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Naperville adoption lawyersAdopting a child is among the most important and rewarding decisions a person can make. Because a child’s life and future are at stake, adoption also brings a long and complicated process that is best navigated with the help of an experienced adoption attorney.

Adoption is a formal legal process that necessitates thorough planning and strict adherence to all related procedures. If you intend to adopt via the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, you must do so with assistance from a DCFS-approved attorney, like those from Anderson & Associates, P.C. This service costs you nothing, as all lawyer fees are paid for by DCFS, which facilitates over 1,500 adoptions every year.

Adoption Timeline

After a background screening and at-home visit by a DCFS caseworker, to adopt a child, you must first get licensed as a foster parent, which allows a child to be legally placed with you. This process usually takes between one to two months. DCFS then sits down with you to match either a single child or multiple siblings with you. Once that is completed, it typically takes a little over six months for final approval from DCFS and the court.

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Naperville divorce lawyers

Going through a divorce is among the most difficult situations a person can endure. While this is true with adults, the impact on a child can last even longer. This is especially the case in high-conflict divorces, which often lead to children experiencing more hardship as they adjust to post-divorce life. 

Whether you are able to reasonably co-exist and work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or you cannot stand the sight of them and likely face a prolonged court battle, it is essential to focus on the needs of any children you share. Here are a few tips that will help make their adjustment (and yours) easier:

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Naperville divorce lawyers

Some couples are able to get a divorce by immediately negotiating a settlement that addresses important issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of marital property. In many situations, however, this type of cooperation is not possible, especially at the beginning of the divorce process. Marriages that involve domestic abuse, infidelity, reckless spending, or substance abuse often result in high-conflict divorces.

In a high-conflict divorce, one or both spouses are unable to work with the other to solve the multitude of issues that will impact their post-divorce life. While these feelings usually subside over time, it does not always happen during divorce proceedings. Sometimes it takes years. In either case, you want a skilled divorce attorney who will fight for what you need throughout the process. 

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Naperville Divorce Lawyer annulment In some circumstances, the annulment of a marriage can be sought instead of a divorce. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that a divorce ends the marriage, but an annulment declares that the marriage was invalid and should never have happened. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/301), the court has the power to determine and make it as though the marriage never occurred. However, an annulment will only be available in particular situations:

Lack of Capacity to Consent

If one or both of the individuals who were married lacked the mental capacity to consent to marriage, it can be annulled. This includes if the individuals were drunk, on drugs, or intoxicated by any other substance that mentally impaired them at the time of their wedding (think of a late-night Las Vegas ceremony). The parties can reasonably claim afterward that they did not have the capability to consent to the union. In such a case, the annulment must be sought within 90 days to void the marriage.

Coerced into Marriage

If one participant in the wedding entered into the union while under duress, the marriage may be annulled. In these cases, there is also has a 90-day time limit after learning of the conditions for annulment.

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Wheaton family law attorney

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, there has been an increase in unmarried but cohabiting parents over the last two decades. Since 1997, the number of cohabiting parents has risen to 35 percent. The practice of cohabitation prior to, or rather than, marriage has become a practice popular with the millennial generation. The reasons for the rise are primarily economic, plus the desire to avoid the constraints of a legally binding marriage. The practice of cohabitation has some similarity to the old tradition of common law marriage. This was the practice of two individuals cohabiting together and, in some cases, enjoying the rights and benefits of marriage, but without official recognition from the state.

Does a common law marriage, or a cohabiting couple, get the same rights as a legal marriage, and what rights does a cohabiting parent have if a separation occurs?

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Wheaton family law attorneys

When a divorce occurs, one spouse often provides child support to their ex-spouse until their children become emancipated. Usually, this happens when the children turn 18. But what if the children become emancipated before they come of age? When is a minor considered emancipated, and how does this impact child support? The subject of minor emancipation and child support has a long and complicated history in Illinois state law. The topic of de facto emancipation has been hotly contested in Illinois state law, but thankfully, several court rulings have provided clarity on determining when a child, whether they are a minor or not, has been emancipated and its relationship to child support.

