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Geneva family law attorneysGetting engaged to be married is a joyous time for any couple. In the midst of sharing pictures of the ring, scouting out locations for the wedding, and celebrating with friends and family, couples are also faced with a hard choice: Should they create a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup or premarital agreement, is a legally-binding agreement that a couple signs before getting married in order to protect each spouse's financial interests. Some people incorrectly assume that prenuptial agreements are only appropriate for celebrities, the extremely wealthy, and those couples who do not think their marriage will last.

Plan for the Worst

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneyNo reasonable person gets married with the expectation that the marriage will end in divorce. While most people realize that divorce is a possibility—given that between 30 and 40 percent of marriages ultimately end that way—a marriage consists of two people building a life together. Unfortunately, relationships sometimes fall apart, even those that were formalized by marriage. When a marriage starts to fail, there are often warning signs that may be evident, and if you know what to look for, you may be able to save your marriage before it is too late.

Common Warning Signs

No two marriages are exactly alike, but relationship experts suggest that the red flags associated with failing relationships are often similar. It is important to remember that one or two such warning signs may not spell the end of your marriage, but the more there are, the worse off you may be. The most common signs include:

Kane County divorce lawyerWhen most couples decide to part ways, they get a divorce, but an extremely small subset instead obtain annulments. However, a marriage may only be annulled if it is void or voidable. The two, despite their obvious similarities, are very different categories, and to state that your marriage falls under one when in fact, it is the other, can cause problems down the line.

Void Marriages

In Illinois, an annulment is referred to as a judgment of invalidity and may be granted to those in void or voidable marriages. It is important to understand that they are not granted in the same manner as a divorce might be. Void marriages, under Illinois law, are those where the union was invalid from the beginning. Illinois law recognizes three major situations in which a marriage qualifies as void: bigamy, consanguinity, and incest. Generally, if a relationship goes against public policy or is generally against the law, it will be held to be void. Criminal charges may also result in extreme circumstances, but this is very rare.

Posted on in Family Law

Geneva paternity lawyerIt is one thing to know that you are the father of a child. It is a different story when you are trying to convince the legal system that you are the father. Although marriage is not right for everyone—and in some situations, should be discouraged—however establishing paternity is significantly easier if the parents are married before the birth of the child. Establishing paternity is not impossible if the child was born out of wedlock, but the process can be much longer and more complicated.

Why Does Marriage Matter?

Does marriage matter? It depends on your circumstances and if you WANT to be married. There are significant benefits that may be available to some married couples, but for others—like those receiving set pensions—it may stop current benefits. Therefore, it is up to each couple to decide if marriage is the right option. It is more socially acceptable than ever before to have children outside of wedlock. Nearly 50% of children born today to women under the age of 30 are born to unmarried mothers. This percentage is regardless of financial or social status and incorporates children of celebrities and political figures as well as ordinary individuals. With regards to establishing paternity, if the mother and spouse are married at the time of conception, or are married on the date of birth, the spouse is presumed to be the other legal parent. If you are part of the unmarried population with a new child, you can establish parentage through provisions in the Illinois Parentage Act.

Geneva family law attorneyOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Domestic violence not only includes physical abuse like hitting, punching, kicking, and slapping but also psychological abuse. Psychological abuse or emotional abuse can include behaviors such threatening, controlling, isolating, mocking, stalking, and intimidating a partner.

Domestic Violence Can Happen to Anyone

Domestic violence affects people of all genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses. Often, when one imagines a victim of domestic violence, a woman comes to mind.  However, men are almost as likely to be victims of violence at the hand of a partner as women are.  On average, one out of every three women and one out of every four men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

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