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DuPage County family law attorneysDaytime television has popularized the idea of a DNA test to establish paternity to the point where you might think it is a necessary part of any legal paternity case. It is true that in Illinois, genetic testing is often used in cases involving uncertain or contested paternity, but there are other ways of establishing paternity that do not require testing at all. As either a father seeking to establish paternity or a mother who wants to ensure child support, you should be aware of when a DNA test is or is not required and what you can expect if a genetic test is part of your case.

Establishing Legal Paternity Without a DNA Test

In Illinois, there are a few situations in which legal paternity for an unmarried father can be established without the need for a DNA test. These include cases in which the father:

  • Was previously married to or in a civil union with the child’s mother within 300 days before the child’s birth. In this case, no further legal action is required to establish paternity.
  • Marries or enters into a civil union with the child’s mother after the child’s birth, if he has consented to being named as the father on the child’s birth certificate.
  • Completes and signs a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP), regardless of his current or prior relationship with the child’s mother. A VAP can be completed at the hospital upon the child’s birth or at any point after. The mother must also sign the VAP as well.

When is a DNA Test Used?

If you believe you may be the father of a child and are interested in being a part of the child’s life, you can request a DNA test to confirm your paternity. This may be important in cases where you or the mother simply have questions or when the mother is trying to contest your paternity.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysOut of all of the marital properties that must be divided in a divorce, perhaps none carries a greater emotional weight than the family home. It may be the place where you and your spouse began your life together, or where you have raised your children and made lasting memories. However, as you consider what will happen to your home during the divorce, it is best to try to set aside emotions and make a rational plan for achieving your desired outcome.

Options for the Marital Home When Dividing Assets

Because Illinois requires an equitable distribution of marital assets rather than a 50/50 split, getting a divorce does not mean that you and your spouse will have to divide the value of the house down the middle. Rather, you have a wide range of options, especially if you are willing to work together to negotiate a solution. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Following the terms of your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement: It is worth noting that if you and your spouse created a legally valid agreement, either before or during your marriage, that specifies what becomes of the marital home in a divorce, the court will usually honor it. This can save you time and stress during the divorce process.
  • Granting ownership to the spouse with greater parenting time: You and your spouse may decide it is best for your children to continue spending most of their time in the home they are used to, and this is also a factor the court may consider even if you cannot reach an agreement on your own. With this option, the spouse who keeps the home should be sure that he or she can manage any accompanying expenses, and should be aware that it may mean giving up a greater share of other properties.
  • Maintaining joint ownership temporarily: If the primary custodial parent cannot afford to keep the house alone, you may be able to reach an agreement in which you and your spouse continue to own the home together until your children are grown. Maintaining joint ownership for a time may also be a good idea if the housing market is not currently favorable to sellers.
  • Selling the home: If neither spouse has a strong attachment to the home, or if neither would be able to afford to keep it on his or her own, the best option may be to sell it and divide the proceeds after paying off any outstanding debt. This may also be the outcome if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement and the decision is left in the court’s hands.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer Today

At Davi Law Group, we understand how important your home may be to you, and we will help you explore all possible options for it during your divorce. We can advise you through cooperative negotiations with your spouse or represent your interests in a divorce trial if necessary. Contact a compassionate Wheaton, IL family law attorney at 630-504-0176 to schedule a free consultation.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysOne of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is seeing the effects on your children, and even parents with the best of intentions can struggle to establish and maintain a post-divorce environment that serves the children’s best interests. One specific challenge that parents may face is maintaining consistent rules, expectations, and discipline when the children are dividing time between two households. Here, we offer suggestions that can help you avoid parenting mistakes and work on an arrangement that helps your children adjust and thrive.

Common Mistakes for Divorced Parents

As you adjust to your new co-parenting routine after your divorce, here are some unproductive approaches you may find yourself taking:

  • Avoiding discipline: You may find yourself tolerating poor behavior from your children because you do not want to come across as the mean parent, because you feel that you deserve it after putting them through the divorce, or simply because you lack the energy to provide discipline. However, this can teach your children that the behavior is acceptable and lead to worse behavior in the future.
  • Being overly strict: On the other hand, you may find yourself lashing out at your children or trying to enforce more strict discipline than you did before the divorce, especially if you feel your ex is not providing the necessary discipline. However, this can damage your relationship with your children and lead to a situation in which they do not enjoy the time spent with you.
  • Enforcing expectations inconsistently: It can be hard for divorced co-parents to uphold the same set of rules and expectations for their children, especially if they are not communicating regularly, and this can lead to confusion and instability for everyone involved.

