IL divorce lawyerWhen a couple realizes their marriage is coming to an end, many spouses decide to separate for a period of time before filing for divorce. This has become a social norm and many couples do not even think about getting their marriage annulled. Not only does an annulment mark the end of a marriage, but it also states that the legal union never existed. Annulments are most commonly sought out for religious reasons. For instance, the Catholic church views divorce in a negative light thus requiring its members to obtain an annulment before they are allowed to remarry in the “eyes of the church”. Annulments may be most common for spiritual individuals; however, some decide an annulment is best based on the benefits it provides each former spouse. Continue reading to learn about the details and benefits of annulments.

Eligibility for an Annulment

A couple must meet the following requirements to qualify for an annulment:

  • The marriage was forced on one or both of the spouses.
  • One or both of the spouses were unable to make a clear decision because of the consumption of alcohol, drug use, or mental disability.
  • One or both of the spouses were already married at the time of the wedding or the relationship was incestuous.
  • The spouse(s) was underage at the time of the marriage.
  • Either spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage.
  • Information was withheld from either spouse such as children from a previous marriage, an unwillingness to have children, legal/criminal problems.

Benefits of an Annulment

There are various benefits of an annulment that extend past religious acceptance.

  • Avoiding financial support: One of the typical requirements of a divorce is one spouse providing the other with financial support. This is often unavoidable, especially when one spouse works and the other does not. These payments can include child support, alimony, or spousal support. Those who decide to have their marriage annulled will no longer be required to help their former spouse financially since the marriage no longer exists in the eyes of the court.
  • Debt is determined and divided: Most couples will accumulate some form of debt throughout their marriage. In the case of an annulment, this debt is divided equally between both parties. Any debt that was incurred before the marriage is given back to the spouse that accumulated it.
  • Assets assignments: Property assets are typically split in half during divorce proceedings, but annulments are different. The property is given back to the party who originally purchased it.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Help

Whether a couple is filing for an annulment for religious reasons or for personal reasons, it is crucial that you seek out an attorney who is experienced in this particular area of family law. Divorce and annulments are two very different legal processes that should be dealt with as such. If you would like to get your marriage annulled, contact our St. Charles, Illinois family law attorneys at 630-584-5550 for assistance.

 

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Posted on in Divorce

IL family lawyerThere are a variety of different reasons why divorce happens, especially since one couple has a different dynamic than the next. The commonly known statistic for divorce is that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and many believe that this only applies to young couples. However, the baby boomer generation is seeking out divorce more than people realize. This is known as “gray divorce” and the number has doubled over the last 20 years. Regardless of the husband and wife’s ages, there are a few common denominators that often lead to divorce.

Getting married for the wrong reason. Often times those who decide to get divorced realize that they should not have gotten married in the first place. This can be for a variety of reasons such as social pressure to get married, feeling obligated to tie the knot after having a child together, or getting caught up in the romance. The desire to divorce is often mutual by both parties in these sorts of situations.

  • Infidelity. Cheating on a spouse can break even the strongest of relationships. Infidelity breeds distrust and can make people feel inadequate. This is often caused by intimacy issues, which is more important than many people realize. Divorces due to infidelity are highly common even though some couples try to stay together after affairs have occurred.
  • Loss of Identity. It is a well-known fact that when couples have been together for an extended period of time, they become somewhat dependent on each other, They get used to having the other around and it can feel odd if things change. Although relying on another is common, it can also become unhealthy. Those who spend too much time with their partner can feel as if they are no longer an individual. Many will choose divorce as a way to gain back their independence.
  • Constant Conflict. Being unhappy in your relationship is the basis for divorce and arguing is often at the root of this unhappiness. Marriage is a difficult commitment to maintain, especially since you live together and share everything. An excessive amount of conflict can also make it difficult to have the motivation to talk through your differences.
  • Financial Burdens. Monetary stress can make a perfect relationship break into pieces. Financial problems can be difficult to fix because it often takes time to do so. This can become an even larger conflict if one spouse works and the other does not. The working spouse can feel as if the pressure is only on their shoulders and may blame their partner for that stress.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney for Help

Regardless of the reason for wanting a divorce, it is important to seek out an experienced attorney for assistance. At Shaw Family Law, we handle a variety of different situations. If you are considering divorce, contact a Kane County divorce attorney at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

 

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IL family lawyerAdopting a child is an exciting time for parents. This excitement can lead to unrest from future parents since the adoption process can be quite lengthy. It is impossible to give an accurate timeline for adoptions since there are a variety of types and availability can change at any moment based on biological parents’ choices. Although the wait time can be unpredictable, there are various things that can and should be done before your child arrives at your home.

