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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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Four Tips For Successful Co-Parenting After Your Illinois DivorceWhen you have children, one of the hardest aspects of life after a divorce is figuring out how to be a successful and effective co-parent. This can be especially difficult for couples who no longer get along with one another or who had a very contentious divorce. Though you may wish you were rid of your spouse, having children with them prevents that from being possible. It is your job to work together with your ex to make sure you can provide a secure and loving childhood for your kids. Co-parenting after your divorce is one of the toughest things you will learn to do, but it is also one of the most important. Here are a few tips to help increase your chances of co-parenting success:

  1. Put Your Feelings Aside: This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You and your spouse need to make sure you are putting your feelings to the side and focusing on the wellbeing and happiness of your children. Your children should be the most important part of your life, and ensuring their happiness is more important than the issues you have with your ex.
  2. Work on Communication With Your Ex: Though it may be tough, communication is key when it comes to co-parenting. You should be aiming for peaceful and purposeful communication between you and your ex, all for the benefit of your children. You should keep your ex in the loop when it comes to your child and you should make sure you are including them in any major decisions involving your child.
  3. Stay as Consistent as Possible: It is also important to keep a sense of consistency between the two households for the sake of your children. Obviously, not everything will be the same at both your and your ex’s homes, but general routines and rules should stay the same so your child has a sense of consistency and familiarity.
  4. Remind Your Children That You Love Them: This is also important because it is common for children to blame themselves for the divorce. You should reassure your children every now and then that both you and their other parent still love them very much and that your issues have nothing to do with them.

Hire a Compassionate Will County Family Law Attorney 

At The Foray Firm, we understand that it is often difficult for divorcing parents to transition to life as a single parent, while still taking into account the other parent. Our skilled Joliet family law lawyers can help you and your spouse have a solid and comprehensive parenting plan in place to help reduce any uncertainties after the divorce. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Dealing With Your Ex-Spouse’s Relocation After Your Illinois DivorceFinalizing your divorce is often a weight off of your shoulders. After months and maybe even years of arguing back and forth, negotiating and finally settling on certain terms, you can take a deep breath, gather yourself and move on with your life. With the finalization of your divorce comes the finalization of the parenting arrangements for your child, and though things may seem like they have been decided, there will always be the possibility of change.

One major change that you may have to deal with after a divorce is whether your ex-spouse moves or not. Your spouse does not necessarily have to inform you of the move but is required by law to inform you if he or she intends to move with your child. When this happens, it is referred to as relocation, and you can either consent to the relocation or fight it.

Before You Go to Court

If your spouse intends to relocate with your child more than 25 miles away from his or her current home, Illinois law requires that he or she give you written notice of the intended relocation at least 60 days prior to the date of the move. If you do not want to protest the relocation, you can sign the notice and file it with the clerk of the circuit court to allow your ex-spouse to relocate with your child. If you do not sign the notice or you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan modification, your spouse can file a petition to seek to relocate.  

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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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