Friday, October 29, 2010

The Premarital Agreement

A premarital agreement or "prenup" is a legal contract between a couple prior to marriage. The terms of this contract become effective when they marry is known as a prenuptial agreement. If you are planning use a prenuptial agreement without any immediate plans to get married, you should consult a prenuptial attorney to help you create this agreement. A typical prenuptial agreement defines the couple's agreement regarding the property rights of each spouse. These predetermined provisions will come into effect upon dissolution of the marriage due to death or divorce.

By entering in to premarital agreement, the couples can derive certain advantages. The benefits derived by the parties to a prenuptial contract from the agreement consist of protective cover to individually owned property, support for estate planning, definition of what could be termed as community property and setting up procedures to decide future matters.
All prenuptial agreements, however, must meet certain norms and requirements in order to make sure the other family members or state does not breach them. Following are some of the essential requirements of a premarital agreement…

• Premarital agreements can be used to define and freeze property rights, financial rights and obligations of each spouse. These rights prevail both during and after marriage.
• Prenuptial agreement should be congruent with the State laws governing the requirements, validity, and enforcement. The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) governs the structure and content of premarital agreements in certain states.
• The agreement must be in black and white signed by both the parties who intend to marry freely and voluntarily without exercise of coercion of any type.
• An entire disclosure of all income, assets, debts, and liabilities of each spouse must be unambiguously documented in the agreement.

Chicago Family Law Attorney must be consulted to make sure that the agreement is fully enforceable in a court of law and will be treated as a contract.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Major Types of Adoption in Illinois

Illinois adoptions are the process whereby an adult Illinois citizen takes the responsibility of becoming the legal parent or guardian of a child. It is important to note that a biological child cannot be adopted by an individual who is also the biological parent of that child. Therefore, an adoption can only apply in case of a child who is not the biological offspring of the adopting parent. During the adoption, legal proceedings are filed and the legal ties that exist between the child and his or her biological parents are broken. Additionally, the paternal obligations are transferred to the new parents to complete the adoption process. It also results in the legal right of an adopted child to inherit the property and assets of his or her legal parents.

Agency Adoption
A licensed Illinois adoption agency can be public or private and is regulated by the Illinois state law. When the court makes an abandoned child the states ward, a governmental advocate for abused, abandoned, or otherwise orphaned children will step in and take custody. Contrary to this, a private agency, typically run by a charity institution of social service organization, oversees the adoption process of children who have been voluntarily placed up for adoption by their biological parents.AdoptionImage via Wikipedia

Independent Adoption
In an "independent adoption", the child is placed into the custody of the new legal guardians or adoptive parents without using an agency. Open adoption is a form of an independent adoption in which the adoptive parents generally have a relationship with the biological mother of the child.
An attorney under the provisions of Illinois Family Law may facilitate independent adoptions outside from biological parent to adoptive parents.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Illinois Military Divorce

Event the strongest of military man who wins the war may fail in his personal life for several reasons. The Military Divorce Laws come to the saviors of spouses who fail to manage and survive their nuptial bonds. The spouses who serve military are helpful in overcoming emotional injury or devastation in several ways by Illinois laws governing divorce. Following are some of the requirements of availing lawful dissolution of marriage, which are specifically applicable to Illinois military spouses…

• The laws governing lawful dissolution of marriage of military couples requires that the divorce papers must be caused to be served upon the recipient in person.
• The laws protect the service person by ensuring that the service person is not held accountable for the default in failing to respond to the divorce action, if it is found that the marriage dissolution papers have not been personally served upon the service person.
• The law confers the powers upon the court of law to postpone the marriage dissolution proceedings as long as one of the parties is on service. In addition, the court of law can also further postpone it up to another 60 days after the service person returns from service.
• The law further makes it sure that the direct payment of retirement pay can only be provided to the couples who have been married for at least 10 years or longer.
• The amount of child support cannot outstrip more than 60% of the pay and allowances of a serviceperson in case of a divorce or dissolution of marriage.

Thus, Military Divorce in Illinois is different from a typical civilian divorce.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

No Fault Divorce versus Fault Divorce

A divorce or legal separation is the cessation of cohabitation of wife and husband either by mutual agreement or as a result of a court decree. Under the provisions of Chicago family Law, the legal separation or divorce petitions in Illinois can be classified into no-fault divorce petitions and fault divorce petitions. Following text briefly covers each type of legal separation.

Illinois No Fault Divorce
The Illinois no fault divorce is a straightforward type of legal separation. There are two simple grounds for filing a no-fault divorce petition in Illinois. The aforementioned two simple grounds of legal separation consist of…
1. Both husband and wife have stopped cohabiting together under one roof for at least a period of two years and therefore want to go ahead and file a legal separation petition in the Illinois court
2. Both the husband and the wife have developed differences that are impossible to reconcile resulting in irrecoverable collapse of the married life.