Learn About the Different Types of Adoption

While this may have already been completed, it is important to research every option available. This can help ensure that you make the best choice for your family and can sometimes shorten your wait time. Adoptions can be completed privately or with the help of an agency. Private adoptions are often done if the couple personally knows the birth parents. Agencies can be helpful for adoptive parents because they can provide you with a variety of resources to aid you with your adoption. Once you have decided whether the adoption will be completed privately or with professional help, you must determine if an international adoption or domestic adoption is best for you. International adoptions can often be quicker but can be more expensive depending on the situation and country. Researching each individual adoption outlet is important before making final decisions.

Be Prepared for the Home Inspection

Every adoption will be preceded by a home inspection. This is completed to ensure that the child will be safe and happy in your environment. The home inspection will require significant amounts of documentation. These include personal background checks, health statements, financial information, references, and autobiographical statements. These documents will help a social worker determine your own background in addition to your personal environment. When conducting the home inspection, the social worker will look for safety hazards such as accessible firearms, an unfenced pool, unscreened windows, etc. The social worker will provide the potential parents with advice about how to make their home safer for children.

Budget Your Adoption

It’s no secret that children are an expensive investment for parents. Adopted children incur more bills due to the adoption costs, especially if one has to travel to bring their child home. You and your spouse should create an adoption budget to ensure that your costs will be covered as the months go on. The budget should include adoption costs as well as parenting costs. This includes the furniture and materials that need to be purchased for the child in addition to food, clothing, and medical costs.

Contact a St. Charles Adoption Attorney for Assistance

In adoption cases, it is important to hire a professional to complete the legal portion. Adoptions are an exciting time for future parents. At Shaw Family Law, we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the preparation work. If you are considering adoption, contact our dedicated Kane County adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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IL family lawyer Getting a divorce affects every aspect of an individual’s life. One has to readjust their living situation, parenting schedule, and finances. Most couples have their finances intertwined, especially in terms of insurance policies. Sometimes this is because only one individual has a job; however, often times couples will use one person’s insurance policy over the other based on the benefits that job provides them with. Although jobs usually provide some sort of insurance policy, this is not always the case. Some couples seek out insurance policies of their own but still remain tied to their spouse. Continue reading to learn how your impending divorce will affect your various insurance plans.

Life Insurance

Filing for divorce can unlink you and your former spouse’s life insurance plan; however, some divorce agreements require ex-spouses to be beneficiaries. This is common if children are involved. By naming your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, you will have a “backup plan” for your children. This is often done by the spouse who is paying alimony. In case of an emergency, the life insurance will become a safety net for your children and continue providing alimony payments if one can no longer pay them.

Health Insurance

Remaining a beneficiary on your ex-spouse’s health insurance plan is not possible after the divorce papers are signed if their health insurance plan is provided by their employer. Most divorcees will utilize their own employer’s health insurance plan if they have not already. For those whose employer does not provide coverage, they will need to seek out health insurance themselves. One can stay with the same health insurance provider as long as they seek out their own plan.

Car Insurance

Many people fail to remember that their car insurance will also be affected by their marriage’s termination. After the cars have been divided between the two of you, each person should contact their insurer to let them know about the divorce. Each party will be removed from the other’s insurance plan. If you decide to find a new insurance provider, looking at various providers is important. Married couples often get breaks in pricing; however, the same is not usually true of divorcees.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer for Legal Help

Divorce is a complicated process, especially in terms of finances and insurance plans. Our attorneys understand that insurance policy changes can be difficult to understand, particularly when major life changes are happening. If you are considering divorce, contact our Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 to help you through the process.

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IL family lawyerDivorce is difficult for all parties involved, especially children. Because of their lack of life experience, children usually do not understand why their parents are deciding to end their relationship. Some even blame themselves for the divorce. Some parents seek out counseling for their child to help them talk through a difficult time. Special needs children often need more help from their parents to understand what is going on in their life. Continue reading for tips on helping your special needs child through your divorce.

Telling Your Child About the Divorce

For many parents, breaking the news about their divorce to their child can be scarier than the divorce itself. It is important to be completely sure that you and your spouse are permanently separating. Being on and off again can be confusing for your child and give them unrealistic expectations for the future. Plan what you will say with your spouse and talk to your child together. Use concise language and reassure your child that your relationship with them will remain the same after the divorce.

