Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerCouples based in Illinois often decide to live together before, or instead of, getting married. There are many reasons for this, and each couple’s circumstances are unique. Regardless of why a couple decides not to get married, living together for a long period of time presents challenges that are commonly dealt with by married couples or couples in civil unions. However, couples who are legally bound together have certain protections provided to them by law while couples who are only living together generally do not.

That is why many couples choose to create a cohabitation agreement. Cohabitation agreements are legally binding and address issues regarding property rights, including how individual and shared assets will be handled if the couple breaks up. Although everybody has high hopes when they move in with their partner, the truth is that not all relationships last forever. A cohabitation agreement created now protects both partners in the future.

What Can a Cohabitation Agreement Do?

Illinois does not recognize common-law marriages, so no matter how long someone lives with their partner, they are not afforded the same rights as married spouses. While married spouses can enshrine certain financial protections in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, unmarried spouses will need to create a cohabitation agreement to obtain similar protections. Cohabitation agreements often include:

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Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerParents are the most important people in a young child’s life, but they are often supported by others who also care deeply about a child. Uncles, aunts, stepparents, and grandparents are all important family members who can develop strong bonds with a child and support him or her throughout their development.

Unfortunately, divorce often has an isolating impact between children and extended family members. This is especially true when one parent is only given partial or limited parenting time, and the parent with parental responsibilities and majority parenting time seeks to restrict the other parent’s access to the child. The limited parenting time can result in little or no contact between the child and extended family members.

In situations like this, grandparents and other relatives may wonder if they can take legal action to ensure they can stay involved in the child’s life. If you have been unable to visit your grandchild and wonder if you have grandparents’ rights, a qualified family law attorney may be able to help you.

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Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyerNobody enters into a marriage thinking they will get divorced, yet most people know that about half of marriages end in divorce anyway. Although you may wish that your relationship will last forever, it is wise to prepare in case of a relationship breakdown. A prenuptial agreement in Illinois is a legally enforceable document that can protect the assets you owned prior to getting married.

Although the idea of having a conversation about a prenup may make some people uncomfortable, this is exactly the kind of discussion you can and should be able to have with your future spouse. Planning for the future will enhance the strength of your future marriage, not detract from it. Here are a few things to consider including in your prenup.

Protect Against Debt

A prenup can protect your individual and marital assets against any debt your spouse accrues by themself over the course of your marriage. This may be a good idea if your future spouse enjoys gambling, or plans on starting a business that will require large loans. A prenup can also protect you from debt that your spouse incurred prior to getting married. In the event of a divorce, the debt remains entirely the responsibility of the spouse to whom it belongs.

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Wheaton divorce lawyer for domestic violenceDomestic violence is unfortunately a common reason as to why a person would seek a divorce and request assistance from the law. An order of protection may be obtained if an individual is fearful for his or her safety or well-being. If a person’s former spouse does not adhere to the terms of this type of court order, consequences such as fines and/or jail time could result.

What Is an Order of Protection?

In the state of Illinois, an order of protection is a civil court ruling that provides a safeguard for victims of domestic violence or other crimes. These protective orders can be procured on an emergency basis when an individual is likely to be the victim of injury or abuse. An order of protection falls under what is known as the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. This law offers protection to victims that are abused by a family or household member, which can include:

  • A spouse - current or former

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton, IL Father's Rights LawyerUntil recent years, the rights of a father to their biological child largely depended on their marriage to the child’s mother. However, with nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, much of our society is waiting until later in life to marry, or opting to avoid marriage altogether. The number of unwed mothers delivering children has risen from 4 percent in 1950 to nearly 40 percent each year since 2008, which has left many fathers without rights to their offspring. As non-marital children become a societal norm, more biological fathers are pushing for their natural rights, which has become known as the Father’s Rights Movement.

A Child’s Benefit to Having a Father in their Lives

There has never been a question regarding the bond between a mother and a child. Traditionally, mothers were arguably the most critical person in a child’s life. The mother was caring, supportive, and protective. However, fathers also play a pivotal role in their child’s life. They can also be caregivers, nurturers, and disciplinarians. Studies show children who grow up with a father figure:

  • Do better academically;
  • Are more emotionally stable;
  • Have an easier time with language and social development;
  • Are less likely to develop drug or alcohol addictions; and
  • Have a higher sense of who they are.

The Belief of Father’s Rights

The Father’s Rights Movement began in the 1960s and continued to progress into what it is today. Most members are fathers who want an equal right to their children, either after a divorce or in an unwed situation. Many women also support the movement. Their primary focus has been to establish legal rights for fathers in regard to custody, support, and maintenance, and even domestic violence. While this civil rights movement has progressed slowly, it has paved the way for many Illinois fathers by pushing for the restructuring of many family laws. Fathers now have legal protection, with or without marriage, including in:

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