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Oak Park, IL parenting time lawyer

According to Illinois law, a “guardian” is defined as a person, institution, or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another person, who is referred to as their “ward.” When a child turns 18, his or her parents do not have legal guardianship at that point, since the child is now considered an adult. However, a guardian may be appointed on behalf of an adult who is disabled due to a mental illness, physical incapacity, or developmental disability.

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Hillside stepparent adoption lawyerMany people who get divorced often find love and happiness again in second marriages. A step-family, sometimes called a “blended” or “bonus” family, is a family in which at least one parent has children from a previous marriage or relationship. Blended families can be wonderful, especially when step-parents wish to adopt the children of their spouse as a way of making their family more “complete.” This is referred to as a related adoption, since one of the adoptive parents is related to the child who is being adopted. In fact, this is the most common form of adoption in North America. 

A step-parent who adopts his or her stepchild agrees to become that child’s legal parent and to be fully responsible for the child until the child is an adult. Once the adoption is final, the other biological parent’s name is replaced with the adopting parent’s name on the child’s birth certificate. In some cases, the child’s name may also be changed on the birth certificate.

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Posted on in Family Law

Oak Park prenuptial agreement lawyerWhile you hope your marriage will stand the test of time, there is nothing wrong with planning for the worst-case scenario before you tie the knot. A prenuptial agreement is not an indictment of your relationship or its long-term potential. Instead, it displays a couple’s willingness and vision to account for various important issues if the marriage someday comes to an end. It can be considered an insurance policy to protect both parties.

If you are unsure if a prenup is right for you, here are some examples of types of individuals who should strongly consider crafting one with the help of a skilled family law attorney prior to their wedding day: 

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Overuse of Facebook and Other Social Media Can Lead to Divorce

Hillside divorce lawyer social mediaSocial media is ostensibly meant to bring people together, not tear them apart. However, in recent years, these sites seem to have accomplished the opposite for many couples, as there are studies which indicate that sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram may be a contributing factor to divorce rates. 

Although most people begin using social media accounts with positive intentions, these apps can start consuming a high percentage of a person’s day. The average American checks their social media 17 times each day. Although this statistic is much lower than many other countries, Americans utilize the most mobile data on a consistent basis, using an average of 4.7 hours daily per person. You may also be surprised to learn that adults ages 25 to 54 are the most frequent culprits when it comes to compulsive social media checking. All of this time we spend attached to our phones can take away from valuable family time and can give too much of our attention to the lives of others. These sites are now commonly cited as a factor leading to the demise of a relationship.

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The Benefits of Adopting a Stepchild Who Has an Absent Parent

Hillside stepparent adoption lawyerIn the United States, a divorce is granted about once every 36 seconds, adding up to approximately 2,400 marriages ended every day. Although the divorce rate is 40% lower for families with children, nearly 50% of children born to married couples will witness the dissolution of their biological parents' marriage by the time they reach age 18. Many studies document the negative effects of divorce on children, but having two parents who stay involved with their children can minimize many of these effects. However, if one parent is willingly absent, a stepparent adoption can provide many benefits to both parents and children.

What It Means for a Stepparent to Adopt

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