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IL family lawyerWhether it was several months or years ago that your current order on parenting time was entered by a family law court, you probably recall some of the general legal concepts. Illinois’ statute on allocation of parental responsibilities covers both decision-making on important issues involved with raising the child AND the parenting schedule. The former terms of custody and visitation may no longer be used, but the underlying legal issues remain the same. Another notion that has not changed is that the court’s parenting plan order is legally binding. Even by agreement, co-parents cannot alter the provisions without court approval.

Of course, life may throw a curveball that you did not expect when the existing order was entered. Illinois laws presume that your circumstances will change over time, which is why there is a process for modifying the parenting time schedule under certain conditions. It is wise to retain an experienced Lombard child custody and visitation attorney to handle the legal tasks, but some answers to common questions about modifications may be helpful.

What are the grounds for modifying parenting time in Illinois?

In order to establish the need to modify the visitation schedule, you need to prove two factors:

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are contemplating or currently going through a divorce in Illinois, you probably have a whole team of friends and family willing to help get you through tough times. Unfortunately, when this assistance comes in the form of legal advice on property division in divorce, misconceptions abound. You may hear that a “friend of a friend” recently got everything in a dissolution of marriage case, while someone else might relate how their cousin lost it all. It can be difficult to separate valid, credible details from conjecture.

One of your first priorities, when confounded by misconceptions, is to reach out to a Lombard property division attorney right away. Bad information can have a profound impact on your rights in a divorce case, and you put your interests at risk by attempting to address the complicated legal issues on your own. Still, it may help to debunk some of the myths about property division that do more harm than good.

Myth 1: Marital property is split equally between divorcing couples.

Illinois follows the law of equitable distribution when dividing assets acquired during the marriage, with the language of the property division statute requiring the court to divide items “in just proportions.” As such, the principles of equity and fairness apply when distributing assets, so the split may not be exactly 50-50.

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IL prenup lawyerFor anyone walking down the aisle anytime soon, some data regarding divorce should be encouraging in terms of the future of your relationship: The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) reports that divorces have been steadily decreasing in the U.S. over the last few decades, hitting a record low of 14.9 divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 2019. This is the biggest drop in more than 50 years, surpassing the rate of 15 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1970. Even better news is that the duration of current marriages increased by one year over the period from 2010 to 2019.

These figures are reassuring as your wedding date approaches, but it is still essential to be prepared for unforeseen issues. One way to protect yourself and your future is to consider a prenuptial agreement – a topic that many spouses-to-be avoid because of the negative reputation. While you can rely on a DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyer to help with the legal tasks, you could use a few tips on how to start up the conversation.

Start the Conversation Well in Advance of the Wedding

With a topic as critical as a prenup, do not wait until the eve of the wedding to open the discussion. The best time to approach the subject is shortly after becoming engaged and as you are planning your upcoming nuptials. Couples can have a more productive, less confrontational conversation when they are not under time constraints.

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IL family lawyerIf what you know about paternity comes from daytime soap operas, TV dramas, or blockbuster films, there is a strong possibility that you do not have a clear picture of how the laws work in Illinois. You probably understand the fundamental principle under state statutes on parentage, which is that all children are entitled to the physical, mental, emotional, and monetary support of both parents. However, if parents were not married when the child was conceived and/or born, serious disputes can develop over these responsibilities.

When you realize that there is a lot you do not know about paternity proceedings, you soon understand that you put your parental rights at risk unless you retain a skilled Wheaton parentage lawyer. Because relying on misinformation could harm your interests, it is important to review a few lesser-known facts about Illinois paternity laws.

Establishing Paternity in Illinois

Parentage arises by legal presumption when parents are married, which means it can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. However, between individuals who were never married, the two most common ways of proving paternity are:

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DuPage County family law attorney paternity

In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly common for parents to have children while they are unmarried. However, this can lead to issues when it comes to establishing the paternity of that child. Establishing paternity is an important step in securing the same parental rights and responsibilities for the father of a child that are not automatically granted when parents are unmarried. Most of the time, paternity cases are aimed toward proving the paternity of a child, though in some cases, disproving the paternity of a child can be just as important. The easiest way to deny the paternity of a child is to sign the Denial of Parentage form at the hospital when the child is born; however, this does not always mean you are off the hook for parental responsibilities.

Fighting the Presumption of Paternity if You Are Married

In the state of Illinois, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married or in a civil union with the mother at the time the child was born or during the 300 days prior to the child’s birth. This is true even if the child is not the man’s biological child, which is where issues can arise. If the presumed father is not the child’s biological father, he can sign a Denial of Parentage form, stating that he is not the father. However, he will still be considered the child’s legal parent and held responsible for child support unless the biological father signs a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form confirming that he is the child’s biological father. 

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