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How to Conduct Yourself in Court During Your Parenting CaseFor many, a divorce may be their first experience in a courtroom with a judge making decisions for them. While you have probably seen television shows that depict court proceedings, this is not an accurate representation of court and the characters’ actions are likely something that you should avoid following. No matter the reason you are in court, your conduct can greatly affect the outcome of the case. This is especially crucial for those discussing parenting arrangements for their children. In these parenting cases, the way you hold yourself is your first impression on the judge and likely the most important. Courtrooms and legal proceedings often make those who are unfamiliar with the process nervous and uncomfortable, causing them to act differently than they do in normal life. While you may not be able to keep yourself from being on edge, keep in mind the following tips that can help you present yourself in a good light:

  1. Clothes Matter: In a similar fashion to a job interview, your outfit can be used to gauge your personality, commitment to the case, and overall capacity to appear professional when necessary. It is important to wear business attire to court — no jeans, t-shirts, or sweatpants. By dressing for the occasion, you are showing the judge that you take this court proceeding seriously and are able to put yourself together when necessary: an important parenting quality. It may be a good idea to show another person your chosen outfit before showing up in court.
  2. Timeliness Is Key: Being on time to your court hearing and being present shows your respect for the legal team working on your case and that you take the matters of parenting seriously. This is also reflective of your ability to make time for your children, even if it means showing up to court. The judge will be analyzing all of your words and movements, and being on time says “I care and I will be there for my child.”
  3. Respect the Judge: There are a few things that those involved in a court case should know before the hearing starts. Everyone in the courtroom should stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom. This is age-old etiquette that is still followed today. Anytime the judge speaks to you, stand and respond, calling them “Your Honor.” They will let you know when it is your time to speak, and you should avoid speaking out of turn. Showing disrespect to the judge will only work against you in the decision making process.

Call a Naperville Parenting Attorney Today

The best way to prepare for your courtroom hearings is to speak with an experienced attorney. They will be able to provide you with the basic etiquette information as well as any additional tips for the particular judge working on your case. Because they are familiar with the judges in the area, they will likely have some hidden tips that they can provide you with that cannot be found elsewhere. The Foray Firm has extensive experience working in the family courts throughout the south suburbs of Chicago and we assist our clients before every courtroom appearance. If you are fighting for your rights as a parent, contact our Joliet divorce lawyers at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

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Three Signs That You Should Create a ‘Postnup’Prenuptial agreements are known to have a certain stigma to them. When someone says the word “prenup,” you often think about wealthy, Hollywood couples who are not meant to last together or people getting married for the second time who have significant assets from their previous marriage. This stereotype is far from the truth as more and more couples are selecting to sign a prenup before saying “I do.” These legal agreements have become more normalized in the past decade as couples decide to get married later in life, with more financial assets in tow. What you may not have heard of is a postnuptial agreement. This serves the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed after the marriage has begun. You may think that it seems crazy to sign a “divorce agreement” before or after getting married, but there are situations where it benefits you to have a postnup:

  1. You Own a Business: One of the most uncomfortable and unfair properties to divide in a divorce is a business. For families who open a business together, the company will need to be bought out by one party or divided between both spouses. This can be a difficult division since you both built the business together. In the instance where one spouse comes into the marriage with a successful business, this division can seem unfair since the other spouse had no part in its creation. Business owners may decide to sign a postnuptial agreement to protect their business in case of a divorce. If the couple does not get divorced, both spouses will continue to reap the benefits from their business.
  2. You Have Children From Your First Marriage: Individuals who get married later in life may have already been married previously and have children. Prenups and postnups are more common with second marriages since the couples have seen how divorce can lead to a contentious legal battle without one. Those who have children from their first marriage should consider signing a postnup to designate the division of assets in the event of his or her divorce or death. You and your second spouse may or may not be considering having children, but naming what is owed to the children of your first marriage is a good idea regardless of any new children that may or may not come along the way.
  3. You Received an Inheritance: It can seem uncomfortable to onlookers for those who are married to allocate what is theirs when they are not considering divorce. However, it is not a good idea to allow this stigma to result in your spouse receiving half of a large inheritance that has been indebted to you your entire life. For those who receive an inheritance in the middle of their marriage, it may be a good idea to write up a postnuptial agreement and make it clear that they intend to protect their inheritance during a divorce. 

