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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.

Geneva family law attorneyWhen you are faced with the possibility of a divorce, dozens of questions start to race through your head. You are likely to be wondering how you will tell your children, where you will live, and how you will make life after divorce work for you. For many people, issues of money are often the most pressing. How can a spouse who has relied on his or her partner financially for many years be expected to suddenly support him- or herself when the marriage ends? In Illinois, such a spouse may not have to do so, but nothing regarding alimony is guaranteed in advance.

Need-Based Considerations

Alimony is now known under Illinois law as maintenance. It is often referred to as spousal support as well. Whatever you may choose to call it, such awards are intended to alleviate the financial effects of a divorce on a spouse who may be an economic disadvantage. There is more to a maintenance case, however, than just money. Otherwise, any time that one spouse makes more than the other, the lower-earning spouse could expect to receive support following a divorce. Instead, the court will look at a number of factors that take into account the entire marital and divorce situation.

Geneva family law atttorneyUnlike fathers who were married to the mother of their child at the time of birth, unwed fathers are not automatically granted parental rights. Instead, they must take legal steps to establish their role in the life of a child. This starts with the establishment of paternity, which is not presumed for unwed fathers, and continues with a petition to the court. If you are an unwed father and want to gain and establish legal rights to parent your child, the following information can help.

Establishing Paternity

Before an unmarried father can seek legal parenting rights to his child, he must first establish paternity. This can be done in one of three ways:

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