IL family lawLife after divorce presents a unique set of challenges. Sharing parenting time with an ex-spouse can be very challenging, especially if that spouse refuses to follow the terms of the court-approved parenting agreement.

Illinois always considers the best interests of children when approving or making decisions about parenting agreements, and decades of research supports the idea that children do best when both parents can be involved in their lives. Illinois law, therefore, prohibits parents who share parenting time from moving children a long distance away without obtaining the consent of the other parent. It is important to understand Illinois child relocation laws and what your options are if your ex violates them.

When Can a Divorced Parent Move a Child Out of Illinois?

A parent who wishes to relocate and take their child with them must meet a few requirements. If the parent lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, or McHenry County, they may move within 25 miles of their current residence without obtaining permission; for any other county, the distance is 50 miles. If a parent wishes to move to a different state that shares a border with Illinois, they can do so without permission only if they remain 25 miles or less from their previous home.

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Posted on in Divorce Procedure

IL divorce lawyerThe process of getting a divorce can seem monumental. Besides the emotional upheaval of separating from your spouse, getting divorced can be a long process that requires extensive paperwork and negotiation over complicated topics like assets and parenting time.

However, there are things that you can do before the divorce begins to speed up the process and make it less complex. Doing a little work now to organize and prepare yourself for divorce can save you significant time and money in the future. Here are some great tips for people in Illinois who are preparing for or considering divorce.

Check Out Different Lawyers

Finding an attorney that meets your needs and style is important - you will be working closely together and the attorney-client relationship should be one that makes you feel respected and heard. Have an initial consultation with a few different attorneys and get a sense of your options. A responsible attorney should be honest about your realistic options, respect your priorities, and have an eye towards saving you time and money.

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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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IL family lawyerIn 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex couples all over the nation had the legal right to marry. Illinois was ahead of the curve - in 2011, the Illinois legislature signed the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, allowing couples of any sex to enter into a civil union.

Although civil unions were originally a way for same-sex couples to enter into a legally recognized partnership, they may be used for other reasons as well. Civil unions provide couples in Illinois the same legal rights as married couples, but they are not the same as a marriage. In this article, we will discuss the difference between marriages and civil unions, and why people might choose one or the other rather than simply living together.

Why Get a Civil Union Instead of a Marriage?

If couples who enter into a civil union have the same rights as married couples in Illinois, why not just get married? The primary difference between these two options is that civil unions are not recognized by the federal government. This mostly impacts a couple’s finances - a couple with a civil union can enjoy the same rights as a married couple on the state level, but retain the ability to file their federal taxes individually and potentially remain in a lower tax bracket. However, this means that couples in civil unions will also give up the financial benefits that can come from federal recognition of a marriage.

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