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Using Second-Parent Adoption to Establish Parentage in LGBTQ MarriagesIt has been a little over four years since the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from getting married. Since then, thousands of members of the LGBTQ community have solidified their relationships and tied the knot – but they still face a number of issues when it comes to the legalities of family dynamics. Many LGBTQ couples have decided to have children, whether through adoption, surrogacy or a sperm donor. Many states still have laws that only pertain to a man and a woman having children, posing issues for same-sex couples. One solution that Illinois, along with many other states, has created is the practice of second-parent adoption. 

What is Second-Parent Adoption?

A second-parent adoption, also known as a co-parent adoption, is often used by same-sex couples to solidify both parents’ legal relationship to the child. Many states’ laws still rely almost entirely on biological connections to establish parentage. In many cases, one parent in the same-sex couple is the biological parent of the child. Even if the couple is married at the time the child is born, the child is not considered to be the legal child of the other spouse because the spouse is not the biological parent of the child.

The Purpose of Second-Parent Adoption

A second-parent adoption can help same-sex couples by establishing the non-biological parent as the child’s legal parent. The unique thing about second-parent adoptions is that the child’s biological parent does not have to relinquish any of his or her parental rights to the child in order for his or her spouse to adopt the child. 

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Four Things You Should Know Before Signing a Prenuptial AgreementIn the past, prenuptial agreements have been a controversial topic. It was thought that you were planning for a divorce or that you were not serious about your marriage if you got a prenuptial agreement. In recent years, prenuptial agreements have become more popular for several reasons. One such reason is that younger generations are waiting until later in life to get married. This typically means they have more assets when they are going into their marriages.

Prenuptial agreements can be extremely beneficial if you do end up getting divorced because they can outline how property will be divided or how debts will be allocated. Before getting a prenuptial agreement, there are a few things you should know:

  1. Your Agreement Must Be in a Specific Format: In order for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must be in the correct format. This means your prenuptial agreement must be a legal document in writing; oral agreements do not count as prenuptial agreements. Your agreement must also be written in clear language and signed by both you and your spouse.
  2. You Have to Be Completely Truthful: When you are creating a prenuptial agreement, you are required to be fully transparent about your finances, including revealing your assets and debts. A prenuptial agreement is invalid if one of the parties withholds important information. You may need to make note of things such as a possible future inheritance. 
  3. There are Certain Things You Cannot Put in the Agreement: Contrary to what you may have heard, you are not allowed to put whatever you want into a prenuptial agreement. There are certain stipulations you must follow when you are drafting your agreement. For example, you can put clauses in your agreement pertaining to spousal maintenance, but you are not permitted to include any requirements about child support or other legal child-centered issues.
  4. Signing the Agreement Too Close to the Wedding Can Cause Problems: If you are thinking that a prenuptial agreement may be right for you, it is good to sign the agreement sooner rather than later. If you sign the agreement only a few days before the wedding, it could be argued that neither party had sufficient enough time to fully understand the terms of the document before you agreed to them. It is recommended that you sign the agreement no later than one month before the wedding. If it is too late, you can create a postnuptial agreement instead. 

A Will County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

Though it may seem completely unromantic, it would be naive to go into a marriage thinking there is an absolute zero percent possibility of getting a divorce in the future. Planning by getting a prenuptial agreement can save you a major headache if you do end up getting divorced. At The Foray Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping couples draft prenuptial agreements that they are happy with. Our knowledgeable Markham, IL, prenuptial agreement lawyers can ensure that your prenuptial agreement contains everything that you want it to contain and that it will hold up in court, should it be contested. Get in touch with our office today by calling us at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Key Things to Know Before Pursuing Stepparent Adoption in IllinoisIn Illinois, related adoptions are the most common type of adoption that takes place. Stepparent adoption, specifically, is the most common type of related adoption. Typically, a stepparent adoption takes place when one of the child’s parents is married or remarried to a person who is not the child’s biological parent. The spouse of the child’s parent would legally assume the rights and responsibilities to the child, but in some cases, it is easier said than done. Many children who have stepparents also have both biological parents who play a role in their lives and who might object to the adoption. Any type of adoption can be a complicated legal process, but in some ways, a related adoption can be even more difficult.

Facts to Consider Before Adopting

Many families pursue stepparent adoption because it gives the stepparent a way to formally and legally declare him or herself a parent to a non-biological child. Other families may pursue stepparent adoption as a way to establish two legal parents for a child if one parent is not involved in the child’s life. Either way, here are a few things you should consider before you begin the adoption process:

  • A child in Illinois is permitted to have only two legal parents at a time. If you are trying to adopt your stepchild, you will have to make sure that your child’s other parent either relinquishes his or her parental rights or petition to have his or her parental rights revoked.
  • Judges only grant stepparent adoptions to the stepparent who is married to the parent that the child spends the most time with. In other words, if a child’s father remarries and his new wife wants to adopt the child, but the child lives with his mother 75 percent of the time, the judge will probably not allow the adoption.
  • Typically, adoptions require a home study to be completed, which assesses the relationships and inner workings of the family that will adopt the child. Since stepparent adoptions are related adoptions, the home study requirement is waived.
  • Consent with related adoptions and stepparent adoptions can become complicated. Not only do you have to gain the consent of the child’s other biological parent, but in some cases, you may also have to gain the consent of the child. In Illinois, any child who is 14 or older must give their consent to be adopted.

Complete Your Family With Help From a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer 

In some ways, a stepparent adoption can be an easier process to go through than the traditional adoption process. In other ways, the stepparent adoption process can prove to be even more legally challenging. If you want to adopt your stepchildren but their other biological parent is objecting to the adoption, contact our knowledgeable Bolingbrook, IL, stepparent adoption attorneys today. At The Foray Firm, we understand that adoption is not only a legal process but an emotional challenge, as well. Contact our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Plainfield prenup lawyer family lawPrenuptial agreements used to be a taboo subject. In the past, it was often believed that if you got a prenup, you were expecting to get divorced. However, in this day and age, many Americans are waiting longer to get married, which means that they are entering marriage with more property and debt than those in past generations. Because of this, prenuptial agreements have become more and more common. 

A prenuptial agreement can help set guidelines for how you will go about your divorce if your marriage ever ends, and it can protect the assets you bring into the marriage and prevent you from being responsible for debts your partner may have. If you are wondering whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you, here are a few situations in which you may want to consider a prenup:

1. You or Your Partner Were Married Before

One reason why prenuptial agreements are becoming more common is because many people are entering second or subsequent marriages. If you or your spouse have been married before, a prenuptial agreement can address any obligations you may have from your first marriage.

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DuPage County adoption attorneyFor many couples who cannot or do not want to conceive a child, adoption is a great option for them to grow their family. There are thousands of American children in the foster care system and in private agencies waiting to find their forever families. However, adoption is a long, complex process that requires patience and a thorough knowledge of Illinois adoption laws. 

One issue that can be a point of contention during adoption is consent. There are certain people who must consent to an adoption before it can be finalized. If you are in the process of adopting, or even just thinking about adopting, it is important that you understand the consent requirements that must be met.

Who Is Required to Consent?

According to Illinois law, the birth mother and the birth father who has established paternity must consent to an adoption if they still hold the legal parenting rights to their child. In the case that the birth parents no longer have legal rights to their child, there are a few other entities that must consent. These can include:

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