Child Custody Determinations

Many parents do not have a say in the child custody proceedings; however, sometimes their input is taken into consideration for cases regarding special needs children. Custody for special needs children can be more difficult because constantly transitioning from one household to another is not always the best decision. These household transitions can become easier as they become habitual.

Transitioning After the Divorce

One of the best ways to help special needs children transition to living in two households is to have some uniformity between both homes. Many families will have a calendar in both homes to provide visual stability for the child. The calendar includes things like your work schedule, your former spouse’s work schedule, and your child’s extracurriculars. A good practice for parents is to set aside individual time with their child. By putting aside time for you and your child, they will be reassured that your love for them has not changed.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

The divorce process is stressful no matter the circumstances. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders to allow you to focus on your family and the lifestyle change you are going through. If you are considering divorce, contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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IL divorce lawyerParenting has evolved over time, especially with the integration of technology into most aspects of life. Rather than going outside to play with their friends, many children play video games together. Puzzles and painting are sometimes done digitally instead of at the kitchen table. Games and trends for children may have changed, but parenting styles follow certain patterns regardless of the generation. Each parent leans towards a particular style of parenting regardless of their marital status. This can become difficult to balance for couples going through divorce. Raising children using different styles can be easier while still living under the same roof. Couples usually perform a parent balancing-act while they are married; however, good-cop-bad-cop can be unproductive when you no longer take care of the children at the same time.

Authoritarian Parenting

This is often known as the strictest form of parenting. Authoritarian parents see their children as rule-followers at all times. These parents set rules for their children without their input and expect them to follow the rules without protest. A common phrase from these parents is “I told you so.” Authoritarian parents usually use punishments instead of discipline.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents also use discipline, but to a smaller extent than authoritarian parents. Authoritative parents have rules and consequence, but they spend more time explaining the reasoning behind their rules. These parents also place greater emphasis on their child’s emotions and feelings. They have firm rules and expect their child to follow them but also care for their feelings about those rules.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents put up a facade of rules but rarely enforce them. These are the lenient parents that every child is envious of their friend for having. Permissive parents allow their child to make a mistake and believe that they will learn best primarily by making their own decisions with slight guidance to lead them along the way. They take on a friend-role rather than a parental one.

Uninvolved Parenting

This is the most hands-off parenting style. These parents are even further down the spectrum from permissive parenting. Uninvolved parents are distant with their child and are often more of a stranger than a parent. These parents rarely know where their child is, hardly ever ask for details about their lives, and do not spend ample amounts of time with them. Uninvolved parents allow their children to raise themselves and do not provide much parental guidance at all.

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 IL family lawyerOne of the most difficult decisions when going through a divorce is what your parenting arrangement will look like. This is often known as custody arrangements; however, parenting consists of many more details outside of where your child will be sleeping each night. Continue reading to learn about the different types of parenting plans and what details are included in them.

What Should Be Included in Your Parenting Plan?

When making a parenting plan, the following should be considered:

  • Living arrangements and parenting schedules: In most cases, the child will spend time between each home. One of the main considerations that parents should think about is the distance between each household. Many former spouses will decide to move far from their original home to place a large distance in between them and their former spouse; however, they fail to realize the difficulty that this poses in terms of visitation.
  • Vacations and holidays: It is better to divide vacations and holidays between each parent before the divorce is finalized to avoid future conflicts. This can be one of the more difficult decisions to make as it is much different from the life you previously lived with your child and former spouse.
  • Healthcare details: This portion of the parenting agreement often depends on each parent’s occupation and the coverage that they receive. Parents should come up with plans in regards to doctor visits, adjust medical record access, and decide who will care for the child if he/she is sick.
  • Education: Decisions made regarding education are dependent on the type of school your child attends. For those who attend public school, education costs are not up for debate. However, those who are enrolled in private schools will need to determine the allocation of tuition payments. This is also true of children who hope to pursue higher education.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois Divorce Attorney for Help

Making decisions regarding your child can become difficult without a third-party present to ensure that emotions affect the legal decisions being made. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that determining child custody is a difficult choice to make and we plan to help you at each step of the way. If you are considering divorce and are trying to determine child custody parameters, contact our Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for help.

 

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 IL family lawyerParenting is one of the most difficult jobs a person can have, whether or not they have a partner by their side. It can be a tough transition moving from a two-parent household to trying to balance parental responsibilities solo after going through a divorce. Although the initial transition can be difficult, many families are in the same boat. It is more common for children to be raised by single mothers rather than fathers.

