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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

What You Need to Know Before Adopting

Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton adoption attorneysFor thousands of American couples, adoption offers the opportunity to complete their family unit. Adoption represents a beautiful decision for a couple looking for a child, and a child in need of loving parents. According to studies conducted by the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP), more than 600,000 children in foster homes throughout the United States are adopted by permanent custody parents each year. Making the decision to adopt represents a truly life-changing decision for all parties involved. If you and your family, are contemplating adopting, it may be time to contact a family law attorney to assist you with some of the complex legal proceedings involved in every adoption.

Common Adoption Misconceptions

When making the decision to adopt, prospective parents are posed with a number of important questions, but they may also be presented with common misconceptions about adoption. 

My Adopted Child Won’t Love Me: When contemplating adoption, many parents wonder whether or not their adopted child will love them as if they were their birth parents. This notion is a common adoption misconception; in all reality, the vast majority of adopted children have a wonderful relationship with their adopted parents. In fact, according to the NSAP, approximately 90% of children over age 5 have positive feelings about their adoption. Children simply need a home and loving parents.

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Illinois family law attorneysFamily law courts routinely make decisions on monumental issues, such as child custody, property division issues, and alimony determinations. Thus, it is no surprise that a large number of people leave the courtroom, disappointed by the decision-making process and the determinations that were made.

Fortunately, sometimes people can contest unwanted outcomes. If you truly believe that your family law case has been wrongly decided, it may be possible to pursue an appeal. It is important to understand that simply being unhappy with the court ruling does not entitle you to an appeal. An appeal is only plausible if the decision is truly incorrect. If you believe the grounds that lead to the court’s decision in your family law case were falsely established, it may be time to explore the possibility of an appeal.

Understanding the Appeal Process

An appeal is defined as the process in which an appellant (the person requesting the appeal) does not believe their case was properly decided and requests examination of the decision from a higher court. In the state of Illinois, family law appeals are always first reviewed by the appellate court of the state of Illinois.

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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

It's now a trend with its own term. Gray divorce, a term used for individuals who end their marriage after they are 50 years of age or older, is rising, and more family law professionals are seeing clients who fit the category. In Illinois, these older couples separate with different issues than other couples who call it quits when they are younger.

Unlike couples with minor children, gray divorce individuals do not have the same needs for child custody and child support negotiations. Usually, the major issues of this type of marital dissolution are related to assets such as the home, investments and retirement plans. Individuals need to decide how the assets will be shared during a collaborative process, or they may need to have the matter settled by a judge.

Some of those with experience in the field say that divorces among older individuals are up and that the divorce rate has raised to 30 percent in this age group. Some say that it is the largest growing age section in their family law practice. Many couples report that the divorce was useful and that they harbor no bad blood against their ex-partner, but of course, this does not apply in every case.

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Tax changes affect family law rules

Posted on in Family Law
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

The only constant in life is change. The recent overhaul of the federal tax guidelines are demonstrating the truth of this aphorism by turning old policies around and changing the way people pay taxes. In the realm of family law, the new tax rules affect how alimony payments are taxed. The new rules will apply to divorces in Illinois and other U.S. states starting in 2019.

Previously, an alimony payment was tax deductible for the person paying it. The person receiving it claimed the income and paid taxes on it. The new policy, applying to divorces finalized in 2019 and beyond, flips this rule on its head and does the opposite. The person paying will now lose the tax break and must include alimony with their taxable income. The person receiving is not obligated to dwindle the allotment further by paying taxes.

The federal government anticipates that the policy change will increase federal revenue by almost $7 billion over the next decade. The IRS has long reported issues with more deductions being reported than income being claimed. The change, it is hoped, will help turn the tables and increase available funding for the government.

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For many, a marriage does not always go the way one initially expects. Although many start the journey to marriage with the idea of living together happily ever after, the reality is that many marriages end in family law court. Researchers have been looking into the facts surrounding divorce and have come up with the top 25 locations where couples typically end it. While no city in Illinois made the top 25, individuals living in the state are still likely to be affected by marital dissolution at some point in their lives.

The old adage is that half of all marriages end in divorce, but is this actually true? Recent statistics show that this really isn't the case. Since its peak in the 1980s, divorce rates have actually been declining. More people are waiting until they are older to marry, which some experts say can account for the decline in breakups.

Despite the decline, more than 10 percent of the U.S. population can expect to end a marriage at some point. A significant percentage of individuals, more women than men, say they never expect to remarry. Data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey looked at information about marriage from the 200 most populous cities in the United States. After collecting the data, the group of researchers found the top 25 divorce capitals.

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