Archive, October 2022.

When parents of minor children seek a divorce, one of the most emotionally-charged aspects of the divorce action is likely to be the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities. It is the goal of most parents to maximize the amount of time they will be able to spend with the children antecedent to the finalization of the divorce. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act sets out statutory factors that courts are instructed to use in determining what type of custody arrangement may be in the best interests of the children.
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For many spouses who are taking the step of filing for divorce, a finalized divorce decree cannot come soon enough. You may have been contemplating seeking a divorce for some time. You may have undertaken great efforts to hold together a marriage that is no longer viable. Often, by the time a person is prepared to file a formal petition for divorce, they are also prepared for the marriage to terminate at once. Unfortunately, rarely is divorce an instantaneous process. From the day your attorney files a divorce petition on your behalf, receiving a finalized divorce decree can take anywhere …
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A significant percentage of couples will have a prenuptial agreement in place before they walk down the aisle on their wedding day. Prenuptial agreements can protect both parties in different ways, such as by designating separate property and predetermining certain issues so as to keep any potential future divorce predictable and simplified. If you and your spouse have already married, it is not too late to take advantage of a marital contract. Your contract will be called a “postnuptial agreement” if it is signed after you say, “I do.”
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A large percentage of divorces today are settled out of court, eliminating the need for an often-emotional battle in the courthouse. If you and your spouse are willing to try mediation, you may be able to save yourselves significant amounts of time and money by avoiding litigation. In many cases, the spouses are able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement out of court, often with the help of a mediator.
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 Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be excellent tools for married couples. These agreements can accomplish legal tasks such as designating separate property for each spouse, predetermining how property is to be divided in the event of a divorce, and even requiring each other to create an estate plan naming the other as a beneficiary. However, there are certain clauses that are prohibited in these agreements. Even if both parties willingly agree to a clause, the clause in question may not be enforced if it is statutorily prohibited or would have certain unlawful effects in …
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In Illinois, the term “parentage” rather than “paternity” is generally used, although you may still hear “paternity” used colloquially. Adjudicating parentage means judicially deciding who a child’s parents are. Our state's parentage laws have broadened to reflect the idea that not all children have one mother and one father. A child born into a marriage between two women is presumed a child of both, for example. Only once paternity has been definitively established can a parent pursue parental rights, seek shared parenting time, or seek child support payments.
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