Constructive Suggestions for Divorced Parents

If you find that any of these things are happening in your family, you can take action to improve the situation. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that you and your ex have a shared understanding of your parenting plan, including the allocation of parental responsibilities, and that you communicate as much as possible about your children’s behavior. This can help you be more consistent in your approaches and avoid creating a situation in which your children resent one or both of you. It is also important that when you do discipline your children, you also make an effort to talk to them and listen to the feelings and concerns that may be driving their behavior. It is common for children to act out after a divorce, and while this does not mean their behavior is okay, it does mean that they might require extra care and attention.

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Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyersAs societal trends evolve, each new generation has its own views and priorities regarding marriage. Millennials, who currently range in age from their mid-twenties to late-thirties, are at a point in their lives when marriage is common, but their approaches to marriage, and often, their approaches to prenuptial agreements, reveal different needs from the generations that came before them.

What Should Millennial Couples Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Not every marriage requires a prenuptial agreement, but if you are a Millennial preparing for marriage, you may want to consider an agreement that addresses the following issues:

  • Protection of assets: According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials on average marry for the first time three years later than Generation X and four years later than Baby Boomers. By the time you get married, you may already be established in your career and have significant assets in your name, and a prenuptial agreement can help you define and protect those assets in the event of a divorce in the future.
  • Student loan debt: Many Millennials have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, which may be a major factor in their financial situation when they prepare to enter a marriage. If one or both partners have significant debt, you may wish to account for it in your prenuptial agreement to ensure that you will not be responsible for your partner’s debt during your marriage or after a potential divorce.
  • Pet custody: Millennials currently comprise the largest share of pet owners in the United States, and many consider pets to be a member of the family. You may be entering your marriage with a pet of your own, or you may have adopted a pet with your partner before your marriage. In either case, your prenuptial agreement can address who has rights to your pet if you get a divorce.

Many Millennials also choose to cohabit with a romantic partner before getting married, which sometimes involves the sharing of assets and financial responsibilities. You may find it beneficial to establish a cohabitation agreement that addresses what happens if the relationship ends.

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Wheaton divorce lawyersFor many divorcing couples, mediation can be a great option to keep conflict to a minimum and avoid an expensive, public trial. However, what works for one couple does not always work for another, and in fact, there are some circumstances in which attempting mediation can be counterproductive or even dangerous. As you work toward a divorce, you should be aware of the signs that mediation may be wrong for you.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a cooperative approach to divorce resolution in which both spouses meet with a neutral third-party mediator who is professionally trained to guide negotiations. A mediator will not recommend or enforce solutions, but he or she will attempt to ensure that each spouse has the opportunity to voice his or her perspective and help the two parties recognize opportunities for compromise. When spouses have the right mindset, mediation can help them resolve their divorce more efficiently and amicably.

Divorce Mediation Does Not Always Work

That said, there are some high-conflict situations in which mediation is unlikely to succeed, undesirable, or even impossible. You may be better off avoiding mediation and resorting to litigation to achieve your desired outcome If any of the following are true of your marriage and divorce:

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Naperville divorce attorneysA divorce can impact children at least as much as, if not more than, their parents. The emotional distress of the breakdown of the family is often difficult for children to cope with, and many of the decisions made in the divorce will have a direct effect on the children’s lives. With so much at stake, it is reasonable to wonder whether children have a say in what happens during the divorce process, or whether they are at the mercy of their parents and the court.

