Articles

Social Media and Divorce Do Not Mix

St. Charles Divorce Attorneys

Kane County Divorce Law FirmThese days, almost everybody is on social media. Your friends are on it, your colleagues are on it, your parents are on it, and your children might even be on it. Social media is so deeply immersed in our lives that not using it can make an individual feel like an outsider. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can bring people together and help them build meaningful relationships and enact social and political change. But social media can also be used destructively, from teens using it to cyberbully each other to uninformed users spreading incorrect and even dangerous information among their peers. One thing to always remember about social media is that once content is uploaded to a platform, it is there forever. Although you can delete a comment or a post, you cannot guarantee that before you deleted it, somebody else shared it or took a screenshot, keeping a copy of your post alive forever. When you are working through a divorce or a family court issue such as modifying a parenting time agreement, the content you upload and share on social media can be used to support a claim about your lifestyle. This is why individuals engaged in the divorce process are advised to limit their use of social media or avoid it altogether until their divorces are finalized.

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The Importance of Establishing Parentage in Illinois

St. Charles Family Law Firm

Kane County Family AttorneyWhen a child is born to a married or recently divorced mother, the mother's husband or former husband is presumed to be the child's father. He automatically becomes the child's legal parent, which means that he has the same legal rights regarding the child that the child's mother has. But not all children are born to married or recently divorced mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.2 percent of babies born in the United States are born to mothers who are not married. In this type of situation, the child's father must establish his paternity in order to be legally considered the child's parent.

Failing to establish a child's paternity can make it difficult for the father to have a relationship with the child if his relationship with the child's mother ends because if he is not a legal parent, he cannot work with the court to establish a parenting time schedule or determine his parental responsibilities. It can become necessary to work with an experienced Illinois family lawyer to establish paternity and gain these rights. Although the term “paternity” is often used colloquially, Illinois law now uses the term “parentage” because it can refer to an individual of either gender.

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What is the Role of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce?

St. Charles Divorce Attorneys

What is the Role of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce?A forensic accountant is an accountant who uses his or her expertise to conduct an investigation of an individual, group, or company's financial past. In a divorce, a forensic accountant may aid the court by examining the couple's financial history and current financial outlook to determine an appropriate way to divide their property and fair child and spousal support amounts. If one party suspects that his or her spouse is hiding assets in an attempt to keep them from being divided in the divorce, a forensic accountant may be asked to investigate this. “Forensic” simply means “suitable for the court of law.” When a forensic accountant investigates a married couple's finances, the accountant's findings may be submitted to the court for consideration. Talk to your divorce lawyer about what a forensic accountant may and may not do, how the data he or she obtains may be used, and what you should do to prepare for a forensic accountant's investigation of your assets.

How to Find the Right Forensic Accountant

Many divorce and family lawyers have forensic accountants in their professional networks. This is because forensic accountants frequently work with divorce lawyers to determine their clients' true financial situations during the divorce process. A forensic accountant is often just one of the professionals a divorce lawyer asks for help with a client's divorce. Usually, a divorce is a team effort. Other professionals who may be asked to help with your divorce include a real estate appraiser, a child custody evaluator, and a financial adviser.

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The Division of Retirement Assets in a Divorce

St. Charles Divorce Attorneys

Kane County divorce attorneysWhen a couple divorces in Illinois, their assets are divided equitably between them. These assets include everything the couple earned or developed during their marriage, such as their home, their joint savings account, their personal possessions, and their retirement accounts. The only property that is not subject to division during the divorce process is singly-held property, which includes anything either partner owned before entering the marriage or property gained through inheritance or as a gift. Otherwise, assets such as pensions, IRAs, SEP accounts, and 401(k) accounts are all subject to court division under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Dividing your retirement accounts with your spouse can change your financial future. It could mean that you will have to work longer than you initially envisioned or that you will need to make some changes to how you save and invest your money. To learn more about how the court division of your retirement assets will affect your financial health after the divorce, speak with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney.

