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Using Second-Parent Adoption to Establish Parentage in LGBTQ MarriagesIt has been a little over four years since the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from getting married. Since then, thousands of members of the LGBTQ community have solidified their relationships and tied the knot – but they still face a number of issues when it comes to the legalities of family dynamics. Many LGBTQ couples have decided to have children, whether through adoption, surrogacy or a sperm donor. Many states still have laws that only pertain to a man and a woman having children, posing issues for same-sex couples. One solution that Illinois, along with many other states, has created is the practice of second-parent adoption. 

What is Second-Parent Adoption?

A second-parent adoption, also known as a co-parent adoption, is often used by same-sex couples to solidify both parents’ legal relationship to the child. Many states’ laws still rely almost entirely on biological connections to establish parentage. In many cases, one parent in the same-sex couple is the biological parent of the child. Even if the couple is married at the time the child is born, the child is not considered to be the legal child of the other spouse because the spouse is not the biological parent of the child.

The Purpose of Second-Parent Adoption

A second-parent adoption can help same-sex couples by establishing the non-biological parent as the child’s legal parent. The unique thing about second-parent adoptions is that the child’s biological parent does not have to relinquish any of his or her parental rights to the child in order for his or her spouse to adopt the child. 

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Are You a Victim of Parental Alienation?Your children are some of the most important people in your life. Their happiness, safety, and security are often placed well above your own. During a divorce, some parents may be overwhelmed with emotions that they may not know what to do with. If the divorce is especially contentious, parents may begin to lose sight of what is truly important – the children. In these situations, the parents’ hate and contempt for each other overshadows their love for their children, and certain actions are taken that can be detrimental to the children’s wellbeing. One of the most common things that happens during these kinds of divorces is called parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation happens when one parent tries to get their child to turn against the other parent. This often occurs because one parent is mad at the other parent and is trying to hurt them in any way they can. Essentially, parental alienation is when one parent uses their child as a weapon against the other parent. The alienating parent may use bribery, false allegations, negative comments or keeping the child from seeing the other parent to paint a negative picture in the child’s head of that parent. Both mothers and fathers are equally as likely to be the alienating parent, but the alienating parent is also likely to suffer from a personality disorder, such as narcissism.

Parental alienation is detrimental to a child’s mental health and wellbeing. Children who are victims of parental alienation become almost brainwashed, hating the alienated parent in an almost irrational way. Children have the right to have a relationship with both of their parents – they naturally want to have a relationship with both parents. When one parent destroys that relationship with the other parent, the child suffers.

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Will County domestic violence attorney

Domestic violence is all too common in the U.S. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million people experience some form of domestic violence in any given year. In Illinois, domestic violence is defined as any act of abuse that is perpetrated toward a family or household member. Abuse can be emotional, physical, or sexual in nature. Domestic violence can occur between parents and children, step-parents and step-children, romantic partners, people who have a child in common, people who are married or were once married or people who live together or once lived together. Domestic violence can put the safety of everyone in the family at risk, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your family.

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legal order that can help protect victims of domestic violence. The order is given by a judge and can prohibit an abuser from doing certain things and likewise can order an abuser to do certain things or face consequences. An order of protection can:

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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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Will County divorce attorney

Divorcing 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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