Including the Child’s Perspective in the Divorce Process

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure the child’s needs and preferences are considered in any decisions that affect them. Particularly regarding parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities, an Illinois court will:

  • Focus on the child’s best interests. To determine whether a decision is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider many factors including the child’s needs, physical and mental health, relationships with both parents and any siblings, connection to their home, school, and community, and any history of violence or abuse in the family. While the child’s parents may already have their best interests in mind, the court will not make a decision solely based on the parents’ preferences.
  • Consider the child’s wishes. The court will often hear directly from a child regarding his or her preferences about parenting time and parental decision-making. If the child has reached an appropriate maturity level and is capable of expressing independent wants and needs, this input can factor significantly into the court’s decision.
  • Determine the necessity of representation for the child. While it is not necessary in every divorce case, the court may appoint a representative for the child if there are questions regarding the child’s best interests. This representative can be a guardian ad litem, who serves as a witness after investigating the case and interviewing the child and both parents. Alternatively, it can be a child representative who advocates for the child’s best interests using evidence-based arguments, or an attorney for the child who specifically represents the child’s perspective with a duty of loyalty and confidentiality.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

The attorneys at Davi Law Group have the knowledge and experience necessary to answer any questions you may have about the effects of divorce on children and the legal rights they have throughout the divorce process. When we take your case, we strive to ensure that the children’s best interests are at the forefront of any decisions in which they have a stake. Contact a Naperville family law attorney today at 630-948-8926 to schedule a free consultation.

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Naperville divorce lawyersFinancial issues can be not only a major point of contention during the divorce process, they can also be a reason for the marriage failing in the first place. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that 31 percent of people in a marriage or romantic relationship claim that finances are a significant source of conflict. However, it is possible for a married couple to healthily address finances and work through challenges that arise, which may save your marriage and help you avoid resorting to divorce.

Tips for Addressing Finances With Your Spouse

The following suggestions can help you and your spouse prevent destructive conflict over finances both before and during your marriage:

  • Be honest with each other. Before getting married, you and your partner should have an open conversation about your financial situation, including your existing assets and debts, so that there are no surprises later on. During your marriage, avoid hiding purchases from your spouse that can damage trust and your family’s financial situation.
  • Create a budget together. A thorough conversation about your income, expenses, and spending goals can be helpful early in your marriage to ensure that both partners have input in decisions and a shared understanding of how you will manage your finances.
  • Try to avoid excessive debts. Each partner may enter the marriage with existing debts, and you may acquire more as a couple, from mortgages, to vehicle loans, to credit cards. Excessive debt can create immense stress on a relationship, so you should make a plan to avoid incurring debt that you cannot handle, and to pay down debts that are creating a burden.
  • Discuss your plan for your kids. If you and your spouse plan to have kids together, you should be aware of the financial cost and plan accordingly. You will need to ensure that you can provide for their basic needs and interests at least until they reach the age of 18, and you may want to plan for higher education expenses as well.
  • Consider a prenuptial agreement. You may find it helpful to legally formalize your agreement over finances in the form of a prenuptial agreement that clarifies each partner's ownership of assets and plans for the division of property and spousal support in the event of a divorce. 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

At Davi Law Group, we provide advice and representation for any legal matters affecting finances in your marriage. We can help you draft a valid prenuptial agreement, and we are always available if you do decide to pursue a divorce. Contact a Naperville family law attorney today to schedule a free consultation at 630-824-3474.

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Wheaton child custody attorneysDuring the divorce process, one of the most important items for both parents to agree to is a parenting plan that addresses parenting time and parental responsibilities. This agreement may come about through negotiation, mediation, or other collaborative methods between you and your spouse, or it may come in the form of a court ruling issued by a judge, but in either case the terms are legally binding. In the months and years following your divorce, if you find that your ex is failing or refusing to honor the agreement, you may need to pursue the legal enforcement of your divorce order.

Common Parenting Plan Violations in Illinois

Parenting plan breaches may arise out of carelessness, hostility, a change in the relationship between you and your ex, or resentment surrounding the initial terms of the agreement. Some of the most common violations include:

  • Refusing to allow the children to spend their allocated time with the other parent
  • Frequent lateness when transporting the children to the other parent
  • Attempted interruptions of the other parent’s allocated time
  • Refusing to care for the children during one’s allocated time
  • Relocating with the child without obtaining necessary permission under Illinois law

If your ex is engaging in any of these behaviors, you should first attempt to resolve the dispute on your own, provided that doing so does not put you or your children in danger. If the behavior continues, your next step is to file a petition for enforcement with the court.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen you get a divorce in Illinois, you can expect the court to ensure a fair distribution of marital property. However, you may have additional concerns about your ability to support yourself financially after your divorce, in which case you should explore the possible option of spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony. Spousal maintenance is not a required part of every Illinois divorce resolution, but it may be awarded in cases of need.

