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

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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.

Financially, every child has a right to receive support from both of their biological parents. Children are entitled to child support to ensure that their ongoing needs are met. Depending on their father’s occupation and insurance coverage, children may also be eligible to receive health insurance benefits. Children are also eligible to receive any Social Security benefits, Veteran’s benefits, or an inheritance upon their father’s death.

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Oak Park post-divorce enforcement lawyerThere are many reasons you might need to return to court after completing your divorce. For example, you might need to ask for a modification of your divorce decree because your or your former spouse’s circumstances have changed. However, you may also face situations in which your ex-spouse has not complied with the legally binding terms in your divorce decree. 

Sometimes, you and your former spouse might be able to meet with each other to address these issues without getting the courts involved, but in other situations, you might need to take legal action to enforce your divorce decree. Either way, you will want to work with a family law attorney who is experienced in addressing post-decree matters.

Post-Decree Enforcement Issues

The terms set forth in a divorce decree are legally binding, and both parties are required by law to follow them. If either party does not meet their court-ordered obligations, the other party may bring the case back before the court to enforce these terms. In some cases, the parties may be able to address and resolve these issues when they arise, while in other situations, a non-compliant spouse may face penalties such as being held in contempt of court. Here are some examples of common post-decree enforcement issues:

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Hillside, IL divorce decree modification attorneyWhile some folks may believe that a divorce decree is a permanent and unchangeable legal document, there are actually many common circumstances that may call for modification of the decree. After all, life is rarely static, and you may experience a variety of life events and circumstances that might render your divorce decree unreasonable, invalid, or otherwise unfeasible. 

Typical Reasons to Change Spousal Support or Child Support

In the years following a divorce, myriad circumstances may change for one or both parties that would require post-decree modifications. This is quite common with spousal support and child support. Some common situations in which support may need to be adjusted after a divorce include:

  • An increase or reduction in income for either party;
  • Loss of employment;
  • Disability; and,
  • Health expenses from a major medical illness.

If either ex-spouse is faced with any of these situations, or if children experience issues which affect their ongoing needs, a post-decree modification may be necessary to adjust the amount of money one ex-spouse must pay to the other.

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Posted on in Family Law

Hillside step-parent adoption attorney Step-children and their step-parents have unique relationships. Sometimes, step-parents can have a role similar to the child’s biological parents, while other times, step-parents and step-children may simply co-exist in the same household. This relationship can evolve over time, especially for children whose biological parent has passed away, or who still have a relationship with both of their biological parents. For step-parents who have a close relationship with their step-children, it may be beneficial to officially adopt their child. While doing this may not be the choice of every step-parent, some do choose to legally recognize the relationship with their step-child, with the help of an adoption attorney.

What Are the Benefits of Step-Parent Adoption?

Many step-parents who decide to adopt their step-children do so to officially recognize their relationship in the eyes of the law. This can make the relationship more legitimate, not just legally but also personally, and it can often bring a step-parent closer to their step-child. While there may be emotional benefits to adopting a step-child, there are also a variety of legal advantages that come along with this process:

·         Legal Parentage - One of a parent’s biggest concerns is ensuring that their child will be cared for if anything ever happens to them. Adoption can ensure that a child has another parent who will retain custody of the child if one parent dies. This can be beneficial for those who have lost a spouse, or for children who do not have two responsible biological parents. By adopting your step-child, you can ensure that the child has two legal parents who are able to care for them if a life-threatening emergency ever occurs.

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