Illinois Fault Divorce
Illinois adult citizens can file a fault divorce petition in the Illinois court of law. The grounds of separation may consist of one or more of the following…
• Adultery or Bigamy
• Impotence or infection with a sexually transmitted disease
• Willful abandonment by the party for a period of for 1 year or more
• Habitual intoxication or drug addiction for at least 2 years or more
• A deliberate, repeated, and excessive infliction of pain and suffering in any form including mental or physical cruelty
• Imprisonment or conviction in a serious crime

Unlike the no-fault divorce petition, a Chicago Divorce Lawyer would be necessary in a case of fault divorce on aforementioned grounds.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Illinois Uncontested Divorce or Legal Separation

A divorce or legal separation, which is not contested by the other party, goes very smooth in the state of Illinois. Generally, once the petition is filed in the court and Illinois legal separation petition remains uncontested, the couple should not live together with each other for at least six months. In the other cases, the requirement of leaving apart without cohabiting is usually of two years. The hearing, which dissolves the marriage need to be attended only by the petitioner.
There is yet another form of uncontested divorce known as the default divorce. In case of default divorce, it is not essential for the respondent to respond to the petition, which results in the granting of the divorce petition.

Another form of uncontested divorce or legal separation is known as simplified divorce. The simplified divorce must meet following requirements…
• marriage should not have survived beyond 6 years
• meeting the no-fault divorce standards
• the marriage does not have natural or adopt issues or offsprings
• the wife is not pregnant at the time of filing petition
• joint filing of petition by both parties
• independence from each other for the purpose of support
• the parties to the petition have no interest in the real estate
• the value of the property in joint ownership should not exceed USD $5,000
• the gross income of either party to the petition should not exceed USD $20,000
• asset and tax information must be disclosed

The parties to the petition may appear before the court hearing through Illinois Family Law Attorneys or personally.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Rights and Obligations of Unmarried Couples

Over a period of last 20 years, there has been considerable growth in number of live-in relationships across the globe and especially in United States. Chicago family law does not prohibit such live-in relationships. However, the cohabiting couples living together do not automatically get the same legal rights and benefits, which are granted in case of traditional marriages. Therefore, upon separation or death of one of the partner in such live in relationships results in the treatment of surviving partner is a complete stranger by law.

The immediate descendants from such live in relationships or the surviving partner do not have any legal right in the property and asserts of the deceased partner. However, seLiving Together Forever in love!..Shall we!?Image by mohammadali via Flickrarch live in couples have an option to enter into a cohabitation agreement that can legally define their relationship. Such cohabitation agreements can be used by the Illinois court to decide and judge the share of surviving partner in the property and assets of the deceased.

A traditional marriage has the sanction of customs, society, and law, which confers the legal rights and protections upon both the partners and the immediate descendents from the marriage. However, in case of a live in relationship the cohabiting couples need to take an affirmative action by entering into the legal agreement, which determines the legal rights, protection, and obligations. Even though, such an agreement cannot confirm some of the legal rights and benefits, such as tax benefits, which are applicable only to traditionally married couples it could be useful in determining the rights and responsibilities of parties to the contract.

Illinois Child Support Laws along with the cohabitation agreement could come to the rescue of offspring of such live in relationships.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jurisdiction of Illinois Court to Decide On Child Custody

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, abbreviated as UCCJA, confers jurisdiction on adjudication or modification of judgment for original Illinois Child Custody. The Illinois court can exercise its jurisdictions under one or more of the following conditions.

1. The child in question has Illinois as his or her home state. This precondition must be applicable at the time of commencement of the proceedings. Alternatively, the court may also have jurisdiction in case the child has been a resident of Illinois State within 6 months immediately preceding the court proceedings and the child was absent because of his or her removal or retentions by another state. Similarly, even if the one of the parents or legal guardian lives in Illinois, the court may have jurisdiction over the matter.

2. In case of physical presence resulting from abandonment of the child or an emergency situation requiring shelter and protection to the dependent child subject to nebeyond the best interests of the childImage by cdrummbks via Flickrglect, threats, mistreatment, or abuse

3. Another state either does not appear to have or has declined exercise of its jurisdiction stating that Illinois court to be right body to determine the custody in the best interest of the child.

A Chicago Family Law Attorney may request to the court that, in the best interest of the child the Illinois court should assume jurisdiction on the grounds of connection of the child or at one of his or portents with Illinois. The attorney may also prove that that the child’s best interests including the present and future interests, protection and care, training, and personal relationships are present in the state.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Adjudication of Child Custody: Types of Proceedings

As of today, Illinois family law allows the court pass judgment based on the evidence that was presented during the trial process. The family laws that allow adjudication of child custody include Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, Probate Act of 1975, Juvenile Court Act of 1987, and, in absence of any of the above applicable laws, the Adoption Act and Habeas Corpus Act. The following are some of the circumstances that may permit child custody adjudication.

• A lawful separation, which results in dissolution of marriage Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA)

• An independent action with respect to the custody of a child of an unmarried mother who has never been married under the provisions of Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

• To determine the parent in a paternity proceeding (earlier also known as bastardy proceeding) under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984

• In a case where one of parent is seeking guardianship of a minor under the Probate Act of 1975Image by umjanedoan via Flickr

• Under the provisions of Juvenile Court Act of 1987, in cases where a child has been judged as delinquent i.e. guilty of a misdeed, a dependant, abused, or neglected. The child is, in such a case, made a ward and placed under the protection or in the custody of the court

• An action pending termination of parental rights or assignment of child custody on temporary basis under provisions of the Adoption Act

Thus, several Illinois Child Custody Laws may provision child custody under different situations.
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