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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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Hinsdale gray divorce attorney

Although the divorce rate in the United States is slowly declining, there is one demographic that has seen a significant increase in divorces: Americans over age 50. In fact, data shows that one in four adults currently going through a divorce is aged 50 or above. These so-called “gray divorces” can be substantially more complex than divorces involving younger individuals. When older adults get divorced, there are special concerns that they must consider.

Spousal Maintenance Is Often Granted After a Long Marriage

Many divorce cases do not involve any type of alimony or spousal maintenance. Generally, alimony is only granted when a divorce causes one of the spouses to be at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, a stay-at-home mother who sacrificed a career to care for her children will likely have a much lower earning capacity than her husband who remained in the workforce during the marriage. Illinois courts make spousal maintenance decisions based on factors such as:

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Oak Brook step-parent adoption attorney

In recent years, the number of Americans who have gotten remarried after getting divorced has increased quite dramatically. The Pew Research Center reports that 40 percent of new marriages in 2013 included at least one spouse who had previously been married before. Having children from a previous marriage is not out of the ordinary, and blended families have become common in American society. In some blended families, the non-biological parent may want to legally adopt their spouse’s children. This is called a related adoption or, more specifically, a step-parent adoption. There is more than just one reason why a person would want to adopt their spouse’s children, but there are also a few things you should understand about step-parent adoptions before you do so:

  • Children can only have two legal parents at any given time. Illinois law states that a child can have no more than two legal parents. This can pose problems for step-parents who want to legally adopt their spouse’s child, especially if the child’s other biological parent objects to the adoption.

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Hinsdale divorce lawyer credit scoreDivorce can often have a large impact on your finances. With attorney’s fees, filing fees, court costs, and the asset division process, costs can add up quickly. This is why it is so important to protect your finances during and after your divorce. Many people who are considering ending their marriage may wonder how their divorce will affect their credit score. Having decent credit is extremely important, especially when you are starting your new life as a single person. While getting a divorce will not automatically affect your credit score, there are ways a divorce can be detrimental to it. Here are a few tips on protecting your credit score during and after your divorce:

  • Close all of your joint accounts as soon as possible. This should be one of your first steps in protecting your finances during a divorce. If you have any type of joint accounts with your spouse -- whether those are checking or savings accounts or credit cards -- you should close them in a timely manner to protect yourself. Even if your credit card debt is allocated to your spouse, you will still be held legally responsible for repaying that debt unless you remove your name from the account.

  • Keep paying all of your bills, even if you do not think you should have to. It is very important that you keep paying all of your bills during your divorce, or you could see your credit score start to drop. Until you separate all of your accounts, you must keep making payments on your joint accounts, or both you and your spouse will suffer a drop in your credit score. Even if you just make the minimum payments on things such as credit cards and auto loans, you will be in a much better position than if you did not pay.

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Oak Brook parenting time attorney

There is arguably no relationship more sacred than the one between a parent and child. For children, solid, loving relationships with their parents are crucial for their healthy development and well-being. Because of this, many states, including Illinois, have placed specific emphasis on allocating parenting time to both parents of a child, rather than solely to one parent. Though it may not always be a 50/50 split, most cases involve both parents having parenting time with their children, and it is typically in the child’s best interests to spend time with both parents. However, there may be cases in which a judge finds that it is necessary to place restrictions on parenting time.

When Are Parenting Time Restrictions Appropriate?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that both parents are presumed to be fit to care for their child and that in such cases, the court will not place restrictions on parenting time. In divorce and family law cases, the duty of the judge and the court is to ensure the child is being taken care of adequately. If the court finds that the child’s physical or emotional well-being would be endangered if he or she were to spend time with a parent, then the judge can restrict parenting time for that parent.

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DuPage County lgbtq divorce lawyer child custodySince 2013, gay marriage has been legal in the state of Illinois, and since 2015, it has been legal throughout the entire country. Many LGBTQ couples rejoiced in their newfound ability to get married, but they may still have a number of issues to overcome when it comes to LGBTQ families and the legal dynamics of those relationships. One of the issues that LGBTQ couples still face is children and how both parents can have equal parenting rights to those children. Many laws today are still worded to accommodate “traditional” parentage, with a mother and a father being the child’s parents. A handful of states (including Illinois) have developed what is called second-parent adoption, which is useful in both LGBTQ marriages and divorces.

Defining Second-Parent Adoption

Also known as a co-parent adoption, a second-parent adoption is one of the best ways an LGBTQ couple can ensure both parents have a legal relationship with their child. Typically, establishing legal parentage is still almost entirely based on the biological ties a child has with his or her parent(s). In many cases, when same-sex couples have children, one of the spouses is the child’s biological parent, such as when the child is conceived through a surrogate or using a sperm donor.  

Why Use a Second-Parent Adoption?

Marriages between a man and a woman are rather simple when it comes to determining parentage. If the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth, the man she was married to is presumed to be the child’s biological and legal father. In same-sex marriages, legal parentage is not that easy. Even if the parents are married when the child is born, the child is typically not considered to be the legal child of the non-biological spouse. Second-parent adoptions allow the non-biological parent of the child to establish legal parentage, ensuring that their parental rights and relationship with the child are legally recognized.

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