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Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

wheaton family lawyerThe Illinois Department of Children and Family Services estimates that roughly 100,000 grandparents in Illinois are raising their grandchildren. For these people, the meaning of the word “grandparent” goes above and beyond the love and care most grandparents give to their grandchildren. 

When grandparents take the place of parents who are unable to care for their children, sometimes the best option is for the grandparent to adopt their grandchild. Any adoption is a long and complex process, but an experienced Illinois adoption attorney can answer any questions you may have and help make the adoption process easier. 

When Can a Grandparent Adopt Their Grandchild? 

Grandparents are often the natural choice when a child needs an adoptive parent because they already have a strong and stable presence in the child’s life. Grandparents may adopt whether they are married, single, or divorced, but certain circumstances must be met before a child can be adopted. Both parents must be unable to care for the child due to: 

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illinois adoption lawyerIllinois couples and individuals considering adoption have many things to think about. How long will the process take? Which type of adoption is right for us? How will life change after the adoption is complete and a new child comes into our lives? In addition to other challenges potential adoptive families may face, the odds can seem overwhelming. 

In this article, we will look at the five different types of adoption available to parents in Illinois. Each option has benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to discuss your situation with a qualified Illinois adoption attorney who can help you decide which type of adoption is right for you. 

Private Adoption

Sometimes called an “independent,” “non-agency,” or “unrelated” adoption, private adoptions occur when the adopting parents have no prior relation to the child and an agency is not involved. Parents hoping to adopt using a private adoption work directly with the child’s biological family - usually a young, single mother - and adoptions usually take place immediately after birth. Private adoption is usually the best option for parents hoping to adopt an infant. However, private adoption can also leave prospective parents vulnerable to risks like the mother changing her mind.

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dupage county divorce lawyerDuring the excitement of preparing and planning for marriage, couples often overlook a valuable planning instrument: The prenuptial agreement. In the heady joy of falling in love, they may not see the point. Why go through the hassle of completing a prenuptial agreement when the marriage will never end? 

Yet after the marriage, when couples have a chance to start thinking practically again, they may realize the value of an agreement that stipulates a reasonable financial arrangement in the event of a divorce. They may also realize that a postnuptial agreement is a great way to establish the financial responsibilities of each spouse during the marriage. 

What does a Postnuptial Agreement Do?

A postnuptial agreement is a binding legal document that details and protects the financial interests and responsibilities of each spouse, both during and after the marriage. Each couple’s situation is different, and a well-written postnup will accommodate the couple’s unique circumstances. A prenup may include clauses that, among other things:

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wheaton adoption lawyerPursuing an adoption in Illinois is a wonderful way to expand your family, but it can also be  a lengthy and expensive process. Whether you adopt through a private arrangement with a biological parent, an agency adoption, or a related adoption such as a stepparent adopting a stepchild, the adoption process can have many complications and emotional pitfalls. Recognizing this, the Illinois State Legislature recently passed a bill designed to streamline the adoption process. Senate Bill 107 was passed unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Among other issues, the bill addresses the following: 

Eliminates Residency Requirements 

Senate Bill 107 eliminates the residency requirements for adoption of a child placed by an Illinois State-licensed child welfare agency, adults adopted by former stepparents, and adoption of a child born in Illinois or has lived in Illinois for at least six months before the beginning of the adoption proceedings. This will make it easier for parents who just moved to Illinois, or for couples or individuals who may not be Illinois residents, to adopt a child in Illinois. 

Waives the Six-Month Interim Waiting Period

Previously, parents wanting to adopt a child have had to receive an interim order giving temporary parental responsibilities for the child being adopted. Only after six months and any necessary investigations, a final adoption hearing could take place. Senate Bill 107 eliminates this waiting period in cases where the State or an authorized person has the right to consent to the adoption of the adoptee. 

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DuPage County grey divorce lawyerThe make-up of the American family has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. One of the trends taking place throughout the United States is an increase in the average ages of marrying couples. Both men and women are getting married later in life. In 1960, the average age of first-time brides and grooms was 20 and 22, respectively. Presently, the average ages of first-time brides and grooms are closer to 30. This change has affected family law concerns, including prenuptial agreements and divorce.

Individuals Getting Married Are More Like to Have Significant Assets and Debts

Couples used to get married soon after high school. Modern spouses are much more likely to be in their mid to late twenties. This means that many brides and grooms have a college education, and consequently, student loan debt. Modern spouses are also more likely to own substantial assets, including a home or small business. This is one reason that many family law attorneys are seeing an increase in prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement is a legally enforceable contract that is used to describe spouses’ property rights. The contract may identify certain assets and debts as non-marital and therefore not subject to division during divorce. A prenup or postnup may also describe a spouse’s entitlement to alimony or spousal maintenance.

Divorce May Be Especially Complicated

Because Americans are waiting until they are older to get married, divorce cases often involve intricate financial and personal issues. Divorce involving children and stepchildren can lead to disputes regarding parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support. Divorce involving complicated financial circumstances such as commingled assets, hard-to-value assets like cryptocurrency, and complex investments may also lead to contentious disputes.

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