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Kane County divorce attorneyApart from acknowledging how much will be needed for rent and basic monthly expenses after a divorce, it is all too easy, and common, for divorcing couples to find themselves shelving the financial aspect of the split until after the process is finalized. When you consider the emotional toll of the end of a marriage and additional stressors such as parenting plan arrangements, a potential relocation, and maybe even a new partner for one or both parties, money is often one of the last things couples wish to think about. This can be especially harmful for those who have very limited funds to begin with, or for those who have little to no employment options when the marriage unravels. 

The Importance of a Financial Game Plan

No matter how much or how little money you have to work with, the lack of a financial game plan can result in a divorce that does not turn out in your favor. For example, if you and your spouse were already in serious debt prior to the separation, those debts may only get worse and become more unmanageable if they are ignored. As overwhelmed as you may already be, avoidance is never the answer where your financial well-being is concerned, especially when you are about to experience a significant shift in income and overall lifestyle due to the split.

Why It Pays Off to Address Financial Matters Early On

Whether you have had minimal time to prepare, are currently a stay-at-home parent and do not know where to turn for help, or are simply scared and are avoiding money matters because your mind is on overload, making a plan to address finances early on can help you turn the situation around. Here are three reasons why addressing your finances is important:

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St. Charles IL grandparent rights lawyerSometimes, parents prove unwilling or unable to take care of their children. In these scenarios, there are several options for the children to receive care, but one that is becoming increasingly common is for a grandparent or grandparents to step in. According to official state estimates, there are more than 100,000 grandparents raising their grandchildren in Illinois. If you are in a position where you may decide to raise your grandchildren, there is a process to follow to ensure everything is legally sound.

Obtaining Physical Custody and Parental Responsibilities

There are several different options for grandparents to obtain physical custody of their grandchildren and decision-making authority regarding their well-being. The one that is most commonly used is to bring an action for parental responsibility under 750 ILCS 5/601.2, which is part of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). There are two scenarios under this law in which a grandparent could conceivably obtain physical custody. The first is if the child is not in the physical custody of their parents—for example, if the parents are both deceased, or if one or both parents voluntarily abandoned the child. The second is if one parent is deceased and the other is missing or incarcerated. If either of these applies to your family situation, the IMDMA is likely the best law under which to bring your petition. 

However, if neither of these scenarios is applicable, for example, if the child is still in the custody of one or both parents and there has been no willing relinquishment of parental responsibilities, other Illinois law statutes may offer a better option. Most often, these cases will fall under the Juvenile Court Act, wherein a parent must be proven unfit in order for a grandparent to gain custody. Grandparents pursuing this option should be aware that Illinois is one of the few states in which parental rights can actually be regained after losing them, though doing so is a difficult and laborious process.

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kindness after divorce, Kane County family law attorneysMost people think of divorce as a contentious matter – one in which parties fight to the bitter end over big things, small things, and everything in between. Yet this is not always the case. A dad in Boston is proving it in his everyday life by doing kind and compassionate things for his ex-wife. When asked why, his simple and straightforward response was that it teaches his boys to be kind and loving toward all women, especially their mother. The following shows how right he is, and can help you have an amicable divorce as well.

Focus on What Really Matters

When asked how he manages to keep things amicable between himself and his ex-wife, the Boston man said he and his ex-wife decided early on that they were going to avoid petty behavior in front of the kids. More than that, they were going to put in the effort to co-parent and show one another respect. The mother is completely on board as well. On Father’s Day, she makes sure their sons purchase a gift for their dad.

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Chicago family law, establishing paternity, getting married, Illinois law, Kane County family law lawyer, presuming paternity, St. Charles, putative father, Putative Father Registry, claiming paternity in IllinoisWomen of today have more options than women of earlier generations. It used to be that women who became pregnant out of wedlock had no choice but to marry, or else confront lives of poverty and social isolation. While that unfortunate scenario is the reality for some women, others have found that single motherhood affords more stability than marriage.

Lily’s story is one example. She broke up with her boyfriend Carl while pregnant because she feared he would make caring for their child more difficult. Carl had trouble holding down a job, and Lily decided she could not depend on him. Furthermore, because Lily and Carl were not married when she gave birth, and because his name is not on the birth certificate, he has no legal parenting rights. For Lily, that was the desired outcome. But is that what Carl wanted? What if Carl decides he wants to claim paternity? What rights would Carl, or any putative father, have under Illinois law?

Presuming or Establishing Paternity

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