The 1980 Emancipation Act

The court rulings on child emancipation in Illinois go back over the last century. There were many different rulings which brought confusion and inconsistency to how the law was enforced. In an attempt to bring clarity to the debate, Illinois passed the Emancipation of Minors Act (750 ILCS 30/1 et seq.), and under this law, there are two types of emancipation:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyers

Your divorce may have taken a heavy toll on your life, but once the divorce process is over, you have to learn how to live on your own again. When rebooting after your divorce, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and not know what to do with yourself when the person you have spent so much time with is out of your life. 

Successful Post-Divorce Life Tips

If you want to make your life after divorce more enjoyable, follow these helpful tips.

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Naperville estate planning lawyer

Wills are important legal documents which lay out your wishes for after you pass away. While everyone should have a will to make sure their wishes are carried out after death, many adults do not have one, which can cause legal issues. The most common elements to include in a last will and testament are your financial accounts, personal assets, property you may own, inheritances or plans for your children, investments, and assets related to your business. If no will is made, and an individual dies, the government often has to step in.

Wills and Estates Law

When a person dies and does not have a last will and testament, their estate goes to the members of their family through a procedure known as intestate succession. The government distributes the estate of the recently deceased to their spouse or any direct heirs. However, before that process occurs, financial debts must be settled.

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Naperville divorce mediators

Marriage is supposed to be a partnership with both sides working together. Sometimes that does not occur and the marriage ends in divorce. If you are thinking about divorce but do not want to go through a lengthy court battle and you believe you can work through the divorce process with your spouse, divorce mediation could be the best choice for you.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is used as an alternative method of resolving a divorce case. With mediation, a third party works with the couple to resolve all issues covered in their divorce agreement, including child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. The mediator listens to both sides and crafts an agreement that is satisfying to both parties. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyers

If you are beginning the divorce process, you may be struggling with the emotional preparation for the changes about to happen in your life. Divorce is often a long and arduous process for both spouses. These four tips on how to prepare yourself for your divorce can help you shift your mindset as you prepare for the next chapter of your life. 

Develop a Support System

Keeping in touch with friends and family during the process will help you overcome the draining emotions associated with divorce. It is not beneficial to your mental and emotional health to hide away and be secluded from the world. It is hard to keep your mind from racing and thinking about the bad things in your life when alone, but when spending time with friends and family, your mind can dwell on other things. Letting yourself lean on your support system and forget about your problems briefly will help you cope with the divorce and the emotions you are feeling. 

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Naperville Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is generally more complicated if a couple has children together. A divorce agreement must determine parental custody, visitation, child support, and other matters. Children sometimes have a hard time accepting divorce and all the changes happening in their lives. Acceptance can be even more difficult when one parent relocates after a divorce

Relocation brings its own unique set of challenges. Moving far away after divorce should only be considered if it is absolutely necessary and due consideration has been given to the way it will affect the children and their relationship with both parents. 

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Oak Brook Divorce Attorney

Divorce can happen due to many different factors in the couple’s life, such as infidelity, general unhappiness, or abusive behavior. Money is also one of the most common concerns in a marriage. Financial problems put a strain on many marriages and are often cited as one of the more common reasons for divorce. 

Couples with more money can afford to hire someone to do the things they do not want to do and focus on more leisure activities. Those with less money, perhaps due to unemployment or underemployment, have to deal with the stress of worrying about how the family will pay its bills. Here is a look at one study that examined the effect of males in a relationship not having a full-time job.

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Naperville Divorce Lawyers

Divorce is a decision that changes the lives of the whole family, especially a couple’s children. Much of the discussion around divorce focuses on children and their reactions to divorce. A child who is age 4 will have a different reaction than one who is 14. However, it is also crucial to realize divorce impacts everyone in the family, even after they have reached adulthood. Young adults also have to come to terms with their parents separating and most need some guidance and help to work through their feelings. 

Divorce Impact on Children

A study by NYU Steinhart examined the effect of divorce on “emerging adults,” meaning people age 18-25 who are either going to college or just entering the workforce. Emerging adulthood is a time in which numerous changes take place. They are moving away from home, have more responsibilities and bills to pay, and do not always have their parents to fall back on. A survey cited in the NYU study found that among college students in their first year, 26 percent of their parents were separated or divorced. Of 16 million college students, 4 million have parents who are no longer together.

