Category Archives: Family Law

Hinsdale prenup lawyer 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 application. Although other parts of the prenuptial agreement may be enforced, the prohibited clauses are highly likely to be stricken from the contract at the judicial level.

It is advisable for each person who is contemplating entering a prenuptial agreement to have independent legal representation. An attorney can guard your interests during the process of developing and drafting this important legal contract. 

Clauses You Cannot Agree to in Your Prenuptial Agreement

It is good practice to assess each clause not only patently as it is written, but in regard to the potential latent effects that may arise during enforcement. Prohibited terms in an Illinois prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may include: 

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Hinsdale paternity lawyerIn 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.

If parentage is not established at the hospital at the time of birth and at least one parent will not voluntarily acknowledge their parentage at a later time, a judicial action may need to be initiated. Many interested parties can initiate this type of action. If you may need to go to court to establish parentage, it is best to be represented by an experienced attorney. 

Parties Who May be Able to Initiate Parentage Proceedings

Establishing parentage protects the child and parents alike. Parents can assert parental rights, while children generally benefit from having a relationship with and support from both parents. Parties who may be able to petition the court to adjudicate parentage include: 

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DuPage County child custody lawyerWhen 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.

Illinois courts are required to decide issues concerning parenting time and parental responsibilities based on what is best for the child involved. When parents cannot reach an agreement related to a parenting plan, the courts will generally need to conduct an analysis based on each statutory factor in order to reach a well-informed decision. If you are facing divorce with minor children, it is best to have strong legal representation. 

How DuPage County Courts Determine Parenting Time Allocation

It can be challenging for a judge who is unfamiliar with the parties and the child concerned to make sound determinations regarding which parent the child should primarily be placed with. A Guardian ad Litem may be appointed in order to assist the judge in gathering the relevant information so that an informed decision may be made. Factors that the court may consider include: 

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Hinsdale divorce mediation lawyersA 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.

Not all mediation styles are the same. You should know that you have options for how to approach the mediation process. Determining which type of mediation is right for you is an important part of the collaborative divorce process. Spouses who are more amicable may be more inclined to sit down together with their attorneys and a mediator in facilitative mediation. Spouses who are in a high level of conflict, such as those who have experienced infidelity, may struggle to have a productive mediation session if they are brought together. These spouses may opt for evaluative mediation, where the parties need not see each other. An attorney can help you decide which type of mediation may be the better option. 

What is Facilitative Mediation? 

In this style of mediation, the parties will be brought together and asked to collaborate with one another directly. You and your spouse will be joined in the mediation room by your respective attorneys and a neutral mediator. The role of the mediator is to facilitate a discussion between you and your spouse about the issues in your divorce case. The mediator does not tell you what arrangement is best, but simply guides the parties in talking about it. 

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DuPage County divorce attorneyFor 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 from several weeks to several years.

The timeline of your divorce depends on a multitude of factors, including the method of dispute resolution you and your spouse use, the nature and extent of marital assets, and whether you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place. Our attorneys may be able to give you a better approximation of how long your divorce might take when we know more about your unique situation. 

Factors Affecting an Illinois Divorce Timeline

If you are seeking a divorce in DuPage County, a number of circumstances may have an impact on the amount of time it will take. Factors that could reduce or prolong the divorce timeline may include: 

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