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Recent Blog Posts

What Does "Unfit Parent" Really Mean?

 Posted on August 15, 2022 in Divorce

Will County child custody lawyerDuring a divorce, it is not uncommon for one parent to claim that the other is an unfit parent in an effort to get sole custody. You may be reading this because your (soon to be ex) spouse has called you an unfit parent and threatened to take sole custody of the children. If this is your situation, you should know that your spouse is not very likely to succeed. Unless you have truly endangered or harmed the children and there is proof, it is exceedingly rare for a court to deem one parent unfit and award the other sole custody. However, hearing your spouse refer to you this way can be incredibly hurtful and alarming. Our attorneys are ready to step in and fight for you and your children. 

Defining “Unfit Parent” in Illinois

In Illinois, the definition of an unfit parent is relatively vague. Our state law says that an unfit parent is one who cannot be trusted to take care of a child. For you to lose custody and visitation rights, your child’s other parent would have to prove that there is a specific reason that you should not have access to your children. Reasons a parent may be deemed unfit include: 

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Can a Potential Father Start a Paternity Case in Illinois?

 Posted on August 08, 2022 in Divorce

Joliet paternity lawyerIt is common for the mother of a child to initiate a parentage case, hoping to positively identify her child’s father and seek child support. It is a bit less common for such a case to be opened by a father, but in Illinois, either parent - or alleged parent - can petition a court to declare parentage. Fathers often do so when the mother of the child they believe is theirs is not letting them see the child. Establishing paternity opens the door for a father to seek court-ordered time with his child. This sometimes happens when the mother and father have broken up or were never romantically involved beyond a casual sexual relationship. If you believe that you are the father of a child, you do have the right to seek a court order declaring you are the parent. An attorney can help you take the right steps. 

How Can I Ask the Court to Declare Parentage as a Father?

Establishing yourself as your child’s father is the first step toward gaining the legal right to be a part of their life. Once you are declared the father, you can start seeking joint custody rights so that you can enjoy a meaningful relationship with your child. 

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Can I Get Divorce While My Spouse is in Jail?

 Posted on July 28, 2022 in Divorce

illinois divorce lawyerThis is a fairly common question - and the answer is yes, you can divorce your spouse while they are incarcerated. There may be a few extra steps and some complications, but it can be done. In fact, you may have somewhat of an advantage in your divorce if your spouse is currently locked up. Prisons and jails rarely, if ever, allow inmates to appear in divorce court. Your spouse can retain their own attorney to represent them, however. Especially if your spouse is incarcerated for a crime against you or your children, like domestic violence or child abuse, it may be much safer to get your divorce while they are locked up. An attorney can help you through the process of divorcing an inmate in prison or jail. 

How Can I Divorce Someone Who is Locked Up?

Your spouse can be served with your divorce papers while they are incarcerated. In fact, it is even easier to serve an incarcerated individual - they will not be able to claim that they did not receive the divorce petition. Your attorney will need to find your spouse’s inmate number in order to do this. 

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Tips for Smooth Custody Exchanges During Divorce

 Posted on July 19, 2022 in Child Custody

homewood-divorce-lawyer.jpgOne of the few reasons that divorced parents still need to see each other is to make custody exchanges. Generally, both parents need to be present at a child custody handoff unless there is an agreed-on third party with authorization to pick up or drop off a child. For parents whose divorce is still pending, these exchanges can be very tense. Both parents may be tempted to use child exchanges as a time to find fault in the other parent. For those whose divorce is far from amicable, handing off a child can even turn into an argument. It is important for both parents to know how to handle handing off a child in order to avoid further upsetting the child. When parents work together to put the child first despite their differences, the child is more likely to have a relatively smooth adjustment. 

Ways to Keep a Child Custody Exchange Safe and Civil

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Is My Unfair Prenuptial Agreement Even Enforceable?

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Divorce

will-county-prenuptial-agreement-attorney.jpgPrenuptial agreements can be a great tool during divorce proceedings. Spouses who have one in place often find that their divorce goes much quicker and smoother than it would have without one. Those who have prenuptial agreements are likely to be able to file an uncontested divorce, as most of the divorce terms are likely already agreed upon. However, an unfair prenuptial agreement can serve as a roadblock to divorce. Women are more likely to be disfavored in a prenuptial agreement than men and are less likely to seek a divorce if they believe that their prenuptial agreement will leave them high and dry. However, there are circumstances where an Illinois court will refuse to enforce a prenuptial agreement that is drastically unfair to one party. If your prenuptial agreement is the main reason you are hesitant to get a divorce, you should consult an attorney to find out whether yours could be set aside. 

