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630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Top Chicago Area Divorce Lawyers

IL family lawyerDuring a divorce or separation, child custody is often among some of the most contentious issues that a couple can face throughout the process. Any topic has the potential of becoming an issue in a divorce, but child-related issues are especially subject to disagreement. When parents do not live in the same state, things can become even more complicated. Many parents move away after a divorce or separation, sometimes to a different state, even when they have children. Before you are able to begin a custody case, you will first need to make sure that you file the case in the correct state. A knowledgeable Illinois family law attorney will help you determine which state has jurisdiction over your case.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

When it comes to things like parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, each state has its own laws regarding the way those issues are handled. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a law that was enacted by 49 states and various U.S. territories to determine how the jurisdiction would be decided in custody cases that involved parents living in a different state from their child. In general, the state that is considered to be the child’s “home state” is the one with jurisdiction over the custody case.

Can Your Child’s Case Be Heard in Illinois?

As a parent living in Illinois, you are likely wondering whether or not your case can be heard in Illinois, or if it must be heard by the state in which your ex lives. The UCCJEA states that there are four different elements that are used to determine which state the custody case should be filed in. These elements are, in order of importance:

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Western Springs family law attorney prenuptial agreement

Public opinion about prenuptial agreements has been shifting in the last several decades. Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular among younger generations. While there is still a significant amount of misinformation circulating about prenuptial agreements, more and more people are realizing the benefits of creating a “prenup.” If you are thinking about signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married, it is essential that you understand the standards these documents must meet. Mistakes made during the creation or signing of a prenuptial agreement may invalidate part or all of the contract.

Inaccurate or Incomplete Financial Disclosure

A prenuptial agreement can address many important issues that will arise if the couple divorces or if a spouse passes away. Property and debt division, spousal maintenance or alimony, and other financial issues may be decided upon in advance through a prenuptial agreement. In order for an engaged couple to reach an agreement about the terms of the prenuptial agreement, both spouses must provide a full inventory of their assets, debts, and income. If a spouse forgets to include important financial information or lies about finances, the agreements made in the prenup will be based on inaccurate information. This means that the document may be invalid and will not be accepted by the court.

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Oak Brook family law attorney prenuptial agreement

When people get divorced, they may fear that they will never find love again. If you have met someone special after your divorce and intend to get remarried, you are probably excited to make this important commitment to your new partner. However, you may also worry about the possibility of your second marriage ending in divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a legally enforceable contract that protects a spouse’s rights in the event of divorce or death and helps an engaged couple ensure that they are on the same page before tying the knot. An experienced family law attorney can help you draft this legally binding document. 

Advantages of Signing a Prenup Before Your Second Marriage

Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are often misunderstood. Signing a prenup does not mean that you think your marriage will fail. However, prenuptial agreements do provide a multitude of benefits if a couple does eventually decide to divorce. During the creation of a prenuptial agreement, a couple decides how they want to handle issues related to property or asset division, spousal maintenance, life insurance policies, retirement funds, and estate planning upon divorce or the death of a spouse. Many engaged couples find that creating a prenuptial agreement allows them to discuss money-related issues openly and honestly. Research shows that financial disagreements are the number-one predictor of divorce in the United States. By discussing concerns related to property and debt before getting married, you and your soon-to-be spouse set yourselves up for a happy, successful marriage.  

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Cook County family law attorney

Every parent should understand his or her parental rights under Illinois law. If you are a father or soon will be and you are unmarried, taking action to protect your parental rights is essential. When a married couple has a child, the husband of the woman who gave birth is automatically presumed to be the biological and legal parent of the child. However, if you are unmarried at the time of your child’s birth, you will need to take certain steps to establish yourself as the child’s legal parent. This is crucial in protecting your parental rights, including your right to enjoy parenting time with your child.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

The first step you need to take to protect your rights as a father in Illinois is to establish your legal parent-child relationship. Establishing paternity provides a number of benefits to both the child and the parents. Unless there is a reasonable concern that spending time with the father would put the child’s well-being in danger, a father who has established paternity has a legal right to parenting time. Once you have established paternity, you will be able to put your name on your child’s birth certificate. Additionally, your child will gain access to your health insurance, Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, and pension benefits if applicable. Establishing paternity also allows the custodial parent, meaning the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities, to collect child support payments.

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Oak Brook parenting time attorney grandparents

For many children, spending time with grandparents is just as vital to their happiness and success as spending time with their parents. Across the country, millions of grandparents are an integral part of their grandchildren’s lives. Many older parents worry that if their child gets divorced, they will no longer be able to spend time with their grandkids. In some cases, a grandparent may need to petition the court in order to be granted visitation with their grandchildren. If you are seeking this type of order, it is essential that you obtain professional legal counsel so you fully understand your rights as a grandparent.

Circumstances That May Lead an Illinois Court to Order Grandparent Visitation

Unless parents have lost their parental rights due to abuse, abandonment, serious drug addiction, or another reason, they have a legal right to spend time with their children. This right does not automatically extend to grandparents. However, grandmothers and grandfathers may be able to receive a court order that grants them the legal right to visitation with their grandkids in certain situations. If you are a grandparent, you may be able to receive court-ordered visitation with your grandchildren if:

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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

630-575-8585

2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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