Am I Entitled to Spousal Support in Illinois?

If you and your spouse are willing to cooperate throughout the divorce process, you may be able to negotiate for the spousal support that you need as one piece of a larger divorce agreement. For example, your spouse may be more open to paying spousal support if he or she is able to retain important property as part of the division of assets. If negotiation is not possible, you can also pursue spousal maintenance by demonstrating your need to the court.

Illinois courts consider a variety of factors when determining whether spousal maintenance should be awarded. Some situations in which you may have a case for support include:

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Naperville divorce attorneysGetting a divorce can create financial strain for both spouses because of the required division of assets and the potential for child and spousal support obligations. This may be especially difficult if you have significant debt at the time of your divorce. If you are not careful, debt problems can become increasingly complicated after your divorce, so it is important to consider options that can alleviate your debt burden during the divorce process.

When is Debt Considered Marital Property in Illinois?

You may be aware that marital property will be divided in your divorce, but it can come as a surprise that debts accumulated during your marriage are considered part of that property. This may be true whether the debt was incurred by one spouse or both together. Marital debt can come from many sources, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, business loans, and credit card debt. Any remaining marital debt at the time of your divorce must be distributed fairly between you and your spouse.

Strategies for Avoiding Debt Complications in Your Divorce

As your divorce approaches, you may be able to reduce your debt obligations or prevent future complications with creditors by being proactive, especially if you and your spouse are willing to cooperate and negotiate. Some strategies for mitigating the effects of marital debt include:

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DuPage County domestic violence attorneysDomestic violence is, unfortunately, a widespread problem in the United States. Each year, more than 12 million people are victims of physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner, and this abuse often extends to children in the household as well. If you or a family member is suffering from domestic abuse in Illinois, an order of protection can help keep you safe from the perpetrator. An experienced attorney can help you understand how an order of protection works and which type of order is best for your situation.

What is an Order of Protection?

In Illinois, an order or protection can prevent an alleged abuser from continued abuse, physical contact, proximity, and communication with the person who has been abused, as well as that person’s children, dependents, or legal guardians. Orders of protection are enforced by local law enforcement officers, and they can be filed independently or together with a petition related to divorce, parental responsibilities, guardianship, or adoption

Depending on the nature and severity of your situation, you may be able to pursue one of three types of protective orders:

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Naperville family law attorneysCo-parenting after a divorce can be challenging, both because of the need for coordination between two households and the possibility of lingering disagreement or resentment between you and your ex. However, successful co-parenting is often crucial for your children’s happiness and well-being, and if you can work on effective communication with your ex, you can avoid some of the stresses of co-parenting and establish a system that works for the good of everyone involved.

Illinois Co-Parenting Communication Tips

Whether you and your ex get along fairly well, or you tend to butt heads on a regular basis, communication is key to successful co-parenting. Here are some strategies to improve your communication:

  • Stay calm and professional. Make sure you are in the right mindset to approach communication with your ex so that you can remain calm and manage your emotions. It may help to think of your communication with your ex as similar to communication with a work colleague, since you essentially share the job of effectively raising your children.
  • Practice active listening. It is important to express your needs in communication with your ex, but make sure that you also make an effort to listen to his or her perspective. This opens the door for compromise and collaborative solutions in which both parents and children are able to achieve what is best for them.
  • Keep your focus on the task at hand. When you communicate with your ex, try to keep the conversation on the topic of your children and what each of you needs in order to co-parent effectively. If the conversation begins to stray toward your personal disagreements, this can lead to a communication breakdown.
  • Plan regular check-ins. You may need to establish a regular time to check in with your ex and make sure you are keeping each other informed. This could be a weekly phone call or a short conversation when you drop your kids off at the other parent’s home.
  • Be proactive. If you have a concern or a request related to something coming up in the future, try to be proactive and address it early rather than waiting until the last minute when it may be difficult for the other parent to adapt.
  • Consider alternative channels. Face-to-face communication may not be the best option for you and your ex. If you find it difficult emotionally or logistically to converse in person, it may be best to explore other options like phone calls, texting, or email.

