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What Unique Challenges Do First-Responders Face During Divorce Proceedings? 

 Posted on November 22, 2022 in Divorce

Lombard, IL first responder divorce attorneyCouples may choose to pursue a divorce for many different reasons. Sometimes, differing work schedules and being required to work long and irregular hours put a terrible strain on a marriage. Unfortunately, this strain can lead to divorce. Out of all the occupations out there, few jobs require more sacrifice and demand than being a first responder. Whether a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic, first responders are real-life heroes who frequently put themselves in harm's way to help others. If you are a first responder looking to get a divorce, consult a highly experienced Illinois divorce attorney with experience in cases involving first responders. An attorney can work with you in tackling the different challenges you may face as a first responder getting a divorce.

How Come First Responders Are at a Heightened Risk of Divorce? 

Most occupations have set hours that allow employees to manage and separate their personal and work life effectively. However, first responders often work peculiar hours. Not only are the hours challenging, but first responders frequently face dangerous situations which can affect them psychologically. The longer someone works as a first responder, the greater the chance they will be involved in a distressing situation. Each event can take a severe toll on the first responders who are called to the scene. After witnessing something distressing, the first responder may withdraw from their spouse and keep their emotions bottled up to try and save their spouse from knowing the grisly details of what occurred at work. In some cases, a first responder may develop PTSD, further leading to communication lapses and tension between them and their spouse. This may lead to the quality of their marriage suffering.

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What You Need to Know About Special Needs Trusts 

 Posted on November 15, 2022 in Estate Planning Blog

DuPage County estate planning lawyerWhen it comes to estate planning, choosing the appropriate tools, selecting suitable beneficiaries, and accurately preparing all necessary documents can be a complex and daunting task. This is especially the case when one of your intended beneficiaries relies on a government aid program. For example, suppose you plan on issuing an inheritance to a family member who relies on government aid programs. In that case, you may unknowingly impact that individual’s ability to continue benefiting from government aid programs. To avoid this, you may create a special needs trust to provide security to your loved one while ensuring you do not jeopardize their ability to benefit from a government aid program.  

If you have a loved one you believe would benefit from creating a special needs trust, consider consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney with knowledge in creating special needs trusts.

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What to Know About Pursuing Adoption in Illinois

 Posted on November 10, 2022 in Adoption

DuPage County adoption attorneyChildren deserve to be raised in loving, caring and nurturing households. It is becoming increasingly common for families to have children by non-traditional methods. An excellent option for growing a family is through adoption

Adoption can be a profoundly rewarding experience for so many different types of families. Adoption allows you to grow your family while simultaneously positively impacting a child who needs it. There are lots of options available for families interested in pursuing adoption. If you are interested in pursuing adoption, consult an adoption attorney who knows the law and will ensure all steps are appropriately taken care of, ensuring the adoption process is as seamless as possible. 

Who Can Adopt a Child in Illinois?

In a broad sense, individuals or couples in Illinois are eligible to adopt if they can satisfy basic residency requirements, possess a good reputation, and do not have a legal disability. In addition, the prospective parent needs to be able to financially manage and support the new addition to their family, like providing the child with appropriate housing. Contrary to popular belief, there are no set income requirements for adoption. People who are single or unmarried, as well as married couples, are all eligible to adopt. However, if a married couple who lives together wants to pursue adoption, each spouse needs to be a part of the adoption process. 

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What Are My Rights as a Father During a Divorce?

 Posted on October 26, 2022 in Child Custody

Lombard, IL fathers' rights lawyerStarting a family can be one of the happiest and most rewarding things someone can do with their time on earth. In life, however, few things ever go according to plan. For various reasons, what could have started as a happy marriage may dissolve and end in a divorce. In times of familial crisis, such as during a divorce, parents are often most concerned with protecting their children and are focused on minimizing the traumatizing effect a divorce can have on a child's life. 

Any parents' worst nightmare is that during the divorce process, they may be denied a say in making decisions where their children are concerned, or that they may even be denied visitation and parenting time with their child. It used to be assumed that during a divorce, the mother, seen as the nurturer, would be granted custody of the children. However, times have changed, and fathers are recognized as equally important in their children's lives. If you are a father and have been denied visitation or parenting time with your child and believe you do not have enough say in matters, consider contacting experienced Illinois family law attorneys who are passionate about protecting a father's rights during divorce. 

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What Is a Living Will and Why Are They Important? 

 Posted on October 19, 2022 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerMore likely than not that you have heard of a will. In case you need a refresher, a will is a legal document that serves as the foundation of an estate plan. In addition, the document acts as a road map and guide for allocating someone's assets and property after they pass away. Finally, creating a will is an important step that grants someone’s  family security and peace of mind.