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DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Making the decision to adopt a child is not one that should be taken lightly. The adoption process can be long and arduous even if the parents have done all the necessary research and work to provide the best home possible for a new child. When you consider adopting a child, there are often common worries parents will discuss. However, many of these adoption concerns are unfounded, like these misconceptions:

Misconception #1: Non-adopted Children are Healthier than Adopted Children 

This assumption comes from a stereotype about the mothers who place their babies up for adoption. Some people believe moms who put their child up for adoption do not take care of themselves during pregnancy as they would if they were keeping the baby. This simply is not true. The National Center for Health Statistics states 85 percent of adopted children have excellent or very good health, compared to 82 percent of non-adopted children. 

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Naperville Divorce Attorney

Many people have opposing political ideologies due to a variety of factors, including how they were raised and where they were born. In a marriage, you are closer to your spouse than you are with other people, and it is likely political viewpoints are going to come up at some point. If you and your spouse have differing political viewpoints, it can play a role in the marriage moving forward, but that does not mean it is necessary to divorce because of the differences, even during these hyper-partisan times.

Marriage Statistics

One 2016 study interviewed just over 18 million married couples in the United States and found 55 percent of couples were Democrats or Republicans only. Independents married to one another made up 15 percent of those interviewed, which left 30 percent as mismatched partisan pairs, meaning two people with different ideologies who married.

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Posted on in Divorce

Oak Brook Divorce Lawyer

Deciding to end a marriage is among the most impactful decisions an individual can make. It involves considerable evaluation of what is right for you in your life and a significant amount of stress as you approach the unknown. While the substantial number of elements that need to be worked out in a divorce can be overwhelming, if you follow these tips, you can reduce some of the emotional burden that accompanies the divorce process.

Include Everything in Your Divorce Agreement

To ensure there is no confusion from either party after your divorce is final, cover every conceivable issue in writing as part of your divorce decree. With everything listed as part of the legal document, nobody should “forget” a part of the agreement. If they do, there will be clear evidence they have neglected their responsibilities. 

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Wheaton Divorce Attorney

The internet has become a place where you can locate anything. Cute cat pictures, a recipe, or a new husband or wife can all be found online. Many people have turned to online dating to help them romantically. According to market researcher Nielsen, almost 30 million unique users visit dating sites each month, which makes up almost 10 percent of the U.S. population. Online dating has caused a noticeable difference in how people view relationships, marriage, and divorce

Effects of Online Dating

It used to be that people would be much more likely to date someone their friends or acquaintances knew, such as a “friend of a friend” situation. However, the increase in online dating has caused a jump in dating between what essentially amounts to strangers. The people who meet on these dating sites are usually not people who have ever encountered one another before and have no other known connections. They were completely unknown strangers before meeting online, which is significantly different than how relationships formed previously. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyer

Many people procrastinate when it comes to their last will and testament, for a variety of reasons. They may be busy, do not feel they need one, do not want to do it until they are older, or they find it morbid. Thinking you have plenty of time to do your will is one of the many myths about estate planning. That myth and those listed below need to be debunked to make sure everyone is properly taken care of after an individual dies either later in life or unexpectedly. 

Only Rich People Need to Plan Their Estate

Some lawyers and financial advisers may be focused on the “big fish” estates, but it is not necessary to be wealthy to have a will. No matter what your financial situation, if there are items you would like taken care of after your death or decisions made about your healthcare, a will is a necessity.

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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton Wills Attorney

Many people do not look forward to preparing their will because they feel it is a morbid practice to lay out what will happen when you die. Some families find themselves tied up in lengthy and expensive court battles after a loved one dies because of this line of thinking.

Even if you dread making a will, it is critically important in order to ensure your estate is taken care of in the manner you want after you pass away. Creating a will includes various steps, such as specifying who will receive your property and assets and if you have children who are minors, who will take care of them. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce Lawyers

Parents with multiple children are often portrayed on TV as treating them differently based on the order in which they were born. For example, a common trope is that the youngest child of the family is treated less severely than the others because they are the “baby.” Another common portrayal is the oldest child has to be the responsible one and take care of the younger ones. 

Is it also possible birth order can affect adults later in life, and marriages as well? Research indicates different birth orders may impact marriage in both positive and negative ways, and could also influence the likelihood of divorce.

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