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Recent Blog Posts

Seeking Guardianship of Your Adult Child

 Posted on February 13, 2024 in Guardianship

IL family lawyerIf you have a child with significant disabilities, you may have known for a long time that you would probably need to retain legal guardianship of them when they turn 18 years old. Your child may also know that guardianship has always been the plan. Or, your child’s need for guardianship may not have become apparent until after they became a legal adult. Some parents of adult children pursue guardianship after their child suffers a traumatic brain injury, becomes addicted to drugs, or experiences a significant mental illness that prevents them from caring for themself. For some, obtaining guardianship is an expected and relatively simple process. For others, it can be very emotional, and you may wonder whether you are doing the right thing. A Naperville, IL, adult guardianship attorney can help you reach a decision about whether to pursue guardianship for your child.

Who Can be Placed Under Guardianship in DuPage County, IL? 

Illinois state law lists several different types of disabilities for which an adult may be placed under the guardianship of a responsible person. Types of disabilities that may mean you can obtain guardianship over your adult child include:

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Is Uncontested Divorce After Abuse Possible?

 Posted on February 09, 2024 in Domestic Violence / Orders of Protection

IL family lawyerTrying to resolve your divorce out of court is rarely recommended if your spouse has abused you in any way. However, it is technically possible if you are both determined to make it work and your safety can be protected. Instead of using face-to-face mediation, attorney-led negotiation is usually the preferred strategy. Remember that if at any point, trying for an uncontested divorce begins to negatively affect your mental health, your children, or your physical safety, you have the right to immediately stop the process and elect to go to court. The type of abuse you experienced is also relevant in deciding whether to consider uncontested divorce as an option. A qualified Naperville, IL, divorce attorney can help you make this important decision. 

Preventing Further Abuse During Divorce

Nothing is more important than your safety and emotional well-being during your divorce process. Only in cases where the abused spouse can be well-guarded against any further attempt at abuse or manipulation should uncontested divorce even be considered as an option.

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Modifying an Illinois Parental Responsibilities Court Order

 Posted on January 31, 2024 in Judgment Modifications

DuPage County divorce lawyerCircumstances may make parents feel a change is necessary to an already established parental responsibilities court order. The change can be determined mutually between parents to benefit their children or through a motion to modify through the court. Understanding the process and steps required will help ensure things move smoothly. A lawyer can help provide invaluable advice and counsel throughout the entire process.

Factors That Affect The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

When a judge issues a court order on the allocation of parental responsibilities, it is done so in the child's best interest. It is not a decision that is made lightly and requires a judge to weigh multiple factors against one another to determine the best possible outcome. The factors a judge will consider may include:

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Tips for Illinois Dads Looking to Establish Paternity

 Posted on January 26, 2024 in Paternity

DuPage County family lawyerUnderstanding why paternity is important is crucial to a child's life and the parents. It is essential where divorce is concerned and all the issues accompanying it. A court will decide on all things related to a child that is in that child's best interest. If an alleged father has not yet established paternity, they may be left out of all decisions regarding the child. That is because the court will only recognize the child's legal father when it comes to custodial rights. For help with establishing paternity, it could help to speak with an attorney experienced in family law.

Custodial Rights

When paternity is established, the father can then be granted custodial rights to his children. These rights include allocating parental responsibilities such as parenting time and decision-making and getting your name on a child's birth certificate. Parenting time refers to visitation and time spent with your children that would otherwise not be granted without first establishing paternity. The same can be said for decision-making rights over your child. With these legal rights, you will have a say in your child's upbringing that is enforceable by the court.

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Withholding Parenting Time for Unpaid Child Support

 Posted on January 16, 2024 in Child Support

Dupage County family lawyerWhether you are the culprit or if it is being done to you, withholding a child’s time from their parent just because that parent is behind in child support payments is wrong. It may be anger-inducing, but you cannot take matters into your own hands concerning court-ordered actions. By withholding parenting time, you are setting yourself up to be seen in poor standing by the Illinois court. Not paying child support can see you being held in contempt by the court with the possibility of seeing interest added to your owed payments.

The laws governing parenting time and child support can be complex. As such, it is important to include an attorney in your decisions so that they may help you steer clear of legal troubles down the line.