Along with all of these tips, you should ensure that all communication between you and your ex in front of your children is civil. If your kids see their parents fighting, this can put a strain on their relationships with each of you and put them in a difficult situation in which they may feel forced to pick sides.

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How Mediation Helps You Make Important Decisions in Your DivorceFor many couples who are preparing to divorce, one of the biggest concerns is the stress and conflict that can arise throughout the divorce process. It is true that almost no divorce is easy, but you may be able to avoid much of the hardship by pursuing the option of divorce mediation, which allows you and your spouse to work together to make important decisions on a number of issues.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

For a mediated divorce process to work, you and your spouse must be willing to cooperate and communicate with each other, whether that is face-to-face or through some other means. The two of you maintain control over all of your final decisions, and each of you will have the opportunity to express your perspectives throughout the deliberation process. A trained mediator, who is often an attorney, will be present as a third party to guide the process and ensure it proceeds smoothly without taking a side or attempting to influence the outcome. When mediation is successful, a couple may be able to avoid a trial entirely, which can save time and money and allow them to maintain greater privacy.

Decisions to Address During Mediation

Unlike a trial in which the judge issues a final ruling, mediation allows couples to reach an agreement tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Mediation can assist with all elements of your divorce agreement, including:

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What to Expect If You Are Divorcing While UnemployedIn an ideal situation, a couple would choose to get a divorce when both spouses are financially stable and able to maintain their accustomed lifestyle independently. However, this is not always possible, and it may be especially difficult at a time when so many people are struggling to find or maintain steady employment. Whether you are voluntarily unemployed in order to be a stay-at-home parent or you have recently lost your job due to COVID-19, there are a few things to consider regarding how your unemployment can affect the divorce process.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Unemployment

If you have been fired, laid off, or furloughed due to COVID-19 or for most other reasons, and you are actively seeking employment, your unemployment will likely be considered involuntary. This means that your financial obligations related to the divorce will usually take your actual current income into consideration. However, if you are voluntarily unemployed, the court may instead consider your earning capacity when determining your ability to make financial contributions. Note that there may be an exception if you are voluntarily unemployed so that you can contribute to the marriage in some other way, such as being a stay-at-home parent to care for your children while your spouse works.

Unemployment and Child Support in Illinois

In Illinois, each parent’s child support obligation is calculated based on an equitable proportion of the parents’ combined incomes. If both parents are regularly employed, this calculation can be relatively straightforward, but if one of you is unemployed, it can become more complicated. If the paying spouse is involuntarily unemployed, his or her child support obligation will often be lower than it would be in the case of regular employment. If the receiving spouse is unemployed, he or she may expect to see the other parent pay for a majority of the child support obligation.

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Parenting Teen Children During Your Illinois Divorce   Divorce is a difficult experience for parents and children alike, filled with sadness, anger, fear, uncertainty, and a range of other strong emotions. While it is a challenging time for children of all ages, teens may find it especially hard to deal with their parents’ divorce at a time in their life that may already be marked by major transitions and heightened emotions. As a parent, you should be prepared for the impact your divorce will have on your teenagers and do your best to help them cope with the changes that come.

Common Responses to Divorce For Teen Children

Many teens struggle with their parents’ divorce and react in ways that may have a negative impact on their lives. Some of the most common effects of divorce on teens include:

  • Academic Performance Issues: During a divorce, increased stress, lack of sleep, and difficulty focusing may all cause your teen’s grades and enjoyment of school to suffer.
  • Behavioral Issues: You may find that during and after your divorce, your teen lashes out at both parents more often or rebels against your rules and requests in ways that they had not before.
  • Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Some teens turn to substance abuse in response to their parents’ divorce, and they may also be more likely to engage in early, unsafe sexual activity.
  • Difficulty in Relationships: Divorce can put a strain on teens’ relationships not only with their parents but also with their friends and peers. They may also find it difficult to form and maintain romantic relationships after seeing their parents’ marriage fail.
  • Mental Health Issues: Divorce can contribute to a teen’s depression or suicidal thoughts and cause actions that require immediate attention and care.

