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Rockford IL Family Law Blog

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: 4 Ways in Which a Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect Your Interests

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich anymore. With the growing amount of second (and third) marriages, protecting one's estate through prenuptial agreements is becoming an increasingly popular practice. Although most individuals enter a marriage with the expectation to remain with that person 'til death do they part, many lawyers would advise the hopeful newlyweds to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Here are just a few of the many things one may want to consider when deciding on whether or not to hire an attorney to assist with the creation of a prenuptial agreement:

1. Protection from your spouse's debt. Prenuptial agreements can offer protection for married individuals from their spouse's current and future debt. Examples of such debt include student loans and credit card debt. Without a prenup, an individual may take on the debt of his or her spouse, which may adversely affect his or her ability to take out loans, open up credit cards, etc.

Trace Adkins' wife files for divorce from the country star

Country music fans in Illinois may be surprised to learn that Trace Adkins is getting divorced. The country music star's wife recently filed for divorce. The couple was married for 16 years and have three children ranging from 16 to nine-years-old. Adkins' wife is seeking primary custody, spousal maintenance and child support. It is unclear the specific reason for the couple's split, but Adkins had recently started rehab after 12 years of sobriety.

Many couples find themselves in the same situation as Adkins and his wife. People change throughout a marriage and sometimes realize that they cannot be together anymore. Every divorce is different based on the specific situation a particular couple is in. Sometimes people are only together for a short time, have no children and do not have any property together. Generally these couples can easily split their possessions. However, others, like Adkins, have a lot of assets and children. These divorces can be much more complicated.

I thought I was married...until I filed for divorce: What are my rights as a Putative Spouse?

With the ease of access to legal records and official documents provided by the technological advances of this age, it is hard to imagine that one would ever have a need to question the validity of his or her marriage when filing for a divorce. However, it happens. Such a situation involving an invalid marriage is known in Illinois as a "putative marriage."

A putative spouse, according to 750 ILCS 5/305, the "Putative Spouse" law, is one who (1) has undergone a marriage ceremony, (2) has cohabitated with the person whom he believes his spouse to be, and (3) believes in good faith that he is married to his "spouse," yet for one reason or another the marriage is invalid. This invalidation is most often due to technicalities, such as a pre-existing and still-valid marriage of one of the spouses. The person who is unaware that his spouse is already legally married before entering into the second marriage is called the "putative spouse."

Press conference being held to start Child Abuse Prevention Month

Many people in Illinois have been around or a part of domestic abuse. It comes in many forms such as verbal abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. Often times there is a combination of all three of those. It can involve just the parents or the children as well and many times both are involved. Domestic violence involving the children can be very detrimental to them and the effects can last a lifetime.

One judicial district is holding a press conference to start Child Abuse Prevention Month. A judge will be present along with the County Attorney and others who head various child abuse prevention groups. There will be speakers at the event and displays bringing attention to domestic violence and child abuse victims. There will be a close line with shirts decorated by victims of domestic violence, displaying their experiences. There will also be paper silhouettes representing each child who has been the subject of a domestic abuse investigation.

When grandparents should ask for visitation

Non-traditional families are becoming more traditional these days.

So it's not surprising that grandparents would seek visitation rights of their grandchildren in some instances. Illinois strongly protects parents' rights on how they raise their children, however, there are a few visitation rights for grandparents under the law.

Proposed bill would change visitation rules in Illinois

Many Illinois parents have split up and, as a result, must deal with visitation schedules for their children. These schedules typically are a part of child custody orders. It is fairly common in Illinois for one parent to receive more time with the children than the other parent; generally, the parent receiving more time is the mother. Many fathers, though, would like to have more time with their children and in some situations, it may be beneficial for children to spend more time with the non-custodial parent.

A new bill has been proposed in the Illinois legislature that would give non-custodial parents more time with their children. The proposed bill states that the non-custodial parent must have the child for at least 35% of the time, which translates to about 60 hours per week. The bill does allow for parents to come to their own agreement, however; the non-custodial parent also may waive the 35% requirement if certain conditions make it unfeasible to have the child 35% of the time.

How divorce affects your will or trust

We've written before about the importance of having a will before. However, what happens if you don't change the beneficiary of your assets after you get a divorce?

Forgetting to alter your will or trust after a divorce could be an expensive mistake. After a divorce any portion of a will listing the ex-spouse as a beneficiary would be revoked, however, it only takes effect until the divorce is final not during the proceedings. As such, if one of the spouses were to die during the proceeding then the will would be in effect under the law.


Peter Orszag involved in contested child support case

There are many people in Illinois who are currently under orders to pay child support. A child support order is based on the economic situation of both parents at the time child support is set in order to meet the child's financial needs. The orders can work well while the economic situations remain the same, but circumstances change throughout a child's life. People sometimes lose jobs or are forced to take a job making less money and sometimes people start to make much more money. When the circumstances change, a child support order may need to be modified.

Peter Orszag's ex-wife is currently attempting to modify their child support agreement. Orszag, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office and former economic advisor to Bill Clinton, is now a Citigroup executive making close to $4 million a year. He has millions in liquid assets as well. He and his ex-wife agreed to modify their child support order about six years ago, but his ex-wife is now seeking more. She is asking Orszag to pay $25,000 a month, claiming he is making much more than he did in 2008.

The basics of a collaborative divorce and mediation

Getting a divorce is never an easy decision. There are options when it comes to filing for a divorce, and working out the process of splitting property, child support and visitation and maintenance.

Collaborative divorce and mediation are two ways a couple can decide to go when it comes to ending a marriage. These options tend to work best when the split isn't as hostile, and the couple needs some help in deciding what all needs to be discussed.


Illinois foster children in need of adoptive parents

There are many people in Illinois who would like to adopt children. There are many different reasons people want to adopt, like being unable to have children of their own, they are a same-sex couple, the child is a stepchild they want as their own and many others. Many of these people are either seeking to start a family or build upon an existing family. However, for as many people as there are in Illinois wanting to adopt children, there are just as many or more children seeking adoptive parents.

The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services is currently recruiting people to adopt children who are in foster care. Many of these children find themselves in foster care because of their parent's drug addictions and subsequent neglect or abuse. People who have adopted these children in the past say that being adopted has a huge impact on a child's life. While in foster care they never know how long they will be there and if they will be wanted in the home. Being adopted puts stability in their life and lets them know that they are wanted, which is very beneficial psychologically.