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Posted on in Divorce
Premarital cohabitation is growing trend among couples in the United States. While this trend may not always lead to wedded bliss, it can result in pregnancy. And, if the couple decides to split, one or both parents may eventually file for child support. Between 2006 and 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted The National Survey of Family Growth, and interviewed 12,279 women. The survey focused on the “trends and patterns in first premarital cohabitations among women aged 15–44 in the United States.” Nearly half of the women interviewed chose premarital cohabitation over marriage. Close to 20 percent reported a pregnancy within a year of moving in, for the first time, with a significant other. The survey also noted that 27 percent of the cohabitation unions ended within the first three years.  Illinois child support attorney PIC While premarital cohabitation is one example that can result in procreation, it is not the only one. A pregnancy can occur under several circumstances, and when the parents are not together, one or both may eventually file for child support. Once a parent files, the other parent “may be required to attend a hearing and testify to a variety of questions,” as indicated by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The hearing, conducted by the child support services department or a judge in court, will require the non-filing parent to answer a series of questions. Child Support Questions May Include:
  • Marital status
  • The number of children involved in the case
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Living expenses
  • Insurance coverage
In Illinois, specific guidelines are set regarding child support payments. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act designates a child support payment amount based on the number of children in the family and total net income. Additional expenses may also be added to support payments, including health insurance costs and daycare expenses. While representatives assigned to child support cases will try to answer any concerns a parent may have, they are unable to provide legal advice. If you have questions regarding child support and seek legal advice, please contact an Illinois child support attorney.
Last modified on

Posted on in Divorce
While a divorce in Illinois is the official legal recognition that a marriage is over, some couples might feel more comfortable with the concept of a legal separation. In a separation, the marriage is not officially terminated in a legal sense. Spouses are prohibited from marrying anyone else during a legal separation, and the court can make decisions regarding child custody, spousal maintenance, and child support. If you’re not ready to legally end your marriage, hiring an attorney to help you with a legal separation may be a better choice for you.  A legal separation can be appropriate for those couples who don’t think they can live with their spouse anymore. This can allow some breathing room and an opportunity for both individuals to think about and work through issues. Legal separation can be less financially damaging than divorce, especially if you decide to permanently stay separated without going through the legal actions of divorce. Some couples may eventually decide to come back together with a better understanding of one another’s needs, too. There are downsides to legal separation, however. Parents living apart can present sudden emotional challenges for your children, so should spend time preparing them for what will be different and ensure that they get some extra attention and love during this period. It’s important to note that unless you ask the court to divide property during a legal separation, it will not happen. While property division is typically part of the divorce process, you shouldn’t automatically expect it with a legal separation. Finally, research points out that 79% of couples who separate end up getting divorced, so simply getting some time apart might not fix your marriage. Legal separation may only serve to delay the inevitable. If you’re thinking about a legal separation, you need the guidance of an experienced Illinois family lawyer to help with your documents to begin.
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Posted on in Uncategorized
Are you experiencing anxiety about moving your divorce case into the traditional court docket? If so, you’re not alone. The courtroom atmosphere can make former spouses feel as if they going to battle against one another, and that simply is not the right solution for every couple who wants to terminate their marriage. This is where mediation can come to your assistance. Mediation allows parties to work with a trained professional to negotiate the terms of their divorce.  If you and your spouse have already come to terms on several major issues about the divorce (like property division or child custody), you can avoid the headaches, emotional toil, and high expenses of going through court. Depending on how busy the judges in your area are, waiting for a court date could also produce significant delays for those spouses who would prefer a legal dissolution sooner rather than later. If you and your spouse are already able to speak amicably about the facts of the divorce, you might not need to go to court anyways. You’ll be much more likely to get an efficient and effective solution for your family with mediation. Even in cases where the parties do not agree on major post-divorce issues have found success with mediation. Research from the 11th Illinois Judicial Circuit shows real evidence that mediation helped child custody disputes by helping 20 percent  to 43 percent of couples reach a partial or full agreement. In mediation, parties communicate with a trained neutral mediator who guides them through options to reach a consensus. If you and your spouse are not able to communicate with one another, or domestic violence has played a role in your relationship, mediation is not recommended. Some couples do attempt mediation and are not able to resolve their differences and have to move forward to court anyways, so if you sense that cooperation is not an option, you’re better off skipping mediation. Working with a talented attorney to set another course of action can be much more effective for you. If you’d like more information about mediation in divorce, contact an Illinois divorce mediator today.
