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DuPage County family law attorneysFamily courts have favored the mother in divorce proceedings for more than a century, partly because they have always been considered the “natural caregivers” of children. Times are changing, however, and more families using a shared parenting plan model that provides both parents with adequate time with their child. Learn how to determine if this parenting plan model may be appropriate for your family, and discover how an experienced attorney can help to ensure the best interests of your child are preserved throughout the entire legal process.

Understanding the Shared Parenting Plan Trend

During the 1950s and 60s, more women began to enter the workforce. That was when divorce laws started to change, offering no-fault options in some states and protecting what the courts considered to be the “best interests” of the child across the U.S. However, to really understand what was in a child’s best interests, the courts had to begin looking at cold, hard facts.

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DuPage County stepparent adoption lawyersAmerican families look quite different today than they did just a few short decades ago. In fact, recent studies have determined that approximately half of all families are blended, meaning there may be step-parents, step- or half-siblings, or any combination of the three. Some of these blended families co-parent with the biological parent (and perhaps the biological parent’s partner), but others find that a stepparent adoption is more appropriate for their situation. Learn more about the process, including how to determine if this may be an option for your family, and discover what an experienced attorney can do to help in the following sections.

Is Stepparent Adoption a Viable Option for Your Family?

Illinois state law does not allow a child to have three legal parents, so stepparent adoption may not be appropriate in every situation. Typically, they are reserved for situations in which one of the biological parents is deemed unfit or unsafe, but a stepparent adoption can also be pursued if the biological parent is uninterested in maintaining a relationship with the child. In the latter situation, parents and adopting step-parents must understand that consent—usually from the biological parent that would be relinquishing or losing their rights, but also sometimes the child, depending on the circumstances—is a critical element in stepparent adoption cases.

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Illinois child support lawyersParents who receive child support often rely on it to ensure their child’s needs are met. What happens, though, if the paying parent falls behind or refuses to make their payments? Besides placing a financial strain on the receiving parent, and potentially the child as well, the paying parent then becomes delinquent on their support. If that support is paid under an existing order with the courts, the receiving parent also has recourse for pursuing their overdue support. Learn more, including when the assistance of an experienced family law attorney may be necessary.

Determining How Much Support is Owed

Before pursuing overdue child support, a receiving parent is encouraged to first determine how much support is owed. If the payments are made through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), the parent can request payment records directly from SDU. Parents who receive their payments directly through the courts can request such records from the circuit clerk. If payments are made directly to the receiving parent, they must bear the burden of proof in court, meaning they must supply the court with evidence that proves the child support payments were never made.

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DuPage County fathers rights attorneysUnmarried fathers often assume that an agreement with the mother, and perhaps some financial assistance, will satisfy their desire to be a part of the child’s life. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Relationships break down, and issues along the way may jeopardize a father’s time and say-so in the child’s life. Thankfully, there is a way to protect all your fathers’ rights. Learn more in the following sections, including how an experienced attorney can help.

Legally Establishing a Father’s Rights

Although fathers can sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (“VAP”) to have their name placed on the birth certificate, it does not establish the father’s rights to spend time with the child, nor does it give them any decision-making power in the child’s life. Only a judge can provide these rights. As such, fathers are encouraged to seek legal rights over their child, even if their name is on the child’s birth certificate.

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DuPage County divorce lawyersEven in the simplest of cases, divorce can be a complex matter. If you add in assets that are difficult to divide, such as a retirement account or pension plan, the process can become even more difficult to effectively navigate. Thankfully, divorcing parties can improve the outcome of their case by ensuring they have the assistance of a seasoned divorce team on their side. Learn more about retirement plans in divorce, including the importance, challenges, and risks completing a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) with help from the following information.

What is a QDRO?

Most often seen in divorce proceedings, qualified domestic relations orders are used to instruct the plan administrator on how the benefits of a retirement plan will be paid to a non-employee (the spouse of an employee). Required only in ERISA-qualified plans, these documents are complicated and subject to approval from the administrator. There are also federal regulations that must be adhered to and tax consequences that one must consider when completing their QDRO. As such, individuals are discouraged from pursuing a QDRO without the assistance of an experienced legal professional.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway
Suite 103
Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road
Building A, Suite 105
Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street
7th Floor
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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