Tag Archives: Wheaton family law attorneys

When Should You Introduce Your Children to Your New Dating Partner?

dating, DuPage County family law attorneysOften times, when a married couple splits they go on to meet new people and might even get remarried eventually. Getting a divorce does not mean that a person is destined to be alone or should never date again. However, dating during or after a divorce can be tricky. If your divorce is not finalized and you meet a new romantic interest, when should you introduce him or her to your children? The answer to questions like these are not always absolute, but experts do have advice for those who have met someone new in the midst of a divorce.

Dating During Divorce Can Affect Court Decisions

There are a few instances when a person might still be technically married but has a new romantic partner. Some marriages are over long before they are legally dissolved, and the spouses may physically separate while the divorce process continues. However, when a divorce is in progress, dating during this time can indirectly affect some decisions made by the court. For example, if your new partner has a criminal record or has been accused of child abuse, the court may limit or place stipulations on your parenting time. Depending the specific circumstances, a judge presiding over a divorce has the authority to take new romantic partners into consideration when making decisions about child custody, spousal support (alimony), and parenting time/visitation.

Dating During Divorce Can Affect Your Children

The biggest concern when a newly-separated person starts dating is how it will affect his or her children. An overwhelming amount of research suggests that introducing children to new boyfriends or girlfriends too soon can be damaging to the children. Many children whose parents are going through a divorce are in an emotionally-heightened state. They may worry that their parents will stop loving them or have fears about a new home or school. Introducing children to a new significant other shortly after separating from your spouse can overwhelm them. The safest legal choice regarding dating during divorce is also the safest choice when it comes to children: wait until after the divorce is finalized. After a divorce is finalized and the dust has settled, children will be much more receptive to meeting a new significant other.

Considering Divorce?

If you have further questions about dating during divorce, parental responsibilities, spousal support, parenting time and visitation, or any other family law matter, The Andrew Cores Law Group is ready to help. Our DuPage County divorce attorneys will work with you to help you and your family reach their goals. Contact our office today by calling 630-871-1002 and set up a free initial consultation.





How to Ask Your Future Spouse for a Prenuptial Agreement

prenuptial agreement, DuPage County family law attorneysThe period around the winter holidays is a time when many hopeful romantics get engaged. Whether it is on Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or any other time of the year, getting engaged to be married is a time of hope and excitement. If you have decided that you want to sign a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse before tying the knot, you may be unsure of how to bring up the conversation. Unfortunately, prenuptial agreements have gotten a bad reputation in the past. Stories about outrageous celebrity marriages which seem doomed to fail are often where many first hear the term. However, prenuptial agreements are a tool which can be valuable to anyone. You do not need to be rich or a celebrity to benefit from a prenup.

Benefits of a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document which establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. For example, a prenup can protect your family-owned business, ensure inheritance rights for children of a previous marriage, prevent one spouse from acquiring the debt of another, protect each spouse’s financial interests, and more.

Today, having a prenuptial agreement is not seen as an oddity. When 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, it is important to prepare for that possibility. In addition to offering protections in the event of divorce, prenups are also helpful to couples who never get divorced. A marriage is not only a romantic relationship but also a business relationship. A thorough discussion about financial plans and desires while making a prenuptial agreement may help prevent misunderstandings and conflict in the future marriage.

Telling Your Partner

If you have decided that a prenuptial agreement is right for you, the next step is to discuss it with your partner. Some people find it easier to discuss matters related to finances with a mediator or counselor. A couple should always discuss how money will be handled in their marriage before getting married, and prenuptial agreements can be a part of this conversation. Instead of leading with “I want a prenuptial agreement,” begin the conversation as a part of a larger discussion about your collective plans and dreams for the future. Another step which may be helpful is sitting down together and researching what a prenuptial agreement actually is. Many people have negative associations with the term because of television and movies. Once a future spouse sees that a prenuptial agreement can be a mutually-beneficial tool, they will be less likely to get upset at the suggestion of using one.

DuPage County Prenuptial Agreements Lawyers

If you would like to speak to an experienced Wheaton family law attorney about creating a prenuptial agreement, call 630-871-1002. We have helped people throughout Illinois establish prenuptial agreements, including clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Will County and Kendall County.





Parental Rights and Losing Them

parental rights, Wheaton family law attorneysDespite a common misconception, merely being the biological parent of a child does not grant an adult immediate and total governance of that child’s life. Parental rights manifest when someone accepts legal responsibility regarding a child, and those rights can be lost. Still, there are quite a lot of misconceptions about parental rights that it is important to correct.

Definition of Parental Rights

Generally speaking, parental rights exist in any person who has been legally granted decision-making authority for a child—often referred to as legal custody. Despite the name, parental rights may be apply to anyone who has custody, including grandparents, or even an unrelated person or organization. It is a matter of good public policy and general fairness that, if possible, every child should have acknowledged legal parents. In Illinois, by law, a biological father actually has no legal rights to his child unless he acknowledges paternity.

The concept of tangible parental rights was articulated best in jurisprudence by the case of Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982), in which three children were removed from a home after accusations of abuse. The state only had to prove there was permanent neglect “by a fair preponderance of evidence,” which is a relatively low legal standard. The Santoskys argued that such a low standard violated their parental rights, and the Supreme Court agreed, holding both that parental rights exist under law, and that such a low evidentiary standard would harm them.

Winning and Losing Parental Rights

While historically, losing one’s parental rights was an irreversible process, it has been possible (in limited circumstances) to regain them since 2009. However, this is extremely rare. The more common scenario in terms of gaining parental rights is when one applies to adopt a child.

In Illinois, parental rights may be terminated either by the government (such as in cases where criminal neglect is present) or as a result of an adoption-related proceeding. It is not technically possible for someone to unilaterally surrender parental rights, though if there is a history of abandonment a court may consider revoking that parent’s rights. A good example would be when a parent walks out on a family and never contacts them again, or if a baby is abandoned at a hospital.

Illinois mandates specifically that if someone has been convicted of three felonies, with the last one being within five years’ time, that a rebuttable presumption is created that he or she is “depraved,” with the implication being that their parental rights should be terminated. However, apart from that, there are surprisingly few specific statements that list grounds upon which parental rights will be terminated. Aside from proven instances of severe abuse or neglect, Illinois courts are reluctant to take such an action. It is considered good public policy to work toward a two-parent situation for each child.

More evidence of this is seen in the fact that rights cannot be terminated unilaterally. It is an unwritten rule that if a spouse seeks to terminate the parental rights of their children’s other parent, the request will be more favorably considered if there is another person—such as a stepparent—willing to step in as a parent.

Contact a Family Law Professional

If you are in danger of losing your parental rights, or if you believe that your former spouse should lose theirs, we can help you weigh your options. Contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney to discuss your case today. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.