According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, one in four children is being raised without a father. This means that out of about 12 million single-parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Whether you are a single mother or a single father, balancing a full-time job and a full-time parenting job is extremely strenuous. Read the following tips to help you save time on an everyday basis:

  • Identify Time: Wasters and Address Them: Create a “key bowl” to avoid struggling to find your keys every morning or use the time spent waiting for your children in the parking lot to catch up on your favorite Netflix show. It is better to utilize this time for your benefit rather than wasting the extra five minutes every day.
  • Use Your Commute Rather than Lose Your Commute: Sitting in the car or on the train ride back from work is a good time for moms and dads to take time for themselves. Listening to an audiobook or podcast on the way home from work can help parents decompress before arriving home to their children.
  • Prepare For Tomorrow, Tonight: Making lunches and setting out clothes for tomorrow can save you ample time in the morning. This is also a good way to eliminate stress about arriving at school or work late.
  • Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep: The activity known as meal prep has gone viral with the use of social media. Making meals on the weekends then packing them away in Tupperware can save you lots of time each night, even if you only meal prep one dinner per week. This can save you time grocery shopping at night, the time spent thinking of which recipe you can whip up the fastest, and the actual cooking time. Meal prep allows you to skip the stress and enjoy dinner with your kids.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois Divorce Attorneys for Help

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone’s life, especially for those who have children. Your life and parenting schedule turns upside down as soon as the signatures are on the paper. At Shaw Family Law, we understand that going through a divorce puts additional stressors on each individuals' lives which is why we strive to take the legal pressure off of your shoulders. Contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation.

 IL family lawyerDeciding to get a divorce is often discussed at length by both spouses. Many couples will make a pro-con list to compare the good things in the relationship to the bad ones. Most parents think that getting a divorce will adversely affect their children; however, this is often not the case. Studies have shown that it is better for children to grow up in a household where they have examples of healthy relationships, even if this means realizing that what is best for their parents is to be apart. Just because this is usually best does not make breaking the news to your children any less difficult. Continue reading to learn about the best way to tell your child that you and your spouse are getting divorced.

Telling Tips

Telling your children that you and your spouse are filing for divorce is difficult no matter the circumstances. The following tips may not make it easier to tell your children the truth; however, it will help your child in the long-run.

  • Tell Your Kids Together: This is a fairly obvious tactic that is crucial while talking to your children about divorce. It can be confusing if one parent shares the information with the child without the other parent being present. This can give children the idea that they are losing a parent rather than adjusting lifestyles.
  • Provide Your Child with Details: Before you have this conversation with your child, the details of the divorce should already have been discussed. For instance, you should be able to tell them who will be living where, what your parenting schedule might look like, and how day-to-day life will go. These do not have to be set in stone but they can help make the child feel less unstable.
  • Rehearse Your Lines: It is advantageous to plan out what you are going to say before speaking to your children. If you do not think about it beforehand, your emotions can get the best of you and you and your spouse’s decision may not be clear enough for the child.
  • Utilize Your Weekends: Hearing the news that your parents are filing for divorce can be confusing and devastating to children. It is best to tell them the news on a weekend day when they can have time to digest and reflect on the information they just received without having to worry about attending school or extracurricular activities.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney

Divorce is difficult on the personal lives of all those involved. For this reason, it is important to find an experienced divorce attorney to take the legal stresses off of your shoulders. If you are considering divorce, contact a skilled Kane County divorce attorney at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

 

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IL family lawyerGetting married and starting a family is ingrained in Western cultures, especially in the United States. By the age of 50, 90 percent of people have been married at least once. Due to the high percentage of individuals who decide to get married, there is also a large divorce rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, divorce rates are not as high as many think. 3.2 people out of every 1000 individuals go through divorce. Divorce rates may be decreasing; however, they will never become obsolete. Continue reading to learn different ways to avoid divorce whether you are on the path to your wedding or have already said “I do."

Avoiding Divorce

Love Is Not Ageless: Studies have repeatedly shown that getting married as a teenager is extremely risky. This is not only due to the lack of relationship experience but also the lack of financial security. Money problems can bring even the best relationships under extreme duress. After a certain point, divorce rates begin to increase as age does. Statistics show that the best age window to tie the knot is between 28 and 32.

Power Dynamics: One of the most important aspects of any relationships is equality. No one wants to feel like they have zero control over their romantic life. This sense of power can be in terms of finances, decision making, and many other aspects of a relationship. It is crucial to find a balance to maintain an equal power dynamic between you and your partner.