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Posted on in Social Media
As social media has become a larger and larger part of our everyday lives, most people have come to agree that it can have a very detrimental effect on marriages and divorces. Social media provides outlets for infidelity, as well as evidence for lawyers to use in divorce cases. However, some people are starting to discover that there may be a benefit in using various social media sites while going through a divorce. LaraOne of the major ways social media can aid you during a divorce is providing an easy route to finding resources. These resources can vary from information on what to look for in a good divorce attorney to how to talk to your children about divorce. When searching for a solid divorce attorney, you can use social media sites to conduct searches and verify personal reputations. It is very easy to find out what others have to say about their experiences with the attorney in the past via social media. Another important way social media can be helpful during divorce is that it allows parents who, for whatever reason, have lost touch with their children to keep in contact and stay updated. In some cases, couples decide to move far away from their ex-spouse after getting divorced. If the two have children, it can be very hard for the parent who moved to keep up to date on the happenings in their child’s life. Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson, family law attorney in Virginia, stated that “If there is physical distance between the parties and the children, (especially with) a military parent on deployment, a Foreign Service parent assigned abroad or a corporate parent who is assigned to an office in a different country or part of the country for a period of time, a family site or friending a child’s site is a great way for the parent to stay actively involved in the child’s life.” Social media, when used correctly, can sometimes be a very useful tool during divorce instead of the monster some people believe it to be. If you are going through a divorce and have any questions, be sure to contact a dedicated Illinois divorce attorney to assist you.
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Posted on in Family Law
As time progresses on, society continues to change, and today, it is more likely than ever that people will have more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. This is also becoming more socially acceptable, although some people do still frown upon physical intimacy before marriage. For those people that do participate in the act, however, legal issues can arise and become exceedingly more complicated. LucyIf a child is conceived out of wedlock, there is a chance that the mother will not know who the real father is. Even if the mother thinks that she knows, she cannot be certain unless she only had one partner around the time of conception. Some men are thrilled to assume that the child is theirs and take on fatherhood responsibilities, but others do not want to be tricked into fatherhood of a child that is not theirs. To know for certain, a paternity test can determine the child’s biological father. Testing to determine a child’s biological father is important, not only for the parents, but also for the child for many reasons such as:
  • Having accurate family medical history available for the child, which is especially helpful in the event of a genetic disease or disorder that may arise as the child grows
  • Having access to certain social and legal benefits like veteran’s and inheritance benefits and social security
Most states require hospitals to have an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP), which states who the father is, signed by unmarried parents when the child is born. If a couple has been unmarried for at least 300 days, then there will simply be no father listed on the birth certificate until the legal document is filled out, at which point the father will be added to the birth certificate. Once the AOP is signed, the father listed, even if he is not truly the biological father, will be held legally accountable for the child. This is, unless the couple requests a DNA test to be done and they change the AOP. The DNA test and AOP is especially important to fathers if the mother is married to someone else, because the husband will be assumed to be the father of the child and he will be listed on the birth certificate as the legal father. The biological father can, then, still request an AOP and be listed as the child’s father on the birth certificate if the husband and man currently listed as the father signs a denial of paternity, stating that he is not truly the father. If he refuses to sign the denial, the biological father can take further action in court. If you are a biological father to a child who has someone else, or maybe no one, listed as his or her father on their birth certificate, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Goostree Law Group is located in Kane County, Ill. and is available to help you claim fatherhood today.
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