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prenuptial agreement, Wheaton family lawyers Prenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements or “prenups,” are beneficial legal tools couples can use to manage and protect assets. Although they are often associated with celebrity marriages, prenups are not only for the rich and famous. Anyone can benefit from the protections offered through this valuable legal tool, but those who choose to create a prenup must be sure to do it correctly. It is not uncommon for a couple to think that they have a legally-binding prenuptial agreement only to discover it is unenforceable during a divorce. There are several circumstances which can invalidate a prenuptial agreement.

Prenups Must Meet Certain Criteria to Be Legally-Binding

You may remember the outrageous comedy movie Liar Liar. In the film, Jim Carrey’s character is a divorce attorney helping a less-than-ethical client divorce her husband. Although the movie is filled with exaggerations and inaccuracies, the clip in which the client’s prenuptial agreement is found to be invalid in court is fairly realistic. The client had entered into a prenuptial agreement with her husband upon getting married, but it was discovered that she was only seventeen-years-old when she signed it. Minors cannot enter into legally-enforceable contracts such as a prenuptial agreement. So, if one or both of the individuals were under age 18 upon signing the prenuptial agreement, it will not be valid.

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Posted on in Child Custody

parenting agreement, Wheaton divorce attorneysIf you are a parent who is planning to divorce your spouse, it is likely that one of your biggest concerns is how the divorce will affect your children. The transition from nuclear family to sharing children between two homes can be challenging and no two co-parenting arrangements are the same. Parents who plan to share custody of their children after a divorce will be expected to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement and submit it to the court. A parenting plan is not only required for divorce involving children in Illinois, but is also a great way to make sure parents are on the same page regarding how they will raise children after the divorce is finalized.

Things to Consider When Making a Parenting Plan

Because every family is different, every parenting plan is different. Some divorcing couples feel that they can roughly outline a custody and visitation schedule and plan little else while others go into much more detail about how their children should be raised. If you worry that you and your spouse will have trouble agreeing to parenting decisions in the future, it is best to be very specific in your parenting agreement. Take the time to prevent problems before they arise by making sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are in agreement about parenting responsibilities.

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child support, Wheaton child support lawyersChild support in Illinois used to be calculated as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent or the parent with fewer parental responsibilities. The law, however, was roundly criticized by many for being inequitable and for placing an unfair burden on the non-custodial parent. On July 1, 2017, a new law went into effect that has improved the efficiency and fairness of how child support is calculated.

The Old Law

Under the old law, there were two main factors in determining the amount of support to be paid: the income of the paying parent and the number of children to be supported. Critics found this unfair not only because paying parents did not get credit for the money they spent on their children but also because the law effectively punished a supporting parent financially for spending time with his or her child.

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Posted on in Child Support

child support, Wheaton family law attorneyWhen you are ordered by the court to pay child support, you have a reasonable expectation of what the money will be used for--namely, meeting your children’s most basic needs. However, at least in Illinois, the law permits that additional expenses may be added on to the amount due if f they are shown to be in the child’s best interests.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is by far the most common “additional expense” that supporting parents are asked to help pay, and it is often tacked on after a divorce decree because the general cost of insurance is too difficult to accurately estimate in advance. The costs of health insurance premiums can change, as well as the method for obtaining insurance. In many cases, the supporting parent will be ordered to carry his or her children on an employer-sponsored health plan. However, if the employer in question does not offer insurance, the law states that the recipient parent may cover the children, and the paying parent should reimburse him or her for a percentage of the cost.

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

controlling, Wheaton family law attorneysDomestic violence and abuse are not always as obvious as one might think. In fact, a victim could be in an abusive relationship for a number of years without even being aware of it. Certain domestic violence situations do not occur at the start of the relationship; instead they develop over time. It is important to be mindful of these following warning signs to not only protect yourself, but to keep your family safe as well.

Abuse may take the form of a manipulative or overly controlling partner. If you are worried about such issues in your relationship, look for some of the possible warning signs, including:

Your partner overly romances you. A controlling partner is going to want to make you feel special in order to build your trust quickly. This way, the bond will grow and he or she will be able to persuade you into believing him or her without a second thought. The gifts and abundance of attention may also just be a distraction of the abnormal behavior to which he or she is prone.

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