Tag Archives: parental responsibilities

How Can Pregnancy Affect a Divorce in Illinois?

DuPage County family law attorney divorcing while pregnantMost divorce cases involve a variety of complex issues, but there are some situations that may leave spouses wondering about their rights and how they can protect themselves going forward. One concern that some divorcing couples may face is determining how to proceed when they are expecting a child. Emotional and psychological issues notwithstanding, there are many challenges that may arise when getting a divorce while a spouse is pregnant.

Legal Issues Involved When Divorcing While Pregnant

A spouse’s pregnancy can greatly complicate the divorce process. Some of the issues that may need to be addressed in these cases include:

  • No Simplified Divorce—Although some married couples can get a simplified divorce, this option is not available if the spouses have children together or are expecting a child. This means the divorce proceedings will be more involved, and they may take longer to resolve.

  • Delays—A variety of issues could slow down the divorce process in cases involving pregnancy. For example, the judge may order you and your spouse to wait to finalize your divorce until your child is born to ensure that you will have a better understanding of the requirements for parenting timeallocation of parental responsibilities, and child support. You may also wish to receive a legal separation before continuing with your divorce in order to allow more time for the child’s birth.

  • Paternity—When a child is born to a mother who is married, her husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father. However, if the identity of the child’s biological father is in doubt, the spouses may need to take steps to verify paternity through DNA testing or by having the biological father voluntarily acknowledge paternity. Establishing legal paternity for the child will provide the biological parents with parental rights and allow the child to receive child support from both parents.

  • Greater Likelihood of Divorce Modifications and Child Custody Modifications—One of the benefits of divorce is that it provides a couple with closure by definitively ending their marriage. However, a pregnancy could result in legal issues that may need to be addressed after the divorce has been finalized. For example, once the child is born, the parents might need to update the terms of their divorce decree to address child custody, child support, or other issues.

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer

Divorce and childbirth are major life events, and attempting to address them both at the same time can seem overwhelming. However, ending a marriage that has broken down can ensure that your child grows up in a conflict-free environment. If you are planning to dissolve your marriage, and you need to address issues related to pregnancy or children, reach out to aWheaton divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 to discuss your options. The knowledgeable professionals at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will help you understand your options and guide you through the divorce process.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

Are There Benefits to Getting a Civil Union Instead of a Marriage?

Wheaton family law attorney for civil unionsIn 2011, Illinois passed into law the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. This law enabled both same-sex and opposite-sex couples the freedom to enter into a civil union that would give them the same legal rights in Illinois as those provided by marriage. With the new term “civil union” meant to be a substitute for “domestic partnership,” all prior domestic partnerships registered would be honored, but any future similar relationships would be referred to as civil unions.

While civil unions in Illinois were initially meant to help same-sex couples achieve similar legal rights to married couples, these legal partnerships may now be pursued for other reasons. After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States in 2015, most states converted all domestic partnerships and civil unions to marriages; however, Illinois is one of the few states that kept civil unions despite this legalization. Now that all couples, regardless of sex, can get married, why would anyone choose a civil union instead of a marriage?

Benefits of Civil Unions

Since same-sex marriage is legal across the nation, fewer and fewer people are getting civil unions. However, since civil unions are open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, some people are still choosing civil unions over marriages in order to demonstrate their commitment to their romantic partners. Among the benefits of civil unions are:

  • Same Rights in Illinois as Marriage—Overall, civil unions grant partners the same rights and legal protections as married couples in Illinois. However, civil unions are not recognized by federal law. The state rights with civil unions allowed for in Illinois include the following:

    • Equitable division assets and debts upon dissolution—Civil unions can be dissolved in much the same way as married couples can get a divorce. If such dissolution takes place, all property, assets, and debts can be divided equitably between the two partners.

    • Parenting time and parental responsibilities—This is treated the same in Illinois for those in a civil union as it is for those in a marriage, including determining how parents will share custody of the children from the civil union, when children will spend time with each parent, etc.

    • Health insurance coverage—Just as one spouse in a marriage can get health insurance coverage through his/her employer for his/her spouse, so can most partners in civil unions, depending on the employer.

