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What Is a Guardian ad Litem in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 21, 2023 in Children

Untitled---2023-09-21T135752.275.jpgEvery divorce is unique and comes with its own issues that need to be resolved in a settlement. But generally speaking, when parents are getting divorced, child custody issues can be the most difficult to resolve. When people want to get divorced, it can be very hard for them to put arguments aside and form a plan to raise their children together. With parents worrying about what they want out of their divorce settlement, they can often lose sight of their children’s best interests.

When parents cannot agree on how to divide their parental responsibilities in divorce, the court can appoint a guardian ad litem, or GAL. This person is a legal representative whose main goal is to advocate for the child. If you are moving towards an acrimonious divorce, you might worry that your spouse will fight you on every aspect of the settlement. An experienced Lombard, IL child custody lawyer can advocate passionately for an optimal arrangement for you and your children.

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Three Ways a Special Needs Trust May Benefit Your Family

 Posted on September 11, 2023 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerCaring for a loved one with special needs requires careful financial and estate planning. Special needs trust is one powerful tool that can provide peace of mind for families. This legal arrangement helps protect the financial security of individuals with disabilities, ensuring they receive the necessary support while preserving eligibility for government assistance programs. If you have a family member with special needs and are looking to protect their financial future, contact an estate planning attorney to begin the process of setting up a special needs trust. 

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Making Sense of Child Custody Terminology

 Posted on September 07, 2023 in Child Custody


Lombard, IL child custody lawyerDivorce is not something most people think about every day. When a baby is born, the parents generally do not think about how they would continue to care for her if they were to get divorced. In a prenuptial agreement, a couple can make a plan for how they might divide their assets if they end up divorcing later on. But there is no parallel document to plan future custody in the event of a future divorce. 

That is why the words describing this topic are not necessarily familiar to everyone. If you are a parent considering a divorce and are trying to make sense of all the custody possibilities, a Lombard, IL attorney can help guide you through the entire process.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Commonly known as a custody agreement, a parenting plan is an outline for divorcing parents that gives details about how they will split up their time with and responsibilities for their children. It shows who is allowed to make important decisions for their children in various situations, including times where there might be some decisions that need to be made by both parents. 

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What Are the Key Aspects of a Power of Attorney in Illinois?

 Posted on August 30, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerSometimes, we face illnesses or disabilities that limit us from making important decisions. But before that happens, you can appoint an individual to handle your crucial choices. As the subject of this arrangement, you are the principal, while the person you select is the agent with power of attorney. There are several types of POA and each includes an in-depth process to ensure the principal's assets and interests are upheld. An attorney can help you understand all these details to reduce risks and ensure that the document remains in your best interest while following the state laws of Illinois.

What Are the Different Types of Power of Attorney?

The principal must determine which type of POA best meets their requirements. Here are a few different powers of attorney that Illinois accepts:

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Should I Use a Will and a Trust?

 Posted on August 23, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerWhen you are gone, you want to ensure that your assets are distributed based on your wishes. Wills and trusts work as crucial estate planning documents for this. While both have the same goal, they differ in many ways. Illinois residents should be aware of these distinctions while making estate planning decisions.

How Are Wills and Trusts Used in Illinois?

A will details the distribution of your property based on your wishes after you pass away. These legal documents also can appoint an executor. An executor controls how your assets are distributed and ensures your intentions are carried out. Some wills also specify guardianship if children are in the picture. 

It requires a signature, witnesses, and the proper legal process. The will also must be filed with the probate court. Once the will is stated, it is publicly available for execution and resolving disputes in the future.

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Mediation vs. Litigation, Which is the Right Choice for Your Divorce?

 Posted on August 16, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Divorce AttorneyDivorce is one of the most challenging life events an individual and family can experience. Each spouse must determine how to best handle the dissolution of their marriage. Two primary routes for resolving divorce are mediation and litigation. Knowing the difference between both approaches can empower both parties to protect themselves emotionally and financially.

