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 illinois parenting lawyerAn unmarried father-to-be may worry that he will have no say in the life or wellbeing of his child. After all, it is the mother who carries the child through pregnancy, and she may feel that if she wants no contact with the father, that is the end of the story. 

Fortunately for fathers, this is simply not true. Illinois law recognizes the importance of fathers and recently updated its laws regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time to reflect the necessity of both parents’ involvement in a child’s life whenever possible. If you are an unmarried father living in Illinois and seeking a relationship with your child, this blog is for you. 

Establish Paternity

Unmarried fathers now have the same rights as mothers - but first, parents have to establish paternity. When a couple is married in Illinois, the mother’s husband is assumed to be the child’s father. However, when a couple is not married, the father will need to prove paternity in order to have parenting rights. There are a few ways to establish paternity: 


IL PreNup lawyer

Marriage is an exciting period for couples. They often cannot imagine a time when they would not want to share everything, and so they feel as though a prenuptial agreement is not necessary. Sometimes couples avoid creating a prenuptial agreement together because they feel as though it dooms the marriage to fail. 

However, once the marriage takes place and they return to the routine of everyday life, spouses realize that marriage is often a challenging enterprise. What may have once seemed guaranteed may no longer seem so simple. When this happens - and even if it does not - it is beneficial for newly married couples to consider a postnuptial agreement


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:


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.


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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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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