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prenuptial agreement, St. Charles family law attorneyPrenuptial agreements are legal documents which couples can create and sign before getting married. Provisions in the document include directives regarding how property and assets will be divided in the event that the marriage ends in divorce as well as plans for how finances will be handled during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are often misunderstood and there is quite a bit of misinformation circulating the internet regarding these helpful legal tools.

Myth 1: Getting a Prenup is Planning for Divorce

The most commonly held false belief when it comes to any premarital agreement is that only couples who plan to divorce create these arrangements. This is simply not true. Although short-lived celebrity weddings have given prenuptial agreements a bad reputation, many couples benefit from prenups and never end up divorced.


engaged, Kane County family law attorneysThis is a special time of year for many of us. Families that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or other winter holidays will gather for special meals, the exchanging of presents, and reunions with old friends. As the holiday season continues, many hopeful romantics will make one of the biggest decisions of their lives as they get engaged to be married. In fact, Christmas day is one of the most popular days of the year for “popping the question.” If you are planning to get engaged this holiday season, firstly, congratulations! As you plan for your wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Prenuptial Agreements

Alongside your plans for the big day, one decision you and your partner will need to make is if you will draft a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are also called premarital agreements or "prenups.” The purpose of this legal document is to protect the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Obviously, planning for a divorce before a couple has even gotten married is not exactly romantic. The topic may be uncomfortable to talk about, but prenuptial agreements are vital to protecting your financial interests and rights. Even if your current relationship is strong and you believe that the marriage will last, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario. Having a prenuptial agreement in place could be invaluable during a divorce. It can simplify property division and spousal support decisions as well as save the couple from tedious negotiations.


prenuptial agreement, St. Charles family law attorneysA group of archaeologists has found what seems to be the world’s oldest known marriage contract. The clay tablet was discovered in Turkey and contains provisions that mention divorce, infertility, and other topics relevant to a marriage. Experts estimate the tablet to be about 4,000 years old, but the contract is remarkably similar to a present-day prenuptial agreement.

According to reports, the tablet lays out a marital contract between a man named Laqipum and his wife Hatala. Among the contract’s terms, there is a provision that delineates what would happen if Hatala could not have children—namely, that she would be required to buy a slave a woman with which her husband could have a child. The contract also specified the details of a possible divorce. If the man chose to divorce his wife, he would be required to pay her a certain sum of money. If a divorce was the wife’s decision, she would pay him the same amount.

The Benefits of Using a Prenuptial Agreement


Posted on in Adoption

adoption, Kane County adoption lawyersChoosing to adopt a child is a truly monumental  decision for all involved, and in order to ensure it goes successfully, it is important to have an attorney who understands the stakes. The process is very complex, even for legal professionals, and there are certain questions that should be asked so that you can be certain you are working with a knowledgeable attorney.

  • #1. What is your background in adoption law? This is perhaps the most important question that can be asked. The adoption process is quite complex for anyone, even those with experience, especially if you wish to adopt internationally. The most recent available data shows over 260,000 adoptions have been brokered internationally since 1999, with the majority being from countries where procedures were either not conducted in English, were prone to adjustment, or both. This can be a severe roadblock for an inexperienced attorney.
  • #2. Do you have preferences about adoption types, or is there a type of adoption you will not handle? There are multiple types of adoptions, including private, open, agency-assisted, and many others. Some attorneys refuse to work with adoption agencies, or may refuse to handle adoptions in specific countries. Such preferences are legal as long as this information is communicated up front, but it is not always presented openly.
  • #3. What do you charge, on average, to handle an adoption? While there is no specific fee that is appropriate or inappropriate, it is important to have a sense of what will the entire process will cost. A flat fee may be preferable for your situation, but it is possible for an ethical attorney to still charge an hourly rate. As long as your attorney is honest with you about fees, no red flags should be evident.
  • #4. Do you require a retainer fee? While there is some debate about the appropriateness of retainer fees, some adoption attorneys in Illinois do charge retainers while others do not. Many feel that paying a retainer is a gamble, especially since in Illinois, the birth mother is granted 72 hours after the birth of a child to decide whether she truly wishes to place that child up for adoption, leaving the adoptive parents with virtually nothing if she elects to keep the baby.
  • #5. Will I be kept informed? While this is hopefully a given for any competent attorney, it should still be asked. If your attorney is the only knowledgeable adoption practitioner in the firm, you may go weeks without contact while he or she is busy on other matters. It is important to get a clear picture of your potential attorney’s availability.

Contact a Knowledgeable Adoption Lawyer

Ensuring your adoption attorney is a good fit for you can be critical to the success of your adoption. If you are in need of experienced, compassionate Kane County adoption attorney, contact Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. for help. Call 630-377-7770 today to set up a free initial consultation.


Posted on in Visitation

visitation, St. Charles family law attorneysIllinois law states that the both of a child’s parents are entitled, at the very least, to a reasonable amount of time with the child unless the court finds that visits would be dangerous to the child (physically, mentally, emotionally or otherwise). However, the only other familial relations that are even granted standing (permission) to apply for visitation rights are grandparents, great-grandparents, stepparents, and siblings (including step-siblings).

Grandparents, stepparents, and siblings may petition the court to be granted visitation with a minor child, but they are only likely to be successful in certain situations. Even if a child has lived with them or been close with them for a long time, these family members are not entitled to visitation as a matter of law. The two situations in which these select non-parents are most likely to be granted visitation rights are (1) if one or both parents of the minor child have been missing for at least three months, or are deceased or otherwise incompetent; and (2) if the child’s parents are not living together, either on a permanent or indefinite basis. To establish a case for visitation being permitted, non-parents must establish that the parent’s decision to deny visitation is “unreasonable” and that the child has suffered or will suffer harm as a result of that decision. This is, as one might guess, very difficult to establish.OK

Aunts, uncles and other family members that may once have been close to the child have no standing to even apply for visitation privileges. Their ability to see the child in question is entirely left to the judgment of the parent or legal guardian.


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