Author Archives: John Martoccio

IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be expensive. What many people do not know is that there is a way to cut those costs so that in the end, you are not left with nothing. While a divorce will still likely cost you something, there are ways that you can mitigate the expenses so your divorce does not cost you absolutely everything in the end. If you can follow the below tips, you will find that your divorce is much cheaper than most.

Avoid Litigation

When many people think about divorce, they envision a bitter and messy courtroom battle. Although many divorces go this route, that does not mean that yours has to. The most expensive way to divorce is to go through litigation. If you can find an alternative, your divorce will be much easier on your wallet.

Try Mediation

Mediation is one of the best ways to avoid litigation. During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a mediator. Mediators are neutral third parties that do not give legal advice but do try to get you and the other side to come to an agreement that is fairly mutual. You can still work with an attorney to ensure your rights are being protected. Your divorce will just end up costing less and take less time in the end.

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IL family lawyerYou may understand the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. You may have even decided that you would really one before the wedding day. However, you have no idea how to ask your soon-to-be spouse. You do not want them to think that you’re already planning for a divorce, or that you do not trust them. So, how can you ask them for one and still continue preparing for the big day? By following the four tips below.

Do Not Demand It

Sometimes it is all in the way that you ask for something that makes a big difference. Do not demand that your fiancé signs an agreement. Statements such as, “You will have to sign a prenuptial agreement,” or “I do not think we can get married if you do not sign a prenuptial agreement,” come across as very demanding. Your fiancé will likely become defensive, which could lead to a fight you were hoping to avoid when bringing up the subject. Rather, ask your partner to have a conversation with you about a prenup and the benefits it could bring to both of you.

Be Honest

Many people have some kind of fear about the future when they are about to get married, even when they know it is the right decision. Likewise, many people do not want to convey these fears to their partner because they do not want their partner to think they are having doubts. It is always best to be honest about your feelings, any fears you have, and to let your fiancé know that you have certain assets you would like to protect. Dishonesty will only add to the tension of the conversation.

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IL child support lawyerChild support in Illinois is legally binding. When a judge orders one parent to pay it as a result of divorce, they must do so. That does not mean, however, that you are stuck with a high payment that you might not always be able to afford. The law in Illinois recognizes that situations change and as such, either parent can petition the court to have their child support payments modified. The steps for doing so are outlined below.

Find a Good Family Lawyer

It is not a requirement that you have legal representation to modify child support payments. If you represent yourself, you will not have anyone to guide you through the legal system. The staff in the courtroom also cannot give legal advice, or tell you of the chances of a successful outcome. It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney any time you have to go to court.

Complete All Forms and File with the Court

There are many forms you will need to complete. These include:

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IL divorce lawyerMany people get married without creating a prenuptial agreement. Then, maybe a few years or even a few days after the wedding, they determine that they need a bit of protection in case they get divorced. Maybe they have started a business that is hugely successful. Or, maybe they just did not realize how much they needed a prenuptial agreement before the big day. Whatever the reason, now the couple understands that they need to protect their assets. So, they start thinking about drafting a postnuptial agreement.

When this is the case, the couple may decide to simply draft an agreement on their own and sign it. That is perfectly legal and, if done right, enforceable. However, doing it right is key. An Illinois family lawyer can help with this and ensure that in the event that the worst happens, everyone is protected. Below are just two reasons you should not draft a postnuptial agreement without first speaking to an attorney.

An Attorney Will Ensure You Are Protected

Postnuptial agreements are legal documents that, when done right, can help protect both spouses. However, when they are not done right, postnuptial agreements also pose risks for both spouses. Postnuptial agreements are legally binding documents and so, neither spouse can remove themselves from the terms later on simply because they do not like them, or because they did not read or fully understand what the contract said.

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IL paternity lawyerThere are many reasons you may want to establish paternity in Hinsdale. You may want to have the right to child custody but are not wed to the mother, or you may be in disagreement with the mother about who the father of the child is. Illinois law presumes that when two parents are married, the husband is the biological father of the child. There is no presumption made, however, when parents are unwed. It is mostly in cases of unwed parents that people wish to establish paternity in the state, although there are certainly some others. No matter the reason, it is important to establish paternity, so that a legal relationship between the father and child can be created.

Establishing Paternity in Hinsdale

In Illinois, there are three different ways to establish paternity. The first is by completing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP). This is a document in which both the mother and father agree on the parentage of the child. The mother and the father must both complete and sign the VAP and the father will voluntarily acknowledge that he is the biological parent of the child. Many paternity cases are decided this way. When parents are not married, these forms are often filled out at the hospital shortly after the child’s birth.

If the father disagrees that he is the biological parent of the child, there are then two options. The first is to have the State of Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ (HFS) Child Support Service enter an Administrative Paternity Order. When this document is submitted, the HFS will first try to determine paternity without the need for legal measures. To do this, they will schedule DNA testing and conduct an interview in their office to try and come to a resolution.

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