Tag Archives: DuPage County family lawyer

IL divorce lawyerIn 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making Illinois the eleventh state in the country to legalize marijuana for adult use. The legislation includes many laws, and one of them is the fact that people that use marijuana cannot be discriminated against for their consumption in family court. Unfortunately, many courts have still not recognized this part of the law and continue to discriminate against parents that use marijuana during child custody hearings. If you use marijuana, it is important to know how it may affect your child custody case, and how to prevent it from happening.

How Marijuana Use May Affect a Child Custody Case

Even though marijuana is now legal for adult use in Illinois, it remains illegal under federal law. Perhaps this is the reason why judges and some attorneys remain biased against individuals that choose to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. It is a difficult stereotype to defeat, even though the image of marijuana users most biased people have is not realistic.

Child custody battles are already some of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try and stain the character of the other parent when going through child custody hearings. When that parent uses marijuana, the other spouse may use that information to try and make it seem as though this fact compromises their ability to properly care for their child. This argument is often raised even when the use of marijuana has no impact on a parent’s ability to raise and care for their children.

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IL divorce lawyerMany people are familiar with the term ‘starter home’ and what it means. A starter home is usually a very affordable home a person or couples buys when they are just starting out in life. Typically used as an introduction to real estate ownership, people soon give up their starter home within five to ten years and move on to something bigger and better. Today, ‘starter marriages’ are also becoming more common and it has been found that these unions are at a much higher risk for divorce. However, while the chances of a starter marriage dissolving are much greater, like starter homes, a marriage early in life can actually bring benefits to those that enter into them.

What Is a Starter Marriage?

A starter marriage is typically defined as one that is entered into before a person turns 30, and one that ends before that age, as well. During a starter marriage, it is typically unlikely for a couple to have children, and they also usually involve little joint property. Still, a starter marriage may mean different things to different people. For some, a starter marriage may last over two decades, and others may have children during their marriage.

Like many marriages, starter marriages may end for many different reasons. And, like many divorces, couples may learn many things about themselves during the process.

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IL family lawyerParenting plans outline the arrangements for child custody agreements and dictate when each divorced parent of a child spends time with their children. Parenting plans are often agreements that are negotiated between the two spouses, although sometimes they are court-ordered arrangements. Regardless of how a couple arrived at a parenting plan, there are some common issues surrounding these agreements. Below are the five most common issues, and how to prevent them.

Being Late for Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs

Sometimes parents run into unexpected circumstances, such as heavy traffic, when dropping off their child or picking their child up at the other parent’s home. While being late for an arranged pick-up or drop-off on occasion is not a call for concern, behaving in this way regularly may indicate a lack of respect for your ex’s time. It is always advised to try and be prompt for all pick-ups and drop-offs to avoid unnecessary disputes.

Canceling Plans Without Notice

Like being late for pick-ups and drop-offs, you may have to cancel plans that affect your parenting plan from time to time. While canceling plans may be necessary from time to time, try not to do it too often. It places a strain on your former spouse, as they will have to make different arrangements to ensure the child is supervised and cared for. If you must cancel your allotted parenting time, try to provide your former spouse with as much notice as possible.

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IL divorce lawyerThe holiday season is upon us and, while it is going to be slightly different for many this year, there are some things that will not change for parents of divorce. The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected court-ordered child custody and visitation time. Even though dropping a child off at someone else’s house does come with unique concerns during this time, the fact is that child custody orders are legally binding, and parents must continue to comply with them.

The holidays can present even more unique challenges, particularly if the parents do not have a visitation schedule in place. If you have gotten a divorce, or are getting a divorce and do not know how to divide this time, below are some common options.

Alternating the Holidays

One of the most common ways to handle child custody during the holidays is to alternate them. So, if the mother has the children over Thanksgiving, the father will have them over Christmas. The following year, those holidays will rotate with the mother having the children for Christmas, and the father spending Thanksgiving with the kids.

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IL family lawyerUnder the Illinois Parentage Act, when unmarried parents have children together, the alleged father must voluntarily state that they are the biological father, or get a DNA test administered by the courts. Establishing paternity may sound like an easy process, but it is not. There are many complexities involved, and believing any of the multiple myths surrounding paternity cases only makes the process more difficult. If you have had a child with someone you are not married to, it is crucial that you understand what the most common myths are, and the truth behind them. This is the only way to protect the rights of you and your child.

You Can Sign the VAP After You Leave the Hospital

The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, more commonly known as the ‘VAP,’ is a form that is available at the hospital after the child’s birth. When the presumed father is present at the birth, he should be given the chance to sign this document, which is legally binding and very difficult to challenge.

The time after birth is often chaotic, albeit joyful, with lots of visits from relatives and running errands to ensure the mother and child have everything they need to leave the hospital. Due to this, some people do not fill out the VAP, mistakenly thinking that they can sign it at a later date.

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