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Wheaton, IL 60189
Wheaton Family Law Attorney
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Lombard adoption attorneyAn adoption is a beautiful chance for a family to raise a child, and for a child in need to have loving and caring parents. In many cases, however, the adoption process can be tedious and complicated, and in order to ensure that the process is completed smoothly and effectively, it is essential to work with an experienced family law attorney.

Addressing Adoption Issues

Here in the state of Illinois, there are four main types of adoption: agency adoptions, private adoptions, international adoptions, and relative adoptions. In all of these adoption options, it is critical to have an experienced legal professional representing your family’s best interests. Some of the issues that may become involved in different types of adoptions include:

  • Agency Adoptions: An agency adoption is a process that is facilitated by a public or private organization. In many cases, these adoptions go through a private adoption agency. If you are adopting a foster child in the state of Illinois, the adoption will go through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In private agency adoptions, it is not entirely uncommon for agencies to act in a corrupt or fraudulent manner. A legal professional can ensure that no unlawful conduct takes place. 
  • Private Adoptions: In a private adoption, a biological parent and the adopting family work together directly to finalize the adoption. Due to the fact that no outside organizations are overseeing the adoption process, the importance of an attorney cannot be understated in these cases. When adopting, one of the most common concerns is the health history of the biological parents. An attorney can assist you in securing the medical history of the biological parents and determining how that may impact your child’s life moving forward. 
  • International Adoptions: In an international adoption, a family adopts a child from outside of the United States. In many cases, international adoptions can be difficult to finalize, and they can become incredibly costly. Communication with an international adoption agency can be challenging, considering the distance and potential language barrier. In some countries, adoption agencies are not required to be licensed, and adoptive parents may be more susceptible to financial exploitation. A family law professional can offer you helpful tips in the adoption process, beginning with never offering an adoption agency money up front. 
  • Relative Adoptions: A relative adoption is a process in which a person adopts the child of a family member. While a relative adoption can initially be more straightforward due to the prior connection with the biological parent, there can be some challenges. In a relative adoption, a biological parent may attempt to maintain a significant role in the child’s life. In most cases, this can be a good thing, but in other cases, it can lead to hostility, as well as confusion for the child. Speak with your attorney regarding the benefits and drawbacks of a relative adoption. 

Contact a Wheaton Adoption Lawyer 

If you are interested in adopting a child, the first step you should take is hiring a lawyer that you can believe in. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we have assisted dozens of families in finalizing their adoptions. With over a decade of family law experience in the state of Illinois, we are confident in our ability to assist you in a seamless and efficient adoption process. To schedule an initial meeting with a quality DuPage County family law attorney, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyer trialWhile most people assume that the divorce process is heated and highly contentious, many divorces can be resolved through settlement agreements. Divorcing spouses may be able to reach an agreement through mediation or negotiations between the spouses and their respective legal teams. In some cases, however, certain issues cannot be resolved, and the divorce has to go to trial. In the event of a divorce trial, proper preparation is critical to securing a positive outcome for you and your family. If you are contemplating divorce, it is important to seek out the legal guidance of a professional you can trust. 

Four Critical Pre-Trial Steps 

Once your divorce goes to trial, the decisions made by the judge will depend on the evidence presented and the performance of both you and your attorney throughout the trial. While a judge’s decision can be appealed in some cases, these decisions are usually final. Before you go to trial, it is crucial to be as prepared as possible by taking the following steps: 

  1. Be Professional: As you get ready for the trial, your attorney will speak with you regarding appropriate behavior in the hearing process. Wearing appropriate clothing, only speaking when asked to speak, and not using your mobile phone while in the courtroom are great places to start. It is also important for you to remain composed and avoid being disrespectful while your spouse is testifying. Proving that you can keep your cool throughout the trial can only work in your favor. 
  2. Prove Your Responsibility as a Parent: If you are hoping to secure significant parenting responsibilities in your trial, you need to show that you are prepared for independent parenting. Be ready to answer questions regarding your views on your child’s academic goals, extra-curricular activities, and health. Demonstrating that your living arrangement is suitable for a child can also go a long way in impacting a judge’s decisions. 
  3. Discuss Your Goals: During pre-trial discussions with your attorney, you should discuss your goals for the trial. If there are specific marital assets you hope to secure, your attorney can develop a strategy based on retaining ownership of those assets. If your top priority is child custody, your lawyer’s pre-trial preparation will be centered around the steps you need to take to ensure you have a meaningful relationship with your children moving forward. 
  4. Prepare for Testifying and Potential Cross-Examination: It is understandable to feel nervous as you prepare for a divorce trial. Testifying in court can be a nerve-wracking experience, and facing potential cross-examination from your spouse’s legal team can cause a great deal of anxiety. With the help of your attorney and extensive practice and preparation, you will be ready to answer any questions posed to you. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

When divorcing from your spouse, it is common to feel a wide array of emotions. As you navigate the legal and emotional aspects of your divorce, a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you in resolving the issues that arise. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we will assist in negotiations between you and your spouse or help guide you through the mediation process. If your divorce goes to trial, we are prepared to aggressively litigate on your behalf. To schedule an initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney, call us today at 630-462-9500.

