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Wheaton | St. Charles

st charles divorce lawyerThe holiday season can be stressful for anyone. Buying gifts for loved ones and coordinating holiday celebrations and family get-togethers can take up a great deal of time and energy. These issues can be even more difficult to deal with for those who have recently ended their marriage or are in the midst of the divorce process. If you are a divorced or unmarried parent who shares custody of your children, you may need to make major changes to your normal holiday plans, and both you and your children may experience emotional struggles as you adjust to new arrangements. Fortunately, there are some positive steps that you can take to make sure you will be able to enjoy the holidays with your children. These include:

  • Set expectations - It is important to make sure everyone understands the holiday parenting time schedule well in advance. You can communicate with the other parent to determine when children will be staying with each of you and when children will be picked up or dropped off, while also addressing any other issues related to the time children will spend in each of your homes during their winter break from school. You will also want to discuss these plans with your children and answer any questions they may have about the holiday schedule or other related concerns.

  • Help children maintain positive family relationships - To ensure that your children will be able to enjoy the holidays, you can help them purchase or make gifts for the other parent and encourage them to make the most of the time they spend in each parent’s home. You can also help them connect with extended family members, including making sure they maintain communication with your ex’s side of the family whenever possible.

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Wheaton prenup lawyerWhen you see wedding bells in your near future, there are probably 101 things on your mind -- and a prenuptial agreement is not likely to be one of them. Though it can seem unromantic and it may feel like you do not trust your future marriage, a prenuptial agreement can be a hugely beneficial tool in the event that you and your spouse ever get divorced. Prenuptial agreements give you freedoms from certain laws that you would not otherwise have. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that allows you and your spouse to basically plan your divorce before it happens. Prenuptial agreements allow you to address issues such as property division, spousal maintenance and ownership of businesses or professional practices.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous -- they are useful for almost everyone. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot:

1. One of You Has Been Married Before

If this is the second trip down the aisle for either you or your spouse, you should strongly consider getting a prenuptial agreement. A prior marriage means you are probably coming into this marriage with more property and you may have other obligations from your previous marriage, like child support. A prenuptial agreement can protect these obligations.

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DuPage County parenting time lawyerWhen it comes to divorce cases and issues involving children, the Illinois court system places the needs and well-being of the children above all else -- including the parents. Child custody can be a contentious issue in divorce cases, but the job of the judge assigned to your case is to ensure that the child is safe, well cared for and loved, no matter the custody situation. Illinois courts understand that children do their best when both parents are present in their lives. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifically states that “it is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time.” A judge will, however, place restrictions on parenting time if he or she feels the child would be in danger by spending time with one or both parents.

Considering Parenting Time Restrictions

It is widely understood by most people that a child not only deserves to have both in his or her life, but that they also thrive when they form a relationship with both parents. In most divorce cases, there will be an equal or nearly-equal allocation of parenting time. Unless a parent petitions to have the other parent’s parenting time restricted or the court learns of a danger to the child, parenting time will not be restricted. Before any decisions are made, a hearing will be conducted to determine whether the child’s mental, emotional, physical or moral health would be in danger if he or she were to spend time with the parent.

Types of Parenting Time Restrictions

Once you have attended the hearing, the courts will determine whether a parenting time restriction is appropriate. The court will examine all aspects of each parent’s life, such as his or her living arrangements or work schedules. If the court finds any of these aspects to be questionable, then they may place restrictions on the type, duration or supervision of the parenting time. Restrictions on parenting time can include:

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DuPage County Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage lawyerYou have had it up to your ears with your spouse, and your spouse is fed up with you. You both know that you want to end the marriage, but you both also know how stressful, long and drawn out divorces can become. You know you want something that is as quick and easy as possible. 

One option that you may have is to apply for a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. This type of divorce is expedited and can allow you and your spouse to complete a divorce much quicker than a traditional divorce. Importantly, there are certain requirements that couples must meet in order to qualify to use a joint simplified dissolution of marriage.

Requirements for a Simplified Divorce

Only certain couples qualify to file for a joint simplified divorce. According to Illinois law, the following requirements must be met before a couple can file for a simplified divorce:

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Naperville DUI charges attorney Not only is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol imperative to our safety and wellbeing, but it is also against Illinois state laws. The law clearly defines what constitutes driving under the influence, as well as the penalties of being found guilty of such violations. Due to the increased safety concern of impaired driving, the state legislature enacted strict DUI laws in conjunction with severe punishments.

A Brief Summary of Illinois State Law 625 ILCS 5/11-501

According to Illinois state law, it is illegal to drive or otherwise be in physical control of a vehicle when:

  • Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .08 or higher;
  • You are unable to drive safely due to alcohol or another intoxicating substance;
  • You consumed any amount of any controlled substance; or
  • You have a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or more in your bloodstream.

Potential Penalties for First Offenders

If you are arrested for DUI, you will likely face administrative penalties that will directly affect your driving privileges. More sanctions are possible with potential criminal penalties if you are later found guilty in court. For first time offenders, DUI qualifies as a Class A misdemeanor, which has a potential sentence of:

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