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Recent Blog Posts

Five Benefits of Establishing Paternity in Illinois

 Posted on December 28,2021 in Family Law

IL family lawyerSome mothers in Illinois are reluctant to name their child’s father on a birth certificate and for good reason. Their child’s father may be abusive, angry, or an alcoholic and the mother may fear that by establishing paternity, she is exposing her child to a lifetime of a relationship with a poor caregiver. A mother may also be reluctant to try to establish paternity because she is not sure who the child’s father is. Others still may want to legally name their child’s father but feel unable because the father has passed away.

Yet legally establishing paternity is important for many reasons. Single parenthood is a daunting task that poses a difficult financial and emotional burden. If you are on the fence as to whether or not you want to establish paternity, here are five great benefits that you, your child, and their father could enjoy if you do.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

  • Simplified child support and parenting agreements - Before a father can get parenting time or can be ordered to pay child support, a legal relationship with a child must be established. Even if parents already have a verbal agreement about child support or a co-parenting schedule, not establishing paternity can make these impossible to enforce.

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What Is a Firearms Restraining Order, and How Can I Get One in Joliet?

 Posted on December 22,2021 in Domestic Violence

IL family lawyerGuns are powerful tools that can be used for many different purposes. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals living in Illinois use firearms to threaten, hurt, or intimidate family members and intimate partners in terrifying acts of domestic violence. People using firearms unsafely may even be a threat to themselves. When misuse of firearms becomes serious enough that gun violence may be an imminent threat, a Firearms Restraining Order (FRO) is a type of order of protection that is available in Illinois.

What Is a Firearms Restraining Order?

Illinois enacted a law beginning January 1st, 2019, called the Firearms Restraining Order Act. This act allows someone’s family, parents, roommates, or anyone else who lives in the same house to petition for a court order prohibiting that person from owning or buying guns for up to six months. Law enforcement can also petition for a FRO.

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Three Facts About Civil No-Contact Orders in Illinois

 Posted on December 14,2021 in Domestic Violence

Il family lawyerIn our last blog post, we discussed Orders of Protection in Illinois and how they can be obtained. Orders of Protection are meant to keep victims and abusers separate when they share or have shared a domestic relationship. But not all victims are in domestic relationships, and in these cases, other help may be necessary.

Fortunately, there are other types of protection that victims can obtain from an Illinois court. “Civil no-contact orders” protect victims of “nonconsensual sexual conduct” who want their abuser to be prohibited from contacting them. If you feel you are in danger of harm, whether psychological or physical, a civil no-contact order may be helpful to you.

Who Can Get a Civil No-Contact Order?

The purpose of a civil no-contact order is to protect victims of sexual assault. According to Illinois law, this includes any nonconsensual sexual conduct or sexual penetration. Civil no-contact orders can protect more than just the victim - her children, parents, current partner, and other household members can also be included in the petition so the abuser cannot contact them or harass the victim through other people. Parents can also obtain civil no-contact orders on behalf of a minor child.

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You Can File for a Will County Restraining Order Today

 Posted on December 08,2021 in Domestic Violence

IL family lawyerVictims of domestic violence in Illinois face a difficult set of choices. Because many victims fear that they may face retaliation if they seek legal help, it can feel as though they are in the impossible dilemma of trying to fix a problem only to risk it getting worse. But if you feel stuck in an abusive situation where you are enduring emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you likely already know that you do not want to live with it forever. Fortunately, there is help available: you can file for an order of protection in Will County today.

First, Make Sure You Are Safe

Statistics show that victims of domestic violence are most likely to be attacked if they try to leave their abuser or get help. It is important to make sure that you have a plan or a place to go if you are afraid for your safety. You may not be able to control your abuser’s behavior, but you can resolve to put yourself and your children in a safe place. Once you are ready, you can file for an order of protection at any time - even at night or over the weekend when the court is closed.

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Your Questions About Prenups, Answered

 Posted on November 29,2021 in Divorce

IL family lawyerAs a newly engaged person, you may have a million thoughts running through your head. Some of these thoughts may be related to a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are legal documents that protect spouses’ financial interests in the event of death or divorce. However, there are many myths and misunderstandings associated with these essential legal documents. Read on to learn about the basics of signing a prenup in Illinois.

What Is the Purpose of a Prenup?

If your soon-to-be spouse has asked you to consider signing a prenup, your first thought is probably, “Why?” Prenuptial agreements have been increasing in popularity recently for a variety of reasons. One reason is that people are simply more realistic about marriage and divorce. Even the most loving couple may eventually break up. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to prepare for this possibility.