Withholding Parenting Time

Withholding or denying a parent’s right to visitation with their child is considered visitation interference, which is unlawful in the state of Illinois. It does not matter the reason; by violating a court order, you are placing yourself in the crosshairs of the law. A first and second visitation interference offense is guilty of a petty offense. However, continued denial of parenting time becomes a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of up to one year in prison along with a maximum fine of up to $2,500.

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Reasons For Spousal Maintenance Modifications in Illinois

 Posted on January 04, 2024 in Spousal Maintenance

DuPage County divorce attorneyEither through spouses’ own terms or a court order, spousal maintenance is a very real possibility after a divorce. However, sometimes, things happen that can change the need for maintenance, and modifications or termination may be required. The legalities of maintenance can be complex and overwhelming. An experienced attorney can answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding maintenance payments.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Often referred to as alimony, spousal maintenance is support payments that one spouse provides to the other following a divorce. The spouse ordered to pay will usually be the one who is better off financially, while the recipient may not be well off enough to maintain their standard of living as if they were still married.

The Illinois court determines maintenance eligibility and, if awarded, is legally binding and enforceable by law. In most cases, the duration for maintenance is finite and will end once the court-ordered obligation has been achieved.

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Everything You Need in an Illinois Parenting Plan

 Posted on December 28, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

DuPage County family lawyerParents are encouraged to cooperate after a divorce and develop a parenting plan they can submit to a judge for approval. This should not be an issue in an uncontested divorce, but there is still mediation for parents who cannot cooperate for whatever reason. When parents cannot agree, a judge will intervene and establish a parenting plan that they feel is in the children's best interest. An attorney with experience in family law can help you come up with a parenting plan, including all of the essentials.

Parenting Plan: What is it?

Parenting plans are documents that both parents or a judge can create that detail who will make decisions regarding their children and how they can be made after a divorce. A proper parenting plan will detail parental responsibilities, which include:

How To Get Guardianship of My Grandchildren

 Posted on December 22, 2023 in Guardianship

DuPage County family lawyerGrandparents are often an influential and loving presence in a developing child's life. In some respects, grandparents can act as secondary caregivers to their grandchildren. However, when the parents are unable or incapable of providing proper care to their children, for whatever reason, it is not uncommon for a grandparent to step in and fill the role. A grandparent interested in becoming a grandchild's guardian will wish to speak to an attorney regarding the legality of what must be done.

Reasons Grandparents May Want Guardianship of Their Grandchildren

When parents are deemed unfit to raise their children, it is because their presence in a child's life is no longer considered in that child's best interest. A grandparent may feel that a child is in immediate danger while residing with a parent or that the parent cannot adequately care for the child. The parents could fall into financial hardships, become incarcerated, find themselves addicted to drugs, suffer a mental illness, or even pass away, making all good reasons why a grandparent would want to take on the role of legal caregiver of their grandchildren.

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Resolving Child Custody Disputes in Illinois

 Posted on December 14, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

DuPage County family lawyerMany agreements can erupt between two spouses when it comes time to end their marriage. Things such as spousal maintenance and property distribution are major decisions to be made before a marriage can end. Parents have additional worries regarding parental responsibility allocation and child support. The allocation of parental responsibilities will typically carry many complications and bring up many contentious issues, as parents may have different ideas on how to raise their children. A family law attorney can greatly assist when tackling these issues in divorce.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities? What Happened to Child Custody?

The term "custody" was removed from Illinois statutes concerning children and their well-being following a divorce. Instead, Illinois law now uses the term "allocation of parental responsibilities" as the overarching category. Inside the allocation of parental responsibilities are the terms significant decision-making and parenting time (formerly visitation). When moving a child from their current residence, removal has been changed to "relocation."

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How a Parent Receives Restricted or Supervised Parenting Time

 Posted on December 07, 2023 in Parenting Time (Visitation)

DuPage County child custody lawyerThe critical factor in an Illinois court's decision on allocating parental responsibilities, including parenting time, is the child's best interest. A parent who creates an environment that negatively affects a child's mental, physical, emotional, or moral well-being may incur limitations to their access to the child following a divorce. A child custody and divorce attorney can provide additional information regarding decision-making, parenting time, and other factors that allocate parental responsibilities.

What is Parenting Time?

Formerly physical custody, parenting time outlines how much time a parent can spend with their child. Usually, it will involve a rigid schedule set forth by either the parents themselves or the court. Parenting time is excellent for maintaining and cultivating the parent-child bond post-divorce.

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