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College Expenses: Who is Responsible?

Kane County Family Law Attorneys

Kane County divorce lawyerBy the spring of their senior year, most high school students know if they will attend college the following fall and if so, where. Planning for college can be stressful for every member of the family, from the prospective student making sure he or she meets all admission requirements and deadlines to parents figuring out how their child will afford college.

College is expensive, and many families begin saving for this expense years in advance and approach it with multiple funding sources, including scholarships, loans, the student working an on-campus job while attending college, and the parents paying some expenses out of pocket. In a family where the student's parents are still together, determining how to fund the student's education can be difficult. When the student's parents are divorced, determining how to pay for college can be even more difficult. Unless a couple specifically included plans for their child's college expenses in their child support or divorce agreement, coming to a fair determination can be challenging. Work with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney to determine the options available to you and your family.

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What is Co-Parenting?

Kane County Divorce Attorneys

Kane County Divorce AttorneyCo-parenting is the act of sharing parenting duties with your partner. When a couple who has a child divorces, it is often in the child's best interest to have a continuing relationship with both parents. In order to support these relationships, the child's parents must be able to effectively work together.

In 2016, changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect that altered how co-parenting agreements are created and maintained after divorces. Terms and ideas like joint and shared custody are gone. In their place, the court now uses the concepts of “parenting time” and “parental responsibilities” to refer to each parent's presence in his or her child's life.

Co-parenting after your divorce is an issue that you should discuss with your attorney and your former partner to ensure that all parties are on the same page. Unless you and your former partner develop a parenting plan on your own through collaboration or mediation sessions, the court will use the set of factors included in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to determine the right parenting time arrangement for your child.

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Child Removal: Can you Take the Kids Out of State?

St. Charles Child Custody Attorneys

Kane County Child Custody AttorneyYes, it is possible for you to move out of state with your children under the recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, some restrictions apply to how far out of state you may move with your child without the court's permission.

Divorce is difficult for all members of a family. If you are a parent currently going through a divorce, work with an attorney who not only understands the divorce-related issues you are facing, but the issues you are facing with regard to your child's care and support.

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Illinois Prenuptial Agreements: What Do They Protect?

Kane County Divorce Attorneys

Kane County divorce lawyersPrenuptial agreements can protect a variety of assets. A prenuptial agreement can protect your rights to your singularly-held property, including business and real estate interests, after a divorce. It can also protect your children and other loved ones' rights to your assets after your death.

Many people believe that prenuptial agreements undermine the purpose of marriage. This simply is not true. Prenuptial agreements are more like insurance agreements than they are like plans to eventually divorce – although you plan for your marriage to last your entire life, the reality is that many do not. If your marriage ends in divorce, you will need to go through the lengthy process of having your property divided between you and your spouse by the court. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place, getting divorced can be a much less painful process for you and your spouse.

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Adopting Your Stepchild: How Does It Work?

Kane County Family Law Attorneys

Kane County adoption lawyersIt is not uncommon for parents to remarry after they divorce. In fact, current statistics show that approximately half of American families consist of remarried or re-coupled parents. In many of these couples, parents' new partners opt to adopt their children and become their legal stepparents. This is known as stepparent adoption.

Adoptions turn couples and individuals into families. Stepparent adoptions are only one of the many types of adoption. Other types include international adoption, interstate adoption, and agency-assisted adoption. These other types of adoption can further be divided into open and closed adoptions, which refer to whether the adoptive parents have continuing contact with their child's birth parents after the adoption takes place. Any type of adoption can be a complicated process and involves the transfer of parental rights to a child between adults. If you are considering adoption, either of a stepchild or any other child, contact a family attorney who has experience handling adoption cases to guide you through this process. You have rights, the child's birth parents have rights, and the child has rights. Ensure that all parties' rights are protected by working with an experienced attorney.

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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