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Illinois prenuptial agreement lawyerPrenuptial agreements were once thought of as one of the most unromantic documents in existence, perhaps only surpassed by divorce papers. Thankfully, this valuable pre-marital document is finally receiving the appreciation it deserves. Millennials, the tech and creative industries, and the increasing number of remarrying and high-net-worth couples have all played a part in its revival. However, now, with so many seeking it out, it becomes crucial that couples take the time to understand what a prenuptial agreement can cover, and what it cannot.

Prenuptial Agreement Basics

The first thing that couples should know about prenuptial agreements is that each party must enter into the agreement voluntarily, without coercion or duress. Each party must also sign the document. Couples typically have control over most of the other aspects of their agreement, but there are some important exceptions. For example, parties cannot waive the option of spousal support if doing so would cause undue hardship for one of the individuals. It should also be noted that a judge can override such a waiver, if one party would be at risk for undue hardship for reasons that could not have been foreseen at the time the document was signed.

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Oak Park family law attorneyMost divorce information sources highlight the benefits of cooperative parenting, but this model is not right for every family. In fact, some parents and children may benefit more from the parallel parenting model. The following outlines the parallel parenting model and explains what it is, when it may be the most appropriate solution, and how parents can make it work for their family.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Like cooperative parenting, the overall goal of parallel parenting is to ensure the child has a close and healthy relationship with each parent, but the method by which parallel parents reach their goal is nearly the opposite to that of cooperative parents. One of the biggest differences is the level and type of interaction between parents; cooperative parenting encourages active communication, but parallel parenting strives to reduce contention by minimizing contact. It essentially encourages each parent to work on their relationship with the child, rather than their relationship with one another.

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Oak Park child support lawyerStatistics indicate that some 6,000 children are born with Down syndrome each year. Around 11 percent of school-aged children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and approximately one out of every 68 children are diagnosed with autism. Then there are many others who are with born with a heart defect, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other defect, illness, or condition.

What happens when the parents of these special needs children divorce?

In some ways, the process is the similar to all divorces. Yet there are also some notable differences, particularly when it comes to how child support is determined. If you have a child with special needs and are concerned about how child support will be determined, the following information may be able to help you better understand the process.

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Posted on in Family Law
should-you-have-a-premarital-agreement

When a couple decides to marry, they have many decisions to make. A key legal decision they must make is whether to have a premarital agreement.

A premarital agreement is a contract made by a couple before marriage. It is usually used to say how property will be divided in the event of divorce or death, but it can cover many other issues in the marriage as well. Premarital agreements are most commonly used in second marriages when there are children from a prior marriage or when one party to the marriage is a lot wealthier than the other.

There are several benefits to having a premarital agreement. Working out difficult issues in advance can help avoid problems later. Also, a premarital agreement can help protect an inheritance to a child from an earlier marriage. Finally, if a divorce does occur, the premarital agreement may make it go easier since some key issues will already have been decided.

There are also disadvantages to having a premarital agreement. One is the discomfort in addressing issues of divorce before the marriage. Another is that there's no guarantee a court will uphold the agreement. Also, even if an agreement is upheld, there's no assurance the entire agreement will be upheld. For example, provisions that address child custody or child support issues are not binding on a court, since the child's best interests are the deciding factors. There are several grounds for invalidating premarital agreements. They vary from state to state, but generally include:

  • one side was pressured into signing;
  • the agreement was not "fair and reasonable" when made, or when it's to be enforced, it is so one-sided that it would be unfair to uphold it; or
  • one party hid important information.

Premarital agreements are becoming more common due to the high number of divorces in our society. Whether a premarital agreement should be used depends on the circumstances of each case. If couples are considering a premarital agreement, they should seek legal help. Laws regarding making premarital agreements are complex, and each party should be fully aware of what he or she is signing.

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