Why Is Mediation Preferred Over Litigation?

Mediation offers a less combative and more cooperative approach to divorce. A neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates discussions between the spouses. The focus is on open communication, cooperation, and finding acceptable solutions. Mediation is beneficial when both parties are willing to work together. 

One of the key advantages of mediation is the control it gives to the divorcing couple. Each spouse can create their own personalized agreement instead of a judge. Together they can handle issues such as: 

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Parenting Plan Tips for Parents Who Work Irregular Hours

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Child Custody LawyerNot everyone has a regular weekly work schedule. People who work in the healthcare sector or who are first responders may see their work schedule shifting frequently. The same may be true for workers who are away from home for weeks or days at a time, like long distance truckers. While children tend to thrive on consistency, routine scheduled visits may be impossible when a parent works irregular hours. However, spending time with both parents is likely to be in the child’s best interests even if it means that there will be a shifting schedule. Parents who have frequently changing work schedules or who work unusual hours must take care when creating a parenting plan to ensure that they will be able to enjoy as much time with their child as possible. It is important to work with an attorney who has experience representing first responders and other workers with varying schedules when you are getting divorced or establishing a child custody schedule. 

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Understanding the Significance of Lack of Testamentary Capacity in Contested Wills

 Posted on August 01, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Lombard Estate Planning LawyerWills serve as legal documents that outline how an individual’s assets will be distributed upon their death. However, when a will is contested, one common argument made by challengers is that the testator lacked testamentary capacity at the time of creating the document. Today, we will examine the implications of a lack of testamentary capacity in contested wills and its impact on the validity of the document. If you have concerns over the validity of a will, contact an estate planning lawyer for legal representation as you work through your legal matter.

Definition of Testamentary Capacity

Testamentary capacity refers to the mental capability of an individual to understand the nature and consequences of making a will. It is a legal requirement that ensures the integrity of the testator’s wishes and protects against undue influence or coercion. Testamentary capacity involves a few key elements:

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I Filled Out a Power of Attorney at the Hospital - is it Enough?

 Posted on July 26, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerMost people who have gone under anesthesia for a procedure have been asked to fill out a power of attorney form at the hospital. This is a precaution meant to protect the hospital as much as it protects you. The physician performing your procedure needs to know who should step in to make decisions on your behalf if something goes wrong during your procedure. While this form will likely suffice to allow your chosen person to make medical decisions in the event that something does go wrong during your procedure, it should not generally be used as a long-term solution. The power of attorney forms that hospitals provide generally only cover one of the two major types of powers of attorney. Most if not all adults need both medical and financial powers of attorney. It is best to work with an attorney to create strong and specific powers of attorney. 

Why You Also Need a Financial Power of Attorney

Should you become incapacitated for any length of time, your financial power of attorney is likely to be just as important as your medical power of attorney. Your hospital power of attorney may allow your best friend to decide how to proceed with your medical care, it very likely does not allow her to access your bank account to pay medical bills - or to pay your rent so that you will not come home to an eviction notice. 

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2023 Divorce Statistics You Should Know

 Posted on July 21, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Family LawyerThere is a lot of information - and misinformation - about the realities of divorce to be found online. The fact is that divorce is very common. Over the last several decades, divorce has been rapidly destigmatized. In the past, people who wanted to divorce their spouse had to prove that they had a good reason for doing so. This is no longer the case. If you want a divorce, you will not likely need to show a judge evidence that your spouse has done something bad enough to warrant ending the marriage. In fact, most divorce cases in modern days are not heard by a judge at all. The vast majority of divorce cases are resolved out of court by mutual agreement of the parties. Divorce mediation has become the generally preferred option for settling most divorces. If you are beginning the process of getting a divorce, one of your first steps should be finding an experienced attorney to represent you. 

Important Statistics About Modern Divorce 

Some telling statistics about divorce in 2023 include: 

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