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Springfield, Illinois Divorce Law Blog

Important points about paternity in Illinois

Parents in Illinois who are concerned about issues related to paternity need to be aware of basic facts regarding how it is established, which could help avoid any long-term disputes. This is in the best interest of the child as well as the biological parents. Unfortunately, one of the most common legal issues that comes up has to do with paternity. Therefore, it is important to know as much as possible about it in the event that there is a disagreement from any perspective.

Paternity is defined as the legal relationship a father has with the child. When parents are married, there is no issue regarding legal paternity as the husband is presumed to be the legal father. If, however, the parents were not married when the child was conceived or born, then the man who is believed to be the father is called the "alleged" father. This is not a legal term and the man cannot be added to the birth certificate as the father until there is a legal establishment of paternity.

Family law: Prenups can establish solid foundation

17858931_S.jpgSome soon-to-be-married couples in Illinois believe signing a prenuptial agreement is a negative way to start a marriage as it indicates preparation for the worst-case scenario. Although a prenup protects both parties in the event of a divorce, it mainly shows honest, upfront communication that can establish a sound basis for any marriage. Information about these types of agreements can provide peace of mind and is available from family law attorneys.

Considering the high number of marriages that end in divorce, it is much easier to plan and discuss such an eventuality at a time when the parties are in tune with each other rather that when communication has broken down. It is also important to keep in mind that a prenuptial agreement also serves a purpose upon the death of one of the spouses. The contract can specify what will happen to the assets each spouse owned before marriage, and how those accumulated during the marriage will be divided.

Collaborative divorce may be considered as an alternative

48645791_S.jpgEnding marriages is not something many Illinois couples go through more than once or twice in their lifetimes. Many believe what they have heard about divorce and the trauma of litigation. However, there are alternative options, and couples who decide to divorce while they are still communicating may find that they can avoid going to court. Spouses who can sit down and talk through contentious issues may reach agreements that will be less costly and less stressful, and they might even learn new negotiating skills that will help their post-divorce communications.

One of the alternative options is collaborative divorce. This practice is different to an uncontested divorce, and it is not just an out-of-court settlement. It is a distinct legal process for which a trained lawyer is required. Collaborative law requires both parties along with their specially trained attorneys to meet and discuss all the necessary issues. Additional professionals may be present during negotiations, such as financial advisors, child specialists and more.

Answers to your prenuptial agreement questions

51885247_S.jpgAs we have written about before on this blog, prenuptial agreements are helpful contracts that can guide a married couple through a divorce. It can even help a soon-to-be-married couple confront some difficult topics before they walk down the aisle -- such as financial considerations and asset protection. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, property division defaults to state laws when a divorce occurs.

We say all of this for two reasons. The first is that no couple should think that a prenup "isn't for them" because they have heard that prenups are only reserved for the rich. That's a lie. A prenuptial agreement could benefit any couple -- it just depends on what they are looking to do with that prenup.

Are you considering legal separation?

51142384_S.jpgWhen a married couple is having issues severe enough that they are considering divorce, they also think about taking a "middle ground" approach first before committing to the permanent solution of a divorce. What we are talking about is legal separation, an option that allows married couples to retain their marriage while entering a legal process that is similar to divorce.

Separation allows the spouses to live separately while they decide if they want to get a divorce. The separation can last for a significant amount of time, letting the spouses enjoy their own lives and fully consider whether this life without a spouse is what they want. If they do determine that this is the best course of action, then they can move forward with the permanent solution: divorce.

How alternative dispute resolution can help you

You may have heard of "alternative dispute resolution," a term that refers to a couple of different approaches that splitting spouses can use to complete their divorce. While the "traditional" route can work, it can also be the wrong fit for many couples. Thus they seek out different ways to complete their divorce. This is where mediation and collaborative law come in.

Mediation is exactly how it sounds. The two spouses agree upon one lawyer who will act as an independent third party in their divorce. As the mediator, that attorney will help them come to terms with the many issues that are inherent to their divorce. Mediation is done outside of court, and this can be a very helpful and cost-saving approach for some couples.

Getting a divorce? Then avoid these mistakes.

51382605_S.jpgGetting a divorce is a critical legal step that must be completed in a compliant and efficient way. But given the importance of this legal step (and the process it follows) it is inevitable that mistakes will come about. Common ones in the world of divorce can cause a lot of troubling for splitting spouse, so today let's talk about some of these common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

One mistake that everyone probably knows all too well is getting upset and emotional during the divorce process. This can lead to a spouse getting mad or arguing with their soon-to-be-ex, which can not only hamper negotiations, it can also create legal problems for you. For example, if you let your anger get to you and you post about it on social media, your spouse could use your social media activity as evidence against you during divorce proceedings.

When change is necessary, consult with an attorney

You would hit a very comfortable point in your life if you never had to change, right? If everything was just as you wanted it to be and there were guarantees that none of that would change, then you would likely accept that stasis. However, such a scenario doesn't exist. Life is always changing. Circumstances are always changing. And as a result, we have to adapt and change as well.

Now why are we talking about this on a family law blog? Well, change is inherent to the idea of divorce. You're changing your life from living together as a couple to being apart and living independently. But there's another reason this idea of change and divorce is important: for the sake of your divorce agreement or your child custody arrangement, you have to be prepared for those agreement to change and evolve over time. They are extremely unlikely to remain the same over the years.

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