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Posted on in Adoption

IL adoption lawyerBlended families present unique challenges, and when it works well it can be a wonderful experience for everyone. Many new stepfamilies are created every day in Illinois, and many of those families create bonds that last forever. Stepparents who feel close to their stepchild and want to take on permanent parental responsibilities may consider adopting them.

In Illinois, stepparents can adopt their stepchildren, but it is not an easy process. Each situation is different, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you consider adoption:

There Can Only Be Two Parents

A child in Illinois can only have two legal parents. This means that, in order to adopt your stepchild, the child’s other parent must have their parental rights revoked or relinquished. That parent can relinquish their parental rights voluntarily by consenting to the adoption. If the parental rights are revoked as a consequence of neglect or abuse, this must be done in a court case wherein a judge will examine the relevant factors to determine whether the parent is unfit.

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IL family lawyerIf you are getting a divorce and have never been married – but have lived with your partner for many years, and may even have children together – you may have heard about “common law” marriages and wonder whether they exist in Illinois. The short answer is: No, Illinois does not allow common law marriages to take place in the state. However, Illinois does recognize common law marriage from other states. In this article, we will discuss what common law marriage is, and how common law marriages from other states are handled in an Illinois divorce.

What Is Common Law Marriage?

In states where common law marriages are legal, the state will generally treat a couple’s relationship as if it were a marriage if that is what the couple has done themselves. Couples must meet the state’s laws governing marriage, such as minimum age restrictions, and cannot be married to anyone else.

Couples must also present their relationship to the public as a married relationship. They can do this by wearing wedding rings, sharing bank accounts, and referring to each other as husband and wife.

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IUL divorce lawyerMaking the decision to get a divorce is difficult and complex and should never be made lightly. In addition to the impact on any children, you will need to consider the impact of a divorce on your property and finances. Divorce is never easy, but in order to make it smooth as possible, you should also ensure that your personal interests are understood, respected, and represented. Making the wrong choice of a divorce attorney can be costly in terms of time and money.

As you begin the process of choosing a divorce attorney, here are a few tips to help you find exactly the representation you want and need:

  • Do plenty of research – There is more than one way to end your marriage, and the kind of divorce attorney you hire may change depending on the method you choose. If you want a cooperative, mediation-driven divorce, attorneys who focus on courtroom battles may not be the right choice. An attorney should not pressure you to do something you are not comfortable with. The attorneys at A. Traub & Associates have experience with different types of divorce in Illinois and will work with you to choose the path that is right for you.
  • Take your time – You may be eager to end your marriage and get on with your life, but rushing through the important decisions can be costly in terms of time and money. Interview several law firms and get a sense of what different firms have to offer. Make sure you really know your options before you make a decision.
  • Figure out what you want, and do not settle for less – If you are looking for an attorney who is going to keep you informed throughout the process, say so. If you want someone who will take charge and let you be more hands-off, express that preference and make sure the firms you are considering are okay with that. If your children’s schedule means that you need someone whose office is close to where you live, keep that in mind.
  • Focus and prioritize – In divorce, there is no “winner.” Nobody gets exactly everything they want. Choose an attorney who will help you figure out your priorities, and then will help you let go of the unimportant things.

Consult with a Skilled Lombard, Illinois Divorce Attorney

Choosing the right divorce attorney can feel overwhelming, but it does not have to be. The experienced professionals at A. Traub & Associates can help guide you through the beginning stages of divorce and ensure you get what you need. Contact our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation today.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you may have questions about alimony. In Illinois, alimony is called spousal maintenance or support. Alimony is financial assistance that a spouse pays to the other spouse after a divorce. In some cases, spouses agree on the amount and duration of alimony before they get divorced through a prenuptial agreement or separation agreement. In other cases, spouses negotiate a spousal maintenance agreement during the divorce process. When the couple cannot agree, the court will determine spousal maintenance issues on the spouses’ behalf.

Who Gets Spousal Support?

Spousal maintenance is typically used to reduce the financial burden created by a divorce. Both men and women may qualify for spousal maintenance. If the couple is not able to agree upon a spousal maintenance arrangement outside of court, the court will evaluate the spouses’ financial and life circumstances and determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate. Illinois courts consider the following factors when deciding whether to award a spouse alimony:

  • Any agreement the parties have reached regarding maintenance
  • Each party’s income and property
  • Each party’s financial needs
  • Whether time spent as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent reduced the income or employability of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
  • Each party’s present and future earning capacity
  • How long it would take the spouse who is seeking maintenance to be financially independent
  • How long the marriage lasted and what the standard of living was during the marriage
  • Tax implications

How Much Alimony Can You Get in Illinois?

If the court determines a spousal maintenance award, the amount of maintenance a spouse receives is based on a statutory formula. First, each spouse’s net income is determined. Next, 25 percent of the recipient spouse’s net income is subtracted from 33 percent of the payor spouse’s net income to calculate annual maintenance to be paid to the recipient spouse. Spousal maintenance is capped at 40 percent of the spouses’ combined net income.

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IL family lawyerDomestic violence and abuse affect the lives of millions of individuals each year in the U.S. It is estimated that 125,000 children a year are neglected or abused in Illinois. While these statistics are shocking and child abuse is a very real concern in Illinois, not every accusation of abuse is founded on truth. Misunderstandings, discipline, or exaggerated stories may lead to accusations of abuse. Some individuals even fabricate stories of abuse to gain an advantage in child custody proceedings. If you were accused of child abuse, it is important to know your rights as well as what to expect.

Department of Children and Family Services Investigations

If you are accused of abusing your child, you may be contacted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Keep in mind, this organization must take every allegation of abuse seriously. This often means launching a formal investigation into the circumstances of any alleged abuse. A DCFS investigator may visit your home, interview you and other household members, and ask your child questions about the alleged abuse. The investigator may also speak with your child’s teachers, doctors, or other important figures in the child’s life. The DCFS has 60 days to complete the investigation. If the DCFS believes that the child is in immediate danger, the organization does have the authority to remove the child from the home and place him or her into protective custody.

How to Assert Your Rights After Being Falsely Accused of Hurting Your Child

If you have been accused of intentionally harming your own child, you may understandably be offended and angered by this horrible accusation. However, it is important to cooperate with the DCFS investigation. Remain calm and respectful. Answer the investigator’s questions honestly but keep in mind that anything you do or say can be used against you. Most importantly, work with a skilled family law attorney. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the investigation and take the steps that will give you a better chance at a favorable outcome.

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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