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Joliet paternity lawyerWhen a child is born to unmarried parents, there is often uncertainty surrounding the father’s involvement in the child’s life, or even the father’s identity. Establishing legal paternity can remove much of that uncertainty and lead to many important benefits, including financial support for the child and parental rights for the father. Under Illinois law, there are several options for establishing paternity, and it is important to consider which one is the best choice for your case.

Methods of Establishing Paternity

Some ways of establishing paternity are more difficult than others, and the options available will depend in large part on the nature of the relationship between the child’s parents. The possible methods of establishing a man’s parentage in Illinois include:

  • Presumption of paternity - In Illinois, a man is presumed to be the legal father of a child if he was previously married to the child’s mother within 300 days prior to the child’s birth, even if he is no longer married to the mother when the child is born. Additionally, a man who marries the child’s mother after the child’s birth may be presumed to be the father if he agrees to be listed as such on the birth certificate. However, it is important to note that a presumption of paternity may be rebutted if there is evidence that another man is the child’s biological father.
  • Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) - A man who is not presumed to be the father can still establish paternity with few obstacles if he and the child’s mother agree to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity after the child’s birth. This form may be completed at the hospital where the child is born, or at a later time, and it must be filed with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) in order to take effect.
  • Administrative Paternity Order - If both parents are not in agreement regarding the child’s parentage, a VAP will not be a viable option. One alternative for a mother who is seeking to secure child support is to pursue an administrative order through DHFS. DHFS may order an alleged father to submit to genetic testing as part of this process.
  • Adjudication of Paternity - Another option for either parent is to petition for an adjudication of paternity in court. This process typically involves court-ordered genetic testing, and the court will consider the results and other evidence in determining whether a man should be adjudicated as the child’s legal father. After a judicial order of paternity, the legal father can also petition the court for parenting time and parental responsibilities.

Contact a Will County Parentage Attorney

Given the variety of options available for establishing paternity, you may have questions regarding the best way to proceed and what to expect throughout the process. At The Foray Firm, our experienced Joliet family law attorneys can help. Contact us today at 312-702-1293 to learn how you can get the legal guidance and representation you need to secure your parental rights and provide for your child’s needs.

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Joliet divorce attorneysThe holiday season will look a bit different for everyone this year. With COVID-19 impacting Americans’ ability to host typical holiday gatherings and businesses being limited to help reduce the spread of the virus, the upcoming winter holidays will be different from previous years. For those recently divorced, the pandemic as well as recent life changes can make the holiday season feel especially heavy. 

If you are about to enter your first holiday season single, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Accept that things are difficult: It is not uncommon for recently divorced individuals to try and ignore their feelings and treat the holiday festivities as they normally would. Going into the holidays with these expectations can leave you feeling disappointed when you do not find yourself in the same spirits that you are typically in during the holidays. As the season begins, recognize that this year is unprecedented in a number of ways and that you may not be in the same cheerful mindset as you have been in the past.
  2. Create boundaries: The winter holidays often include family parties and the annual life update that you provide to your extended family members. Some may still have small gatherings with family this year, and if you have not seen them in a while, you could be asked a number of uncomfortable questions about your divorce. Setting your boundaries and preparing your responses before you step into these situations are good ways to avoid any unexpected confrontation or inquiries.
  3. Avoid intoxication: It is no secret that holiday parties are often filled with seasonal alcoholic beverages to set the mood. While a drink or two may help to calm your nerves, indulging too much can bring up unwanted sentiments, such as sadness or anger towards your recent divorce. It may be a good idea to keep the alcoholic drinks to a minimum to avoid any uncomfortable outbursts, conversations, or even a driving under the influence (DUI) charge on the way home.
  4. Remember your kids: Depending on the impact of your divorce, you may wish to cancel your holiday gatherings and traditions altogether. For divorced parents, this is not necessarily an option. It is important to remind your children that life goes on after your divorce, including the holidays. By focusing on making the holidays cheerful and fun for your children, you can help get yourself in the holiday spirit. You may need to update your holiday traditions, depending on the details of your parenting plan and schedule
  5. Steer clear of complete isolation: The COVID-19 pandemic has required Americans to limit social interactions for their health and safety. Depending on your own health and quarantine social bubble, it is a good idea to remain connected to close family members and friends. Whether your gatherings occur virtually or in-person, these interactions can help you remember the good things in your life and avoid getting lost in your old wedding video, romantic movies, or memories of your previous marriage.

Contact a Homewood, IL Family Lawyer

A common issue that recently divorced couples face during the holiday season is how to share their parenting obligations. If you forgot to include these details in your parenting plan or would like to modify your previously outlined parenting schedule, the legal team at The Foray Firm can help. Our Joliet family law attorneys assist families going through transition, no matter the time of year. If you are considering divorce or would like to modify your parenting plan, contact our family law firm at 312-702-1293 for help.

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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 adoption attorney

Much like physically having your child, there are various tasks that must be completed before your family can grow through adoption. For those who have chosen to adopt, there is a long checklist that is required of them before even getting approval to adopt a child. All adoptions require a home study to be conducted to ensure that the applicants are fit to adopt. The interview portion of the adoption process can determine your eligibility to adopt, making it crucial to be prepared for this step. In order to help prospective parents get approval to find their future child, we have prepared a home study guide for those considering adoption.

 

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Will County adoption attorney

The “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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