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Should My Spouse and I Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?

Posted on in Family Law

St. Charles postnuptial agreement lawyerMany people have heard about a prenuptial agreement, a sort of contract drawn up between two people about to join together in the bonds of marriage. A prenuptial agreement is like a rainy-day policy: something you have ready “just in case” but hope you will not need. However, engaged couples often opt out of a prenuptial agreement and later regret doing so. If you are already married but think having an agreement in place “just in case,” a Kane County, IL divorce lawyer can help guide you and your spouse through the process of establishing a postnuptial agreement.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

To a large degree, a postnuptial agreement is almost the same as a prenuptial agreement, aside from the fact that it is signed after a wedding instead of beforehand.

Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement will aim to:

St. Charles Domestic Violence LawyerIn the State of Illinois, accusations of domestic violence and abuse are taken extremely seriously by the courts. There are various steps victims of abuse can take to try to protect themselves and their children. An Order of Protection, commonly known as a restraining order, can be granted by the court to prohibit the alleged abuser from doing things such as physically going somewhere - in this case, their home. An Emergency Order of Protection is a specific type of protective order that can be granted almost immediately.

It is great that the local authorities will do whatever they can to protect the victims of abuse. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of these procedures and falsely accuse their spouse of abuse for their own gain. If you have been falsely accused of abuse and have an Emergency Order of Protection that is keeping you from seeing your children, an experienced Kane County, IL divorce lawyer can help guide you through this delicate and painful situation.

How Can I Respond to an Emergency Order of Protection?

When someone makes claims of domestic abuse, the court will need to go through a full procedure to determine whether there are grounds for issuing an Order of Protection. However, an accuser’s testimony alone can often be enough for a court to issue an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), which will take effect immediately. It will serve as a temporary order until both spouses can argue their case and allow the court to make a final decision. When an EOP is issued, the accused spouse will receive information including:

St. Charles Child Custody LawyerUnder Illinois divorce and family law statutes, when one parent seeks court approval to relocate a substantial distance away with a child after the divorce, the current custody order may need to be modified if the potential long-distance move could negatively impact your child’s interests.

Strict Formal Notification Requirements Apply

Illinois Compiled Statutes require the parent desiring to relocate provide formal advance written notice to the other parent of the intent to move with the child. This notice must be given at least 60 days prior to the anticipated relocation date. Serving advance notice gives the non-relocating parent time to file an objection and initiate child custody modification proceedings before the relocation occurs.

The Court Assesses Factors Related to the Child’s Best Interests

If the non-relocating parent formally objects to the proposed out-of-state move and files a petition to prevent it, the Illinois family law judge will carefully examine and weigh a variety of statutory factors to determine whether uprooting the child to a new distant location is truly in the overall best interests of the child. Factors examined include the likelihood of impacting the child’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being, the reasons for the relocation, logistics of transportation for parenting time, the child’s opinion, and disruption to current educational programs and community ties.

St. Charles Family Violence AttorneyMaking the decision to pursue an order of protection against your abuser is a big step that takes a lot of courage. Many survivors of domestic violence make multiple attempts to leave their relationship before successfully breaking free. If you obtain a protection order, your chances of staying free from further abuse are higher. A protection order can be instrumental to escaping. A common barrier to escape people who are experiencing domestic violence face is not having a place to go should they leave. A protection order can solve this problem by forcing your abuser to leave the home and stay away from you. This means that you will be able to continue living at home, even if your house or apartment is in your spouse’s name. Having a safe place to live can give you the chance you need to plan for independence in the future. If you are married to your abuser, you may wish to obtain a protection order before filing for divorce for safety reasons. An attorney can help you establish a safety plan and pursue a protection order. 

Steps for Getting a Protection Order 

It is highly advisable to be represented by an attorney when you are pursuing a protection order. Steps to getting an order of protection include: 

  • File a petition - Your attorney will file a petition with the court alleging that your partner has abused you and you need a protection order. 

How Can Divorced Parents Plan for College Expenses?

Posted on in Family Law

St. Charles Divorce LawyerGoing to college right after high school is one of the most popular paths young people take today. College is no longer something reserved for only the best academic performers, but rather, something most white-collar employers expect. It can be challenging for any family to cover the complete cost of a college education. Between tuition, textbooks, and room and board, sending your child to college without having them incur student loans can be a challenge. If you and your spouse are getting divorced while your child is still in grade school, you may wonder whether your spouse will still contribute to college expenses. Fortunately, in Illinois, courts can order both parents to contribute what they can towards your child’s educational expenses. In most cases, this can be done as a part of your divorce decree. If you are concerned about paying for college after a divorce, it is best to speak with an attorney to determine what options you and your child may have. 

Parental Responsibilities Do Not End on the Child’s 18th Birthday 

In decades past, an 18 year old who wished to move out and support themself may have had the option of entering the workforce directly after high school. Now, there are few jobs available to recent high school graduates that pay a living wage. Rather, most young people rely on their family to continue supporting them until they have graduated from college. While Illinois courts may expect a young adult to contribute to their own educational expenses to the extent that they have the resources to do so, courts also recognize that many young people cannot afford to go to college without help from their parents. 

In most cases, when the divorced parents are on relatively equal economic footing, courts require each parent to cover roughly half of their child’s remaining college expenses after any grants or college funds have been applied. Courts also recognize that tuition is not the only expense. Rather, books, lodging, transportation, health care, and meal plans are all considered part of a child’s college costs. 

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