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Can You Kidnap Your Own Child in Illinois?When parents are in the middle of a battle over the allocation of parental responsibilities, the state of affairs can be intense. In some cases, the parenting dispute can result in one parent taking the child without the consent and knowledge of the other parent or the court. Despite their status as a legal parent, this still qualifies as “kidnapping” or “child abduction” and can turn a civil case into a criminal case with harsh consequences for the offending parent.

Child Abduction

Kidnapping is a felony in Illinois, and a conviction can result in fines, probation and jail time. An individual will be charged with child abduction when he/she does one of the following: 

  • Intentionally disobeys the terms of a legal court order granting sole or joint parental responsibility, care, or possession to another individual
  • Intentionally hides, withholds, or takes the child without the mother’s or legal guardian’s consent if the person is the assumed father but his paternity has not been legally confirmed or there have been no orders relating to parental responsibilities
  • Intentionally fails, refuses or hinders the return of the child to the legal guardian or parent
  • Knowingly conceals, detains, or removes the child in exchange for payment from an individual who does not have a legal right to the child
  • Intentionally entices or attempts to lure a child who is younger than 17 or traveling to or from school without the consent of the child's parent or legal guardian for other than a lawful and legal purposes

Orders of Protection

If you are worried that your parenting battle may result in the kidnapping of your child, you are able to ask the court to file an emergency order of protection. If you are able to prove an emergency situation may arise, the court will enter the order of protection before notifying the other individual. This is only temporary, but a permanent restraining order can be established as a result of a trial involving the accused party.

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