Helping Your Teen Child Adjust to Divorce

It can be difficult to focus on the emotional needs of your children when you are struggling yourself, but the more you can be there for your teen children, the better you can help them work through their feelings and prevent some of their more dangerous and unhealthy reactions. Devoting time to talk to your children and listen to their concerns can make a big difference, as can continuing to support them in their interests. Asking for their input in your parenting plan can also help to ensure the arrangement works for everyone in the family. Most importantly, always be on the lookout for behavior that may indicate depression or other mental health issues that require help from a professional.

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How to Prepare for Remarriage After an Illinois DivorceIn the months and years following a divorce, many people find new partners with whom they want to spend their lives and decide to get married again. Remarriage can be a happy occasion and a time for celebration, but if you are planning for a second marriage, you should be sure to consider the changes it will bring for you and your family, as well as the legal matters you may need to address.

Addressing the Changes That Remarriage Brings

First and foremost, if you want to remarry, you must ensure that your divorce has been finalized and that your previous marriage has legally ended. If this is the case, then there are some additional factors for you to think through, including: 

  1. Combining Households and Families: You and your new partner will need to decide where you will live after your remarriage and if this means buying a new home together. If you have children, you should think through the best way to introduce them to your new partner and any potential step-siblings. You also may need to seek a modification to your parenting plan to accommodate your new living situation.
  2. Changes to Spousal and Child Support: In Illinois, a person who remarries is no longer able to receive spousal maintenance from the previous spouse. However, the paying spouse may still be required to pay spousal support after remarrying. When children are involved, both parents will still need to contribute to child support, but a modification may be in order if the remarrying parent experiences a significant increase in income as a result of the marriage.
  3. Pursuing a Prenuptial Agreement: Second marriages often happen at a point in life when both partners have significant financial assets, so you may find it important to develop a prenuptial agreement that specifies which of you has the right to certain properties if you get divorced in the future.
  4. Modifying Your Estate Plan: You may need to adjust your will and any trusts to include your new spouse as a beneficiary. It is also important to consider how your spouse’s inheritance will impact that of your children and other dependents from before the remarriage.

Contact a Naperville Family Law Attorney Today

An experienced family lawyer can help you not only during your divorce but also in the years following. At Davi Law Group, we can give you the legal advice you need to help your remarriage go smoothly, allowing you to focus on the positives and the strengthening of your relationships with your new family. Contact a Wheaton divorce lawyer for a free consultation at 630-504-0176.

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Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyerWhile a prenuptial agreement may not seem like the most romantic wedding gift, it is likely one of the most valuable. That is because it does not just protect you in the instance of divorce; it can also set the financial tone for your marriage and reduce the risk of arguments over money. With years of experience assisting engaged couples with their prenuptial agreements, our legal professionals have compiled a list of ten considerations to think about before signing your prenup.

Consider This

  1. More Than Just Money: Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous. Many couples, particularly millennials, use them to protect their intellectual rights to ideas, inventions, and artistic creations. Of course, not all ideas prove to be lucrative, but the point is that a prenuptial agreement protects your rights to these intangible assets (and any proceeds that may come from them).
  2. Timing is Everything: To effectively protect your assets in the event of a divorce, you will want to sign the prenuptial agreement sooner, rather than later. Sign too close to your wedding date and your spouse could have an argument for signing under duress, which would nullify the details of your prenup.
  3. You Need Your Own Counsel: Engaged couples often assume they can use the same attorney when drafting their prenup, but this is not the most beneficial for either you or your spouse. Just as you would have separate lawyers protecting your interests in a divorce, you should have your own attorney there to safeguard those same interests in your prenup.
  4. Premarital Assets Are Usually Off-Limits: When drafting a prenup, recognize that premarital assets are generally considered off-limits. In an Illinois divorce, premarital assets will be given back to the spouse who brought them into the marriage.
  5. Children Are Excluded: You cannot define parameters for children in a prenuptial agreement. The state requires all decisions regarding parenting plans and child support designations to be made in the best interests of the child at the time of the divorce, not at the time of the prenup.
  6. You Can Include Alimony Provisions: If alimony may be an issue in a potential divorce, you can address it in your prenuptial agreement. This can ensure that the receiving spouse is provided for, but that the amount awarded does not exceed what the payor can handle. You can also waive or exclude alimony in your prenuptial agreement, should that be the path you feel is most appropriate.
  7. ’Til Death Do You Part: Prenuptial agreements can even address sole-owned assets in the event of a death. Provisions may be set aside for other family members as well as the spouse.
  8. Honesty is the Best Policy: Be sure to provide full financial disclosure when drafting your prenuptial agreement. Failure to do so could cause it to be overturned in a divorce. Worse yet, you may be penalized for attempting to hide assets.
  9. Fairness is Important: In a divorce, marital assets are divided equitably—or fairly. Your prenuptial agreement should mirror this “fair” standpoint. Otherwise, it could be overthrown during your divorce.
  10. Fair Is Not the Same for Everyone: The term “fair” is subjective. What you deem fair may not seem fair to someone else, your spouse included. As such, it is important to base your prenuptial agreement on the circumstances of your marriage—not what everyone else says is fair.

