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Hillside paternity attorneyMany families take the concept of “paternity” for granted, assuming that the identity of the father is assumed and not under consideration. However, some families do not have this luxury. When parents are unmarried at the time of their child’s birth, the father will not always be automatically assumed to be the child’s legal parent. From a parenting standpoint, this may not be an issue for the mother, but there are many benefits that come along with legally recognizing a child’s father.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Legally naming a person as a child’s father can have both emotional and financial benefits. On the personal side of things, most children want to know their biological parents, whether they openly express this or not. Not knowing their father’s identity can leave a lingering question in the back of their minds. Some mothers or children may fear that knowing a father’s identity requires the child to have a relationship with him. However, even if a child does not want a  relationship with their father, it can still be beneficial to know who they are to resolve this internal questioning.

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Oak Park, IL parenting time lawyer

If you are going through a divorce, you will need to make a variety of difficult decisions involving the separation of your life, your finances, and your property from your spouse. While this can be a lot to deal with, the situation can become even more complicated if you and your spouse have children, because both of you will need to address the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody in Illinois), as well as parenting time (formerly known as visitation), and the decisions about these issues will be written down in an agreement known as a parenting plan, which will be part of your divorce decree. When creating a parenting plan, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your parental rights and your child’s best interests are protected.

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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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