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Recent Blog Posts

Termination of Parental Rights in Illinois Adoption Cases

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Lombard Family Law AttorneyIn the eyes of the law, a child can only have two parents. Although stepparents and other family members often play essential roles in a child’s life, they do not have the same rights and responsibilities as parents unless they formally adopt the child.

Whether you are interested in a relative adoption, private adoption, or another type of adoption, it is important to understand how the termination of parental rights may play a role in your case.

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

In some cases, a child’s parents willingly give up their parental rights. A parent may make the decision to surrender their parental rights if they suffer from severe substance abuse or other personal problems that make them unable to care for a child.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

In other cases, a parent’s parental rights are revoked against the parent’s will. Illinois courts only revoke parental rights if it is in the child's best interest. The courts want to keep families intact whenever possible. However, there are some situations in which it is better for the child if the parent’s parental rights are terminated.

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Leaving Money to a Non-Family Caregiver? Read Illinois Law First

 Posted on May 31, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerHome health aides, skilled care providers, personal care aides, and other types of home care workers provide a valuable service to individuals who require consistent, ongoing care. If you suffer from health conditions and require assistance with medical needs or daily living tasks, you may grow very close to your caregiver. You may even come to think of the caregiver as if he or she was family.

Some people wish to express their gratitude for a home care worker by leaving them an inheritance in an estate plan. If you intend to leave money or other property to a caregiver, it is very important that you understand how Illinois law addresses inheritance left to caregivers.

Presumptively Void Transfers to Caregivers

Many people who receive care from an in-home health worker have significant medical problems that may make them vulnerable to exploitation or abuse. In order to combat this, Illinois law has established strict rules regarding asset transfers to non-family caregivers.

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What Should I Do If My Child’s Other Parent Is Not Following the Parenting Time Schedule?

 Posted on May 25, 2023 in Family Law Blog

DuPage County Child Custody LawyerSeparated and divorced parents often worry about how the separation will impact their relationship with their children. It can be extremely hard for a parent who is used to tucking their child into bed every night to go days or weeks without seeing the child.

Most divorced parents are subject to a parenting time schedule that describes when each parent will spend time with the child. Parents are expected to comply with this schedule and transfer the child on time. While most parents will understand a few late drop-offs or early pickups, when the parenting time schedule is repeatedly violated, the other parent may need to take legal action.

Unlawful Visitation Interference

The parenting plan is not a suggestion. It is a legally binding court order. Parents who intentionally and consistently fail to comply with the provisions of the parenting plan may be subject to significant consequences.

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How a Special Needs Trust Can Help You Provide for a Child With Cerebral Palsy

 Posted on May 12, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerThe average lifetime cost of medical care and assistance for a person with cerebral palsy is estimated to be just under $1,000,000. If your child has cerebral palsy, ensuring that your child has access to the support, medical care, and assistance he or she needs is probably at the top of your mind.

A special needs trust is an estate planning tool that allows for the transfer of assets to a disabled person. When compared with transferring assets through a will, a special needs trust offers significant advantages.

Special Needs Trusts for Disabled Individuals in Illinois

Doctor's appointments, speech therapy, medications, assistive devices, special education programs, and medical equipment such as wheelchairs are just some of the many special needs experienced by children or young adults with cerebral palsy. The costs associated with these needs can be extraordinary. For parents of children with cerebral palsy, financial planning is essential.

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Five Ways a Spouse Might Hide Money During a Divorce

 Posted on May 05, 2023 in Divorce

Lombard Divorce LawyerAlmost all of the property that was accumulated during the marriage by either spouse is considered marital property, meaning it is jointly owned by both parties. 

Both spouses have a right to an equitable share of marital property. However, some individuals attempt to block their spouse from receiving his or her fair share by hiding assets during divorce.

Transparency regarding finances is essential during a divorce, and Illinois courts demand honesty. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, contact a skilled divorce attorney for help right away.

Transferring Money to Friends and Family

A spouse who is preparing for divorce may start transferring funds to friends and family members in anticipation of the divorce. Often, this is done under the guise of paying back a personal loan. The spouse gives the other person the money, so it is not included during the property division phase of the divorce. Then, once the divorce is over, the friend simply returns the money, effectively shielding it from division.

