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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting plan

If you and your spouse have children together, your co-parenting relationship will likely extend even beyond a possible divorce, perhaps for several years into the future depending on your children’s ages. The necessity of co-parenting with your ex-spouse can be a major source of stress, but it does not always have to be difficult. However, there are things you can do both during and after the divorce process to help you and your ex continue to work together effectively for the good of your children.

Creating an Illinois Parenting Plan

The first step toward successful co-parenting with your ex is to work together during the divorce process to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the best interests of your children and is manageable for both parents. The two primary components of your parenting plan are parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities.

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Will County estate planning attorney wills and trusts

Thinking about your eventual death may be uncomfortable, but it is often important in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly and your family is provided for. As you consider your estate plan, you may be aware of the importance of a will, which can clarify your wishes involving the distribution of your assets. However, you should also consider the benefits of establishing a trust to provide additional protection. An experienced family law attorney can help you draft an estate plan to fit your unique situation. 

Why a Trust May Be Right For You

A trust offers many benefits when compared to simply specifying the distribution of assets in your will. These benefits include:

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Will County family law attorney prenuptial agreement

Most people go into marriages taking their vows seriously. For many, “til death do us part” rings true. However, for some, that is not always the case, and their union ends in a divorce. When a marriage dissolves, one of the most disputed topics is often the division of assets and property. During the divorce process, you may need to go back to your prenuptial agreement (prenup) and examine its validity. Under Illinois law, a prenuptial agreement is a contract between two potential spouses that is used to define the division of finances and assets in the event of divorce. As stated in the term “prenuptial,” this contract is made before the nuptial and goes into effect once the couple gets married. However, this agreement is not set in stone. Just like other legal contracts, the validity of a prenuptial agreement can be challenged. The results can lead to portions of the contract being unenforceable, or the entire agreement being invalidated. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you determine whether or not your prenup is valid.

Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

If a prenuptial agreement is found to be unenforceable, then court proceedings can follow. Some of the reasons this contract might be deemed unenforceable according to the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act include:

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DuPage County divorce attorney litigation

Getting a divorce can be extremely difficult under any circumstances, as you contemplate ending a commitment that you made and what it will mean for your future and that of your family. The thought of having to go to trial and discuss your personal matters in front of the court can add even more anxiety and stress. The good news is that despite what you see in many dramatic media portrayals, the vast majority of divorces are settled without having to go to trial. There are several options that you can explore to resolve your divorce without the time, money, and invasion of privacy that a contested court case often entails.

Alternatives to a Litigated Divorce in Illinois

If the decision to divorce is mutual and you and your spouse are willing to cooperate, chances are good that you can avoid litigation with a trial and instead reach a divorce agreement through one of the following alternative dispute resolutions:

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Naperville guardianship lawyerWhen people discuss guardianship of adults with disabilities, you may assume that this is something you will never have to worry about. But the truth is, countless disabilities can occur due to old age. Your parents or grandparents can become incapacitated by diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or mental illness, and need a legal guardian to help them get through life. Below is a brief overview of guardianship and when it may be necessary. Hopefully, this will help you determine whether or not you need to pursue guardianship for your relative here in Illinois.

When Can a Guardian Be Appointed?

The Probate Court appoints a guardian to manage the affairs of a person incapable of doing so himself or herself. The person unable to handle such personal affairs is referred to as the ward. An adult will need a guardian assigned to be a proxy decision-maker if his or her disability has led to any of the following, resulting in a lack of ability to manage daily affairs:

  • Significant mental decline

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DuPage County divorce attorney child custody

You and your spouse have always been civil with one another, but you two both agree that you would be better off divorced. Due to your positive relationship with each other, you anticipate an amicable divorce. It might even be an uncontested divorce, or you both might mutually agree to the terms without much, if any, heated arguments. But that does not mean that you do not need a lawyer. Even when cooperating with your spouse in an agreeable way as you decide on the terms of your divorce, there are some issues that a lawyer can help you address.

6 Reasons You Need an Attorney Even if Your Divorce Is Uncontested

Among the benefits of having an experienced attorney by your side even during an amicable divorce are:

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Will County trusts and estate plan attorney

During the probate process, you might find that the last will and testament of the decedent seems suspicious. For instance, perhaps you or someone else from the family has been completely removed from the will without provocation or justification. Or maybe the will seems vastly different from what the decedent had expressed when he or she was alive. This is especially challenging if late in life the decedent had begun losing many mental faculties or had remarried. But before you jump to conclusions and immediately contest the will, you need to know from the start whether you and your case even qualify for such legal actions.

Who Has the Legal Right to Contest a Will?

Essentially, there are two types of people who are permitted by law to contest a will:

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Will County prenuptial agreement attorney

The Illinois Stay-at-Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a surge in pet adoptions over the last few months. Many of these adoptions were made by married Millennials, who often view pet ownership as a substitute for having children. With some parts of the world seeing a rebound from the global health crisis, certain countries have begun to report an uptick in divorce rates. In the States, the health and financial struggles facing couples may have put their relationships and marriages in jeopardy. However, just because your relationship or your marriage might be ending during these challenging times does not mean your lovable “fur baby” needs to feel any negative effects. That is when a “pet-nup” or “pup-nup” might be worth pursuing to ensure that your pet's best interests will be protected in the event you and your spouse get divorced.

