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Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Hillside IL prenuptial agreement attorneyThere are many reasons why couples who are planning to get married may wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement. A “prenup” can protect the ownership of assets that each party will be bringing into the marriage, ensuring that a person will continue to own certain assets if they end up getting a divorce. This can be especially beneficial for business owners, people with large incomes or family wealth, or those who have children from a previous relationship. However, spouses will need to meet certain requirements to ensure that their prenup will be valid. If an agreement is not drafted correctly, and one spouse challenges the agreement during the divorce process, some or all of the terms of the agreement may be found to be unenforceable.

Reasons a Prenup May Be Unenforceable

Most of the time, a prenuptial agreement may only be challenged based on the grounds that it was either not signed voluntarily, or that it was unconscionable.

A person may claim that they did not voluntarily sign a prenup, but instead were coerced or threatened into signing it. For example, if one party presented a prenuptial agreement to the other on the day of the couple’s wedding and stated that they would not get married unless it was signed, this could be considered coercion, and the agreement might be found to be invalid on that basis. A couple can avoid this possibility by signing the prenup well in advance of the wedding, as well as by making sure that each party has the opportunity to consult with their own attorney to ensure they fully understand their rights and how they will be affected by the agreement.

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Hillside IL divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse have not been happy for a long time, getting a divorce may be able to give you the relief you need. However, getting a divorce is not a walk in the park. Resolving matters like the division of marital property can be complicated, and if your spouse is reluctant to provide you information about his or her finances, you may need to take advantage of the discovery process to get the information you need to make well-informed decisions.

What Is the Discovery Process?

The discovery process allows divorcing couples to gather important information and documents, usually related to each other’s finances, after the filing of the initial divorce petition. Sometimes, spouses willingly share such information, but it is often necessary to use a more formal legal process to better ensure all relevant information is exchanged. Through discovery, each spouse gets access to the same information when coming to decisions regarding their divorce. If you and your divorce attorney gather this information, you may have an easier time reaching a fair agreement.

What Are the Different Types of Discovery Tools?

Divorce attorneys use several discovery tools to help them gather important information. For example, interrogatories are written questions that each spouse can submit, often concerning the other spouse’s income, debts, assets, work history and educational background. Spouses must answer these questions within 28 days of receiving them. Similarly, requests for admissions of facts allow one spouse to ask the other to either confirm or deny certain facts. Admissions of facts can be particularly helpful when trying to verify the validity of documents and to discover hidden assets.

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Oak Park IL family law attorneyDuring the Illinois divorce process, parents have an important responsibility to fill out a “Parenting Plan” document which states the details of parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities between the two parties. Parents may cooperate in the creation of a single parenting plan, or each parent may feel the need to draw up their own plan during the divorce case. With either approach, once the divorce is finalized and a plan is approved by the judge, it becomes legally binding. However, if your circumstances change after the divorce, you may be able to modify the parenting plan.

When It May Be Necessary to Modify a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is not necessarily set in stone. If you, your former spouse, or your children go through major life changes after your divorce, a judge may agree to modify the plan. Here are a few situations that may warrant a modification.

  • One parent moves out of state.

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Oak Park family law attorneyIf you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you may have ill feelings toward that person. Your anger and resentment may be so intense that you want to bad-mouth your ex-spouse every chance you get. However, doing so will likely only serve to perpetuate a hostile situation. It can also be damaging to your children, and it can even affect the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

The Downsides of Bad-Mouthing Your Former Spouse

Speaking poorly about your former spouse can be harmful to both you and your kids. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent. Just because you no longer get along with your ex, that does not mean he or she is any less of a parent to your children. Your children still love your ex-spouse and look up to him or her. It will be hurtful for your kids to hear you speaking poorly about someone they care about, and they may feel forced to take sides. Being caught in the middle like this is a lose-lose situation for a child, who will likely feel guilt and shame because they are unable to make both parents happy. Children may even feel that they are doing something wrong themselves, which can lead them to develop self-esteem issues.

Bad-mouthing your former spouse can also negatively impact your standing in disputes over the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts decide on these issues based on what is in your children’s best interests, and one factor that they consider is each parent’s willingness to support their children’s relationships with the other parent. If you show that you will remain hostile toward your former spouse and endanger these relationships, you may be granted less parenting time and decision-making authority.

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Oak Park adult guardianship lawyerObtaining guardianship over an adult can be a sensitive topic in many situations. When you ask a court for guardianship over a person, you are essentially asking them to grant you decision-making authority over important aspects of that person’s life. Sometimes, guardianship authority will be limited to certain purposes, such as managing a person’s financial affairs. However, other times, guardianship authority will include decision-making power in nearly all areas, especially when an individual is incapacitated to the point where they are not able to make decisions about their own affairs.

Common Situations that Warrant Guardianship

There are various reasons why a person might have a guardian appointed for them. According to Illinois law, an adult can only have a guardian appointed to manage their affairs if they are disabled and unable to “make or communicate responsible decisions” about their personal affairs. In Illinois, guardians can be appointed in cases of mental or physical disability, as well as in cases of gambling or addiction which prevent a person from effectively managing their affairs.

Making the decision to appoint a guardian for someone can be difficult. The person who needs help may feel as if their rights and freedoms are being taken away, even if you are only trying to help. It is common for people to be unsure if guardianship is the right choice for their situation. Here are some of the most common situations that warrant establishing guardianship:

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