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McHenry County Family Law AttorneyPrenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular among engaged couples of all ages. Prenuptial agreements can protect both spouses’ financial interests in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse. They also represent an important opportunity for engaged couples to discuss financial plans and expectations before they walk down the aisle. In a country where financial problems are consistently cited as a top cause of divorce, financial transparency is crucial to building a strong marriage.

However, prenuptial agreements must meet certain criteria to be legally binding. If a prenup does not meet these requirements, it may be completely useless during a divorce.

Requirements for Prenuptial Agreements in Illinois

Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts. As with any contract, they must meet certain standards to be legally enforceable. In Illinois, part of all of a prenuptial agreement may be thrown out if these standards are not met.

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Crystal Lake Family Law AttorneyWhether you are a parent, stepparent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or childcare worker, being accused of intentionally hurting a child is shocking. If you were recently contacted by The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) due to accusations of child abuse, you may be caught completely off guard. You may have questions like, “Will I face criminal charges?” and “What can I do to clear my name?” The first step after learning that you are the subject of a DCFS investigation is to contact a skilled attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand the accusations laid against you and how best to defend yourself.

Your Rights During a DCFS Investigation

False allegations of child abuse may stem from a vengeful ex or even a simple misunderstanding. However, every allegation should be taken seriously. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is not law enforcement; however, they work closely with police during child abuse and neglect cases. DCFS findings can lead to criminal charges as well as restricted parenting time or child custody.

If you received a notice from the DCFS indicating a finding of child abuse, you should know that you have rights. You have the right to:

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Crystal Lake Child Custody AttorneyMental health can be a touchy subject, especially when it is in the context of a legal proceeding such as a child custody dispute. If you are getting divorced or you are in the midst of a child custody case, you may have questions about how mental health evaluations or psychological testing could impact your case. Can you require the other party to undergo psychological testing? What happens if your soon-to-be ex-spouse asks you to undergo mental health evaluations? How do the results of these tests impact the outcome of the case? Who pays for psychological testing?

Understanding Mental Health Evaluations in an Illinois Family Law Case

Sometimes, a parent requests psychological testing because he or she is sincerely worried that the other parent’s mental health problems or substance abuse will impact his or her parenting ability. Other times, a parent requests psychological testing as a tactical move. Fortunately, Illinois courts only permit psychological evaluations when there is a genuine need for such an assessment. Furthermore, the party requesting the psychological evaluation is the one who pays for the service  - and professional mental health assessments are not inexpensive. The court ultimately has the discretion to deny or uphold a parent’s mental health evaluation request.

Court Ordered Mental Health Examinations

In any case regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time, the court’s main concern is the child’s best interests. When determining what is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider each parent’s health as well as their ability and willingness to meet the child’s needs. Sometimes, a judge will order a mental health evaluation to gather more information about a parent’s mental state and any mental illnesses he or she has.

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Crystal Lake Child Support AttorneyAs any parent can confirm, children are expensive. In fact, it is estimated that the average cost of raising a child to adulthood is over a quarter of a million dollars. For parents who are not married, managing child-related costs can be a considerable challenge.

If you are getting divorced or you are an unmarried parent, you may have questions about child support. You may wonder how child support payments are determined in Illinois or what you can do if you disagree with the amount of child support you have been asked to contribute.

Child Support Calculation Method

Illinois uses a system called “Income Shares” to determine a fair and reasonable allocation of financial support. First, each parent’s net income is determined. This is the parent’s income after taxes, prior child support or spousal support obligations, and other deductions. The parents’ net incomes are added to find their combined net income. This number is compared to an “Income Shares Schedule” to determine the “basic support obligation.” The basic support obligation is the amount of money that both parents are expected to contribute to the child’s needs. Finally, the basic support obligation is allocated to the parents in proportion to each parent’s share of the combined net income. So, the greater a parent’s income in relation to the combined net income, the greater his or her contribution.

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mchenry county domestic violence lawyerThe Illinois Domestic Violence law prohibits any person from hitting, choking, threatening, or interfering with the personal liberty of an individual within their family or household. Domestic violence is a very serious crime and it is often very difficult for victims to take action. With the help of a family law attorney, victims can petition for an order of protection that can cease any access that their abuser has to themselves or their loved ones.

Why Would Someone Want an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a very effective way to halt abuse committed by a relative, someone you share your residence with, a caregiver, a significant other, or a previous significant others (for example, an ex-boyfriend). The purpose of an order of protection is to protect a victim of domestic violence by prohibiting the following behaviors:

  • Physical abuse and intimidation

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