  • Psychological Well-Being—Entering into a civil union can provide emotional benefits for partners. They might be happy to show commitment to one another by entering into such an agreement, but they will not feel restrained by the traditional label of “marriage.” In some cases, couples may prefer to avoid all of the usual trappings of a marriage, such as the wedding planning, the ceremony, and all other major activities that are expected of most married couples.

  • Possible Tax Benefits—One reason a couple may choose a civil union instead of a marriage is the potential tax advantages. While they will have essentially the same rights as a married couple in the state of Illinois, since the federal government does not recognize civil unions in the same way as marriages, the couple in the civil union might be able to avoid the marriage tax penalty. They will be able to pool their income throughout the year without being penalized come tax time by being taxed at a higher income bracket. However, this tax exclusion also means that the couple would not qualify for many federal benefits that married couples can receive.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Civil Union Attorney

If you are thinking about a civil union in Illinois instead of a marriage, consider giving a DuPage County domestic partnership lawyer a call at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. With the guidance of the knowledgeable team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group, you will fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of a civil union. We will clearly explain all your present and future options, including addressing cohabitation agreements or separation agreements.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2014/06/05/are-domestic-partnerships-a-way-for-heterosexual-couples-to-avoid-the-marriage-tax-penalty/#476ad2fa4d43

https://www.thebalance.com/domestic-partnerships-vs-marriage-what-s-more-financially-beneficial-4172622

What Should a Divorced Parent Consider Before Deciding to Relocate?

DuPage County child relocation attorneyThese days, with the world at your fingertips through the Internet, it is easier than ever to find a new job or locate a new house, making parental relocation even more likely than it might have been in the past. Unfortunately, after divorce, if you or your ex-spouse decides to relocate, this can further complicate parental responsibilities and parenting time. In fact, custodial issues surrounding relocation require courtroom proceedings in which the ex-spouse requesting a move must demonstrate that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. If any of this is the case with you or your ex-spouse, consider this advice to make sure you and your children continue to have a positive relationship despite the move.

What Happens if You or Your Ex-Spouse Decides to Relocate

Overall, parental relocation usually requires modification of child custody orders and changes to a parenting plan. Relocation often leads to drastic changes in parenting time, and while many couples prefer to simply agree to the terms of these agreements and plans verbally, these types of oral declarations are not enforceable by law. In order to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected, it is usually best to seek the assistance of a lawyer and develop a legally binding agreement. Relocation is especially challenging if one of you wants to move out of state, much farther away from the other ex-spouse and the child’s current location.

What Happens When the Court Gets Involved in Relocation Plans

Parental relocation—and child relocation in particular—might require courtroom intervention. Usually, the parent requesting relocation strongly believes the move will greatly benefit the child, while the other parent may worry that his/her relationship with the child will be adversely affected by the move. In situations like these, it is reasonable for you, your ex-spouse, and your respective lawyers to seek the counsel and subsequent decision of a judge.

In its most basic terms, relocation when a child is involved revolves around the best interests of the child. However, the “best interests” of the child can be subjective and will differ depending on the case. Despite this, the Illinois court case In re Marriage of Eckert established general guidelines for determining the child’s best interests in a relocation case. Here is what the judge will consider when rendering a verdict in these cases:

  • Will the relocation improve the quality of life for both the parent and the child?

  • Why is the parent requesting relocation?

  • Why is the other parent contesting the relocation?

  • How will visitation rights be affected?

  • Will it be practical and unproblematic to continue visitation?

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer

Moving to a new home is a major decision that will likely involve changes in your life, your ex-spouse’s life, and your children’s lives. These decisions can have a long-lasting effect on the entire family and should be deliberated upon thoughtfully and carefully. That is why the assistance of an experienced Wheaton, IL parental relocation attorney can be beneficial to you. If you need help with legal matters concerning relocation and child custody, get a complimentary consultation by contacting us at 630-871-1002.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.isba.org/committees/minorities/newsletter/2004/05/relocationincustodyanddivorcegiving

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_IX/ArtIX.htm

https://casetext.com/case/in-re-marriage-of-eckert-1