Communication Is Key: This is a pretty universal piece of advice that often gets lost in translation. It is easy to respond to your partner’s rude comment with an equally insulting one. Instead of nitpicking each other and creating a cycle of bad attitudes, it is better to be upfront with your partner about your feelings and emotions.

Change Is Not Always for the Better: Studies have shown that opposites attract meaning that a person’s unique qualities are what draws you in. However, once the “newness” of a relationship wears off, many of these quirks begin to lose their luster. One must remember that trying to “change” your partner is a recipe for disaster. You may spend most of your time together but this does not mean that you should begin to become each other.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen married relationships are no longer working for either spouse, most couples separate for a period of time before seeking out divorce. Most states require a couple’s separation, that is living under separate roofs, for a specific period of time before divorce can be initiated. The purpose of this forced separation is to allow each spouse to see what their life would be like without their significant other in order to decide if this is the best choice for them. While divorce is one of the most common answers if a couple is unhappy in their marriage, legal separation is also a valid response.

Legal Separation

If a couple is considering separation for a long period of time, a written agreement regarding their assets, debt, alimony payments, child custody, and visitation rights is advantageous for both spouses. While living under separate roofs and leading different lives may seem like a good way to move on, without legal documentation both spouses are still on the hook for the other’s finances. This includes debt incurred by either spouse.

Many couples decide to become legally separated for financial reasons as separation can have financial benefits for both parties. Some couples will use a legal separation agreement to reach the 10-year marriage requirement for social security benefits. If a marriage has lasted 10 years, a divorced spouse who has not remarried is eligible to receive such benefits later in life. Continuing under the same health insurance is also another advantage of legal separation. Many businesses will continue covering a separated spouse; however, it is crucial that you check the fine print of your healthcare plan as this is not always a guarantee. Legal separation can also lead to potential benefits when filing taxes. Sometimes couples, or ex-couples, can save money by filing their taxes jointly. This is also not always a guarantee but can be better determined with the help of an attorney.

Divorce

Divorce agreements include much of the same details regarding assets, debt, alimony payments, child custody, and visitation rights, yet all ties between the spouses become severed. Divorce agreements are also immutable. Once the papers are signed by both parties, the marriage is officially done. Divorce is most common because many couples wish to meet someone new after the ending of their marriage. If a couple is legally separated, they cannot get remarried and remain separated. A divorce is required. Many opt for divorce in order to completely disconnect themselves from their spouse and move on from their previous marriage.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Family Lawyer for Help

Divorce is a common result of unhappy marriages everywhere. However, many couples opt for legal separation because of the personal and financial benefits. Simply living in different houses does not qualify as legal separation. Couples must seek out an experienced legal separation attorney to hammer out the details. If you are looking to formulate a legal separation agreement, contact a skilled Kane County legal separation attorney for professional help at 630-584-5550.

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IL divorce lawyerSubstance abuse is one of the most common reasons why couples decide to divorce. With over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 suffering from addiction, substance abuse has become an epidemic throughout America. Individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction can end up hurting their spouses and children mentally, physically, and emotionally. Many spouses will attempt to seek help for their addicted partner. While rehabilitation does work for some, many continue to have issues in the long-run. Continue reading to see how substance abuse can affect divorce if your spouse struggles with addiction.

Areas of Divorce Affected By Addiction

  • Child Custody: This is one of the primary areas in which addiction can have extreme ramifications. High intakes of drugs and/or alcohol can greatly impair one’s mental state, making it nearly impossible for a parent to fully care for their child. If one parent has struggled with substance abuse, the other parent is almost guaranteed full custody. One of the only ways in which the judge can be swayed is if said parent is actively participating in rehabilitation and is showing serious improvement.
  • Marital Assets: Judges attempt to divide marital assets as evenly as possible, though it may not always appear as such. Marital asset division is not necessarily dependent on each spouse’s everyday behavior, but rather their financial tendencies. If one spouse has spent a significant amount of the couple’s savings to feed their addiction, it is not uncommon for a judge to allocate more assets to the other spouse to make up for the finances that have been lost.
  • Negotiation of Settlements: Often times the spouse who struggles with addiction will not put up much of a fight throughout the negotiation of settlements. Judges take drug and alcohol addiction seriously when making divorce decisions and public knowledge of substance abuse can damage an individual’s reputation and career and potentially result in criminal charges depending on the severity of the situation.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

If you are in the process of parting ways with your addicted spouse, it is important to have an attorney who will fight to win custody and a fair division of assets throughout the divorce proceedings. At Shaw Family Law, P.C. we understand that divorce from a spouse with a drug or alcohol addiction can be an emotional and difficult time for everyone involved which is why we work with your best interests at heart. Contact a seasoned Kane County divorce attorney for help winning the battle for the safety of yourself and your children.

