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Will County family law lawyerFor many couples, a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool to help each partner define and protect their interests in property and assets. Agreements that are written and willingly signed by both partners are generally legally binding and enforceable, including in the event of a divorce. However, they are not necessarily permanently set in stone. There are many reasons why you may wish to modify a prenup at some point during your marriage, and you should know that it is possible to do so.

How Do I Modify a Prenup?

In Illinois, the primary legal requirements for modifying a prenuptial agreement are the same as the requirements for creating a prenup in the first place. Namely, the modifications must be set down in writing, and both you and your spouse must sign the document indicating your agreement. You can also revoke a prenuptial agreement entirely through the same process. The most challenging part of modifying a prenup may be finding terms that you and your spouse both agree to. However, there are situations in which updating your agreement can be beneficial for both of you.

Reasons to Update a Prenuptial Agreement

You and your spouse may want to update your prenup if one of the following applies to you:

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Joliet IL family law attorneyDomestic abuse is a problem that affects millions of people throughout the United States, but many people are reluctant to admit that they have been victims or take action to protect themselves. If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered from abuse from someone in your household, you should know that it is possible to seek help through the Illinois legal system by petitioning for an order of protection. A protective order may be warranted in more situations than you would expect, and it is important to understand how to go about obtaining one.

Reasons to Petition For an Order of Protection

An Illinois order of protection can provide safety from many different forms of domestic abuse. Physical violence may be the most obvious form of abuse from which a person needs protection, but it is certainly not the only one. You can also file an order of protection in response to willful deprivation of food, shelter, medical care, and other needs, or in response to certain forms of emotional abuse, including threats, intimidation, harassment, and surveillance. If you believe that you or someone in your household has been victimized by any of these behaviors, you should consult with an attorney to understand your options for protection.

Can I File a Petition?

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse from your spouse, parent, sibling, or another member of your household, you have the right to petition the court for an order of protection for yourself, as well as your children who may be at risk. However, you need not be a victim yourself in order to file a petition. Illinois law also allows anyone to file for an order of protection on behalf of a minor child or a disabled adult who cannot file on their own. If, for example, you have witnessed abuse between other members of your household, or you are aware of abuse toward your child when they are staying with their other parent, you can take action to help protect the victim.

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Markham IL divorce lawyerThe financial aspects of divorce can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you do not have much experience managing your own money. If you are uninformed about your finances, you can be left at a significant disadvantage when it comes time to divide your marital assets. The more you can educate yourself about your finances, the more prepared you will be to negotiate or argue for a beneficial outcome to your divorce, and to begin your post-divorce life with a plan to maintain your financial stability and find opportunities for growth.

Gather Information

When you know that a divorce is in your future, you should make a thorough effort to collect all available information about your personal and marital finances. Start with information about your assets, including statements from individually and jointly held bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts, as well as titles to any real estate, vehicles, and other valuable properties you may own. You should also review your credit report to understand any outstanding debts, including mortgages, vehicle loans, student loans, or credit card accounts.

Information about your assets and debts can help you identify your priorities during the division of marital property and better understand what a fair resolution would look like. Your recent tax filings, pay stubs, and other income statements can also provide valuable information to help you manage your finances after your divorce.

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Joliet IL family lawyerParents of children with special health or developmental needs are well aware of the challenges that come with raising and providing for them. Unfortunately, these challenges can often become more pronounced when parents are going through a divorce. In addition to the mental energy that the divorce process requires, parents may also be concerned about how best to handle decisions regarding child support and parental responsibilities in a way that prioritizes their children’s interests and needs.

Child Support for Special Needs Children in Illinois

One of the most significant challenges for parents of children with special needs is the financial cost. Estimates from the U.S. government indicate that from birth to age 18, the cost of raising a child with special needs may be at least five times as high as the cost of raising an average child. While many sources of financial assistance may be available, a good portion of the expenses is likely to fall on the child’s parents.

When the parents of a child with special needs decide to get divorced, child support is a crucial element of the resolution. Illinois law typically bases child support obligations on the average amount that parents within a certain income bracket tend to spend on a child’s basic needs, but the law allows for a significant deviation from the usual calculation to account for a child’s extraordinary developmental, medical, or physical needs. You should be sure to consider costs including ongoing medical care and treatment, special education, in-home accommodations, transportation to appointments, and the services of child therapists and developmental specialists.

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Joliet IL divorce lawyerIf you have recently been through a divorce, you may be excited about the possibility of finding someone new to spend the rest of your life with. However, the thought of your former spouse doing the same may not be nearly as appealing. An ex’s remarriage can be difficult to deal with on a personal level, and it can also sometimes have legal implications when it comes to the terms of your divorce resolution. You should think carefully about how you handle this situation to avoid creating a hostile environment for everyone involved.

Emotionally Coping With Your Ex’s Remarriage

Whether it happens soon after divorce or several years later, news of your former spouse’s remarriage can reopen old wounds caused by the failure of your relationship, especially if you have not yet found a new partner yourself. It can be easy to let your emotions get the better of you and react irrationally, perhaps by lashing out at your ex, complaining about them to your friends and family and on social media, or even trying to sabotage their new relationship. If you are not careful, your behavior could cross into the realm of stalking or harassment, and you could be subject to criminal charges or an order of protection. Rather than giving in to your destructive urges, try talking to a therapist or trusted friend and focusing on your own work, hobbies, or relationships.

Effects on Spousal Maintenance

If your former spouse has been ordered to pay you maintenance after the divorce, you may find that they start to shirk their obligations after their remarriage. Getting remarried is not a valid reason to stop making payments, and if you cannot resolve your spouse’s nonpayment on your own, you have the right to petition the court for enforcement of the spousal support order. On the other hand, if you have been paying spousal support and you find out that your former spouse has remarried, you do have the right to stop making payments, and you should work with the court to terminate the maintenance order.

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