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Posted on in Annulments

Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages to an AnnulmentWhile divorce is the most common way for married couples to legally separate, couples also have the option to annul their marriage. Annulment dissolves the marriage on the grounds that it is invalid, which can mean the marriage retroactively never existed. In Illinois, there are four categories that qualify for annulment:

  • If the marriage is illegal, such as incest, bigamy or being forced to marry under duress
  • If one party was mentally incapable of consenting to the marriage
  • If one party was unaware that the other party was incapable of having sexual intercourse
  • If one of the parties is younger than 18 and did not receive parental consent to marry

Even if you qualify for annulment, you should consider whether an annulment is your best option. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting an annulment instead of a divorce:


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.

Kane County family law attorneyTeenagers make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes result in misdemeanor charges, like a shoplifting or underage possession of alcohol charge. In some cases, an adolescent can face a felony charge. As a divorced parent with a shared parenting time and parental responsibilities agreement, you might wonder what your role is regarding your child's criminal record.

In Illinois, charges, convictions, and penalties for minors are handled by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. If your child has been charged with a crime, start working with a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in juvenile offenses to handle his or her case. This is not the only lawyer you should contact, however. Speak with your family lawyer as well to determine your rights and responsibilities as a parent and how your child's conviction will, if at all, affect your current arrangements.

Determine a Strategy With the Other Parent

Posted on in Adoption

There are many ways to add a child to your family. Many couples conceive their children biologically while others choose to adopt. Some individuals find themselves facing parenthood when they marry their partners who already have children from previous relationships.

For couples who wish to have biological children but cannot, for whatever reason, carry a pregnancy, surrogacy is an option. Surrogacy is an agreement between a couple and female third party where the third party becomes pregnant with the couple’s child and gives birth, after which the couple takes and raises the child without her involvement. This woman is known as a surrogate. There are two different ways families can go about working with a surrogate to conceive and give birth to a child and each way comes with unique legal obligations. Before you begin working with a surrogate, contact an experienced family attorney to find out your obligations as a prospective parent.

The Gestational Surrogacy Act and Types of Surrogacy

Posted on in Marriage

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, marriage laws,For millions of people around the world, coming to the United States and becoming a citizen here is a dream. Although the process for becoming an American citizen is basically the same for all entrants to this country, being married to a U.S. citizen means that an individual must take certain steps to obtain his or her green card and begin the naturalization process. The naturalization process is the process through which one becomes a U.S. citizen and involves certain paperwork, passing a written civics exam, and proof of the applicant’s marital relationship with a current citizen. This process cannot begin without a green card.

Obtaining a Green Card

A green card is the proof that an individual holds that shows that he or she is a permanent resident of the United States, rather than a visitor.

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