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domestic violence, Kane County family law attorneysThere is little question that domestic violence continues to be a major issue in today’s American society. In fact, there are a number of studies which suggest that the problem may be even more serious than previously acknowledged, including severely underreported cases involving male domestic abuse victims. The physical, psychological, and emotional damage caused by violence against an intimate partner or family member can rise to tragic levels, often requiring years of recovery if and when a victim can escape an abusive situation. It is for exactly these reasons that intentionally false allegations of domestic violence are so disturbing, and such allegations can substantially affect the outcome of family-related legal concerns.

Impact to the Falsely Accused

Under Illinois law, an emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based solely on the testimony of a victim. In a situation where actual violence or the threat of violence, this is entirely necessary. However, when a parent or spouse brings false allegations of violence before the court, an emergency order of protection can affect a completely innocent person. Depending upon the details included in the claim, the order can potentially prevent the accused from remaining in his or her home, seeing his or her children, or even going about the normal business of daily living. An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 30 days, or until a hearing on the matter can be scheduled, whichever comes first.

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Posted on in Family Law

prohibited marriages, Kane County family law attorneyFor a number of years, the was a much debate throughout the country regarding the institution of marriage and the government’s right to determine which couples should and should not be permitted to marry. The main point of contention was the rights of same-sex couples to get married. The issue was essentially put to rest almost two years ago when the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that provided for same-sex marriage rights throughout the nation. While same-sex couples now have the same access to marriage as opposite-sex couples, there are still some limitations in each state regarding who may and may not get married. In Illinois, a marriage between two people who are not legally permitted to marry one another may be annulled.

Unlawful Marriages

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs marriage, divorce, and related matters in the state. The IMDMA provides that a marriage is considered “prohibited” if:

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Posted on in Adoption

adoption-stepparent-family-childIf you are a parent, you should always want what is best for your child, even it means making certain sacrifices. The law also provides you with particular rights and responsibilities in regard to your child. In the wake of a divorce, exercising your parental rights may be especially difficult if the other parent is given the majority of the parenting time and most of the authority for decision-making. When your ex-spouse gets remarried, the challenges may become even greater, particularly if his or her new spouse expresses the desire to legally adopt your child.

A Stepparent Adoption Requires Your Consent

In most situations, your ex-spouse’s new husband or wife cannot adopt your child unless you voluntarily consent to the adoption. If you agree to the adoption, you also agree to the termination of your parental rights and responsibilities regarding your child. According to Illinois law, a person may have only two legal parents. As such, a stepparent adoption is more than a formality; it creates a legal parent-child relationship between the stepparent and your child, giving the stepparent all of the authority and responsibilities that were once yours.

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Posted on in Alimony

stay-at-home, Kane County family law attorneyIf you are a stay-at-home parent on the verge of divorce, your life is likely to change dramatically. The very nature of a stay-at-home mom or dad—as opposed to a parent who works from home—means that he or she relies on his or her spouse to provide financially for the family. In the wake of divorce, a stay-at-home parent could be at a very serious disadvantage. Fortunately, such parents often have a number of options available to help offset some of the financial effects of a divorce, and a seasoned family law attorney can assist you in exploring them all.

Spousal Support

Maintenance—also called alimony—is one of the most common tools that the courts use to help stay-at-home parents following a divorce. According to Illinois law, the court has the authority to order maintenance if either spouse has a legitimate need. The court must consider a number of factors in determining such a need, and your stay-at-home parent status is certainly one of them, but that alone is not necessarily enough to justify an award.

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Posted on in Child Custody

first refusal, St. Charles family law attorneyWhen a couple with children elects to end their marriage, they will need to create a parenting plan for the future. A parenting plan is a formal agreement that specifies the rights and responsibilities of each parent regarding the child, serving as a foundation for the couple’s co-parenting efforts. Illinois law provides more than a dozen considerations that a parenting plan must address, such as the child’s primary address for school enrollment purposes and a schedule for each party’s parenting time. In addition, a parenting plan may include other, optional provisions including the right of first refusal. If your parenting agreement gives you the right of first refusal, you need to fully understand what that right entails.

Additional Parenting Time Opportunities

When it is part of a parenting plan, the right of first refusal may be invoked when one parent needs alternate arrangements for child care during his or her normal parenting time. Depending upon how the right of first refusal is structured, it could apply when a parent has an evening obligation, or the right may be reserved for longer periods of needed care—such a weekend-long business trip on a parent’s scheduled weekend with the child. The right of first refusal, when it applies, requires the parent needing alternate care to notify the other parent and offer him or her the opportunity to care for the child.

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