b2ap3_thumbnail_adoption_20200716-210037_1.jpgA person does not need to be a blood relative of a child in order to love and care about him or her. If you married someone who already had a child, it is very possible that you have spent a great deal of time getting to know the child and providing for his or her needs. You may even think of the child as if he or she was your own biological offspring. If this situation describes you, you may be wondering what it takes to adopt your stepchild. Stepparent adoptions can sometimes be complicated personally as well as legally. This is why it is a good idea to work with a skilled family law attorney who has experience handling stepparent adoption cases.

Stepparent Adoption Criteria

Stepparent adoption is a significantly different process than other types of adoption. In many cases, an investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services or background check is not required. In order to qualify for a stepparent adoption the following criteria must be met:

  • The stepparent is legally married to the child’s parent. Boyfriends and girlfriends cannot proceed with a stepparent adoption even if they have been heavily involved in the child’s life.
  • If the child is 14-years-old or older, he or she must agree to the adoption. Teenagers have the ability to block a stepparent adoption.
  • The parental rights of the child’s other parent have been terminated.

According to the law, a child can only have two legal parents. If your stepchild’s other parent is still alive, he or she will need to terminate his or her parental rights in order for you to be able to adopt the child.

Reasons for the Termination of Parental Rights

In some cases, a parent may voluntarily terminate his or her parental rights in order to allow a stepparent adoption. However, if the other parent does not consent to the adoption, the process becomes more complicated. If you wish to adopt your stepchild but your child’s other parent objects to the adoption, the only way you can adopt the child is by having the other parent’s parental rights involuntarily terminated. The court will terminate the parent’s rights if it determines that the parent is “unfit.”. According to Illinois law, a parent may be considered unfit if he or she:

  • Has abused the child physically, sexually, or psychologically
  • Has abandoned or severely neglected the child
  • Has failed to protect the child from danger
  • Has shown a marked disinterest in the child’s wellbeing
  • Has a major substance abuse problem
  • Has certain criminal convictions on his or her record

Once the other parent has terminated his or her parental rights and the child, if old enough, has consented to the adoption, you may file your adoption request in the county circuit court.

...

IL divorce lawyerIf you are thinking about adopting a child, you probably have many questions about what the process entails. The steps involved in an Illinois adoption vary dramatically depending on the type of adoption being pursued. Whether you are interested in adopting a relative such as a stepchild, an infant through an adoption agency, an international child, or you are interested in another adoption avenue, getting quality legal support is essential.

Types of Adoption

Relative adoptions: In some cases, a person or a couple may want to adopt a child who is related to them. Many relative adoptions involve a stepparent who wishes to adopt his or her spouse’s child. A child can only have two parents according to the law, so some relative adoptions may require the child’s biological parent to give up his or her parental rights. If the parent is unwilling to do so, the court may involuntarily terminate the parental rights if the parent is found to be “unfit” due to abuse, abandonment, or other issues.

Agency adoptions: Many adoptions take place through private or public adoption agencies.. Public adoption agencies usually care for children who are wards of the state due to abandonment, abuse, or because they are orphans. Many private adoption agencies are managed by charities and social service organizations. Children in private adoption agencies may have been placed for adoption by their parents because the parents believed that adoption would give their child a better life than they could provide on their own.

Private adoptions: Not all non-relative adoptions involve an agency. In a private adoption, adoptive parents work directly with the biological parent. However, there are still a number of legal procedures and requirements that must be met. It is especially important to work with an experienced lawyer during a private adoption. It is also essential to note that the biological mother of a child in a private adoption may change her mind up until the baby is born and she legally signs her consent for the adoption.

International adoptions: Adopting a child from another country comes with a variety of unique legal and financial complications. You will need to be in compliance with U.S. laws as well as the adoption laws in the country you are adopting from. Parents will also need to get an immigrant visa for their child through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

...

IL divorce lawyerDomestic violence is surprisingly common both in the state of Illinois as well as around the country. Sadly, many victims of abuse stay silent because they do not realize that there are programs that can help them leave an abusive relationship. In Illinois, victims of abuse and stalking have the ability to get a legal court order called an “order of protection.” Protection orders, also called restraining orders in some states, may prohibit the subject of the order from contacting certain protected individuals or going to certain locations. If you have suffered from domestic violence or you are worried that a family or household member may attempt to harm you or your children, you may want to consider obtaining an order of protection.

Emergency Orders of Protection

A protection order can be customized based on your unique needs. It may protect you, your children, anyone who lives or works in your house, adults with disabilities, and your pets. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) can include many different types of provisions. The EOP may prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim(s) of the protection order including calling, emailing, or texting them. It may also require the abuser to stay a certain distance away from the victim(s) and their home, school, or workplace. Depending on your situation, the protection order may also result in the revocation of the abuser’s Firearm Owner Identification Card which takes away his or her legal right to possess a gun. An EOP can be obtained without the abusive person’s presence and lasts up to 21 days.

