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Tag Archives: Kane County family law attorneys

Kane County divorce lawyersDivorce is not an entirely new phenomenon but it has certainly become more socially acceptable and widespread over the last 40 or so years. As divorce became more commonplace in the 1970s and 80s, a divorcing couples’ children were generally left under the care of their mothers. Divorced dads, by and large, seemed to be less important—with the exception of child support—in the bigger picture of raising the children.

In many ways, this custom was a reflection of the cultural belief that mothers were more nurturing and more inclined to raise children properly compared to fathers. While fathers were given occasional “visits” with their children, it was difficult for men to foster true parent-child relationships with their sons and daughters. In fact, many were more like an uncle figure or family friend than a dad.

New Understandings

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Kane County family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements, also called “prenups” or premarital arrangements, are legal contracts that establish the property and financial rights of each spouse should a marriage end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements are a somewhat controversial topic for a number of reasons. Some individuals believe that prenups are only necessary for celebrity weddings or for those people who do not plan on being married for the rest of their lives. They think, why plan for a divorce before the marriage has even begun?

In reality, prenuptial agreements are one of the most responsible things you can do to protect your financial interests. Signing one does not mean that you think the marriage is doomed to fail. Consider it a different way; if you own a car, you must have car insurance. This does not mean that you believe you will crash the car or get into an accident. You are simply planning for the worst while hoping for the best. When it comes to prenuptial agreements, the old adage “better safe than sorry” holds true.

Deciding You Want a Prenup

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Kane County family law attorneysIn most divorce cases, there are a variety of different considerations that must be addressed, including the division of marital property, maintenance concerns, and the allocation of parental responsibilities. Fortunately, many divorcing spouses are able to remain civil and diligently negotiate a reasonable agreement that resolves all of their outstanding issues. While such cooperation is not always possible, spouses who can work together toward reaching a settlement often realize significant savings in terms of time and money throughout the process.

During the course of negotiations or informal conversations, you and your spouse may agree to certain terms. No matter what is said or agreed to orally, it is important that you record all of your agreements in writing so that there is no confusion or uncertainty down the road.

Most Oral Agreements Are Unenforceable

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Kane County family law attorneyIf you have been ordered to pay alimony—legally known as maintenance in Illinois—your payments are meant to ease the financial effects of the divorce on your ex-spouse. A court may also order maintenance to allow a financially disadvantaged spouse to maintain a standard of living reasonably similar to that which you both enjoyed during your marriage—especially if yours has not markedly changed. In the years that follow your divorce, however, your spouse may find a new romantic partner and begin a relationship. Depending on the nature of that relationship, your obligation for spousal support payments may be affected.

Duration of Support Orders

Most orders for spousal maintenance are set for a predetermined number of months or years. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides a formula for calculating the length of the order as a function of the length of the marriage to be used in most situations. Longer marriages result in relatively longer orders for maintenance, and some cases may result in permanent orders. While Illinois law does use the word “permanent,” it is not an ironclad guarantee that payments must continue until one spouse dies. There are certain occurrences that could permit you to stop making maintenance payments in spite of a permanent order.

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Kane County family law attorneyDisputes over child-related matters can often be quite contentious. The resulting bitterness and resentment can affect the relationship between the parents for years to come. Issues involving child custody—now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois—parenting time, child support, and any other concern related to children are complicated, and when parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will need to step in and make long-term decisions for the family. In some cases, the court will appoint an independent attorney called a guardian ad litem to assist in the decision-making process, and it is important for you to understand why he or she may have been appointed.

What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?

To appreciate the reasons behind the court's appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL), you must first understand the role that the GAL will play in your proceedings. The GAL does not represent either parent or the child; instead, he or she works essentially as an extension of the court and an expert witness. He or she has the power to investigate the family's situation by conducting interviews, reviewing documents, and examining any other relevant information. Based on the results of the investigation, the GAL provides a recommendation to the court of what the ideal outcome should be in the case. Because eligible GALs undergo specific training required by the county, their recommendations are given significant weight by the court.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
630-549-0960
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.

We serve clients throughout Kane County, Illinois including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora, Elgin, Algonquin, Aurora, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Big Rock, Burlington, Campton Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elburn, Hampshire, Huntley, Kaneville, Maple Park, Sleepy Hollow, Wayne, West Dundee as well as throughout DuPage County.

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