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DuPage County divorce mediation lawyersOnce the decision to end a marriage has been made, divorcing parties must determine which path may be most appropriate for their situation. Litigation tends to pit the divorcing parties against one another, which can make it an unfavorable option for those who want to end their marriage in an amicable manner (perhaps for the benefit of their children). Divorce mediation - a process in which the divorcing parties select an unbiased third-party to facilitate conversations that must take place during the divorce process (i.e. parenting time, asset division, etc.) - encourages compromise and a willingness to negotiate matters in good faith. 

In short, the two methods are almost complete opposites, each with their own set of pros and cons. Learn how to determine which option may be most appropriate for your situation, and discover how the assistance of a seasoned divorce lawyer can improve the outcome in your Illinois divorce case, irrespective of the divorce path you and your spouse choose. 

Examining the 5 Principles of Divorce Mediation 

To truly understand whether divorce mediation is appropriate for your case, one might first examine its principles. There are a total of five: 

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Wheaton family law attorneysChildren often feel the pain of a divorce, no matter what time of year it is, but the holiday season can be especially difficult for those who are trying to adjust to a new way of life. Days previously spent together, happily planning family events, wrapping gifts, or attending holiday parties together can become a sad reminder of all that the child has lost. Not all is lost, however. In fact, parents can help their child find and experience joy during the holidays, even if they are in the throes of nasty divorce. Best of all, divorcing parents can use the following co-parenting strategies, long after the decorations have been packed away, as these tactics can benefit a child of divorce, all year-round. 

Focus on Your Child Instead of Your Ex-Spouse 

Parents are encouraged to focus their energy on their child, rather than their ex-spouse, during the divorce process. Concerns over your ex’s personal life, fighting over parenting matters or marital assets, and worrying about whether your child misses you while spending time with their other parent can hurt more than just you and your spouse; such behaviors can also cause your child to feel as though they are trapped in the middle of the divorce, or that they must “choose sides.” Focus on celebrating your child’s time with their other parent, keep conversations about the divorce private, and focus on rebuilding and reinventing your own life and not only are you likely to be happier, but your child is likely to be as well. 

Consider Using Neutral Ground for Family Traditions

Family traditions do not have to fall completely to the wayside, just because you are divorcing your spouse, but if spending a few hours alone with them in the presence of your child does not feel like a possibility, you may be at a loss for how to move forward. Some parents choose to continue their usual family traditions on neutral ground. For example, if you typically open gifts together on Christmas morning, you might consider if it would be possible to meet and open gifts at a family member’s house. Changing traditions in this way not only allows your child to share important moments with both parents, but it shows your child that you and your ex-spouse are willing to work together as a cohesive parenting team, rather than sworn enemies. 

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DuPage County stepparent adoption lawyersAdoption is usually thought of as the process in which a single- or two-parent household brings a new child into their home, but not all adoptions happen this way. In fact, some adoptions involve a child that is already known and loved by the adopting parent.

One such example is the stepparent adoption.

In such cases, the stepparent is usually already a part of the family unit, and the biological parent in question may be out of the picture, no longer interested in being in the child’s life, or detrimental to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional development. Learn more about pursuing a stepparent adoption in Illinois, and discover how our seasoned family law attorneys can help to ease the process for your family. 

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Illinois family law attorneysSome child support cases are straightforward, such as those involving divorcing parents, where paternity is assumed. Unfortunately, when the law does not automatically establish paternity, obtaining child support can be far more difficult. Perhaps the most challenging of situations are those that involve a father who outright denies paternity. 

Establishing Paternity in Illinois 

If the parents of a child were not married at the time of the birth, paternity must be legally established through one of three methods: 

  • A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) is signed by both the mother and father and filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS);
  • An Administrative Paternity Order is pursued by DHFS; or
  • An Order of Paternity is established by the courts. 

VAP forms are only considered as valid if both the mother and the father agree on paternity. Otherwise, paternity is established through another method. In cases where the father denies paternity altogether, the courts of DHFS may request a DNA test.

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Wheaton adoption attorneysAdoption is one of the most rewarding decisions that a person can make. Of course, that single decision soon becomes just one of many. Some of the decisions you have to make will be fun or simple: coming up with a theme for the nursery, figuring out where the child will go to school, etc. Others will be more complex, and some might even feel like taxing, multilayered decisions, such as knowing if you are comfortable with the child knowing his or her birth parents. 

You must also decide when and how you would like to adopt, as there are several avenues that one can pursue on this journey. Some prospective parents choose to adopt through an agency, while others decide to go through the state. There are those who would prefer an international adoption and others that would rather adopt a child in foster care. Whatever your path, know that you do not have to travel it alone. The following information, along with the assistance of a seasoned family law attorney, can make all the difference in the weeks and months ahead. 

Why Hire an Attorney Now? 

Adopting parents often wait until legal proceedings to hire an attorney, but this decision can negatively impact your situation. First, you must research the adoption process in your state and hope you are given accurate information. Then you must decide which adoption path to pursue, perhaps without fully understanding the potential benefits and challenges to expect from each option. You might even find yourself going through unnecessary heartache if a birth mother changes her mind and you were not fully prepared for the possibility. 

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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
Phone630-580-6373
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
Phone630-580-6373
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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