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Four Things You Should Know Before Signing a Prenuptial AgreementIn the past, prenuptial agreements have been a controversial topic. It was thought that you were planning for a divorce or that you were not serious about your marriage if you got a prenuptial agreement. In recent years, prenuptial agreements have become more popular for several reasons. One such reason is that younger generations are waiting until later in life to get married. This typically means they have more assets when they are going into their marriages.

Prenuptial agreements can be extremely beneficial if you do end up getting divorced because they can outline how property will be divided or how debts will be allocated. Before getting a prenuptial agreement, there are a few things you should know:

  1. Your Agreement Must Be in a Specific Format: In order for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must be in the correct format. This means your prenuptial agreement must be a legal document in writing; oral agreements do not count as prenuptial agreements. Your agreement must also be written in clear language and signed by both you and your spouse.
  2. You Have to Be Completely Truthful: When you are creating a prenuptial agreement, you are required to be fully transparent about your finances, including revealing your assets and debts. A prenuptial agreement is invalid if one of the parties withholds important information. You may need to make note of things such as a possible future inheritance. 
  3. There are Certain Things You Cannot Put in the Agreement: Contrary to what you may have heard, you are not allowed to put whatever you want into a prenuptial agreement. There are certain stipulations you must follow when you are drafting your agreement. For example, you can put clauses in your agreement pertaining to spousal maintenance, but you are not permitted to include any requirements about child support or other legal child-centered issues.
  4. Signing the Agreement Too Close to the Wedding Can Cause Problems: If you are thinking that a prenuptial agreement may be right for you, it is good to sign the agreement sooner rather than later. If you sign the agreement only a few days before the wedding, it could be argued that neither party had sufficient enough time to fully understand the terms of the document before you agreed to them. It is recommended that you sign the agreement no later than one month before the wedding. If it is too late, you can create a postnuptial agreement instead. 

A Will County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

Though it may seem completely unromantic, it would be naive to go into a marriage thinking there is an absolute zero percent possibility of getting a divorce in the future. Planning by getting a prenuptial agreement can save you a major headache if you do end up getting divorced. At The Foray Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping couples draft prenuptial agreements that they are happy with. Our knowledgeable Markham, IL, prenuptial agreement lawyers can ensure that your prenuptial agreement contains everything that you want it to contain and that it will hold up in court, should it be contested. Get in touch with our office today by calling us at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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Helping Your Child Cope With the Stresses of Your DivorceDivorcing is never easy and is even more difficult when you have children to worry about. Most divorcing parents’ number one concern during divorce is how their children will deal with the news that Mom and Dad are no longer together. While some children are able to accept the divorce and adapt to the life changes that come with the situation, other children may need a little more guidance and attention during the transitory period following the divorce. Just like adults, no two children are the same, so a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Still, many children of divorce go through issues that are similar to each other. Here are a couple of tips to help your child cope with the stress of your divorce:

  1. Do Not Overshare: There is a fine line between what is appropriate to share with your children during a divorce and what is not. What you tell your child should be based on their age and maturity level but also on how appropriate the information is. Your child does not need to know if their parent had an affair with another person. Your child should mostly just know about changes in their living arrangements, schools or parenting time – not the messy details.
  2. Make Sure They Know It Is Not Their Fault: It is common for children to believe that they are somehow at fault for the divorce. You should be sure to clearly explain to your children that the divorce is a parent issue, not a child issue. Reassurance can be key here – try to periodically reassure your child that both you and your co-parent still love them very much, even though you are no longer married to each other.
  3. Maintain a Sense of Stability: Divorce is a time of great change, which can really throw some children off. Many children are flexible and can adapt to change, but several changes at once can be hard for anyone. To help alleviate some of this stress, try to maintain as much of a sense of stability as possible, especially during the divorce process. Keeping parenting time schedules consistent and routines the same in both households can help your child feel safe and secure.

A Will County Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Children can be some of the most affected family members during a divorce. Depending on their age and maturity level, they may not completely understand what is going on, which can make things difficult. If you and your spouse are planning on getting a divorce, you should talk to a skilled and compassionate Homewood, IL, divorce attorney. At The Foray Firm, we know that everyone in the family is affected by divorce, though children can be especially vulnerable. Call our office at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation today.

