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Illinois family law attorneyIn a marriage, the paternity of a child is automatically established.  But this is not the case when the biological parents are unmarried. In that situation, the father is deemed an “alleged father” until he and the mother either acknowledge paternity, or receive a confirmation of paternity, either through the courts or through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Learn more about establishing paternity in Illinois, including how it can be done and why you should do it, and discover why the assistance of an experienced family law attorney should be obtained.

Why Establish Paternity?

At first glance, the purpose of establishing paternity may seem to be about money, because a father may be obligated to pay child support if he and the biological mother are not residing together. However, fathers can also reap benefits if they pursue an establishment of paternity. For example, fathers can still have the right to pursue custody of their children, should the mother ever lose her parental rights or become incapacitated for any reason. Fathers can also seek parenting time and an allocation of parental responsibilities, both of which give them bonding time and decision-making power in the life of their child.

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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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Illinois divorce attorneyEnding a marriage can be painful and emotionally difficult. In fact, many parties experience depression, anxiety, grief, anger, and stress while going through the divorce process. Unfortunately, these same emotions can cause friction between the parties, which can drag out the process and increase costs. Thankfully, some steps can be taken to minimize the risk of this happening. One of the most crucial steps is learning how to detach the legal aspects of divorce from the emotional aspects. 

Approach Divorce Like a Business Transaction

At its core, the legal aspect of divorce is like a business transaction; two parties come to the table with their requests and then negotiate a deal that can hopefully satisfy all involved. When examining it from this standpoint, an argument over the wedding china can seem arbitrary. However, some spouses do argue over things – such as possessions – that do not matter. That is often because they are struggling with their feelings of betrayal, sadness, or loss. So, rather than let emotion dictate your decisions in divorce, consider why you want something in the settlement.

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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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