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Kane County Family Law AttorneyThe term “paternity” refers to fatherhood. Mothers and fathers in Illinois often have questions about how paternity works. Contrary to what many believe, paternity is not always automatically established by a baby’s birth. In some cases, parents must take additional action to formalize the child’s legal relationship with his or her father. The situation becomes especially complex when a mother is unsure of who the father is, or the father denies his paternity.

How Can I Establish a Child’s Legal Relationship with His or Her Father?

If parents are unmarried, they must establish paternity. The easiest way is to sign a document called a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) and submit it to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). Paternity may also be established through an administrative order through the HFS or through a court order.

What if I Signed a VAP and Then Found Out I Am Not the Father?

If you signed a VAP because you thought you were a child’s biological father and then found out you were not the father, you can complete a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity within 60 days of signing the VAP and file it with the HFS.

Kane County Child Custody LawyerDivorcing or unmarried parents have to address many crucial child-related issues. In Illinois, parents are asked to create a parenting plan that specifically states each parent’s rights and obligations. The parents will include information about the parenting time schedule (formerly known as visitation) as well as the allocation of parental responsibilities or decision-making authority.

Research shows that about 2.6 percent of children live in single-parent homes with a parent who is addicted to illegal drugs. Another study shows that more than one in ten children have a parent with alcoholism.

If you or your child’s other parent has a substance abuse problem, it is important to know how this can impact the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.

Kane County Divorce LawyerCupid’s arrow does not always strike at the most convenient time. Sometimes, a married person meets a new romantic partner before their current marriage is officially terminated by divorce. If you are getting divorced and you or your spouse have moved in with a new romantic partner, you probably have questions about how cohabitation affects divorce in Illinois.

Adultery and Divorce in Illinois

When a married person enters into a romantic relationship before their marriage is over, this can be considered adultery. In Illinois, there are no fault-based grounds for divorce such as infidelity or abuse. All fault-based grounds were eliminated several years ago. The only ground or justification for divorce in Illinois is “irreconcilable differences.” So, you will not need to list adultery on any divorce paperwork.

Living With a New Partner Can Affect Property Division

Illinois law states that courts divide marital property without regard to marital misconduct like an extramarital affair. However, there is one situation in which having a new romantic relationship can affect asset division during divorce. If a spouse uses, spends, or sells marital property during an extramarital relationship, it could be considered dissipation of assets. For example, if you move in with a new partner and pay your rent using a joint bank account you share with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, your spouse may be able to file a dissipation of assets claim. If the claim is successful, your spouse would be entitled to reimbursement for half of the dissipated funds.

Naperville Family Law AttorneyOwning a business can be both lucrative and deeply rewarding. However, as any business owner can tell you, it is not easy. Whether you are an entrepreneur running a startup or a business owner with decades of experience, getting married can change things. Anyone who plans to wed should understand how marriage and divorce can impact their business. One way to protect your business is through a prenuptial agreement.

A Prenup Can Protect the Business in the Event of Death or Divorce

No one gets married thinking that the marriage will end in divorce. The idea is unromantic at best and offensive at worst. However, statistics show that 40-50 percent of marriages do ultimately end up in divorce. Planning for this possibility is reasonable even if your relationship is thriving. Furthermore, prenuptial agreements can be beneficial even if a couple stays together until one of the spouses passes away.

You can use a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement to classify certain property as marital property belonging to both spouses and certain property as non-marital property belonging to only one spouse. Without a prenup, business assets and income can become entangled with personal assets and income. This can make dividing assets during divorce much more complicated and contentious than it would otherwise be.

How Does Adultery Affect a Divorce Case?

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles Divorce LawyerStudies show that about 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women admit to cheating on their spouse. If your marriage is ending because of adultery, you may wonder how this can impact your divorce case. You may wonder if a cheating spouse is expected to pay more alimony or will have a harder time getting custody of their kids in the divorce. If you were the innocent spouse, you may wonder if there is a way to hold your spouse accountable for their adulterous actions during the divorce. Read on to learn more about how infidelity can affect divorce in Illinois.

No-Fault Divorce Laws

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state. When an Illinois resident seeks a divorce, the only available “ground” or legal reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Divorcing spouses do not need to assign blame for their marriage’s breakdown. They just need to affirm that they have experienced irreconcilable differences that cannot be resolved and that continued attempts at reconciliation would not be in the family’s best interests.

Child Support, Spousal Support, and Property Division

Marital infidelity does not impact spousal support or child support obligations. Support is determined by the spouses’ net incomes.

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