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St. Charles IL prenuptial agreement lawyerMany people are familiar with prenuptial agreements—or prenups—and the pros and cons associated with them. However, what most do not know is that they can actually be quite complex and address much more than standard asset division. They are also not as ironclad as popular culture paints them to be. It is imperative that before you enter into a prenuptial agreement, you have a good understanding of exactly how they work.

What to Include and Leave Out

Among the primary reasons that couples choose to enter into a prenup are to protect one spouse from the consequences of the other’s debt, or to ensure that provisions are made for the children of a previous marriage. Inheritance laws in most states do not differentiate between the children of a current marriage or a previous relationship, so if there was a promise to, for example, save a personal item for a child of one’s first marriage, it can be advantageous to note that in a prenup. Prenuptial agreements are legally binding, unless it can be proved that the agreement is unenforceable.

With this rationale for entering into a prenup, it is perhaps not surprising that prenuptial agreements, at their most basic, are about money. The provisions you include should almost exclusively deal with financial matters. A prenup is not the place to discuss future child custody or who should take the trash out every day. While asset division is usually thought to fall under the area of divorce law, earmarking certain items in a prenup is perfectly legal and will help to control the situation if there is a question of inheritance. It is also important to note that Illinois and the other states that have ratified the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) explicitly ban any provisions being made for child support in the event of divorce, but they do permit most provisions regarding spousal support to stand. 

St. Charles IL divorce lawyerThe prospect of divorce is never an appealing one, especially when it feels as though so much is at stake for both parties. From saying goodbye to the relationship and months or years of memories you and your spouse share to dividing belongings and making new living arrangements, the outcome of any divorce, no matter how large or small, results in sacrifice. The experience can be even more emotionally taxing when children and pets are involved, further complicating the question of whether or not to officially call it quits.

Signs You May Be Able to Reconcile

Marriage and family relationship experts identify certain factors that may make reconciliation possible, should both parties be willing to work on the relationship. These include mutual love and trust, good communication, and a sense of safety where both parties are concerned. A sense of safety can manifest itself in a number of ways, including mentally, physically, emotionally, or financially. Other signs that you may be able to salvage your marriage are the presence of shared interests and obvious reciprocal partnership. If you are both faithful to one another, express genuine commitment to the marriage, and possess active, common interests, it may be beneficial for you both to explore the option to stay together.

Indicators it May Be Time to Leave

Some red flags that experts consider unredeemable hindrances to a marriage include a lack of common goals or shared interests, infidelity, and a general lack of trust. The absence of trust harms a partner’s sense of safety and security, and if there is no sense of safety present in the marriage, an ongoing, unhealthy balance exists. A pattern of pathological dishonesty is another big indicator that it may be time to leave. It is usually a combination of these negatives that causes the quality of the marriage to deteriorate over time, finally bringing the unhealthy nature of the relationship to one or both spouse’s attention. For some, the realization hits hard and fast, while it slowly sneaks up on others. 

St. Charles IL divorce attorneyThe amount of mental energy couples must expend on the divorce process is often overwhelming, no matter how smoothly the transition unfolds. Divorce scenarios are, in most cases, a mixed bag of events. Some couples sail through the process with mutual respect and civilized interaction, only to discover emotional landmines when they reach the finish line, while other couples struggle with the split from the get-go. Matters can be especially difficult when one spouse refuses to cooperate altogether, leaving the other spouse with all the work and twice the weight in emotional stress.

What Can You Do When Your Spouse Will Not Cooperate?

There are a number of ways someone’s behavior can change throughout a divorce. Sometimes, the change is so drastic, the person becomes nearly unrecognizable to their partner. Some individuals regress, and their behavior can turn so ugly that the divorce becomes flat-out toxic. Even if your divorce has not gone quite to that extreme, you may see a side of your spouse you never knew existed. Experts indicate that people often react differently under severe divorce stress, typically out of self-preservation, which can manifest in many ways including anger or isolation. 

So, what can you do if you are dealing with an entirely uncooperative spouse? Here are some ways you can attempt to diffuse the tension:

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles divorce attorneyWhether you have seen your divorce coming for some time or the realization of your unraveling marriage has taken you by surprise, telling your children, extended family, and acquaintances that your marriage is over is never a pleasant experience. It is not uncommon for friends and family to feel a sense of loss themselves, as they too grew familiar and comfortable seeing you and your spouse together, often over a period of many months or years. Children in the family can take divorce especially hard, making the duty of breaking the news to the kids infinitely more difficult for parents.

Communication is Key

Some divorcing couples make a mutual agreement to tell the children together, while others make arrangements to delegate the “talk” to one parent. Some couples never even have the chance to discuss who will speak to the children about the split because of the conflict and tension surrounding the end of the relationship. Whatever your personal circumstances, consider the following as you tell your kids, friends, and family that you and your spouse are going your separate ways:

  • Get your own emotions in check. Psychology experts emphasize the need for self-care during a divorce, especially when it comes to mental health. Although it is much easier said than done, getting your own emotions in check before you break the news of your separation to your loved ones can help a great deal. Approaching the conversation with a clear head and a calm demeanor can soften the blow, allowing your children and family members to absorb the news. The more in control you appear to be, the better they will receive the news.

Posted on in Adoption

St. Charles Adoption LawyerIn recent years, the number of Americans who have gotten remarried after getting divorced has increased quite dramatically. The Pew Research Center reports that 40 percent of new marriages in 2013 included at least one spouse who had previously been married before. Having children from a previous marriage is not out of the ordinary, and blended families have become common in American society. In some blended families, the non-biological parent may want to legally adopt their spouse’s children. This is called a related adoption or, more specifically, a stepparent adoption.

Understanding a Stepparent Adoption

There are many reasons why a person might want to adopt their spouse’s child. For some families, the bond between the stepparent and the children is so strong, the idea of legalizing the relationship is almost a given. In other cases, a stepparent adoption is motivated by affording the children inheritance rights and other benefits.

Regardless of your reasons, there are a few things you should understand about stepparent adoptions before you start the process:

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