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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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Will County paternity attorney family lawIt is widely understood in this day and age that children thrive when both of their parents play active roles in their lives. A father is just as important as a mother, even if the mother and father were not married when the child was born. Ideally, the father will play just as large a role as the mother, though that does not happen all of the time. 

It is extremely important to establish the paternity of your child, because without doing so, your child only has one legal parent. It can be a lengthy and complicated process to establish your child’s paternity if you were not married to the other parent at the time of the child’s birth, but it is not impossible.

Automatic Paternity

Paternity is the term used for the legal tie that a father has with his child. In cases where the mother is married or in a civil union at the time of the child’s birth or within 300 days before the child was born, the man she was married to or in a civil union with is automatically presumed to be the child’s legal father. If the mother was not married or in a civil union, then she must go about establishing the paternity of the child in a different manner. The parents may sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, or paternity may be established through legal proceedings, which may order genetic testing to be completed.

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Joliet prenup attorneyTalking about divorce even before getting married is never something that couples want to do -- but sometimes it is a good idea. Prenuptial agreements are gaining more and more popularity with younger couples, especially because the average age of marriage is higher than it has ever been before. This means that couples are more likely to bring their own significant assets into a marriage, such as real estate property or retirement accounts. Prenuptial agreements (commonly known as “prenups”) can be tricky to create, especially since they can be declared invalid if they are not constructed carefully and correctly. Here are three mistakes you should avoid making when drafting a prenuptial agreement:

1. Not Being Truthful About Your Assets

When entering into a prenup, both spouses are required to fully disclose their assets to each other, including all property and debts. If one spouse tries to hide or undervalue certain assets, the entire prenuptial agreement could be dismissed by a court.

2. You Did Not Obtain Independent Counsel

Though it is not technically required by Illinois law to have an attorney when you enter into a prenuptial agreement, it is a good idea. When you and your spouse each have your own independent legal counsel, this tells the court that you both knew what you were signing and understood what the terms of the agreement meant. An argument could be made that one spouse did not fully understand the contract if he or she did not have an attorney, and this could be a reason for the agreement being found to be invalid.

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