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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park Marital Agreement LawyerMost people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. These types of agreements are signed by couples before getting married, and they may address issues related to the ownership of property and decide how certain matters will be handled if the marriage ends in divorce. What some people may not realize is that a couple can also create a similar type of agreement after they are already married. These agreements are known as postnuptial agreements, or postnups. By understanding the situations where a postnup may be beneficial, a couple can determine whether creating this type of agreement will be a good idea.

Situations Where Postnuptial Agreements Can Provide Protections for Spouses

A postnuptial agreement can address certain types of financial or property-related issues, detailing how these matters will be addressed if a couple chooses to end their marriage and pursue a divorce or legal separation. Spouses may decide how their marital property will be divided, or whether one spouse will pay spousal maintenance (a.k.a. alimony or spousal support) to the other. Some reasons why it may be a good idea to make these decisions ahead of time through a postnup include:

  • A spouse plans to start a business - Ownership of a family business is often one of the most complex issues to address during the divorce process. If one spouse is a business owner, they may want to make sure their business will be protected from dissolution during divorce, and they can use a postnuptial agreement to ensure that they will be the sole owner of the business. A postnup may also provide the non-business-owner spouse with financial protections, such as by ensuring that the marital home or other assets will not be placed at risk if the business experiences financial difficulties.

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Oak Park Family Law AttorneyAfter getting a divorce, you may be looking for a fresh start, or you may be considering a new direction in your life. This may include plans to relocate to a new home in a different community. While this can be a beneficial change that may allow you to cut down on expenses, pursue new career opportunities, or live closer to members of your family, you will want to be aware of any legal issues that may affect your ability to move. If you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse, you will need to follow certain steps during the parental relocation process. By working with an attorney who is experienced in post-decree matters, you can make sure you meet all of your legal requirements while addressing any disputes with your ex-spouse or other issues that may arise.

The Parental Relocation Process

When you are making plans to move, you will want to determine whether this change will need to be addressed through the legal system. Illinois law details when a move is considered a parental relocation. If you live in DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake Will, or McHenry County, and you are planning to move at least 25 miles away from your current home to a new home either inside or outside of Illinois, you may need to receive permission from the court.

If your planned move meets the requirements to be considered a parental relocation, and you have primary physical custody of your children or share equal parenting time with your ex-spouse, you must first notify your ex of your relocation plans. Most of the time, a written notice must be provided to your ex-spouse at least 60 days before the date that you plan to move, and it must state the date of the relocation, the address of the new residence, and, if the relocation will be temporary, the amount of time that it will last. If it would not be possible or practical to provide 60 days’ notice, you should provide notice at the earliest possible date. You must also file a copy of this notice with your local circuit court.

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Oak Park Stepparent Adoption AttorneyThe divorce rate in the United States is high, and after ending their marriage, former spouses will often begin new relationships or get remarried. Blended families are common, and stepparents will often build strong relationships with their stepchildren. A stepparent adoption may be used to solidify these bonds, making a stepparent the child’s legal parent who will have obligations to provide for the child’s needs and the right to maintain a close relationship with them. However, even when a stepparent adoption may seem like the best solution for everyone involved, some obstacles may arise during the adoption process, and parents will need to understand the best ways to resolve these issues.

Issues That Can Affect a Step-Parent Adoption

One of the primary challenges in a stepparent adoption is obtaining consent from the child’s other biological parent. In Illinois, a child can only have two legal parents, and before a stepparent can adopt the child, the other parent’s parental rights must be terminated. A parent can voluntarily agree to terminate their parental rights by signing a consent form, but in some cases, they may refuse to give consent, or it may be difficult to locate them to obtain consent.

There are some situations where a parent’s parental rights may be involuntarily terminated. In these cases, the other parent and the stepparent will usually need to demonstrate that the parent is unfit. A parent may be considered unfit in the following situations:

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Hillside IL prenuptial agreement attorneyThere are many reasons why couples who are planning to get married may wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement. A “prenup” can protect the ownership of assets that each party will be bringing into the marriage, ensuring that a person will continue to own certain assets if they end up getting a divorce. This can be especially beneficial for business owners, people with large incomes or family wealth, or those who have children from a previous relationship. However, spouses will need to meet certain requirements to ensure that their prenup will be valid. If an agreement is not drafted correctly, and one spouse challenges the agreement during the divorce process, some or all of the terms of the agreement may be found to be unenforceable.

Reasons a Prenup May Be Unenforceable

Most of the time, a prenuptial agreement may only be challenged based on the grounds that it was either not signed voluntarily, or that it was unconscionable.

A person may claim that they did not voluntarily sign a prenup, but instead were coerced or threatened into signing it. For example, if one party presented a prenuptial agreement to the other on the day of the couple’s wedding and stated that they would not get married unless it was signed, this could be considered coercion, and the agreement might be found to be invalid on that basis. A couple can avoid this possibility by signing the prenup well in advance of the wedding, as well as by making sure that each party has the opportunity to consult with their own attorney to ensure they fully understand their rights and how they will be affected by the agreement.

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Oak Park family law attorneyIf you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you may have ill feelings toward that person. Your anger and resentment may be so intense that you want to bad-mouth your ex-spouse every chance you get. However, doing so will likely only serve to perpetuate a hostile situation. It can also be damaging to your children, and it can even affect the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

The Downsides of Bad-Mouthing Your Former Spouse

Speaking poorly about your former spouse can be harmful to both you and your kids. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent. Just because you no longer get along with your ex, that does not mean he or she is any less of a parent to your children. Your children still love your ex-spouse and look up to him or her. It will be hurtful for your kids to hear you speaking poorly about someone they care about, and they may feel forced to take sides. Being caught in the middle like this is a lose-lose situation for a child, who will likely feel guilt and shame because they are unable to make both parents happy. Children may even feel that they are doing something wrong themselves, which can lead them to develop self-esteem issues.

Bad-mouthing your former spouse can also negatively impact your standing in disputes over the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts decide on these issues based on what is in your children’s best interests, and one factor that they consider is each parent’s willingness to support their children’s relationships with the other parent. If you show that you will remain hostile toward your former spouse and endanger these relationships, you may be granted less parenting time and decision-making authority.

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