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Advice for Fathers Going Through a Divorce

 Posted on April 27, 2023 in Family Law Blog

lombard divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can be a stressful, sorrowful time, especially for fathers. Fathers going through a divorce may have concerns about their financial stability, their relationship with their children, and their future. If you are a father going through a divorce, make sure to make your concerns known to your divorce attorney, as an experienced family law attorney will likely have valuable insight on how to make the best out of this challenging situation.

Tips Fathers Should Consider

Here is some advice for fathers going through a divorce to help them navigate the process and protect their rights, including:

  • Hire an experienced family lawyer – This is one of the most essential steps that fathers can take when going through a divorce. An attorney can provide guidance, advice, and support throughout the divorce process and can help fathers safeguard their rights and interests.

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What to Know About Beneficiary Representation When an Estate is Being Improperly Handled

 Posted on April 24, 2023 in Family Law Blog

lombard estate planning lawyerWhen a loved one passes away, it can be a difficult and emotional time for family members. In addition to grieving, family members may also have to deal with the deceased person’s estate. Unfortunately, in some cases, estates are not handled properly, which can lead to disputes and legal issues. If you are a beneficiary and believe that an estate is being improperly handled, seeking legal representation right away is crucial. 

Considerations for Beneficiaries  

Here is what you need to know about legal representation for a beneficiary in this situation: 

  • Seek legal counsel – If you are a beneficiary and believe an estate is being improperly handled, consider seeking legal counsel. An experienced estate litigation attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law. However, it is essential not to wait to obtain legal counsel. The sooner you lawyer up, the better.

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Steps to Take as You Prepare for Mediation

 Posted on April 17, 2023 in Family Law Blog

dupage county divorce mediation lawyer Divorce mediation is a process in which a third party assists divorcing couples in reaching a settlement agreement. Mediation is often a more cost-effective and less-adversarial way to resolve disputes during divorce. The alternative is the often highly unpleasant litigation process in court. If you are considering divorce mediation, it is essential to prepare for the process. Remember that while you prepare and throughout the actual process, it is wise to consult with a divorce attorney to ensure your rights remain protected and your best interests are advocated for. 

Firstly, it is important to understand the mediation process. Mediation is a cooperative process where both parties work to reach a settlement agreement. The mediator is responsible for facilitating communication between the parties and helping them identify where they agree and disagree. The objective of mediation is to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that meets the needs of both parties. 

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What You Need to Know Regarding Contested Wills

 Posted on April 07, 2023 in Family Law Blog

arlington heights divorce lawyerA contested will can throw a family into turmoil, causing emotional distress and threatening the intended distribution of assets. Understanding the basics of contested wills and the grounds for contesting a will can help you navigate this challenging and delicate situation. Those going through a contested will process must be made aware of the reasons for contesting a will and the legal process involved.

What is a Contested Will? 

A contested will arises when someone disputes the validity of a will or its provisions. This often happens when a family member or other interested party believes the will does not reflect the testator’s (the person who made the will) wishes or that the will was executed improperly.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

There are several grounds for contesting a will, including:

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My Elderly Loved One is Refusing to Create a Will. What Should I Do?

 Posted on March 30, 2023 in Family Law Blog

lombard estate planning lawyerWe hear all the time how, regardless of your age, estate planning is essential for the future. At the foundation of many estate plans is a will. As a result, it can be highly distressing to learn that an elderly loved one does not have a will and is refusing even to make one. Today, we will discuss what you should do if your loved one refuses to make a will and some tips to approach this delicate situation. Remember, to start the estate planning process, contact an attorney to guide you through the process to ensure everything is done correctly.

Tips for Approaching the Situation

Consider these tips when approaching the situation, such as: 

  • Understand their perspective – Before you can convince your loved one to create a will, it is essential to understand their perspective. For example, they may have fears or concerns about making a will, such as not wanting to face their mortality or not wanting to cause family conflict. By better understanding their perspective, you can address their concerns and find a way to move forward. 

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