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5 Strategies for Divorcing a Controlling Spouse

 Posted on July 11, 2022 in Divorce

markham-divorce-attorney.jpgLeaving a controlling spouse can be very difficult. If you have been married for a long time, it might feel like you do not know what to do with yourself without your spouse there to dictate your every move. You may be socially isolated or even separated from your family. Getting a divorce in this situation is the best way to protect yourself and your future. It can be challenging, but it can be done. You will want to make sure that you are represented by an aggressive lawyer. Controlling spouses are skilled at bending the will of their spouse in order to get what they want. You and your lawyer will need to take extra care to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of or controlled in any way during the divorce process. 

Tips for Getting Out of a Controlling Marriage

Standing your ground is going to be very important during this time. Some tips that may help you include: 

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What to do When Your Child's Other Parent Tries for Full Custody

 Posted on June 28, 2022 in Child Custody

orland-park-child-custody-attorney.jpgAs a parent, your children are probably the most important part of your life. A parent’s greatest fear is losing their children. You probably cannot imagine your life without your children in it. So when you and your children’s other parent split and go to court for child custody, you hold out hope for the most possible time with your children. Nothing is scarier than hearing that the other parent is demanding exclusive custody. The prospect of your former spouse or romantic partner taking your children out of your life is enough to send any parent into full-blown panic. The good news is that demands for full custody very rarely succeed. In most cases, this fear is largely unfounded. However, it is critically important that you work with an experienced child custody lawyer who can fight to stop this from happening. 

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What To Do When Your Spouse Will Not Play Fair During Divorce

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Divorce

markham-divorce-attorney.jpgDivorce can bring out the worst in people. When a divorce is not amicable, each party is trying to prove that they are more responsible, a better parent, and a better spouse. Unfortunately, some people will resort to trying to throw their spouse under the bus in an effort to get a better result for themself. Others will resort to flat-out lying to the court or even falsifying evidence. Some will make ridiculous demands that you know are completely unfair. Being the spouse whose name is getting dragged through the mud by a vindictive spouse can be a humiliating and infuriating experience. However, retaliating in kind is not always the right solution. If your spouse is refusing to play fair during your divorce, it is important that you work with an aggressive and experienced divorce lawyer. The Foray Firm has helped many people who are in this position. 

Tips for Handling Divorce When Your Spouse is Playing Dirty

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Establishing Parentage for Same-Sex Couples

 Posted on June 14, 2022 in Family Law

orland-park-parentage-attorney.jpgAn increasing number of same-sex couples are raising children together. The growing number of same-sex couples with children is one of the reasons that Illinois now uses the term “parentage” instead of “paternity.” A child growing up with two moms or two dads will consider both adults their parents. It is very important to make sure that the law also sees both same-sex partners as the child’s legal parents. While it may not be possible for a same-sex couple to have a biological child in common, it is certainly possible for same-sex couples to have a legal child in common. Illinois offers several routes to legal parenthood for gay and lesbian couples that may not be so easily available in other states. Establishing both of you as your child’s legal parents provides additional security to the child in the event that the parents separate or divorce, or in case one parent passes away. If you are unsure whether you and your partner both have a legal parent-child relationship with your child, our lawyers can help. 

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Child Custody and Protecting Sibling Relationships

 Posted on June 07, 2022 in Child Custody

joliet-child-custody-lawyer.jpgSibling relationships can be incredibly important for children. Siblings are often a child’s first and best friends. Even in blended families, step and half siblings may share a bond. When parents are splitting up, siblings may rely on each other for a sense of stability at a time when major changes are occurring. Illinois courts are often reluctant to separate siblings who enjoy a close relationship. However, this type of bonding does not occur for all children with acting parents in common. In some cases, sibling relationships are difficult or even abusive. In that case, the court may find that separating siblings is in the children’s best interest. If you are involved in child custody proceedings and have concerns about helping your children maintain meaningful relationships with their full, half, or even step siblings, an attorney can help you decide how to proceed. 

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