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kane county family lawyersIt is much more common nowadays for couples to spend time apart while married, or even take their entire family abroad. However, if the marriage breaks up, however, there can be some difficult and unique issues, especially if one spouse is in the military. It is advisable to enlist a professional to help negotiate complex questions in this situation.

Divorce Complexities

International divorces can be extremely drawn out, even if there are no children involved. Most of the common questions involve jurisdiction: if I am divorced in another country, will it be recognized at home? Whose law applies? What if my spouse is not an American citizen?

Posted on in Family Law

Geneva family law attorneyMany couples who want children are unfortunately unable to have them naturally, due to health issues, infertility or other possible factors. More and more couples are turning to surrogates as an answer. Once thought of as a solution mostly for same-sex couples, heterosexual couples are using surrogates to help ease their fertility problems. However, if you are not careful, some complex legal tangles can crop up over a surrogate’s maternal rights.

The Gestational Surrogacy Act

Illinois’ laws about surrogate parents are actually some of the most well-defined and specific in the nation. The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (IGSA) was passed in 2005 to specifically clarify the rights of both the intended parents and the surrogate mother.

Geneva family law attorneyA parent has a legal obligation to support his or her children. This is true even in the midst of a divorce. Depending on any the situation, a person may have an obligation to help support his or her (soon-to-be) ex-spouse as well. However, many people confuse the two obligations, when in reality child support and maintenance (also called alimony or spousal support) are very different, not least of all because the right to collect belongs to different parties.

Child Support

Child support is a right that belongs to a child, not their parents, though the actual payments may be received and administered by the child’s parent. It is defined as court-ordered payments usually made by the parent with fewer parental responsibilities or less parenting time to help support his or her children. In Illinois, the obligation to pay support exists, if ordered, until that child turns 18 years old. If the child is still attending high school at that age, however, the support obligation is extended until they either graduate or turn 19, whichever comes first.

Kane County family law attorneyMost parents would do absolutely anything to keep their children safe and happy. Thus, when there is a suspicion of abuse, parents and authorities typically act quickly to address the concerns. This can get especially tricky in divorce cases, however. Sometimes abuse allegations have merit, and sometimes they are used as weapons by an estranged or bitter ex-spouse. It is important to know how to handle both situations.

The Law on Abuse and Neglect

The statutory definition of child abuse in Illinois is somewhat complex, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Essentially, an abused child is one who has been the victim of any act that either causes or intends to cause severe physical, emotional, sexual or mental harm. If a mother grabs her son’s arm to pull him out of traffic and gives him bruises, such conduct is likely not abusive, but if she dislocates his shoulder while trying to get his attention in a supermarket, it may be considered abuse.

Posted on in Adoption

Geneva adoption lawyersIn Illinois, adoptions historically were completed in the traditional “closed” style. However, more and more people are choosing to have “open” adoptions in this day and age—and for a variety of reasons. While the processes for both types are fairly similar in terms of legalities, there are enough differences that it is important to make your choice before going through with the adoption.

Traditional Adoptions

Traditional adoptions in Illinois were almost always closed. This means that they were completed with no way for the child or adoptive parents to contact the birth parents at any time. This was once thought to be the most healthy way for a child and a couple to move on with their lives. It also helped cement the adoptive parents in the child’s life without interference from the birth parents.

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