Category Archives: Kane

St. Charles adoption attorneysBringing a child into your family through adoption is life changing for everyone involved. Your family not only gains a cherished loved one, you also give a child in need the loving home that he or she deserves. The adoption process is very involved - both emotionally and legally. It is important for anyone considering adoption to thoroughly research the available avenues for adopting a child in order to determine what course of action is right for them.

Illinois Adoption Laws

Illinois law states that an individual may adopt a child if he or she:

  • Has lived in the state of Illinois for a minimum of six months or is a member of the Armed Forces and has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days
  • Does not have a legal disability
  • Has a good reputation

Typically, adoptive parents must be over 18 years of age. However, the court may make exceptions to this rule in certain cases. Prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a non-relative will be subject to a state and federal criminal background check as part of the adoption investigation. If the potential adoptive child is over 13 years old, he or she must consent to the adoption.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhen parents get divorced or are unmarried, one parent may be required to pay the other child support in order to share the costs of raising the child. Child support payments can be a considerable expense and sometimes parents may have trouble paying child support. Children have a legal right to receive financial support from both of their parents. If a parent is ordered to pay child support and he or she fails to make payments in full and on time, he or she can face serious civil and even criminal consequences.

Requesting a Child Support Modification

When the court issues a child support order, it is intended to be fair and reasonable based on the parents’ financial circumstances and the child’s needs. However, sometimes those circumstances change and the parents need to change their child support order. In order to be granted a modification to your child support order, you must file a petition for modification with the court. A modification may be granted if a party can show that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Examples of a substantial change in circumstances include:

  • A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income including a parent losing his or her job
  • A significant change in the needs of the child such as increased medical expenses
  • There has been a major change in parenting time or child custody arrangements
  • The payor parent has experienced a significant increase in his or her cost of living
  • One of the parents has remarried

Only future child support payments can be modified through a petition for modification. Payments that are past due must be paid in full based on the previous amount established. 

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Kane County family law attorneysPrenuptial agreements, also called premarital agreements or “prenups,” have an undeserved reputation as only being necessary for celebrities or the ultra-rich. However, more and more people are realizing how beneficial a prenuptial agreement can actually be. Prenuptial agreements allow couples to decide in advance how their property should be divided if the marriage ends in divorce, clarify their financial responsibilities and rights during marriage, make sure property is passed down to selected heirs when a spouse passes away, and more.

Survey Shows That More Millennials Are Using Prenups

A study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that more than half of attorneys surveyed have seen an increase in the number of young couples signing premarital agreements. Many attribute the increase in prenuptial agreements to the fact that, on average, Americans are getting married later in life than they have previously. The average U.S. male gets married at age 29.9 and the average female gets married at age 28.1. Tying the knot at almost 30 years old gives couples more time to accumulate property and debts that require protection through a prenuptial agreement. Many millennials also have a 401(k), stock options, a start-up business, intellectual property or other complex assets which can be protected by a prenuptial agreement.

The Negative Stigma Surrounding Prenups is Decreasing

Another major reason millennials are signing prenuptial agreements at a higher rate than previous generations is because they have realistic ideas about divorce. While it can be a bleak reality to consider, the fact is that between 30 to 40 percent of U.S. marriages do not last. Because many of them are children of divorce themselves, more and more millennials are taking a pragmatic approach to the way they think about marriage and divorce. Just as they purchase car insurance in the event of a car crash, they sign a prenuptial agreement in the event their marriage does not last. People are starting to realize that signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you think your marriage will fail. It simply means that you take financial decisions seriously and want to be as responsible as possible when it comes to property and debt.

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Kane County family law attorneysIf this is your first holiday season as a recently separated or divorced parent, you may understandably feel upset and disappointed. Holidays are simply not the same without the familiar sounds of children laughing and having fun. Parents may argue about which parent will spend which holiday with the children because they simply do not want to miss the experience. While there is no way to eliminate the pain of missing your children, there may be a way for you and your child’s other parent to work out a holiday parenting time schedule that works for both of you.

Put Holiday Parenting Time Arrangements in Your Parenting Plan

If you plan to get divorced in Illinois, you will be asked to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement. The agreement must include several provisions that detail how parental responsibilities and parenting time are divided between the parents. You will also want to include information about where the children will spend the major holidays. Some parents choose to split the holidays between them. For example, one parent may have the children on Thanksgiving and the other has the children on Christmas. Other parents decide to make a rotation schedule so that parents spend certain holidays with the children every other year. The most important thing is to decide on an arrangement as soon as possible so that you can avoid having the same argument about where the kids will spend holidays every year.

Change the Way You Think About Holidays

It is completely reasonable to be sad if you do not get to see your children on special days. However, it is important to remember that you can make any day special. Some divorced parents choose to create a new holiday tradition with their kids. For example, you may decide that even if you do not have your children on New Year’s Eve for the midnight countdown, that you will start a new tradition of going on a special trip at the beginning of every new year. Children are very perceptive, and they often pick up on their parent’s anxieties. Being flexible and having a positive attitude about the holiday season will not only lessen your stress, but it will also lessen your children’s stress as well.

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Kane County family law attorneysWhenever a divorce case goes to litigation, the involved parties give up a great deal of control regarding the situation. While a deal could possibly be brokered by the court, contentiousness and acrimony are more likely to develop. In addition, court dates are often set months out in advance, with very little happening in between. Thus, what could have been a relatively simple divorce has deteriorated into a long, drawn-out process causing serious levels of stress and bitterness. For many couples, however, mediation may provide a much more reasonable avenue for reaching a divorce agreement, allowing them to move at their own pace and addressing the issues that matter most.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves at least two parties and a neutral, third-party facilitator. The parties and the facilitator, known as a mediator, engage in negotiation-oriented discussions aimed at developing a resolution that is agreeable for everyone involved. Mediation is used in a wide variety of legal applications and is very often a part of divorce and family law proceedings. Parties to a mediated divorce may choose to retain their own attorneys, depending on the complexity of the case. The best mediators are also attorneys, allowing them to much better be able to address some of the legal issues that may arise during the process.

Flexible Scheduling

In addition to the cooperative nature of mediation, the method is also very attractive for many couples due to its inherent flexibility. The restrictive scheduling of court dockets often requires both parties to take off work, make childcare arrangements, and spend weeks waiting for the opportunity to be heard. Most mediators, on the other hand, make themselves much more available to meet the needs of a particular couple. Many offer evening or weekend sessions to allow for faster progress and, ultimately, more efficient resolution.

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1737 South Naperville Road, Suite 100
Wheaton, IL 60189
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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree