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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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DuPage County legal separation attorneyAs any married individual can attest to, it is not always easy to know when a marriage is truly over. You may be unhappy in your relationship, but you may still have a glimmer of hope that you and your spouse can resolve your differences. However, even if you are not yet ready to pursue a divorce, you will likely still need to address key issues related to your finances and your children. In situations like these, a legal separation may be the right choice. Read on to learn about the purpose of legal separation in Illinois as well as the differences between legal separation and divorce.

Understanding The Process of Getting Legally Separated in Illinois

There are many misunderstandings about what it means to be legally separated. A legal separation does not simply mean that you and your spouse are living separately; instead, it is an official legal status. During a legal separation, you and your spouse can establish arrangements about the same issues that you would need to address during a divorce. You may then submit your agreements to the court, and these agreements will become legally-binding court orders. During a legal separation, you can formally address:

DuPage County grandparent visitation lawyerAs any grandparent can tell you, the relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is special. Grandparents offer guidance, wisdom, and support to grandchildren that is informed by decades of life experience. When a married couple with children divorces, grandparents are often worried about whether they will get to see their grandchildren as often as they would like. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may wonder if grandparents have a legal right to spend time with their grandchildren or may be granted “grandparent visitation.” As with many Illinois family law concerns, the answer to this question is complex.

Under What Circumstances Are Grandparents Granted Visitation?

Family dynamics can be very complicated – especially when divorce is involved. If you are a grandparent who wants to ensure that you still get to spend time with your grandchild, you may wonder if you can petition the court for visitation. Typically, court-ordered parenting time only involves the child’s two biological parents. However, the court may grant grandparent visitation in certain circumstances. You may have a legal right to visitation if:

  • Your grandchild’s parents are divorced, and one or both of the parents approves of grandparent visitation

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Wheaton grandparent visitation lawyerIf you are a grandparent, you know just how special the relationship with your grandchildren can be. However, when a grandparent’s relationship with their adult child is complicated, they may worry about how this will affect their relationship with their grandchild. Illinois law recognizes the positive impact many grandparents have on their grandchildren’s lives. Because of this, there are certain situations in which grandparents may be granted legal visitation with their grandchild.  

Illinois Law Regarding Grandparent Visitation

Grandparents often question what their rights are when it comes to seeing their grandchild. Typically, parents have the right to restrict a non-parent’s access to their child. There is a presumption that a child’s parents are “fit” or capable of making sound decisions about their child - including decisions about who the child spends time with. However, a grandparent may petition the court to request mandatory visitation with their grandchild under certain circumstances.

The court may grant you visitation with your grandchild if you can demonstrate that:

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DuPage County domestic abuse attorney order of protection

Domestic abuse or intimate partner violence affects millions of people across the country, including in the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, or stalking can make a person feel as if his or her own home is a prison. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, one option you may want to consider is an emergency order of protection (EOP). Sometimes called restraining orders, EOPs are legally enforceable court orders that require an alleged abuser to cease abusive and harassing behaviors. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help you through the legal process of obtaining this important document. 

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse involving a past or current family member, household member, romantic partner, spouse or ex-spouse, or someone who is the parent of the alleged victim’s child. Many alleged abusers use manipulation, intimidation, threats, and physical violence to control their alleged victims. This may include pushing, hitting, strangling, and other physical violence as well as harassment such as repeatedly following the victim. An abuser may attempt to weaken the victim’s independence and convince the victim that the abuse is somehow his or her fault. No one should have to tolerate this type of treatment. Fortunately, there are legal remedies available in Illinois that can help protect victims of domestic violence.

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