Category Archives: Family Law

hinsdale prenuptial agreement lawyerA prenuptial agreement can be a useful tool for protecting both partners’ financial and property interests during their marriage. It can often help simplify the divorce process if the marriage fails. However, prenuptial agreements can be a sore subject for some couples, especially if one spouse has significantly greater assets and is more interested in creating the agreement than the other. If your spouse asks you to sign a prenup, there are several things you can do to ensure that the agreement is fair to you as well as your spouse.

Considerations When Signing a Prenup

Before you go through with signing a prenup, here are some important things you should consider:

  • Discuss your financial goals with your partner. Ideally, creating a prenuptial agreement should be a collaborative process. If your spouse comes to you with a fully drafted prenup, consider asking to share your own input rather than simply agreeing to their terms. Discussing your financial goals as a couple and each of your individual financial goals can better ensure that the agreement meets both of your needs.

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dupage county divorce lawyerUntil 2017, Illinois child support obligations were based solely on the paying parent’s income. However, the law has changed substantially in recent years, and now the calculation considers both parents’ income to decide how the support obligation should be distributed between them. In order to understand how this income shares model will apply to your case, it is important to know how Illinois determines the income of each parent for the purposes of child support.

Understanding Gross and Net Income

The first step in calculating child support is to determine each parent’s gross income. According to Illinois law, this includes income from a variety of sources, including wages, business income, investment income, trust distributions, unemployment benefits, taxable spousal maintenance, and more. It can also include Social Security disability benefits for the child, though in this case, the parent will receive a child support credit if benefits are paid to the other parent. Gross income does not include benefits from public assistance programs like Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, benefits paid for other children in the household, or tax-free maintenance.

After calculating gross income, the next step is to calculate each parent’s net income. In order to do so, a standardized or individualized amount of state and federal income taxes is subtracted from each parent’s gross income. If a parent is obligated to pay spousal maintenance or child support for another child outside of the current proceeding, those payments can also be subtracted. The resulting net income figures are then used in the basic child support calculation.

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hinsdale paternity lawyerWhen a child is born to unmarried parents in Illinois, it is important to establish legal paternity. There are a few different ways to do so, including having both parents sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) or establishing a man’s parentage through an administrative or judicial order, often with the support of a DNA test. However, regardless of how paternity is established, there are other, related legal issues that must often be resolved.

Denial of Presumed Parentage

Establishing paternity with a VAP is often a straightforward process that can be completed by simply completing and filing a form. However, it can be more complicated when there are other men who have a possible legal claim of fatherhood. Under Illinois law, a man is presumed to be the legal father of a child if he was married to the mother at the time of birth, or if he had been married to the mother within 300 days of the birth.

However, there are many cases in which a presumed father is not the biological father. If a man other than the one signing the VAP is presumed to be the father, he will need to sign a denial of parentage in order for the VAP to go into effect. The man may do so willingly, but if not, it may be necessary for both men to undergo DNA testing in order to reach a resolution on the child’s parentage.

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IL divorce lawyerOne of the hardest parts of divorce is not being able to spend as much time with your child. The situation becomes even more difficult when your former spouse tells you they plan to move out of state and they want to take your child with them. After you receive this notice, you may think there is nothing you can do. Fortunately, that is not true. There are steps you can take that can help keep your children with you.

Notice From Your Former Spouse

If your former spouse makes the decision that they want to move out of state with your child, they must first notify you of the move. The notice they give you must state the date they intend to move, the address of their new home, and how long they intend to remain in the new location. They must deliver the notice to you at least 60 days before they move unless they have a court order that specifies different instructions.

You can sign the notice if you approve of the move and your former spouse will then file the notice with the court. Of course, you do not have to consent to the move. If your spouse moves out of state with the child without your consent, or without sending you notice, it is considered parental kidnapping or child abduction.

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IL divorce lawyerPeople make mistakes and sometimes, that mistake is marrying the wrong person. When one or both people think getting married was a mistake, they often wonder if they can obtain an annulment instead of going through the complicated process of divorce. Couples are more inclined to think this when they have been married for a very short period of time.

Annulments are only available in very limited situations in Illinois. However, for couples that are ineligible for an annulment, there is another option that is sometimes a possibility. That is a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. So, what are the differences, and how does a couple qualify for either? Find out below.

Eligibility for an Annulment

The Illinois statutes do not actually refer to the word ‘annulment.’ Instead, the term ‘declaration of invalidity of marriage is used. To declare a marriage invalid is to say that it is void and essentially makes it as though the marriage never happened. Declaring a marriage invalid is only done under certain circumstances, which include:

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