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Wheaton family law attorney

Couples who are experiencing problems may choose to separate for a period of time to see if that improves their relationship. Sometimes, living apart is a better option than divorcing. In Illinois, spouses may choose to create a legal separation agreement approved by the court, allowing them to live independently of each other in both physical and financial terms. However, this legal process does not end the marriage. A legal separation can sometimes be a simpler and less costly process than a divorce, as long as a couple agrees on the terms.

Reasons for Separating

A couple who has been married for a long time may be unsure about getting a divorce, and they may decide to do a “trial separation,” which often means living apart for a certain amount of time. This trial period can lead to a legal separation if both parties are not ready for a more permanent decision such as divorce.

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Naperville divorce and legal separation lawyerMarriage is a legal union between two people, but when one or both of those people no longer wish to be in the marriage, they may feel it is necessary to get a divorce. However, there are other steps couples may take besides divorce, depending on their situation. In some cases, couples may choose legal separation or annulment. If you are considering ending your marriage, it is important to know the difference between legal separation, annulment, and divorce. 

Legal Separation

Couples who are considering a permanent split may separate for a time if they are trying to work through their differences. However, this is not the same as a legal separation. Legal separation is an agreement or decision that is specifically put in place by the court. It outlines the rights and obligations of each person in the relationship until further action is taken. Legal separation is not necessary if couples can agree on their rights and obligations while they are separated, but it can be a helpful step to take in case a disagreement arises over issues such as child custody, visitation, or property rights.

Annulment

Annulment, also known as a judgment of invalidity, is the legal process of declaring that a marriage is not valid, essentially saying that the marriage never existed at all. A marriage may be annulled in Illinois if one partner did not consent to the marriage, was already married to another person, or was under the age of 18.

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Wheaton Domestic Abuse AttorneyDomestic violence in a relationship is a serious issue that millions of people face every day. For many, the warning signs are ignored or rationalized, but nobody deserves to live in an abusive situation. Physical violence does not have to occur to qualify as domestic violence. A pattern of mental or emotional abuse can emerge over the course of time, leading a person to feel unsafe in their relationship. Whatever the form of abuse a person suffers, they can achieve safety by obtaining an order of protection issued by a judge.

The Process of Obtaining an Order of Protection

If you reach a point in time when you feel the need to escape an abusive relationship, the first thing to do is make sure you are safe. The most common time for a victim of domestic violence to be attacked is when they attempt to leave the person who is abusing them or when they reach out to somebody for help. While getting out of an abusive situation and protecting your safety is important, you should also consider what may happen after you leave. If you are in danger, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.

Once you are prepared, you will need to fill out a form to apply for an order of protection, making sure to include all relevant information regarding the abuse. Once the form has been completed, it will need to be filed. You may be able to file the form online. Instructions for filing an order of protection form online can typically be found on the local circuit court clerk’s website. If not, the form will need to be filed at the courthouse in the county where the abusive party resides or where the abuse occurred. 

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Oak Brook divorce attorney co-parenting tipsSummer is every child’s favorite time of the year--they get a break from going to school, waking up early, doing homework, and studying. But for parents, especially divorced parents, summer can prove to be the most challenging time of the year. During the school year, the kids are at school for a good portion of the day, so parenting plans are usually well-regimented and have agreed transition days for kids to move from the care of one parent to the other. But during the summer, everything changes, so it is important to plan ahead to keep the stress at a minimum.

1. Coordinate Your Schedules

While you have likely already scheduled vacation time and trips with your children, you should also work together with your ex-spouse to determine your and your children’s day-to-day schedules. This will help avoid disputes over who gets to spend time with the child and when. Summer months offer more than enough time for everyone to plan their vacations--it is just a matter of coordinating them. 

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DuPage County DCFS adoption attorneyAdoption is a common way for many prospective parents to add to their family. The way the majority of adoptions in the United States take place is through a public agency, such as the foster care system. The public agency in Illinois that helps match children with families is called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS places children in foster homes, and if they are not able to be rehabilitated into their original homes, they are placed for adoption. Many children who are waiting to be adopted through DCFS are part of sibling groups, or children from the same family who need to be placed in a home together.

Keeping Siblings Together

Children who are put into the foster care system go through a great deal of change in almost every aspect of their lives. These children’s siblings are often the only thing that has remained the same in their life. Children in foster care often come from abusive and neglectful homes where the parents might not have always cared for them in the same way that a sibling did. In these situations, it is important to keep siblings together, so they are able to develop and emotionally mature. Separating siblings leaves the younger sibling to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar environment, and older siblings tend to feel responsible for younger siblings, even if they are not placed together.