 

Sources:

https://beginningstreatment.com/substance-abuse-and-divorce/

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Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerDeciding to take responsibility of and care for a child without parents is a life-changing gift for children in the foster care system. Children within the foster care system range from the age of birth to 18 years old and many stay in the system until they reach adulthood. These children have been placed into the hands of the state as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment by their biological parents. While it is in the best interest of the child, being placed in foster care can be a traumatic and difficult way to live out their years of adolescence. Continue reading to better understand the foster care system and the legal process that goes along with it.

Fostering vs. Adoption

Though fostering and adopting a child can be similar, the two social services do not always go hand in hand. Adopting a child permanently removes the legal rights and responsibilities of the child’s biological parents and hands them over to the adoptive parents. An adoption also involves the changing of the child’s legal name. Adoptive parents can also receive financial aid from social services throughout the adoption process and after the adoption has been completed.

Fostering a child does not have the same permanence that adoption does. Foster parents are not given the same legal rights to the child as adoptive parents are. The child can still maintain a relationship with their biological parents who can also be involved in decision-making some of the child’s needs. Foster parents are also provided monetary aid to be used in taking care of the child. Though fostering a child does not have the same permanence as adoption, some parents foster a child from birth until their 18th birthday and maintain their relationship into the child’s adulthood. This is known as long-term fostering. Foster parents also undergo regular training and support that adoptive parents do not. This allows for their parenting to be assessed to protect the child.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Adoption Attorney for Help

Adopting a foster child is a legal process similar to any other adoption. It is known as an agency adoption since the parents will be working with the Department of Child and Family Services. The process can take multiple months to officiate and involved a lot of legal paperwork and various home inspections. Though adoption can be a rather smooth process, it can become complicated if biological parents get involved. It is crucial to have a professional family law attorney involved in the adoption process. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we have experience with the various forms of adoption, including agency adoptions. Contact our skilled Kane County adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation regarding adoption.

 

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Posted on in Paternity

IL family lawyerFinding out that you are about to become a parent should be a fun and exciting time; however, this is not always the case. For some men, they have to prove that they are the father, rather than being told by their soon-to-be co-parent. Proving that you are or are not the father of a child is a medical and legal process which can be more involved than just going to the doctor. Continue reading to learn more about the process of proving paternity.

The Need to Know

There are many reasons why people will seek to find out the identity of the biological father of a child. Many mothers and potential fathers want to know the child’s father because of the need for monetary and parenting support. If the father and mother are not married, the parent without primary custody, in which case is usually the father, will be required to pay child support. Many mothers also want help from the father in regards to raising their child. Knowing the identity of both parents is also important in regards to health benefits and insurance. The child will be covered by his/her father’s health insurance, social security, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits. It is also crucial to know a father’s identity to have a better understanding of the child’s health background as well as the child’s own sense of identity.

The Procedure

Paternity proceedings are not always filed by the father, but rather can be filed by the father, mother, or child. Many paternity tests are performed without the intervention of the court. If not done voluntarily, a court can mandate for the test to be taken thus making the mother, father, and child all submit to testing. There are multiple types of tests that can be performed including a blood or swab test to collect DNA samples. Funding for the tests depends on the results. If the testing for the father is positive, the man will pay for the test. On the other hand, if the testing for the father is negative, the mother will be responsible for the payment.

Contact an St. Charles, IL Family Lawyer

Though paternity tests are fairly easy and harmless, getting the process moving is not always so simple. It is common to have a refusal to take the paternity test from either party involved. To ensure that you and your child’s rights are met, it is important to have a parentage lawyer on your side. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we understand the high stakes involved in parentage cases and we have extensive experience in this field of law. Contact our Kane County paternity attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation regarding your parentage situation.

 

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is difficult no matter the circumstances. While divorce may have been legally difficult in the past due to societal values, divorce in the digital age can prove just as troublesome. Social media can become a face-less platform for one to publicly or privately vent about their marriage difficulties or impending divorce based on their account privacy settings. Whether your account settings are placed on private or not does not necessarily mean you are fully protected from your spouse or their attorney discovering your posts.

Privacy Protection

Switching your profile from public to private does not guarantee that your social media posts will not make it into your divorce proceedings. Use the following tips to better protect yourself in the digital age:

  1. Change your passwords often: Many use similar passwords for all of their accounts because they are easy to remember. Though this tactic may make logins easier for the account’s owner, it also makes it easier for others to hack into their account, especially those who are close to them. Changing passwords frequently is an easy way to block intruders from hacking into bank accounts, emails, and social media platforms.