“Pet-Nups”: A New Trend in Prenuptial Agreements

According to most divorce laws, pets are typically viewed as property. However, pets have become more of a focal point in most families’ and married couples’ lives, and in some cases, pets may be viewed more like children or members of the family. After all, dogs and cats are not property; they are living, breathing, sentient beings who deserve to be treated with care, especially when they are considered an important part of the family dynamic. This is why states like Illinois, California, and Alaska have recently passed laws to ensure that a pet’s overall well-being is considered during divorce.

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Will County estate planning attorney probate

A person’s last will and testament typically appoints an individual to serve as the executor or personal representative of the estate. The executor is required to file the will in probate court within 30 days after the decedent’s death. There are many steps and legal procedures involved in the probate process. As an executor of someone’s estate, you are likely grieving the loss of your friend or family member. Therefore, considering all the tasks you must complete can be overwhelming and daunting. However, by working with an attorney, this process can be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. The following are a few tips for how to handle the legal proceedings for this important responsibility:

6 Primary Steps

By law, the Illinois Probate Act dictates that an executor must do all of the following during the probate process:

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Will County parenting time lawyer

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended the state's Stay-at-Home order through the end of May. If you are a divorced parent, you may be struggling with how to navigate your parenting plan with your ex-spouse during this time. Consider taking some of the below actions with your children during your parenting time to make the most of your parental responsibilities at such an unprecedented moment in history.

Your Kids Will Thank You if You Do These Things

Spending time with your children has never been more important—or ever-present—than it is now. Many parents are experiencing new challenges related to work-life balance, and since schools have been closed for in-person classes, keeping children occupied during the Stay-at-Home restriction may be a tall order. One thing to keep in mind is that parenting time has been deemed essential, so unless you and the other co-parent make some sort of special arrangements, both parents should continue to spend time with their children as scheduled. Here are some inventive ways to keep your kids engaged during your agreed-upon parenting time:

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DuPage County probate attorney

If you are an executor or personal representative of the estate for a person who recently passed away in Illinois, you will need to file his or her last will and testament in probate court within 30 days of the death. Depending on the will and how extensive his or her estate planning was, this probate process can get particularly complex. Therefore, it is important to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable probate lawyer to make sure everything is done properly. Below is a closer look at key terms from the probate process in Illinois so that you know exactly what it entails.

Key Terms and How They Apply to Probate

Before you even begin the probate process, it is important to define and understand the following key terms:

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By: Sean P. Sullivan

DuPage County Divorce LawyerWhat is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A Guardian Ad Litem or a GAL for short, is a neutral attorney that is appointed by the Court in a divorce case to be the “eyes and ears of the Court” and investigate the best interests of the children. There are numerous factors the Court must consider under the law to determine what is in the best interest of the child, and the GAL assists the Court in gathering information in support of these factors.

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By: Sean P. Sullivan

DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

  1. Do not stay together for the sake of the children.

Often times I have heard clients say that they would have gotten divorced sooner, but they wanted to stay together for the sake of the kids. This generally does not work, and in fact, can often have the opposite effect. When two people stay together not because they want to, but rather because they feel they have to— it actually creates more tension and stress in the home. This, in turn, places more stress on the children. Children sometimes feel as if they have to pick sides between two people they love and this causes them great stress, whether they admit it or not. Do not put your children in this position, if the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down to the point that you are considering a divorce, do not let the fact that you have children stop you from exploring the possibilities of a divorce. In addition to being a divorce attorney, I also serve as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). As a GAL, I am tasked with “being the eyes and ears of the Court” and advocating for the best interests of the children. In this capacity, all too often have I have seen the emotional toll that befalls children living with parents who no longer like each other. Divorce is difficult for children no matter what. What will help your children through the divorce process is to split apart and establish new routines and living arrangements and to always keep your children’s wellbeing at the forefront throughout the process. Children are resilient and more adaptable than parents often realize.

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DuPage County spousal support attorney

When two people enter into marriage, they seldom think it is going to end in divorce. As the old adage says, “Til death do us part.” However, that promise is not always realistic. Married couples who experience relationship problems often go to counseling to resolve their disputes. Still, studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. The stresses on marriage are diverse and myriad, and some couples work through them but others decide that legally ending their union might be in everyone’s best interest. There are various factors that can increase the likelihood of a divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce for whatever reason, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights to marital property, spousal support, parenting time, and more.   

Issues that Can Destroy a Marriage

Whether a couple has been married for one year or 30 years, they may find that the “honeymoon period” is over. Every marriage is unique and can include different struggles, such as health crises, financial problems, or personality conflicts. A few of the major issues that can break down a marriage may include but are not limited to:

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