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Posted on in Children

Kane County family law attorneyWhen a couple gets married, it is not at all uncommon for a spouse—usually a woman, but not always—to take her partner’s last name as a symbol of their union. Some partners choose to hyphenate their surnames so as to keep their own identity while adding their spouse’s name to theirs. When a marriage comes to an end, it is relatively easy—and usually part of the standard divorce paperwork—for a spouse who changed her name to change it back during the proceedings. But, what about the children of a divorcing couple? It turns out that changing the name of a minor child in Illinois may be more complicated than most people realize.

What the Law Says

While most of the legal details surrounding marriage and divorce are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), name changes are typically made in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5). The statute provides that a name change for a minor child is possible if the court finds “by clear and convincing evidence that the change is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.” A separate provision in the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46) allows for a child’s name to be changed if both parents agree, though this law is typically utilized in cases of unmarried parents or when parentage is in question.

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneyWhen a disabled worker becomes eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) coverage, he or she also becomes eligible to receive benefits to cover the cost of caring for his or her dependents. These dependents can include his or her spouse as well as his or her children, both minor and adult. The qualifications to receive SSDI coverage for an adult child are different from those to receive SSDI coverage for a minor child. If you are an SSDI recipient or a current or former spouse of an SSDI recipient with a dependent adult child, you may be able to receive benefits to cover his or her needs. If you are a divorced parent of such an adult child, work with an experienced family lawyer to ensure that your child receives the coverage he or she needs.

What Qualifies an Adult Child for SSDI Coverage Through a Parent?

If your child is 18 or 19 years old, not married, and a full-time student, he or she can receive SSDI benefits under the same qualifications that a minor child can receive them.

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child support attorney,Bankruptcy can happen to anybody. If you lose your job, fall victim to an illness or accident, your small business fails, or you simply accumulate too much personal debt on your credit cards, bankruptcy can be the only way to regain control of your finances. Filing for bankruptcy requires you to work with the court to repay your debts. This process differs according to the chapter of bankruptcy you file, but it basically requires you to surrender control of your spending and assets to the court-ordered trustee assigned to your case. When you are working through a repayment or liquidation plan, it can be difficult to make your required child support payments. Your child support obligation cannot be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy, no matter how dire your financial situation becomes. However, it is possible to have your required payments lowered. If you are facing financial difficulty and can not make your payments, consider seeking a modification to your support order.

The Modification Process

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Division of Child Support Services handles all child support orders in the state of Illinois. To seek a modification to your order, you must petition to the division and prove that you cannot make your required payments because of your financial hardship.

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, parental rights,Parenting while incarcerated may seem like an impossibility. When a parent goes to prison, finding an appropriate custody situation for his or her child is a priority. In some cases, the child's other parent receives full custody of the child. In others, another living arrangement must be determined.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense and you are facing jail time, speak with an experienced family attorney about how your potential incarceration can affect your child and his or her current custody agreement. He or she can answer any questions you have about the possibility of spending time in jail and help you and your family develop a plan for custody and visitation if the need arises.

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Prison

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, parental rights, Not every parent is awarded joint custody with his or her former partner. In cases where one parent is awarded sole physical custody of his or her child, the other parent is often awarded visitation rights. Visitation rights are different from custodial rights in a few ways. A parent with physical custody of his or her child lives with the child at least part of the time. A parent with visitation rights spends time with the child, but the child is not a resident in the parent's home. Legal custody is the other part of a custody agreement. Legal custody allows a parent to make decisions for his or her child regarding the child's education, lifestyle, and medical care. A parent may have joint legal custody and sole physical custody, sole physical and legal custody, joint legal and physical custody, or sole legal custody and joint physical custody. The combination of custody forms that a parent has to his or her child is determined by the court according to the child's best interest.

When a parent has visitation rights to his or her child, the court may place restrictions on these rights. Like other decisions regarding a child's custody, these restrictions are in place to keep the child safe. Some examples of restrictions the court may place on a parent's visits with his or her child include:

  • Barring the parent from using alcohol or other drugs while with the child;
  • Requiring that the visits do not occur in the parent's home;
  • Requiring that the visits occur in the custodial parent's home;
  • Barring the child from staying with the parent overnight; or
  • Requiring that a third party supervise the visits.

Can A Grandparent Be Granted Visitation Rights?

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