So, you may be wondering, what is a living will? Essentially, a living will is a written document that functions as an advanced medical directive, which allows you, while you are still alive, to make specific decisions regarding what medical treatment you would like to receive if you become incapable of making such choices for yourself in the future. You may know other medical directives, like do-not-resuscitate orders and mental health treatment declarations. If you are interested in creating a living will, consider contacting an experienced living will attorney who can help you or a loved one navigate this sensitive time with the utmost compassion and knowledge of the best procedures moving forward. 

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The Legal Requirements for Surrogate Pregnancies in Illinois 

 Posted on October 12, 2022 in Family Law

Lombard surrogacy contract lawyerIt is often said that there is nothing more magical and rewarding than becoming a parent. But, sadly, becoming pregnant is not always as easy as a couple may expect. Many aspiring parents need a little extra assistance to make their family dreams come true. 

Whether you are looking to see if you are eligible for surrogacy or are the intended parents considering surrogacy as a pathway to becoming parents, several legal requirements must be adhered to for the process to be legally valid. First, a surrogacy contract must be established at the outset of the process in Illinois. This contract is an agreement and, in many ways, a road map for the prospective parents and surrogate mother that helps safeguard the rights of the intended parents and surrogate. Whether you are the intended parents or a surrogate, an experienced surrogacy contract attorney can help both parties ensure that all rights are protected throughout the process.

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What You Need to Know When Drafting a Will or Trust in Illinois

 Posted on October 10, 2022 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerWhen planning for the future, there is no greater gift to grant a loved one than security and peace of mind. Questions like, “What will happen when I die?” or “Will my family be secure if something were to happen to me?” can be overwhelming but essential questions one must ask oneself. Building an estate plan that fits your and your family's needs is a critical step in ensuring that your family will be protected no matter what life throws at you. In addition, wills and trusts are excellent ways to grant yourself and your family the assurance that your family will be taken care of adequately in case of the unexpected. 

What is a Will, And What Does It Include? 

Essentially, a will is a legal document that serves as the foundation of an estate plan. This document organizes the allocation of a person's assets, property, and more after passing away. A will is customized to fit your family's financial and familial circumstances. While a lawyer is not required to make a will in Illinois, it is wise to hire a lawyer for the will-making process to ensure the document is legally binding and will hold up in a court of law against any legal challenges. 

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Could You Benefit From a Small Estate Affidavit?

 Posted on September 20, 2022 in Estate Planning

IL estate planning lawyerResponsible adults of every age and wealth level can benefit from setting up an estate plan while they are sure of their wishes and sound mind. While the end of life is rarely a pleasant thing to contemplate, people are often surprised at the peace of mind they get when they know their wishes will be respected and their family members are protected.

Unfortunately, an unexpected death may have left your loved one unable to create an estate plan, leaving you - the executor or beneficiary - trying to determine what to do. If you are responsible for managing the estate of a deceased person (the “decedent”), consider meeting with an Illinois estate planning attorney to find out whether a small estate affidavit could benefit you.

Small Estate Affidavit in Illinois

When someone dies without an estate plan, their property must go through the Illinois probate process. This can be long, difficult, and expensive, to say nothing of the emotional burden of managing an unplanned estate after the loss of a loved one.

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Can My Child Take My Last Name After My Divorce Is Finalized?

 Posted on September 12, 2022 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerWhen divorce in Illinois is a messy emotional affair, it typically comes on the heels of an equally messy relationship. Couples often experience many years of difficult interpersonal conflict before deciding to get divorced, with the result that they may not want anything to do with each other once the divorce is finalized - even if they share minor children.

It is easy for partners who changed their last name when they got married to revert to their original last name after a divorce is finalized - doing so can simply be part of the divorce judgment. However, parents who want to change their minor child’s last name as well can run into significant challenges.

When Can a Child’s Last Name Be Changed After Divorce?

Every decision that affects a child’s life after divorce is under scrutiny by the court. Parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, where a child lives - these things must all be approved by a judge and parents can be penalized for not following a court-ordered child custody order.

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When Is a Child Old Enough to Decide Which Parent to Live With?

 Posted on September 08, 2022 in Family Law Blog

IL family lawyerDivorcing parents in Illinois frequently disagree about the best way to arrange shared parenting time and parental responsibilities. After so many years of an unhappy marriage, it can feel like negotiating your relationship with your child is too much to ask. Many children are caught between parents who cannot agree on a parenting plan and often, both the parents and children are dissatisfied with the eventual outcome.

But children grow older and as they do, they begin to develop more mature relationships with their parents. This can include a more nuanced perspective on their parents’ divorce, as well as strong preferences for a parenting arrangement that may be different from the current court order. As a child’s personality continues to develop, he or she may express a desire to spend more time with one parent than the current schedule allows. For the parent with whom the child wants to spend more time, this may be a welcome adjustment - but where do you go from here?

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