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Illinois Child Support, Geneva Family Law Attorney, DCSSDuring a divorce or legal separation, the law requires a number of considerations to be addressed before the proceedings may be completed. While arrangements regarding such issues as property division and spousal maintenance are certainly pertinent, child custody and visitation provisions, and child support orders are among the most important concerns for parent. Once established, a child support order is likely to remain in force for years into the future.

As discussed in a previous post, the terms of a child support order are established in accordance with state law, taking into account the family’s current situation. For a period of time, the initial order may work perfectly to address the needs of the involved children, relative to the financial resources and requirements of both parents. Life, however, can be unpredictable, and a family may find that an existing support order has become untenable or no longer appropriate for a number reasons. Fortunately, in many cases, Illinois law allows for the modification of a support order if and when the need should arise.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is responsible for overseeing child support awards in the state to ensure they are in accordance with the law and continue to meet the needs of involved families. At least every three years, DCSS is required to notify each parent affected by a support order of his or her right to request a modification review. An order may also qualify for a review under certain other conditions:

Kane County Family Law Attorney, Child's Best Interest, Custody and VisitationSeparation and divorce can obviously have a tremendous impact on children. Once a child custody or visitation order is established, the affected children must adapt to new living arrangements, often spending time with each parent. The process of establishing a custody or visitation order, however, can be extremely complicated as many parents find it difficult to get beyond their own emotional turbulence on focus on their children.

If the parents in such a situation are unable to negotiate an acceptable arrangement regarding their children, the outcome may be left to the discretion of the court. As the case is litigated, though, contentiousness and hostility can cause some parents to lose sight of their child’s best interest and, in the worst cases, attempt to use their child as leverage against the other parent.

In Illinois, fortunately, state law permits the court to take action when necessary to ensure the best interests of the child are being pursued in any proceeding related to custody, visitation, or any other interest involving child welfare. In many cases, the court may elect to appoint a qualified attorney to serve as guardian ad litem for the duration of the case.

Geneva family law attorney, marriage trends, postnuptial agreements, prenuptial agreements, postnupStudies have shown that financial problems continue to be one of the main causes of divorce. When looking at marriage as a contract, financial matters are automatically an issue. A majority of people are familiar with prenuptial agreements and their focus on protecting assets when entering into a marriage, but fewer may be as familiar with the actions of a postnuptial agreement.

A postnuptial agreement is as it sounds. It is a contract between a married couple and is created after the time of a wedding. Either type of agreement may address the following:

  • Assets;
  • Liabilities;
  • Income;
  • Ownership of property or residence;
  • Treatment of inheritances or trusts; and
  • Alimony details or spousal support.

According to a CNN.com article, postnuptial agreements are starting to increase in popularity. Over half of the attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported an increase of postnups over a five-year period. There are several reasons experts point to as reason couples might choose this route, but one main factor is to determine how to handle finances in the future. The creation of a postnup does not mean an impending divorce. But in many cases, it is the prevention of one.

Geneva family law attorney, marital property, postnuptial agreement, property division, legal marriage document, estate planning, high asset marriageAlthough prenuptial agreements often evoke sensational headlines or solicit spirited conversations of couples entering into high asset marriages, surprisingly, a well drafted postnuptial agreement may actually save a marriage.

Although different in nature than a prenuptial, the postnuptial serves as a goal-orientated plan to weather the marital shifts evident throughout the life of a marriage.

By entering into a sound postnuptial agreement, couples often avoid financial and stress-producing conflicts in the event of a divorce or the uncertainties of the future in the event a spouse passes unexpectedly.

birth certificate, child custody matters, Geneva family law attorney, marriage certificate, child birthYears ago, it was considered a scandal if a woman had a child out of wedlock. But today, this is no longer the case. Couples are now making the decision to fill out a birth certificate before they fill out a marriage certificate. And for parents who have a child before marriage, there may be emotional and legal issues to consider.

A recent study discovered that couples, who eventually plan to get married, are better off making that move before their child turns three years old. This helps a child to form the strongest bonds possible with both parents.

The study was performed by researchers from Duke University, who examined information from 5,200 children who were born to unmarried parents. Titled, “Magic Moment? Maternal Marriage in Children Born out of Wedlock,” the study suggests that the “magic moment” parents feel right after a baby is born actually lasts longer than prior research held it did. This magic moment is what researchers refer to as the time that an unwed couple would be more open to the idea of marriage.

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