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3 Tips for Co-Parenting During the Holidays

 Posted on November 24,2021 in Child Custody

Il divorce lawyerBeing a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being a divorced parent is often even more challenging. If you are a parent who is separated or divorced, you may be worried about how you and your children will get through the holidays. The first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or other major holiday after a separation or divorce can be difficult to handle. There is no perfect way to handle the holidays as a divorced parent, but the following tips may help.

Make Sure Holidays Are Addressed in Your Parenting Plan

When parents get divorced in Illinois, they create a parenting plan which addresses parental responsibilities, parenting time, and other important child-related matters. If the parents cannot agree on the elements of the parenting plan, the case may eventually be decided by the court. When parents make their own parenting plans, they are required to include approximately 15 individual provisions described in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). However, parents should go above the bare minimum when it comes to drafting their parenting plan. They should include specific information about where children will spend holidays, birthdays, and other special days. Deciding these matters in advance can help the parents avoid conflict.

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Divorce Involving Older Couples Presents Financial and Personal Challenges

 Posted on November 12,2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerThe decision to end a marriage is not one that is reached easily – especially after years or decades living as a married couple. Divorce after age 50 takes courage. It can be frightening to leave the predictability of your marriage and embark on a new life chapter. Ending a marriage near retirement age can also involve several financial complications. Many people in their 50s and 60s hope to retire and spend their time playing with grandchildren, traveling, or otherwise enjoying their golden years. Some divorcing spouses over age 50 worry that the divorce will upset these plans. If you are considering divorce, it is important to know how the split can impact your financial future.

“Gray Divorce” Rates Show More Older People Are Divorcing

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) created the phrase "gray divorce" to describe divorce involving spouses over age 50. Although the overall divorce rate has declined, gray divorce rates are higher than ever. In fact, the number of older people getting divorced has doubled in the last several decades. The reasons for this significant increase are just as varied as the people getting divorced. Some people divorce because they simply reach the conclusion that their marriage no longer works. Others divorce later in life because their children have grown up and moved out of the home. Whatever the reason, getting divorced after age 50 can present unique challenges – legally, financially, and emotionally.

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Study Suggests Couples Who Meet Online Are More Likely to Divorce

 Posted on November 05,2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerThe internet has changed nearly every aspect of our lives – including how we meet potential romantic partners. Over a third of Americans report using dating websites or dating apps to meet people. Social media has also radically changed the way that people meet, date, and marry. Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking sites are also increasingly involved in divorce cases.

One study recently showed that meeting online was associated with a greater chance of divorce. In fact, the research shows that couples that meet online are over six times more likely to divorce.

Online Dating Associated With Higher Divorce Rates

Online dating has led to countless successful marriages. However, meeting a potential spouse online may not be the best way to find lasting marital happiness, according to the research. Approximately 12 percent of couples who met online ended their marriage within three years. Experts suggest that many people who meet online do not know each other as well as they think they do. They do not have access to information about the potential suitor from mutual friends and family that people who met through traditional means have access to.

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How Can I Protect My Finances During and After Divorce?

 Posted on October 29,2021 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerAs the saying goes, money cannot buy happiness. However, there is no denying that finances play a critical role in our lives – especially for divorced individuals. Getting divorced is likely to have a massive impact on your financial situation. Property division, child support, and spousal maintenance are just some of the issues you may deal with during an Illinois divorce. Proper preparation before divorce and careful money management after divorce can help reduce the negative impact divorce has on your finances.

Knowledge is Key During Divorce

Many people are uninvolved in their household finances. If you typically left the financial decision-making up to your spouse, now is the time to start getting acquainted with your finances. You cannot make informed decisions about the terms of your divorce without knowing what you own and what you owe. Start by collecting financial documents such as:

What to Do If You Are the Victim of Stalking in Illinois

 Posted on October 22,2021 in Domestic Violence

IL family lawyerDomestic violence and abuse can take many different forms. Abusers often use intimidation and psychological manipulation to control their victims. Sometimes, this takes the form of stalking. If you have been the victim of stalking, you know just how frightening it can be. Stalking is considered a criminal offense in Illinois. If you have been the victim of stalking during a divorce or other family law issue, you should know that there are certain legal protections available to you. A “Stalking No Contact Order” is a legally enforceable court order that prohibits a stalker from contacting or coming near the victim.

What Does Illinois Law Consider Stalking?

Stalking is defined by Illinois law as repeatedly contacting or following someone in such a way that the person fears for their safety or the safety of someone else and makes the person suffer emotional distress.

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