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Wheaton contested prenup attorneyPrenuptial agreements are legal documents that are designed to help couples avoid contentious disagreements and extensive litigation if they decide to get a divorce. In reality, you may still need to go to court if your prenuptial agreement (or “prenup”) is contested, meaning that a spouse has challenged the terms or the validity of the agreement. It is important to understand what constitutes a valid prenuptial agreement and the potential reasons why a prenup can be found invalid, including:

1. It Is Not a Formal Document

Illinois law states that prenuptial agreements must be in writing for them to be acceptable and valid. Both parties must also sign the agreement for it to be valid. The best way to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is valid is to hire an attorney to draft the agreement for you. A skilled lawyer can ensure that your agreement meets the legal requirements for enforceability while including the terms that will provide you with the protection you need.

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Wheaton adoption lawyerMore than 110,000 adoptions took place in the United States in 2014, according to the National Council for Adoption. Making additions to your family is an exciting time, and many Americans are choosing to make those additions through adoption. The adoption process can be overwhelming, stressful and emotionally draining, with long waiting periods and mountains of paperwork. However, the process can be broken down into simple steps, all of which an experienced attorney can guide you through.

1. Choose an Adoption Provider

There are many different outlets through which you can adopt a child in the United States. The most common outlets are:

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DuPage County premarital agreement lawyerWhen a couple is planning to get married, the possibility of divorce is likely the last thing on their mind, and planning for what should happen if their relationship ever ends may seem distasteful. However, it is often a good idea to create a prenuptial agreement which can provide both spouses with legal and financial protections if they should ever decide to divorce. Here are some reasons that you may wish to have a prenuptial agreement before you get married:

  • Income disparity - When one spouse earns a higher income than the other, this may put the lower-earning spouse at a disadvantage if they decide to divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be used to decide whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other if their marriage ends.
  • Ownership of assets - The property that a person owns prior to getting married is considered non-marital property that is not subject to equitable division between spouses during divorce. However, marital and non-marital property can often become commingled, making it difficult to determine what should be divided between divorcing spouses. A premarital agreement can be used to specify how ownership of certain assets will be handled during divorce.
  • Significant debt - If either spouse has a large amount of debt when they are getting married, a prenuptial agreement may specify that the other spouse will not be responsible for paying any of this debt after divorce.
  • Business interests - A business owner will want to ensure that they will be able to continue operating their business, no matter what happens during their marriage or divorce. A premarital agreement can determine how business ownership will be handled if the marriage ends.
  • Blended families - Spouses who have children from a previous relationship will want to be sure their children are provided for. In these cases, they may use a prenuptial agreement to safeguard certain assets and ensure that they are used to support their children.
  • Inheritances - If either spouse expects to receive an inheritance from a family member during the course of their marriage, they may use a premarital agreement to protect inherited assets from division during divorce.
  • Reputation - In today’s connected world, information posted online can have consequences to someone’s personal life and career. Spouses may wish to use a prenuptial agreement protect their reputation by stating that they are not allowed to post disparaging comments, pictures, or videos about each other on social media.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are planning to get married, and you have concerns about what will happen if you ever get divorced, the attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you create a prenuptial agreement that protects your rights and financial interests. Contact a Wheaton prenuptial agreement lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

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child support payments, child support laws, DuPage County family law attorney, Illinois divorce, child support lawyerParents are legally obligated to provide financial support for their children, whether they are married, unmarried, separated, or divorced. When parents do not live together, the non-custodial parent will typically pay child support to the custodial parent. However, determining the amount of support and the method of making payments can be a complicated matter. Consider the following tips on managing the ongoing payments that will ensure that your children have the financial support they need: 

  1. Understand the current child support laws - The method for calculating child support in Illinois changed in July 2017, and the amount of payments are now based on both parents’ incomes and the amount of parenting time they have with their children. When determining child support, be sure you understand the methods of calculating your support obligation. If you currently pay or receive child support, and the amount of support would change under the new law, you may be able to modify your child support order. However, the new law by itself is not a reason to make a modification; you must demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was made.

  1. Make payments on time - It is important to pay child support as ordered, ensuring that payments are made in full when they are due. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including wage garnishment, loss of one’s driver’s license, and even jail time. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides free child support enforcement services, allowing a parent to collect child support they are owed through a variety of methods, including sending an Income Withholding Notice to the non-custodial parent’s employer. 

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