Contact Our Wheaton Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys

If you are thinking of signing a prenuptial agreement before you marry, contact Davi Law Group, LLC. Our seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers can protect your interests and help you navigate the process. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 630-580-6373 today.

 

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DuPage County divorce attorney parental relocation

After a divorce, it can be challenging to co-parent between two different households, and the challenge is bound to increase the farther apart the two parents live. Nevertheless, you may find yourself in a situation in which you need to move for career or personal reasons and want your children to come with you. Illinois law allows for a parent’s relocation under certain circumstances, but if you are planning to move more than 25 or 50 miles away from your children’s other parent, depending on the county where you currently live, you will be required to present your case to the court for approval.

Preparing for Questions in Your Relocation Hearing

As the court considers your relocation request, they will ask you a variety of questions to determine whether the move is in your children’s best interests. These questions may include:

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Wheaton family law attorneyOne of the most important considerations in a divorce or any co-parenting situation is making sure that children are well provided for by both parents. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you bear the responsibility to contribute financially to your children’s food, clothing, shelter, health, and education. However, as your financial situation changes, especially during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find it difficult to keep up with the payments in your original child support order. If you have recently been laid off or have experienced an involuntary drop in income, you should consider pursuing a modification to your order.

How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support payments are determined by combining both parents’ monthly net incomes and allocating an equitable percentage of the child support obligation to each parent. The calculation also considers the number of children, their needs, and the standard of living they would have experienced in a two-parent household. Typically, the custodial parent fulfills their obligation by spending more time and money caring for the children directly, while the non-custodial parent is expected to make monthly payments to the custodial parent. Because each parent’s income is a significant factor in the calculation, if you have experienced a change in your income, it is important to seek a modification to the order whether you are the custodial or the non-custodial parent.

How to Seek a Modification to a Child Support Order

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) specifies that a child support order can be modified when there is a significant change in the non-custodial parent’s income, but either parent can request a modification at any time if a major change has occurred. After losing your job, you can contact DHFS to request a modification, and you will then be asked to certify your income and expenses, including any unemployment income you are receiving. The Division of Child Support Services will review your case and notify you of any changes to your existing order based on new calculations. If your modification is approved, the decreased payments can be applied retroactively to the date you filed for modification, but until then you should continue making payments according to your previous order to avoid facing penalties.

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Illinois parental alienation attorneysWhile most parents only want what is best for their children, there are those who are more focused on “winning” than the child’s best interest. Some may even go so far as to commit parental alienation. In today’s post, you will learn more about parental alienation, including how to determine if your child may be a victim, and what actions can be taken to protect the child. 

What is Parental Alienation?

Minor issues, such as arguments in front of the kids and ill-spoken words are fairly common in the initial stages of a divorce or separation. Though still harmful, these negative behaviors typically dissipate over time. Each parent heals from their grief or anger, sees the nature of their wrongs, and strives to improve for the benefit of the child. 

Parental alienation is different, specifically in terms of severity and the long-term continuance of the offending parent’s poor behavior. Their reasons behind it are varied (i.e. a need or desire to control, fear of losing the child’s love or affection, wanting to hurt or get even with the other parent), but the results are often devastatingly similar. The child suffers mentally and emotionally and, as a result, they may develop maladjustment issues, such as an identity crisis, depression, or even outright hatred toward a parent that they once loved dearly. 

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