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Kane County divorce lawyer pregnancy paternityCountless issues can complicate the already complex legal process of ending a marriage. One of these complicating factors is pregnancy. If you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse is pregnant, and you plan to divorce, you probably have many questions and concerns. You may wonder how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be determined, or you may have worries about child support. Getting a divorce while a spouse is pregnant is possible under Illinois law, but it can be challenging both personally and legally.

Establishing Paternity of Your New Child

Paternity refers to the legal relationship between a father and a child. Illinois law presumes that when a married woman has a child, her husband is the child’s biological and legal father. The father does not need to take any additional steps to establish paternity. This is also true if the baby was conceived while the couple was married but is born after their marriage is dissolved. A father who has established paternity has the right to parenting time and may also have certain obligations, such as child support payments. 

If a woman conceives a child during her marriage, but her husband is not the child’s biological father, the situation becomes more complicated. The presumed father may need to terminate his parental rights so that the biological father can establish his own parental rights. In some cases, a DNA paternity test may be needed to verify the biological relationship between the child and the father.

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Kane County family law attorneysIt is no secret that ending a marriage can be messy. In many cases, it can be downright nasty, with acrimony and contentiousness that can linger for many years after the divorce is finalized. Of course, there is no requirement that your divorce must follow such a path. The law in Illinois, in fact, explicitly encourages just the opposite. A cooperative, negotiated divorce is almost always preferable to fiercely litigated dissolution, and can help pave the way for a more civil post-divorce relationship between you and your ex-spouse.

Cooperation Encourages Compliance

If you were to step back and objectively assess yourself, are you likely to do something just because you were told to do it? While you may be able to follow orders, you are probably much more willing to do so if you had a role in creating them. An amicable divorce offers the opportunity for you and your spouse to do just that. Together, you can create a workable agreement that addresses whatever concerns each of you may have. Long-term compliance may be significantly improved if you both feel that you were an important part of the settlement.

Setting a Good Example

As challenging as it may be to work in close collaboration with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, consider how your children may be affected by the divorce process. Of course, you and your spouse will have difficult personal issues to work through, but your children can learn a great deal about resolving differences in a cooperative and civil manner. It is important for your children to know that disagreement is possible in a manner that still maintains civility and respect for the other party. Your commitment to cooperation can also lead to your children being more willing to adapt to the upcoming changes, as they start to share your positive outlook.

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Kane County divorce lawyersMarriages end for countless reasons. Sometimes, a married couple decides to divorce because one of the spouses has had an affair. Studies show that about 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit to cheating on their spouse during their marriage. If you are in this situation, you may wonder whether infidelity will influence your divorce proceedings. The answer will likely depend on your particular set of circumstances.

The Elimination of Fault-Based Divorce in Illinois

When a couple gets a divorce, the petitioner, or person requesting the divorce, must list the “grounds” or reasons for the divorce. In the past, Illinois allowed spouses to list fault-based grounds such as adultery, abandonment, or physical or mental cruelty as the reason for the divorce. However, all fault-based grounds have since been eliminated. Anyone seeking a divorce in Illinois must only prove that “irreconcilable differences” have caused the breakdown of the marriage and that efforts at reconciliation are not in the couple’s best interests. This means that a spouse’s adultery will not be listed as the reason for the divorce. However, this does not mean that adultery will not impact any divorce proceedings.

Cheating May Still Impact Divorce Proceedings

“Dissipation of assets” refers to a situation in which a spouse misuses or wastes assets at the end of a marriage. If a spouse spent a great deal of money during the affair or gave his or her paramour valuable property, this may be considered dissipation. The spouse guilty of dissipation may receive a reduced share of the marital estate during property division while the wronged spouse receives a greater share in order to compensate him or her for the dissipated assets.

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Wheaton, IL 60189
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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