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DuPage County prenuptial agreement lawyerPrenuptial agreements are rising in popularity. More and more couples are signing prenuptial agreements before they say "I do." Modern couples are realistic. Drafting a prenuptial agreement is not exactly romantic, but it is one of the most responsible decisions you could make before getting married. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, here are five reasons to get one.

To Protect Your Assets

If you have significant assets, a prenuptial agreement can help protect them in the event of a divorce. When people get married, their finances inevitably become mixed. Any property or money that a spouse earns while they are married is added to the marital estate. If the couple divorces, any property contained in the marital estate is divided between the spouses. With a prenuptial agreement, you can keep your assets separate. This means that in the event of a divorce, your assets will not be considered part of the marital estate and will not be subject to division. You can also use a prenuptial agreement to protect inherited property or gifts from family members.

Some married couples prefer to keep their finances separate. Instead of mixing property and debts, they use a prenuptial agreement to classify their assets and debts as non-marital. This means that in the event of a divorce, each spouse will keep their own property and debts.

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DuPage County legal separation lawyerA legal separation does not end a marriage. However, it does allow spouses to make legally binding decisions about child custody, property division, and other issues typically decided on during a divorce. There are several reasons a married couple may choose to seek a legal separation rather than a divorce, including religious beliefs or personal preferences. In some cases, couples may also use legal separation as a way to test whether they want to end their marriage,

If your marriage is experiencing turmoil, make sure you understand the advantages and limitations of legal separation before making a decision.

Basics of Legal Separation in Illinois

When a couple gets divorced, they are no longer married in the eyes of the law. This means that they can remarry if they choose to do so. A legal separation does not end your marriage, but it does allow you to create a separation agreement - a document similar to a divorce decree. Your separation agreement may contain determinations regarding:

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Wheaton Adoption LawyerDeciding to adopt is a serious matter and can be complex depending on your situation. Adopting a child can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! Since 2000, our team at Goosetree Law Group has helped families through the process of different types of adoption in Illinois, including co-parent adoption

What is Co-Parent Adoption?

Co-parent adoption is when one biological parent of a child agrees to let another person legally adopt the child. This type of adoption is most common in cases of third-party reproduction, in which a couple uses someone other than themselves to create and bring a child into the world. If one member of the couple is the biological parent but the other is not, they can use co-parent adoption to make the other person a legal parent as well. This is also a common scenario for same-sex couples and couples who use surrogacy or donor conception.

Co-parent adoption has a similar process as other Illinois adoptions. In order to adopt, the parent wishing to adopt must file a court petition and may have to make one or more appearances in court as well. The court will, in some cases, order a social worker to visit the family's home to ensure that the home is suitable for children. 

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Wheaton Family Law AttorneyIn July 2017, substantial changes to Illinois child support laws took effect. Instead of determining child support solely on the paying parent's income, child support determinations are now based on both parents' financial circumstances. The changes were made in an effort to make child support calculations more equitable.

Child support is usually calculated using the Income Shares formula.  The Income Shares model estimates the amount of money that would have been available to the child if the family had not been divided by divorce. This approach considers both parents' net incomes to determine a child support obligation. In some cases, however, a court may deviate from the typical calculation method. 

Deviating From the Income Shares Formula

Courts can deviate from the statutory child support formula if the court feels it is in the best interests of the child. In making a determination about whether to deviate from the Income Shares calculation method, courts will consider factors such as:

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Naperville Protection Order LawyerPhysical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological manipulation, and financial exploitation are just some of the forms of domestic violence suffered by individuals in Illinois and across the country. Domestic violence is shockingly common. Sadly, many people suffer in silence because they are not aware of the resources and legal tools at their disposal.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering whether or not you should hire a lawyer. Family law attorneys experienced in domestic violence matters can help you navigate complex legal issues like protective orders, child custody, and property division during divorce. An attorney’s job is to advocate for you and ensure your rights are not violated.

Taking Legal Action After Domestic Abuse

If you are unsure of whether a lawyer can benefit your particular situation, consider the following factors:

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