illinois estate planning lawyerThe Illinois small estate affidavit allows some heirs to process smaller estates without probate, but any estate in which probate assets exceed $100,000.00 must go through the formal probate process. The probate process can be long, costly, and challenging, so it is not uncommon for many people to want to do everything they can to avoid having to deal with probate.

The good news for most people is that Illinois allows a number of ways for people to avoid probate by the way they transfer assets to their heirs. When people do not designate beneficiaries on their insurance policies, pensions, or retirement plans, then the assets have to be distributed according to state intestacy laws.

Ways to Avoid Probate in Illinois

People who want to help their family members avoid probate can take the following steps:

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dupage county paternity lawyerPaternity in Illinois is relatively straightforward when it comes to married couples. A woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of a child automatically when the couple is married. However, complications arise with children born out of wedlock. Paternity needs to be established in such cases, and one of the simplest ways this is accomplished is through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) that both parents sign and submit to the  the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Establishing paternity without a VAP usually requires either an administrative paternity order or order of paternity.

How Contested Paternity Suits Work

It is important to note that the Illinois Parentage Act presumes that a man is the father of a child if he and the mother are married. However, there are situations in which this assumption may be wrong. There are also situations in which the child’s father is unknown or uncertain. Situations like these often lead to paternity lawsuits. 

‍A paternity suit seeking to establish a father-child relationship may be filed by a mother, any person claiming to be a child's father, any person or agency that has custody of a child, any person or agency currently providing financial assistance to a child, or a child. ‍A suit to declare the non-existence of a father-child relationship can only be filed by a child's natural mother, a presumed father of a child, or a child. 

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dupage county divorce lawyerAccording to the United States Census Bureau, Hinsdale has a median household income of $206,701 and a median value of $882,700 for owner-occupied housing units. Many families in the Hinsdale area have significant assets, so it is not uncommon for some spouses to find themselves involved in a high net worth divorce that can be more complicated than other divorces.

The truth remains that people with greater net worth often have complex financial circumstances, and dividing property in these cases can often prove to be quite contentious. When one spouse is also a business owner, this can affect the property division process significantly.

Common Issues in High Net Worth Divorces

When spouses are considered high net worth, then they are more likely to have a multitude of complicated issues to address. Some of the most common may include:

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dupage county divorce lawyerMany people filing for divorce in DuPage County are dealing with courts for the first time and do not have full understanding of their rights during all proceedings. Courts can issue various kinds of temporary restraining orders or protective orders as well as other types of injunctive relief.

People should be aware of what rights they have to deal with spouses during their cases while they are still working towards a final divorce decree. Temporary restraining orders can place important financial holds on shared banking accounts while protective orders can help spouses who have been or may be at risk of becoming victims of abuse.

Types of Court Orders

Any person can seek an order of protection if they have some kind of domestic relationship with the person the order is seeking protection from. A case needs to involve some element of domestic violence, meaning an instance of either physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, exploitation, stalking, or willful deprivation.

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dupage county divorce lawyerOne of the most contentious issues in any divorce can be child support. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has a child support estimator that uses a variety of information, including the number of children, incomes of both parents, and spousal maintenance, to give people a general idea of possible child support amounts. Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) data indicated that the $766,636,244 paid in child support in Illinois in 2018 was actually less than the $807,772,022 paid in 2015, and the 43.5 percent of parents who were due child support said they received the full amount of child support due.

Illinois Child Support Guidelines

Child support is now determined through the Income Shares method based on the typical cost of raising a child or children in a family with the same combined income and the same number of children. 

Both parents’ incomes will be combined. Next, a Basic Support Obligation will be assigned to each parent according to their proportional contribution to the combined income. 

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