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Kane County family law attorneyMany people are familiar with prenuptial agreements,or “prenups," and some of their pros and cons. However, what most do not know is that they can actually be quite complex and may include much more than standard asset division terms. They are also not as ironclad as popular culture paints them to be. It is imperative that before you enter into a prenuptial agreement, you should have a good understanding of exactly how they work.

What to Include and Leave Out

The are two common reasons why a couple may choose to into a prenup: to protect one spouse from the consequences of the other’s debt or to ensure that provisions are made for the children of a previous marriage. Inheritance laws in most states immediately default to a person’s children from their current marriage, so if there was a promise, for example, to save a personal item for a child of one’s first marriage, it can be advantageous to note that in a prenup. Prenuptial agreements are legally binding unless it can be proven that the agreement is unenforceable.

parenting time, Kane County family law attorneyThe father of a 4-year-old girl is dead following a shooting during what was supposed to be a parenting time exchange of the child. The incident occurred at a Shell gas station in East Memphis, Tennessee. While it is yet unclear what may have led to the fatal shooting, the tragic outcome highlights the need for courts in every state to be aware of potentially volatile parenting situations whenever possible.

Unusual Dropoff Location

According to reports from local news outlets, the victim was a 29-year-old man and father of a 4-year-old little girl. He was reportedly dropping the girl off to her mother—the man’s ex-wife—for a relatively routine parenting time exchange. The man’s family, however, claims that the choice of location was not normal, saying that his ex-wife typically would come to his house to pick up the girl.

Posted on in Divorce

no-fault divorce, Geneva divorce lawyerFor many generations, a couple who sought to end their marriage in the state of Illinois could only do so based on the behavior of one spouse. In order to obtain a judgment of divorce, a petitioning spouse had to show that the other spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Over time, however, the laws of the state were amended to reflect evolving societal values, eventually adding no-fault divorce as an option for those in unhappy and unhealthy marriages.

Fault Grounds and the Introduction of No-Fault Divorce

For much of America’s history, spouses who were unhappy in a bad marriage were essentially stuck. Of course, it was possible to get a divorce if the other partner cheated, was mentally or emotionally abusive, abandoned the family, or chronically abused drugs or alcohol, along with several other serious at-fault grounds. This meant, however, that without such behaviors, there was virtually nothing a person could do to end the marriage. Even the process of divorce was much more complicated, as the alleged fault had to be proven.

parentage act, new law, Illinois family law attorneyWhile much has been written about the new laws regarding divorce and child custody that are set to take effect in January, the new year will also mark the implementation of the updated law regarding paternity and parentage. The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, or IPA15, as it is being referred to by many, will repeal the Parentage Act of 1984, which at more than 30 years old, was in desperate need of overhaul to meet the needs of today’s families.

Among the biggest changes being made by the IPA15 is shift in language from paternity considerations to the more general “parentage.” Of course, paternity is still a major part of the law, since it is obviously much more difficult to confirm the relationship between a father and child, than between a biological mother and the child. However, the new language in the law, where appropriate, is gender-neutral so as to recognize the establishment of parental rights for same-sex parents and surrogacy situations.

Considerations for Ordered Genetic Testing

false allegations, domestic abuse, Geneva family law attorneyThere is absolutely no question that domestic violence continues to be a major problem in today’s American society. In fact, there are a number of studies that suggest that the issue may be even more serious than previously acknowledged, including severely underreported cases involving male domestic abuse victims. The physical, psychological, and emotional damage caused by violence against an intimate partner or family member can rise to tragic levels, often requiring years of recovery if and when a victim can escape an abusive situation. It is for exactly these reasons that intentionally false allegations of domestic violence are so disturbing, and such allegations can substantially affect the outcome of family-related legal concerns.

Impact to the Falsely Accused

Under Illinois law, an emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based solely on the testimony of a victim. In a situation where actual violence or the threat of violence, this is entirely necessary. However, when a parent or spouse brings false allegations of violence before the court, an emergency order of protection can affect a completely innocent person. Depending upon the details included in the claim, the order can potentially prevent the accused from remaining in his or her home, seeing his or her children, or even going about the normal business of daily living. An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 30 days, or until a re-hearing on the matter can be scheduled, whichever comes first.

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