  2. Look at your security settings: Though making your account private does not guarantee complete safety, it is a step in the right direction. Onlookers can misconstrue comments and posts for their advantage even if you believe that your social media is “clean” for others to look at.

  3. Watch your words: Email communication may not be as commonplace; however, it can still lead to your downfall in court. A judge can request email history for evidence, making anything you have said through the online forum public to your spouse.

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Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerAn order for protection is commonly known as a restraining order. Through the Illinois court system, one can file various different types of restraining orders based on the threats of violence that they are experiencing. Minors, those under the age of 18, can petition for a restraining order despite not being a legal adult. This is allowed simply because abuse does not discriminate based on age. Teens and women ages 16-24 have the highest risk rate for intimate partner violence. Continue reading to learn what is classified as abuse and which situations can be used to petition for an order for protection.

Types of Restraining Orders

Many incorrectly believe that an order of protection can only be filed if proof of physical abuse is present. Abuse can take many forms such as physical, emotional, and psychological. Anyone who violates orders of protection receives a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class 4 felony for any other violations. There are various types of restraining orders to accommodate for the different types of abuse that occur.

  1. Domestic Violence and an Order of Protection: This form of restraining order can apply to any living situation. This includes those related by blood or marriage, cohabitants, those who share children, people in romantic relationships, and those who have disabilities.

  2. Sexual Assault and a Civil No Contact Order: For those who have been victims of sexual assault, a civil no-contact order can not only protect the victim but also family/household members of the victim and rape crisis center employees/volunteers.

  3. Stalking and a No Contact Order: This action is for those who fear for their own safety or the safety of another due to someone else’s actions. Action can be taken for threats of stalking or evidence of stalking.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMilitary marriages experience strains and stresses in greater capacity than other marriages due to the complications that their jobs put on both spouses. Though these marriages can be extremely stressful and difficult, the overall divorce rate among both male and female service members only averaged 3 percent in 2017. To be more precise, about 21,290 of 689,060 married troops divorced in 2017. The divorce process for members of the military is relatively uniform to those who are not in the service. The main difference for these individuals is how to divide their retirement plans.

Typical Military Retirement Plans

Retirement for members of the military is radically different for each member since not many individuals serve for 20 years, the requirement to get the normal retirement benefit. As a result, military retirement plans are made up of 3 components:

  1. Defined Benefit: Retired pay is 2 percent times the number of years of service. For example, if you retire after 20 years you get 40 percent of your final base pay and if you retire after 30 years, you receive 60 percent.

  2. Defined Contribution: The military contributes 1 percent of a member’s base pay to their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. Each member is automatically enrolled with a 3 percent base pay contribution to their TSP and the government will match up to 5 percent of their contribution after two years of service. A member of the military must complete two years of service to receive government contribution.

  3. Continuation Pay: After 12 years of service in the military, active duty service members receive a bonus equal to 2.5 months basic pay if they commit to four additional years of service.

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Posted on in Property Division

Il divorce lawyerFamily businesses can be difficult to successfully maintain. Some believe that mixing family and business is a recipe for disaster; however, family businesses often become the pride and joy of the owners. Because the businesses are often built from the ground up, it is much more difficult to let them go. This is often a problem that divorced couples who own a family business face. Not only do they have a personal connection to their workplace, but those involved in family businesses often have often invested a lot of time and money into their business. Continue reading to learn about the various options divorced couples have when deciding what to do with their family-owned business.

Your Options

There are a variety of options available to those trying to figure out what to do with the family business while going through a divorce. Every couple’s divorce is different, some being a mutual decision while others happen by surprise. Regardless of the situation at hand, sometimes one has to separate emotions from business no matter how much time and energy they have put into their job.

  1. Continue Owning the Business Together: Though this option does not work for everyone, some choose to continue running their family business in a similar manner. This is more common in couples that are mutually ending their marriage amicably. While you may decide to work different schedules and keep business meetings to a minimum, keeping the family business within the family is an option for some.

  2. Buy Out Your Ex-Spouse: For most couples, working together post-divorce is unhealthy and unreasonable. An option for those who no longer want to be tied together personally or professionally is to have one spouse buy out the other. This will require legal assistance on both sides but is often a relatively quick and easy solution.

