spouse is likely to claim in the future. This information can directly impact the divorce judgment with regards to property division and support claims. Consider the following regulations:

Length of Marriage

According to the United States Social Security Administration, if you are divorced, but your marriage lasted at least ten years, an ex-spouse can receive benefits from another spouse’s record. An ex-spouse is still eligible even if the benefiting spouse has remarried. However, if the non-benefitting ex remarried, they can no longer make a claim, unless their new marriage ends, either by death, divorce, or annulment.

Qualifications

A divorced spouse has “divorced spouse benefits” equal to one-half of their spouse's retirement or disability benefits. An ex must meet the following qualifications:

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