Interim Orders of Protection and Plenary Orders of Protection

When someone obtains an Emergency Order of Protection, they will typically schedule a court date for a Plenary Order of Protection hearing. During the Plenary hearing, a judge will listen to your reasons for requesting the protection order and examine evidence that supports your side of the story. Your abuser will also be notified of the hearing and given an opportunity to tell his or her side of the story. If the judge grants the Plenary Order of Protection, it can last up to two years. If you need protection between the termination of the EOP and the start of the Plenary Order of Protection, you may be able to receive an Interim Order of Protection. If an abusive person violates any of the terms of a protection order, he or she is subject to immediate arrest and a variety of criminal consequences.

Contact a Kane County Protection Order Lawyer

Leaving an abusive spouse or escaping other forms of abuse can be a very daunting endeavor. Fortunately, you do not have to face the process alone. Shaw Family Law, P.C. can help you with obtaining a protection order, represent you during the Plenary hearing, and ensure that your rights are not violated. Call our office at 630-584-5550 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced St. Charles family law attorney from our firm.

 

...

IL family lawyerOrders of protection, sometimes called restraining orders, are court orders designed to prevent an abusive or harassing individual from further harassing his or her victim. The directions contained in a protection order vary, but many prohibit the person named in the order, the respondent, from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the person who requested the order, called the petitioner. If you or your children are victims of domestic violence, an order of protection may give you the space you need to escape the abusive situation. An order of protection is also a critical step in creating a formal record of the respondent’s harmful actions with the court.

Emergency Orders of Protection Can Be Obtained Without a Hearing

There are three main types of protection orders available in Illinois: an emergency order of protection, interim order of protection, and plenary order of protection. An emergency order of protection (EOP) can be obtained without the respondent’s participation. This is called an 'ex parte' hearing.

To obtain an EOP, you will submit a petition for an emergency order of protection with your local county courthouse. In your petition, explain why you are seeking a protection order and describe the abusive or threatening actions the respondent has committed. An EOP lasts up to 21 days. The order can prohibit the abusive person from coming within a certain distance from or contacting you and/or your children.

The order may also require the person to surrender his or her firearms. The judge can set any other restrictions that he or she finds appropriate. When the court grants an EOP, it also sets a hearing date for a more permanent protection order called a plenary order of protection.

Interim Orders of Protection and Plenary Orders of Protection

A plenary order can last up to two years. You will need to attend a hearing in order to be granted a plenary order of protection. During the hearing, you will need to justify why you are requesting protection from the court. The respondent will have the chance to respond to the accusations leveled against him or her.

...

IL family lawyerUnhealthy and abusive relationships can be easy to spot from the outside but can become difficult to recognize when you find yourself in that situation. They say that love is blinding and this is often the case in relationships like these. A man or woman in a relationship gets used to their partner’s behavior and often gives them excuses in regards to their abusive tendencies. Statistically speaking, one in four women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Physical abuse is not the only form of abuse that takes place in relationships. Emotional and sexual abuse are often more common. Continue reading to learn about what is considered abuse and why victims of abuse stay in unhealthy relationships.

What Is Abuse?

Abuse can come in many forms and does not always have to be an act of violence. Consistently putting down your partner or making them feel less about themselves is a common form of emotional abuse that often gets brushed off. Many incorrectly believe that violence or assault is the only true form of abuse because there is physical evidence to look at. Manipulation is another common abuse tactic. This can be explained as your partner wanting to spend time with you; however, an unhealthy amount of time spent with your significant other is never a good idea for either person. This manipulation can be as simple as dictating who their partner’s friends can be or as complicated as threating suicide if their partner leaves them. Financial control is also an example. This is more common in marriages since your bank accounts are typically merged; however, it is not impossible in a dating relationship as well. A partner who makes all financial decisions without consulting their spouse can use this to their advantage. Having financial gain over another is an easy control tactic that can be used without the partner even recognizing it.

Common Reasons People Stay in Abusive Relationships

It can be difficult to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship when they have never been in one themselves. There are a variety of different reasons why partners stay.

  • Love: This is one of the most simple and common reasons why abusive relationships continue - love. It can be difficult to leave someone you love no matter how much they hurt you. Remembering the “good times” from the past can be strong enough to motivate individuals to keep trying to get them back.
  • Lack of Finances: Financial abuse is so successful because not having the money to be independent can force people to remain in their current situation. Many people do not see another option since they do not have the means to do so.
  • Normalizing Abuse: This is similar to the lack of recognition of abuse. Many partners do not realize how serious the abuse has become. They think abuse simply comes with all relationships.
  • Low Self-Esteem: The way a person sees themselves determines many of the decisions they make in life. Emotional abuse typically deteriorates an individual’s self-esteem over time. Their partner will plant the idea that they will never find anyone else causing them to stay out of fear of loneliness and low self-esteem.

Contact a Kane County Domestic Violence Attorney for Help

Finally leaving an abusive relationship often requires more steps than telling your partner “it’s over.” For those who are married, divorce is one of the best ways to ensure that you cut all ties with your former spouse. Orders of protection may also be necessary depending on the dangers of the situation. If you are considering divorce or need help filing for an order of protection, contact our St. Charles, IL domestic violence lawyers for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

...

Recent Blog Posts

Categories

Archives

Contact Us

How Can We Help?

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*
AVVO LL BV