1953 Ridge Road, Homewood, IL 60432

Call Us312-702-1293

The Foray Firm

Will County family law attorneyResearch shows that fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives is associated with better academic achievement, intellectual functioning, and social skills. Children with absent fathers are more likely to suffer from mental health problems like depression. Unfortunately, some fathers do not see their kids as often as they want because they are unaware of their rights. If you have established the paternity of your child and you are not a danger to your child’s well-being, you may be able to secure visitation or parenting time. However, you may need to take certain steps to assert this right.

You Must Establish Paternity First

If you are interested in spending more time with your children, you may need to take certain steps to establish your parental rights. Before you are given the right to parenting time with your child, you must establish paternity. “Paternity” refers to the legal relationship between a father and his child.

In Illinois, unwed fathers can establish paternity by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form. However, you will need the mother’s signature on the VAP form as well. If she denies that you are the child’s father or will not cooperate, you may need to establish paternity through an administrative order or court order. You may need to submit to DNA testing to prove that you are the child’s father. A DNA sample is taken from your mouth using a cotton swab and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Once paternity has been established, you can have your name added to the child’s birth certificate and seek an order for parenting time.

...

Will County family law lawyerFor many couples, a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool to help each partner define and protect their interests in property and assets. Agreements that are written and willingly signed by both partners are generally legally binding and enforceable, including in the event of a divorce. However, they are not necessarily permanently set in stone. There are many reasons why you may wish to modify a prenup at some point during your marriage, and you should know that it is possible to do so.

How Do I Modify a Prenup?

In Illinois, the primary legal requirements for modifying a prenuptial agreement are the same as the requirements for creating a prenup in the first place. Namely, the modifications must be set down in writing, and both you and your spouse must sign the document indicating your agreement. You can also revoke a prenuptial agreement entirely through the same process. The most challenging part of modifying a prenup may be finding terms that you and your spouse both agree to. However, there are situations in which updating your agreement can be beneficial for both of you.

Reasons to Update a Prenuptial Agreement

You and your spouse may want to update your prenup if one of the following applies to you:

...

Joliet IL family lawyerParents of children with special health or developmental needs are well aware of the challenges that come with raising and providing for them. Unfortunately, these challenges can often become more pronounced when parents are going through a divorce. In addition to the mental energy that the divorce process requires, parents may also be concerned about how best to handle decisions regarding child support and parental responsibilities in a way that prioritizes their children’s interests and needs.

Child Support for Special Needs Children in Illinois

One of the most significant challenges for parents of children with special needs is the financial cost. Estimates from the U.S. government indicate that from birth to age 18, the cost of raising a child with special needs may be at least five times as high as the cost of raising an average child. While many sources of financial assistance may be available, a good portion of the expenses is likely to fall on the child’s parents.

When the parents of a child with special needs decide to get divorced, child support is a crucial element of the resolution. Illinois law typically bases child support obligations on the average amount that parents within a certain income bracket tend to spend on a child’s basic needs, but the law allows for a significant deviation from the usual calculation to account for a child’s extraordinary developmental, medical, or physical needs. You should be sure to consider costs including ongoing medical care and treatment, special education, in-home accommodations, transportation to appointments, and the services of child therapists and developmental specialists.

...

Joliet IL family lawyerIf you and your partner are ready to commit to a life together in marriage, it is crucial that you can trust each other to make responsible financial decisions and respect each other’s property and financial goals. Similarly, if you are already married and your financial situation has recently changed, it is important to determine how you and your spouse will adapt to this new reality. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can often help to address these issues. When considering whether an agreement of this nature is the right choice, you should be aware of some of the property concerns that it can help you manage.

What Can an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Do?

Provided that you and your spouse can agree to the terms, a prenup or postnup can help you do all of the following:

  • Define non-marital property - One of the most common reasons for creating a prenup is to protect the property that each spouse brings to the marriage. For example, a prenup can clearly define the amount of each spouse’s premarital retirement contributions, or ensure that a business or home remains the separate property of one spouse. A postnup can accomplish a similar purpose during the marriage, perhaps if a spouse wants to protect a newly acquired inheritance.

    ...

Will County family law attorneyLegal matters related to a child’s paternity rarely exist in a vacuum. Often, they are accompanied by questions regarding the extent to which the father will be involved in the child’s life. For example, will the relationship be limited solely to financial support, or will the child be spending significant time with the father? The answer varies from case to case, and regardless of the method you use to establish paternity, you should be prepared for the possibility of a court case addressing parenting time and parental responsibilities.

What Comes With the Establishment of Legal Paternity in Illinois?

In many cases, the primary purpose of establishing legal paternity is to ensure that the father is obligated to contribute to child support. This, of course, benefits the child, but it also helps the mother or whoever has custody of the child. Additionally, when a legal parent-child relationship has been established, the child is eligible for other financial benefits from the father, including inheritance, health insurance coverage, and benefits from life insurance, Social Security, and Veterans Affairs.

A child’s legal father also must be notified if the child is involved in an adoption proceeding, giving him the opportunity to consent or contest the adoption. However, the establishment of paternity does not, in and of itself, give the father rights or obligations regarding the exercise of parenting time and parental responsibilities. Rather, defining these arrangements requires additional action in family court.

...
BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
Back to Top