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How Shared Parenting Time Can Benefit the Children After an Illinois DivorceEvery parent wants what is best for their child. Some parents may think the best thing for their child is for them to spend all or a vast majority of their time with them and not their other parent. While this can be true in some cases, the majority of divorce cases will end with both parents having shared and fairly distributed parenting time.

When making decisions about child-centered issues such as parenting time, the judge will decide based on what is in the child’s best interest. This is why Illinois courts assume that a shared parenting time agreement is in the child’s best interest unless there are reasons that would point to otherwise. Studies have shown that children do their best when their parents each have at least 35 percent of the parenting time. Here are a few ways your child can benefit from a shared parenting time schedule:

  1. The Child Gets to Have a Relationship With Both Parents: When the parents split up and no longer live together, children often fear that they will not be able to have the same type of relationship with the parent who moved out. This creates unnecessary stress for the child that could lead to other issues. With shared parenting situations, the child gets to foster a relationship with both of his or her parents, which is important for healthy development.
  2. The Quality of the Parent-Child Relationships Is Better: A shared parenting agreement also helps to ensure that the relationships between the child and each parent are good relationships. With sole parenting arrangements, the parent who moves out often feels distanced from the child and vice versa. The parent who is now acting as the single parent for the majority of the time can begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed by being responsible for all of the caretaking duties. These feelings can cause strain on the parent-child relationships and can cause stress in the family.

Create a Parenting Time Agreement With a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will have to make during your divorce is how you will care for your children. While a sole parenting time agreement is not out of the question, it may not be what is best for your child. At The Foray Firm, we understand that the decisions that are made about your children are not made lightly. Let our compassionate and skilled Plainfield, IL, parenting time lawyers work with you to develop a parenting time agreement that will benefit both you and your child. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to set up a consultation.

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Avoid Making These 3 Financial Mistakes in Your Illinois DivorceDivorces can be costly – nobody is arguing that. Not only is it financially expensive, but you also end up giving more of your time and emotional energy than you thought you would. Some of the most time consuming and emotionally draining times of your divorce can be during the property division process. This is when you and your spouse look at everything you have accumulated together and decide who gets to keep what and who will be responsible for paying back which debts. This is also the phase of the divorce in which many mistakes can be made, which can affect you for the rest of your life. If you are getting a divorce, here are a few mistakes you should be sure to avoid making:

  1. Not Having Copies of All Your Financial Documents: This is a mistake that a surprising amount of individuals make when they begin looking at their finances during a divorce. You will need various financial documents dating back a couple of years in order to gain a complete understanding of you and your spouse’s current financial situation. Try to gather documents such as statements for your bank accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts; deeds to your home and other real estate properties; titles for any vehicles you may own; and tax returns from the past three-to-five years.
  2. Not Considering the Tax Consequences of Your Decisions: Certain financial moves you make during the divorce can affect the amount of taxes you will have to pay in the future. You should be aware of the tax implications that any actions you take during the divorce will have. Most of the time, the biggest tax implication you will face depends on whether or not you pay or receive spousal maintenance. Beginning in 2019, the person who pays spousal maintenance no longer receives the tax break that allowed them to deduct that amount from their income tax, likely placing them into an entirely different tax bracket.
  3. Being Too Concerned With Keeping the Family Home: Another mistake many divorcing individuals make is being too focused on keeping the family home at all costs. Women, in particular, have a tough time letting go of the family home, especially if there were children raised there. Though this is not always an issue, in many cases, a person who is now living on a single income may find it difficult to afford the mortgage payments and keep up with the costs of maintaining a home. 

Hire a Skilled DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is already expensive enough – you do not need to make any more mistakes that might cost you more money in the long run. At The Foray Firm, we understand how draining a divorce can be – both on your wallet and on your emotions. Our knowledgeable Homewood, IL, divorce lawyers will help you see the big picture during your property division phase and ensure you are making the right decisions to prepare you for the future. Call our office today at 312-702-1293 to schedule a consultation.

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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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