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Hillside, IL 60162

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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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Hillside divorce lawyer fathers' rightsEvery year, thousands of American couples make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce. A divorce can represent an opportunity to start a new and independent life. However, when children are involved, the divorce process can be incredibly tense. For fathers, a divorce can be frightening, considering the overwhelming statistical evidence that the majority of sole-custody parents are mothers. If you are looking to secure significant parental responsibilities as a father, you need quality legal assistance. 

Securing Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities 

Due to recent changes in Illinois’ state law, child custody is now referred to as the “allocation of parental responsibilities.” While both parents will typically receive some amount of “parenting time” (as long as there are no issues regarding domestic abuse or other criminal activity), one parent may still be the primary residential parent. As a father, it is important to understand the steps you need to take in order to remain a primary figure in your child’s life, including: 

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Hillside parenting time attorneyWhen it comes to divorce cases, some of the most contentious issues that can arise are those pertaining to a couple’s children. Before you are able to conclude your divorce, the court will want you and your soon-to-be ex to submit a mutually-agreed-upon, written parenting plan. This parenting plan should contain information about parenting time schedules, who has what decision-making rights, dealing with the child’s school holidays, and other issues pertaining to the child. If both parents cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan, the court will make the parenting plan decisions for the parents.

Determining Factors

Illinois family law courts start out with the presumption that each parent is a fit parent and that no restrictions should be placed on his or her parenting time, unless it is found that the parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health. All decisions pertaining to the child need to be based on the child’s best interests. A number of factors are considered when determining parenting time, including:

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Hillside child support attorney divorce paternityWhen an unmarried couple has a child but later splits up, or when a married couple gets a divorce, or when a couple was not in a relationship to begin with, it is typically necessary to set up child support in which one parent makes a recurring payment to the other parent for the benefit of the child. While this is often achieved without difficulty, that is not always the case.

Child Support for Divorced Parents 

During the divorce process, child support is one of the most important child-related issues to resolve, along with the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly referred to as custody) and parenting time (previously called visitation). In 2017, Illinois adopted what is known as an “income-sharing model” for calculating child support, in an attempt to allow children to maintain the same standard of living as they would have if their parents were married.

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Oak Park paternity lawyer DNA testingAccuracy is essential when it comes to the paternity of a child. What the future may hold for a child is often at stake, in addition to any pending marital, custody, or support issues. An accurate test enables the child to have a bond with a paternal figure, a relationship that is proven to have numerous benefits for the child even after they enter into adulthood. However, before you grab a paternity test at your local drug store, you will want to consider the accuracy rate of such testing.

How Paternity Tests Work

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