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What Can I Do If I Suspect My Child is Being Abused By Their Other Parent?A parent’s main priority is to protect their child, even if that means taking them away from their other parent. According to Childhelp, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, and most abusers are family members or others close to your child. Whether you were never married, are filing for divorced, or are recently divorced, it is crucial to alert authorities if you suspect your co-parent of abuse. It can be uncomfortable and difficult to present your fears to the court, but this is the only way for you to take action for your child and protect them from their own parent. Courts typically lean towards keeping both parents in children’s lives, and it is a rare occurrence for a judge to give sole custody to one parent. However, accusations of violence and abuse make courts think twice about their parental responsibilities determinations to protect the child from harm.

Warning Signs of Abuse

The fear of making a false accusation of abuse is often enough to keep parents silent about their suspicions. If parents are not married and do not live under the same roof, it can be difficult for them to identify abuse with certainty. Look for the following signs in your child if you suspect that they are being subjected to abuse:

  • Extremely withdrawn, anxious, or fearful about making a mistake or doing something wrong
  • Frequent, unexplained injuries, welts, bruises, or cuts
  • Shying away from touch or flinching at sudden movements
  • Difficulties sitting or walking
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing for the type of weather (long sleeves on a hot day)

Possible Outcomes

There are a few ways that the court may address the accusations in order to protect your child. Depending on the evidence at hand, the court may be able to provide an immediate response and change to your parenting agreement. If you are divorced, this is known as post-divorce modifications. What the judge will likely decide as their initial response is to require supervised visitation for your child’s other parent. This means that they will continue to see your child but always have a designated supervisor present. This will allow the court to monitor their activity together and protect the child from any abuse that may occur behind closed doors. Depending on the extent of the abuse and the parent’s ability to keep a relationship with the child, the court will try to keep both parents in their lives to some extent.

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Open vs. Closed Adoptions: the Pros and Cons for Adoptive and Biological ParentsWhen prospective parents consider adopting a child, they often think that the biggest question that they will need to answer is where they would like to adopt their child from. They may be considering the benefits and drawbacks of adopting internationally or staying more local to find their child. While this is an important question to consider before making your adoption decision, one of the most life-changing choices that will need to be made is how involved you would like your child’s biological parents to be in their life. This is usually not fully up to the adoptive parents — the biological parents may wish to discuss this before committing to giving you their child. Some biological parents may not wish to be involved in their child’s life, while others may not be able to give you their child without the promise of a relationship moving forward. Whether you are the biological parents or the adoptive parents, you should consider the pros and cons of each type of adoption.

Open Adoptions

The level of openness with your adoption can vary from family to family. Some wish to simply exchange information so that the child can reach out to their biological parents if they would like, while others may create an agreement with the child’s biological parents to determine what their relationship will look like and how frequently they will communicate. For adoptive parents, this line of communication can be helpful whenever they have questions for their child’s biological parents. This could be about medical history, family connections, or anything else about the child that they could not know without the biological parents’ help. Having an open relationship can be difficult but important for biological parents. They may spend their lives wondering whether or not they chose the right family or hoping that their child would reach out later in life. Deciding on an open adoption eliminates these questions and can help the biological parents know that their child is safe and healthy.

Closed Adoptions

In closed adoptions, the adoptive parents will receive little to no information about their child’s biological parents or their background. This will protect both sides’ privacy and will not allow contact with the biological parents after the child’s birth and adoption. Many adoptive and biological parents believe this is the best arrangement for their child. It will eliminate any contentious or forced relationships that may be expected in an open relationship. It can also be difficult for the biological parents to see their child grow up in a home that is not their own. While they may have made the decision to give their child to another family, they may not want to see them live a different life. Closed adoptions are also a good option if the child’s biological parents are abusive or unfit to foster a healthy relationship with their child.

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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 family law attorney adoption

Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. Not only are you giving a child a home, but you are also expanding your family and building a special bond with another child. There are a number of things that you should complete before you finalize the adoption. Of course, there are fun things to do, like build a nursery and pick out baby clothes, but there are also a number of practical things that you should consider. These may not be as exciting as decorating the home your baby will come home to, but they are exceedingly important since the first year with a new child can be a busy one.

Talk to Your Workplace

There are a few things that you should hammer out with the company or business that you work at. In the same way that new biological mothers get maternity leave, you should discuss your options to have a similar experience as a new mom. Nowadays, many companies even allow men to have paternity leave to help care for their newborn. You should also ask the appropriate staff member about your healthcare plan if your employer provides it to you. For brand new parents, you must make sure your healthcare plan will cover your new child. This is crucial to do before your child comes home since there will likely be many doctor visits in their first year with you.

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Unfortunately, domestic violence is all too common in the United States and across the world. According to the data from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Many believe that women are the only victims of abuse, but this is not the case. Though more women suffer from abusive relationships, men are not excluded from this unfortunate reality. Abuse includes more than just physical violence against another person — there are many types of abuse and knowing the tell-tale signs is a good way to make sure that you are not in an unhealthy, toxic relationship.

Identifying Abuse

  • It can be difficult for those who are not in abusive relationships to understand why someone who is in one would remain in one. The emotional connection that one has with their partner, even if they are abusive, is often enough for someone to stay with a partner who does not treat them like they should. For some, they may not know the signs of abuse and think that they are blowing things out of proportion — no one wants to admit that they are in an unhealthy relationship, so some ignore these signs even if they know that they are there. The following are signs of an abusive partner:
  • Constantly tells you that you never do anything right
  • Discourages or prevents you from seeing your friends and family
  • Demeans, insults, or shames you consistently
  • Has control over your finances
  • Controls who you spend your time with, where you go, and what you do
  • Acts in ways that scare you
  • Intimidates you with their words or actions, including threats with weapons

I Need Protection

In many cases, ending an abusive relationship can be emotionally and physically difficult. Identifying that you are in a toxic relationship is the first step to moving forward, but rarely does an abusive partner let the person go based on their word. This can lead the abused partner into dangerous situations. In order to combat possible threats or violence, Illinois offers family or household members the opportunity to obtain orders of protection. Commonly known as a restraining order, protective orders may do the following:

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