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Kane County legal parentage lawyerFor married couples, the identity of a child’s parents is typically not in doubt, and both spouses are prepared to raise the child. However, for parents who are not married, establishing paternity can make a great difference for a child, ensuring that both parents will play a role in the child’s life and provide the child with financial support. By including a father’s name on a child’s birth certificate, this can protect the rights of both the father and the child.

What Is Paternity?

When a child is born, the relationship between the mother and the child will be obvious, but the child will not necessarily have a legal relationship with his or her father. If the mother is married, her husband is assumed to be the child’s father. However, for couples who are not married, even if they are engaged, the identity of the father will not be presumed, and paternity will need to be legally established. The only exception to this is if a mother’s marriage ended within 300 days before the child was born. In these cases, her former spouse is assumed to be the child’s father. 

In most family law situations, Illinois courts prefer to keep both parents involved in a child's life whenever possible. This is exactly what establishing paternity does; it gives a child the right to have a relationship with both parents, and both the father and mother will be required to provide child support to meet the child’s needs. The child will also have the right to receive benefits such as Social Security, insurance coverage, and veteran’s benefits, and he or she will be able to receive an inheritance from both parents. The father would also have child custody rights if something were to happen to the mother. While establishing paternity does not guarantee that a father will share in parental responsibilities (custody) or parenting time (visitation), it gives the father the right to petition the court to address these matters. 

Geneva child relocation lawyerThere is no question that after a divorce, the lives of the spouses and their children will change significantly. Additional changes may occur in the years to come, and there may be a time when one parent decides to move to a new location that is a significant distance away from the other parent. However, there are restrictions on how a custodial parent may proceed in cases involving parental relocation, and the well-being of a child and the rights of the other parent must be protected. 

Illinois Parental Relocation Laws

While Illinois law no longer uses the term “custody,” the parent with the majority of the parenting time is often referred to as the custodial parent. If this parent decides to move to a new home, may need to seek the approval of the court, and the other parent may argue against the move if it affects their parenting time with a child. 

A parent living in Kane County can only move up to 25 miles from the current living situation without approval from the court. The same goes for Cook, Lake, Dupage, Will, and McHenry Counties. For all other counties in Illinois, a parent may move up to 50 miles away within the state. Interstate moves require approval if they are more than 25 miles from the current home. 

Kane County child custody attorneyGetting a divorce is likely to be a stressful time in your life. As you go about the process of separating from your spouse, you will need to divide a variety of things, including both the property you own and the time you spend with your children. While your marital property will be divided based on what is fair and equitable, decisions about children are based on what is in their best interests, and the final decisions are set down in a document called a parenting plan.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, the laws regarding child custody contain some terms that may be unfamiliar to parents. In 2016, the terms “custody” and “visitation” were removed from Illinois family laws and replaced by “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.” A parenting plan created during divorce will address these issues, providing a framework for how matters related to children will be handled going forward. A parenting plan should include a variety of elements, including how parents will divide or share decision-making responsibilities for children, a specific schedule of when children will spend time with each parent, and rules for how parents will communicate with each other. If parents cannot agree with each other about the terms of their parenting plan, then the judge will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child.

You may be worried about the prospect of working together with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that you can both agree on. Determining how to handle the many issues that must be addressed can be overwhelming, especially since life can be unpredictable, and you do not know what the next several years will hold. However, by following these tips, you can create a successful parenting plan that meets your family’s needs:

Kane County divorce attorneyMarriage is a bond that unites two people. However, even though a couple’s marriage vows say that they will stay together “in sickness and in health,” sometimes a marriage does not last, and divorce becomes necessary. Some cultures and religions look down on getting a divorce, and parents may think that it is better to say married for their children, but a divorce is often the best decision for the two parties, and living in an unhappy home can cause more harm to children than separated parents.

During the colonial days of the United States, one of the earliest examples of divorce could be seen in Massachusetts. In 1629, a judicial council was developed there to grant divorces on the grounds of instances such as of bigamy, adultery, or desertion. Today, an affair is still a common reason for a couple to get a divorce, but there are a wide variety of other circumstances in which a couple may decide to separate, including:

  • Different Life Goals - It is easy to think that life will proceed the way you expect after getting married. The truth is, some people get married without discussing their future together. If one spouse wants to travel the globe while the other wants to settle down and start a family, it will be difficult for them to see eye to eye down the road, and they may not wish to stay together. Some people also think that they will be able to change their spouse’s habits or negative qualities. When this effort turns out to be fruitless, it may be time to consider divorce.
  • Wrong Reasons - It is true that some people marry for money, and these types of marriages often end in divorce. Another wrong reason a person may get married is because they feel like they have to. If someone is in a relationship for a long time and feels pressured to take the next step, or if a couple chooses to get married before they are ready for this commitment, these marriages are usually not built to last.
  • No Romance - A relationship may have started out full of fire and passion, but after years of being together, the romance and effort may have died, and neither partner is likely to be happy. A healthy relationship maintains an equilibrium in which both partners are satisfied. Every couple has a different love language, but if partners are not taking time for each other or are avoiding each other’s company, there may be no love left to share, and divorce may be the best option. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

No matter the reason for your divorce, you deserve to take steps that will lead you towards a happier life. To ensure that you can reach a positive outcome to your divorce, contact an experienced Geneva divorce attorney to work out issues such as the division of assets and parental responsibilities. Call our office today at 630-232-9700 to schedule a consultation.  

Kane County family law attorneysYou have worked very hard for many years to accumulate significant assets which you assumed would fund your retirement. Whether you have a fully-vested pension plan, 401(k), IRA, or other investments accounts, those funds will likely be waiting for you when you retire—unless you get divorced. Retirement investments, like any other asset, may be considered marital property and, therefore, would be subject to division between you and your spouse in the event of divorce. There are several ways in which retirement accounts may be considered in divorce, including one that may require the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO.

Dividing or Offsetting

Depending upon when you first began contributing to your retirement funds, all of your investments may not be subject to division. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, only the portion that accumulated during your marriage is considered marital property. You might need the help of a financial professional to establish the value of the investment prior to the marriage, so that only the correct portion is considered during the divorce process. Once that has been done, you, your spouse, and the court need to determine how, or even if, the investments will be divided.

If you and your spouse possess other significant assets such as homes, vehicles, or non-retirement savings, you may be able to negotiate a deal in which you keep your entire retirement investment. This could be even more likely if each of you already has a separate pension or 401(k). Instead of complicating matters by splitting benefits that will not be payable for years, you may, for example, be permitted to keep your pension, while your spouse is allocated a larger share of your marital cash holdings.

Talk to an attorney now. Call 630-232-9700.
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