When you hear the term “prenuptial agreement,” there is a good chance you think about a high-net worth couple looking to protect financial interests and holdings. Even if the couple has not accumulated a significant amount of wealth, a prenuptial agreement may still be used in situations where one or both spouses own a business or a portion of a business. There is, however, another very common scenario in which a prenuptial agreement is, at the very least, a good idea if not indispensable. A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the rights of children from a previous relationship for both you and your spouse.
In some custody cases, a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is appointed to add a non-biased opinion on the matter. It is important for both parties to understand the GAL’s job, focus, and the weight of his/her decision before deciding whether to ask for this form of advocacy in a child custody case.
Are you at the point in your marriage or civil union where you are considering a divorce? You may have some questions regarding your next step; for example, under what grounds can you get a divorce. Illinois is not considered a pure no fault state, and therefore, you must have a ground for a divorce and a separation period before you can even file for a divorce. If you do not properly meet the ground and separation period, the judge may dismiss your case.
Getting a divorce from a spouse who you have children with can be one of the most difficult and emotional times of your life. Unfortunately, this same emotional and psychological stress often carries over to your former spouse, and subsequently, to the children as well. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during an Illinois divorce; causing negative consequences may be seen immediately, but also can have terrible long term effects on the childrens’ physical and mental health.
If you have children and are going through a divorce, separation, or are not married to your children’s mother/father, you know that custody and visitation issues can be difficult. Understanding your rights and the reasons behind the laws is an important step to making an ultimate decision.
Unfortunately, sometimes a marriage or a live-in relationship can get abusive and it’s hard to know what steps you can take to remove yourself from the situation. In Illinois, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) is a law that specifically forbids any family and household members from continuous abusive acts.
The modern, nuclear family has evolved as technology has allowed it to. The men and women who volunteer their genetic material, either as sperm and egg donors, or as surrogates, provide an incredible service to young couples, heterosexual and same-sex, who want to start their own family. These sperm and egg donors and surrogates act as non-traditional storks, providing an option to couples who may have been unable to conceive naturally, or through in-vitro fertilization, fertility drugs, and reproductive surgery, among others procedures. However, as seen in the news regarding the sperm donor required to pay child support, it is incredibly important that parents-to-be and their surrogates or donors outline the legal responsibilities and roles that each party will take on prior to the child’s conception.
Sometimes during a marriage, one spouse works full-time while the other stays at home, either to raise the children or for another reason. In the event of a divorce, the unemployed spouse may face a decrease in his or her standard of living. To prevent a dramatic decrease, spousal support, also referred to as spousal maintenance, or alimony, exists.
Divorce in and of itself is a very stressful and emotionally trying process. This process can be made even more stressful when children are thrown into the mix. Children of divorce can remember the moment they found out about their parents divorce for years to come. Because of this, it is important to sufficiently prepare yourself to make “the talk” as smooth as possible.