Call a Joliet Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer

There has been some deliberation about the validity of postnuptial agreements, especially since they are signed after the start of a marriage. Illinois recognizes them, but there are a number of factors that could invalidate your entire agreement if they are included. It is important to seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney who is well versed in Illinois family law. The Foray Firm has a team of legal professionals who are waiting to assist you and your spouse with the creation of this legal agreement. If you are considering signing a prenup or would like more information about what this legal document can do for you, contact our Homewood prenuptial agreement attorneys at 312-702-1293 for a free consultation. 

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Will County family law attorney adoption

Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. Not only are you giving a child a home, but you are also expanding your family and building a special bond with another child. There are a number of things that you should complete before you finalize the adoption. Of course, there are fun things to do, like build a nursery and pick out baby clothes, but there are also a number of practical things that you should consider. These may not be as exciting as decorating the home your baby will come home to, but they are exceedingly important since the first year with a new child can be a busy one.

Talk to Your Workplace

There are a few things that you should hammer out with the company or business that you work at. In the same way that new biological mothers get maternity leave, you should discuss your options to have a similar experience as a new mom. Nowadays, many companies even allow men to have paternity leave to help care for their newborn. You should also ask the appropriate staff member about your healthcare plan if your employer provides it to you. For brand new parents, you must make sure your healthcare plan will cover your new child. This is crucial to do before your child comes home since there will likely be many doctor visits in their first year with you.

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Markham parenting time attorney supervised visitation

During a divorce, parents must decide how they will continue to parent their child moving forward. This can be difficult for parents since they are likely used to seeing their children on a daily basis. Ideally, courts try to keep both parents in the child's life since this is often deemed beneficial for the child. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If the court determines that you are unfit to take care of your child alone, they may grant you supervised visitation or deny you from seeing your child at all. Typically, the court will allow supervised visitation before taking such drastic actions as banning you from spending time with your child. Having another party in the room while you are taking care of your kids can be uncomfortable, and the nerves may bring out the worst in parents. Staying calm and having a game plan for your supervised visit is the best way to move towards removing those restrictions.

Create an Active Visit

You will have a certain amount of time to spend with your child, so it is important to make the most of it. It is a good idea to have a few activities planned for your child so that you appear prepared and invested in spending time with them. These “events” do not have to be anything out of the ordinary, but they should tailor to your child’s interests. Even if you just color or play Legos, that shows that you are willing to set aside time for your kids.

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Unfortunately, domestic violence is all too common in the United States and across the world. According to the data from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Many believe that women are the only victims of abuse, but this is not the case. Though more women suffer from abusive relationships, men are not excluded from this unfortunate reality. Abuse includes more than just physical violence against another person — there are many types of abuse and knowing the tell-tale signs is a good way to make sure that you are not in an unhealthy, toxic relationship.

Identifying Abuse

  • It can be difficult for those who are not in abusive relationships to understand why someone who is in one would remain in one. The emotional connection that one has with their partner, even if they are abusive, is often enough for someone to stay with a partner who does not treat them like they should. For some, they may not know the signs of abuse and think that they are blowing things out of proportion — no one wants to admit that they are in an unhealthy relationship, so some ignore these signs even if they know that they are there. The following are signs of an abusive partner:
  • Constantly tells you that you never do anything right
  • Discourages or prevents you from seeing your friends and family
  • Demeans, insults, or shames you consistently
  • Has control over your finances
  • Controls who you spend your time with, where you go, and what you do
  • Acts in ways that scare you
  • Intimidates you with their words or actions, including threats with weapons

I Need Protection

In many cases, ending an abusive relationship can be emotionally and physically difficult. Identifying that you are in a toxic relationship is the first step to moving forward, but rarely does an abusive partner let the person go based on their word. This can lead the abused partner into dangerous situations. In order to combat possible threats or violence, Illinois offers family or household members the opportunity to obtain orders of protection. Commonly known as a restraining order, protective orders may do the following:

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