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Naperville divorce lawyerThroughout the United States, thousands of people pursue divorce each year, and the process of ending a marriage can be contentious and stressful. Due in large part to the stressors that accompany a divorce, many people make mistakes that can cost them both financially and emotionally down the road. It is important to remember that the first and most important step you can take as you prepare for a divorce is hiring the right attorney. 

Avoiding Costly Divorce Mistakes 

Many divorcing spouses make unwise decisions that are often due to strong emotions or a lack of preparation. Listed below are some of the most common mistakes that can plague a divorce:

  • Forgetting About Finances: As you separate from your former spouse, there are many details that need to be settled. Many of the most complex and important, aspects of a divorce revolve around finances. Failure to focus on the financial side of your divorce can result in the loss of valuable marital assets and a lack of future retirement funds, among other concerns. One of the first discussions you should have with your attorney is a dialogue related to your finances. Disclosing an accurate portrayal of your financial situation and ensuring that your attorney understands your financial goals can make all the difference in your divorce. 
  • Not Thinking About Children: Regardless of why a couple chooses to pursue a divorce, the process can become heated. However, when children are involved, it is important to keep a level head. The easiest and simplest way to develop a parenting plan is through cooperatively establishing a parenting schedule with your ex-spouse. If you are unable to reach an agreement regarding parental responsibilities, matters related to child custody will be settled in court, leaving the ultimate decision completely out of your hands. Putting emotions aside and working with your former spouse in a cooperative manner to reach an agreement can also be a valuable experience that will lay the foundation for your future cooperation as co-parents. 
  • Acting Aggressively: As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for divorces to become hostile. Still, acting in an aggressive or disrespectful manner toward your spouse is likely to have a negative impact on your divorce case. Even if you are justifiably angry at your ex, it is best to avoid criticizing them in public, such as on social media. When you are working with your attorney, your spouse, and their lawyer, it is wise to remain composed. Many issues surrounding a divorce can be settled through negotiations with legal counsel, or with the assistance of a third-party mediator. In the event that your divorce is settled in court, any aggression towards your spouse either inside or outside the courtroom can have a significant negative impact on the decisions made. 

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney 

At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand how emotionally trying a divorce can be. As you navigate the difficult process of separating from your spouse, we are prepared to represent you diligently throughout the entirety of the divorce process. Hiring the right attorney can be critically important in protecting your financial health and the well-being of your children. Our attorneys are confident in our ability to help you secure a positive divorce settlement. To schedule an initial meeting with a Lombard divorce attorney, call us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Lombard collaborative law attorneyWhen a couple makes the decision to get married, the union is a truly beautiful thing. However, the stresses of life, ranging from financial security to parenting disputes, can bring a marriage to a screeching halt. When a marriage is no longer healthy, a divorce can represent an opportunity to start anew. While most people think of divorce as a heated and contested process that is navigated through litigation in court, many divorces can be resolved in an amicable fashion. Collaborative divorce is one alternative method used to resolve the issues couples must address when dissolving their marriage. 

Understanding Collaborative Divorce 

Through collaborative law, a couple looking to end their marriage will work with their respective attorneys in reaching a settlement that is agreed upon by both parties. Typically, a couple will agree to fully disclose all necessary information to each other over the course of their negotiations, and their attorneys will agree to withdraw from the case if an agreement cannot be reached. A collaborative divorce can resolve issues ranging from the division of marital property to child custody. If you decide that you want to pursue a collaborative divorce, it is important to fully understand that the process will require patience and trust in both your former spouse and the legal professionals you are working with. 

The benefits of a collaborative divorce are numerous. The collaborative process enables you to work with your ex-spouse and develop a new relationship. By avoiding litigation, you can finalize the divorce in a timely fashion, and keep your family matters private. Financially speaking, a collaborative divorce will enable both parties to agree upon a settlement that will ensure equity and financial security. Due to the general speed of most collaborative divorces, the process can result in savings in attorney’s fees. 

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Naperville divorce attorney appealWhen a couple pursues a divorce, the ideal situation revolves around securing a mutually beneficial settlement. When a couple can work together, either through a collaborative divorce or the assistance of a mediator, issues can be resolved on the couple’s terms. However, in some cases, couples are unable to work together to find a resolution, and litigation is necessary. 

Your divorce will affect a wide variety of issues, ranging from child custody to the division of marital property, and a judge’s decisions can have a monumental impact on your life. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case, it may be possible to pursue an appeal. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options for appealing a divorce judgment and represent the best interests of your family throughout the legal process. 

Understanding the Appeals Process in Illinois 

The first thing to understand is that an appeal will only be warranted if some sort of error was made during the trial. Examples of legal errors could include an instance in which the judge did not have access to all necessary information, or if the decisions made did not follow the law correctly. Once your attorney has established that your appeal is based on reasonable grounds, it is important to act quickly. Appeals must typically be filed within 30 days after the divorce judgment.

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