  3. Sell the Business: Family-owned businesses are more than just a business to those involved. Memories become tied to the building and the business as a whole, making it extremely difficult to continue working in the environment. Many decide to sell their family businesses and have a fresh start. This can be due to the personal connection or financial burden that the business has once a marriage comes to an end.

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Posted on in Divorce

IL ivorce lawyerPrenuptial and postnuptial agreements have become much more common in today’s society. Many attribute this to the median age at which most couples get married. Since 1990, the average age for marriage has risen from 26 to 29 for men and 23 to 27 for women. Rather than getting married right out of high school or college, as most people did in the 20th century, many couples opt to get married later in life. Not only does this add a level of age maturity to each spouse, but it also allows for more capital to be built up by each individual before getting married. As a result, many couples have decided to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to better protect themselves in their marriage.

What Makes Up the Agreement?

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that states the division of assets between each spouse. This includes their finances coming into the marriage, what property each spouse has, and how they would split their home in case of a divorce. One of the main aspects missing from a prenup and postnup is child custody. While it is clearly impossible to plan this ahead of marriage if a couple does not have children yet, it is also illegal to do so. Child custody cannot be determined by the parents. This decision is entirely up to the court.

Common Reasons for the Contract

While getting married at an older age does have a correlation with signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, there are various other reasons why couples decide to choose the legally safe route.:

  • A Previous Marriage - For couples who have been married before and will be bringing previous “baggage” into the marriage, a legal agreement is often signed as a precautionary measure.
  • Wealth/Debt Division - Many spouses come from different economic statuses. This can mean one person has a substantial amount of wealth or debt. In cases such as these, many couples will decide that a prenup or postnup is the best decision.
  • Only One Spouse Is Working - In case of a future divorce, some couples decide to have a safety net in place for the non-working spouse. Making this decision before or right after getting married can eliminate hashing things out if divorce is in their future and emotions run high.

Contact an Illinois Attorney for Legal Assistance

Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a good way to protect you and your spouse in the future. If you have decided to take these precautionary measures, a skilled marital agreement attorney is crucial to best divide and protect your assets. Contact our Kane County prenuptial and postnuptial attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550 to help you and your spouse decide what is best for your future.

 

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IL family lawyerLife after divorce is filled with various changes. Not only do couples have to learn how to live on their own, but many feel as if they are completely starting over. Though spouses may be adjusting to doing things on their own, parenting does not normally fall under this same category. Parenting after finalizing a divorce is not meant to be done alone. In most cases, judges rule in favor of joint custody in order to keep both parents in the child’s life. Though co-parenting can make things easier for both spouses, it does require adjustments from both parents.

Parenting Styles

There are four different types of parenting styles. Often times people do not realize which parenting style they use until they are parenting primarily alone. Understanding and recognizing your parenting style versus your ex-spouse’s is important in learning how to adjust the ways in which you parent after your divorce.

  • Authoritarian: This style of parenting puts all of the power into the hands of the parents while giving none to the children. Those who use authoritarian parenting are often strict with discipline and communication is primarily one-sided.
  • Permissive: Permissive parents take on a role that is similar to friendship. Though they offer some guidance, these parents allow their children to make many decisions for themselves.
  • Uninvolved: This parenting style does not involve much guidance or “parenting”. These children have complete autonomy and make their own decisions.
  • Authoritative: This style of parenting is known as the happy medium. Parents who utilize this form have a balance between strict discipline and nurturing guidance.

Co-Parenting Tips

While identifying you and your ex’s parenting techniques can be helpful with co-parenting, there are a variety of other ways in which co-parenting can run smoothly.

  • It is important to have uniformity across households. Though your parenting styles may be different, consistency is beneficial in a child’s life. Having the same rules in both houses eliminates many problems regarding what is expected of the child and how you both wish to raise him/her.
  • Agreeing on positive discussion is crucial. Neither spouse should express their negative personal feelings for their ex. This can force children to feel divided between both parents and cause a child to adopt one parent’s opinion of the other.
  • Stay in contact with your ex-spouse. Though there may be tension between you two, it is important to communicate with your child’s other parent to remain fully knowledgeable about their lives. This communication does not necessarily have to be done in person. Many divorced couples rely on phone calls and emails. The form of communication is less important than the overall need to talk.

Contact an Illinois Parenting Agreement Attorney

Co-parenting is a skill that must be learned after the logistics of a divorce are settled. Written parenting plans are an Illinois requirement for those who are granted joint custody. It is important to have an experienced attorney to help make these decisions concrete in the eyes of the court. Shaw Family Law, P.C. has experience in all aspects of the divorce process. Contact our Kane County divorce attorneys for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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