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Palatine family law attorney, rights of grandparentsChildren of divorced parents must deal with losing the stability of a two-parent home, potentially moving away from friends and family, and adjusting to living in multiple households. Losing friends and family is often the most difficult part of the divorce process. One family member that would be particularly hard to lose is a grandparent.

Grandparents commonly play a large role in a child's life, and have a large impact on a child's development. In fact, some grandparents find themselves raising their grandchildren. More commonly, though, is the grandparent trying to stay in the good graces of both parents in hopes of avoiding a reduction or termination of contact with his/her grandchild.

Parents may choose to cut ties with an ex-spouse's family, particularly if there are issues of domestic abuse or protracted, high-conflict custody disputes. However, the end result is the grandparent and child losing this relationship. Legally, parents are given broad latitude in deciding who is permitted to see their children, and this authority extends to grandparents. Thus, if a parent decides to block communication between a grandparent and grandchild, there is typically little the grandparent can do. However, many states, Illinois included, are starting to recognize the value a grandparent brings to a child by passing laws that grant grandparents some visitation rights following a divorce.

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Illinois children of divorce, Palatine family law attorneyAlthough divorce is never easy, most couples feel a sense of relief when the divorce is finalized and each party can move on to the next phase of his or her life. But for the thousands of Illinois children whose post-divorce life is dictated by the terms of a child custody agreement, there is no sense of relief. Divided homes, blended families and constant uprooting due to visitation agreements can leave children feeling angry, hurt, and confused. There are, however, things you can do to help ease the transition for your children.

Make sure your children know they are not at fault. Children often believe they caused the divorce. As parents, your most important job is to let them know the divorce is not their fault. If possible, both parents should sit down together with their children and break the news of the divorce to them. Answer any questions they have as honestly as possible without going into more detail than necessary.

Do not discuss divorce details with your child. Details about the divorce negotiations may consume your life throughout the process. Refrain from discussing divorce details with your children, though. This may increase their fear that they caused the divorce, or make them feel they are causing you stress (especially if you and your spouse are arguing over child support or other financial concerns).

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grandparents rights, grandparent guardianship, child custody, guardian ad litem. Illinois family lawyerIn a perfect world, children would be raised by their parents. But today, an increasing number of parents are unable to care for their children. In Illinois, 101,951 children under the age of 18 are being raised solely by their grandparents. Whether due to the death of both parents, substance abuse, mental illness, neglect and abandonment or other reasons, an increasing number of grandparents are turning to the Courts to be formally appointed guardians of their grandchildren. Types of Grandparent Guardianship of Grandchildren in Illinois

There are two types of minor guardianships in Illinois - guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. You may petition the Court for appointment as one or both of these guardians. There is no requirement that you serve in both capacities.

Guardianship of the person puts you in charge of your grandchildren’s physical needs. As guardian, you will have the same responsibilities as a parent. You will be responsible for your grandchildren’s daily care and have the power to make all decisions regarding that care, including:

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domestic abuse, violence, domestic violence, family law, Palatine divorce lawyer, Palatine family lawyerWe often hear about domestic violence issues when celebrities and athletes are involved. As many Illinois residents know though, domestic violence is a significant problem in the rest of the population of the United States. According to the American Psychology Association, one out of every three women has experienced abuse by her partner in her lifetime. Domestic abuse affects every age, ethnicity, and class.

The latest newsworthy allegation involves Raymond Felton, a basketball player for the New York Knicks. His wife alleges that Mr. Felton threatened her with a firearm. While the facts are not yet established in the case, according to reports, Ms. Raymond-Felton did not wait for violence before getting help; she sought out support as soon as she was threatened.

This is an important lesson for all those at risk of domestic violence: a person should not necessarily wait until they are physically hurt to report a domestic disturbance.

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When a marriage ends or a separation occurs, there are often bitter feelings and questions about what the involved parties should do next. Most often, in cases of this nature, the individuals will first look to their friends and family for advice, or in some instances, advice is thrown at those in transition without solicitation. The reality, however, is that there is no substitute for sound legal advice from a legal professional who understands the law and can apply it to your particular case.

 legal separation IMAGEDissolution of Marriage

In Illinois, 750 ILCS 5/401 dictates the requirements for dissolution of marriage.The grounds for dissolution of marriage range from impotency, willful desertion to habitual drunkenness by the spouse for two years, the excessive use of addictive drugs for two years and beyond...

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This June, Illinois same-sex couples will be able to marry pursuant to a bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly in November. While this public act treats all couples the same for the purposes of state law, married same-sex couples still have unique legal issues to consider.

When a same-sex marriage ends, obtaining divorces may prove problematic for Illinois couples who leave the state after their marriages end. Today, at least 16 other states, the District of Columbia and the federal government will recognize same-sex marriage from Illinois. However, if a couple married in Illinois moves to a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, they may be unable to divorce. These couples may have to establish residency in a state that recognizes gay marriage in order to divorce.

 Same-Sex couples in IllinoisSame-Sex Couples Can Help Themselves Pre-Marriage

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Premarital agreements have a bad reputation. People associate premarital agreements with a lack of commitment or as only appropriate for the very wealthy. But in reality, premarital agreements can provide stability and security to any marriage – regardless of financial situation. While Illinois’ divorce rate is somewhat lower than the national average, divorce is still common. If you live in Illinois and are contemplating marriage, consider whether a premarital agreement might be right for you.

Prenuptial Agreement IMAGE

A premarital agreement – also known as a prenuptial agreement or a “pre-nup” – is a written agreement between two prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage. Once signed by both parties, it becomes effective upon marriage.

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