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How Criminal Charges Can Affect Your Right to Adopt a ChildAdopting a child is not something to take lightly. Whether you are a grandparent, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle, or unrelated to the child you wish to adopt, once the adoption process is complete, you are responsible for making sound-of-mind decisions based on the best interest of the child.

However, if you have a criminal record, adopting a child may be more difficult, or in some circumstances, off the table.

What To Expect

According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the following is done during the adoption process:

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Reasons For Signing a Prenuptial AgreementPrenuptial agreements are not mandatory within an Illinois marriage, but any engaged couple that has personal or business assets may want to protect what is theirs before getting married.

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement that both you and your future spouse construct before getting married. This agreement lays out how property and assets will be divided if divorce or death were to occur. Items that can be included within a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Division of property and/or assets
  • The right to manage and control property belonging to the other spouse
  • Changes or elimination of spousal support/maintenance 
  • Establishing a will, trust, or other arrangement or obligation to carry out the prenuptial agreements terms
  • The ownership rights in and distribution of the death benefit from a life insurance policy
  • Choice of laws that will be used for creating the agreement

Signing a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial for one or more of the following reasons:

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How to Have a Happy and Successful Step-FamilyIt is not uncommon for people to get remarried after they have ended their first marriage. Remarriage is a second chance at happiness for many people. When you get remarried, you often bring many things with you from your previous life, including your children. Creating a blended family can be extremely rewarding, but it comes with its challenges. Remarriage itself can be difficult, but you can overcome its challenges by preemptively planning your future with a skilled family law lawyer. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful and happy blended family:

  1. Help Your Children Adjust to the Changes: There are a lot of changes that come when you create a blended family. For children, these changes can be difficult, but there are things that you can do to help them adjust to their new family. When it comes to helping your own children, you should remind them that they are still loved and valued. You should also make sure they have access to their other parent. Allow your stepchildren to set the pace of the relationship; it can often take years for everyone to feel comfortable in a blended family.
  2. Carefully Consider Your Options Before Pursuing Step-Parent Adoption: Many parents want to solidify their relationship with their stepchildren by completing a step-parent adoption, but there are many things you have to consider before you choose to go ahead with a step-parent adoption. Illinois allows a child to have only two legal parents at one time. This means you would have to get your child’s other parent to relinquish their parental rights or have their rights taken away from them before your new spouse could adopt your child. You should also consider how doing this might upset your children.
  3. Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement: If you have previously been married and you are planning to get married again, you should seriously consider getting a prenuptial agreement beforehand. A prenuptial agreement can help you make sure your assets are protected for your own benefit and ultimately the benefit of your children in the event that you get divorced from your new spouse.

Get in Touch With a Skilled Will County Family Law Attorney Today

Before you get too far ahead, you should consult with a knowledgeable and compassionate Joliet, IL, family law lawyer to make sure you are covering all of your bases. At The Foray Firm, we can help you take care of all of the pre-planning matters before you get remarried, such as drafting a prenuptial agreement, ensuring your parenting plan is up-to-date and helping you pursue a step-parent adoption. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

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Exploring the Reasons to Get a Postnuptial AgreementAlmost everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement. Most of what many people know comes from movies or television shows portraying a woman marrying a wealthy man and signing a prenuptial agreement to protect his riches. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements come from the same family of legal documents and can do just about the same things. Both agreements can dictate which property is and is not marital property, how that property will be divided in the event of a divorce and the terms of spousal maintenance, among other things. The thing that differs between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is when the agreement is signed. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the wedding and a postnuptial agreement is signed after the wedding. Here are a couple of situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement:

  1. You Did Not Have Time to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement: One of the most common reasons why couples get postnuptial agreements is because they either did not or could not sign a prenuptial agreement before they were married. A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, which is why it is a popular option for those who found the idea of a prenuptial agreement unromantic or those who did not have enough time before the wedding to create one.
  2. Circumstances Have Changed During the Marriage: There are a variety of reasons why a married couple might want to get a prenuptial agreement, most of them stemming from the fact that their circumstances may have changed during the marriage. For example, coming into an unexpected inheritance or winning a large sum of money can prompt a couple to want to reexamine their finances. Another reason could be because one spouse unexpectedly decided to take time off of work to care for and raise the couple’s children. This puts that spouse in a more vulnerable financial position and a postnuptial agreement could promise support if the spouses were to ever divorce. 

Whatever the Reason, You Need a Homewood, IL, Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer by Your Side

If you did not get a prenuptial agreement before you were married, it is not too late. You can still get a postnuptial agreement at any time after your marriage, and it can be used much like a prenuptial agreement. There are many situations in which you may want to consider getting a postnuptial agreement, which is why you should call a Will County postnuptial agreement attorney to discuss your situation. At The Foray Firm, we understand that a postnuptial agreement could be the key to a happy marriage. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

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Three Questions You Should Ask Yourself if You Plan to Adopt as a Single ParentThe “nuclear family” was traditionally seen as the ideal American family – a mother, a father, one or two children and perhaps a dog. Now, there are many types of families that exist in the U.S., each of which is just as loving as the traditional family unit. Households containing just a single parent have increased dramatically since 1960 – when only around nine percent of children were being raised by a single parent. Now, around 27 percent of American children are being raised by a single parent. For some, adoption is the way they have chosen to grow their family, even when it comes to people who are not married. Being a single parent is difficult, even when the child is your biological child. If you are a single parent who is considering adoption, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Do You Have Family and/or Friends Who Support Your Decision?: One of your most invaluable resources as a single parent is your support system. Typically, your support system is composed of family members and/or friends who you can rely on if you need help. Being a single parent, you will most likely need help from time to time. Before you make the decision to adopt a child, consider whether or not you have people around you that you can ask for help; whether or not your friends and family are supportive of your decision to adopt as a single parent; and how your friends and family would react if you adopted a child who had special needs, was from a different country or who was a different race or ethnicity.
  2. Will You Be Able to Balance Work and a Child at Your Current Job?: As a single parent, you will be the sole provider for yourself and your child. This means that work will play a significant role in your life. Ask yourself if you are up for the challenge of not only being a single parent but also a working parent. Will you be able to devote enough time to being a parent? Is your employer family-friendly? Having a child poses issues such as occasionally needing to leave or take off from work to care for your child.
  3. Do You Have the Financial Means to Raise a Child?: Similarly, do you earn enough at your job to make ends meet with a child in the picture? You do not have to be rolling in cash to raise a child, but children can get expensive. Before you make the decision to adopt, consider all of the expenses you will be faced with if you are a single parent:
    • Educational costs
    • Medical care
    • Childcare
    • After-school care
    • Extracurricular activities

A Will County Adoption Lawyer Can Make Your Dream of Being a Parent a Reality

Adopting a child is a fulfilling and rewarding experience for those who have the means to do so. If you are thinking of adopting a child as a single parent, you should meet with a skilled and knowledgeable Joliet, IL, adoption attorney first. At The Foray Firm, we understand the Illinois adoption process and will handle the legalities of the process so you can focus on settling into life with your child. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 312-702-1293. 

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BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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