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Lake County Illinois Family Law Blog

Post-nuptial agreements can protect spouses

Pre-nuptial agreements are well-known contracts that are executed before marriage, and are used to help protect a spouse's assets if there is ever a divorce.

Couples who never agreed to a prenup before marriage, however, can also enter a post-nuptial agreement that can set forth their rights and responsibilities and address issues which may arise in a high-asset divorce.

How does a prenuptial agreement work?

Preparing for the worst and unwanted contingencies may prevent additional stress and acrimony at the end of a marriage. A prenuptial agreement can help prevent some of these problems, and can greatly ease in the property division process, should the marriage later end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered between the engaged couple before they marry. Typically, these agreements set forth terms for property division if the couple ever divorces. The prenup may also contain each spouse's duties and property rights while they are married.

For enforceability, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, must be reasonable and fair. Duress, fraud and undue influence cannot play a role in its negotiation or execution. These documents should not be entered into near the couple's wedding day because of the appearance of duress.

We have a 20-year track record of success for Gurnee families

After an Allocation Judgment and Parenting Plan is entered with the court, the next major topic may be child support and child related expenses.

Child support is now calculated based upon the net incomes of both parents. Net income is the income a party receives after certain deductions. The Illinois Statute now considers the net income of both parents, and apportions the child support amount based upon the overnights each parent has with the child(ren). Although this may sound complicated, the attorneys at Denis M. Gravel & Associates, P.C. are masters in understanding the child support laws, and are here to assist you.

The child related expenses may include health insurance premiums, including medical, dental, and vision premiums, uncovered medical, dental, vision, psychological, orthodontia premiums, school expenses, extracurricular activity expenses, and life insurance premiums. The division of these expenses may be based on the ratio of each parent's net income to total a total amount of combined net income.

For example, if Parent 1's net income is $1,000.00 per month, and Parent 2's net income is $2,000.00 per month, the total net income available is $3,000.00 per month. Parent 1 may be responsible for 33.3% of the child related expenses ($1,000.00 / $3,000.00 = 33.333), and Parent 2 may be responsible for 66.6% of the child related expenses ($2,000.00 / $3,000.00 = 66.666).

Call Denis M. Gravel & Associates, P.C. at 847-855-8447 to schedule an appointment to discuss these issues in further detail today.

Written by: Jennifer L. Fox, Attorney at Law

New bill resurrects 4113

The new House Bill 185 has the same goal as House Bill 4113. Currently, there is a movement among divorced parents, which is seeking to change the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, and give both parents equal parenting time.

Of course, the final parenting agreement, or Allocation Judgment and Parenting Plan, would still depend on each family's needs. According to the Illinois News Network, the proposed change would state that 50/50 parenting time is only the beginning presumption for parenting time.

Overview of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

One of the most important laws that protects servicemembers who reside in or are stationed near Lake County, Illinois is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Although this law offers valuable protections to military personnel who are going through a child custody dispute or a military divorce, it also affords important benefits that are not specific to family law.

Seeking modification when you can't afford child support

As a parent, there are many things you can do to reduce expenses when it comes to your child. In months when money is tight, you can adjust your spending on unnecessary groceries or simply explain to the child that you cannot afford what he or she wants. It may even be a good lesson for the kids to have to delay gratification in order to pay for the necessities in life.

When you pay child support, on the other hand, there is no room for such adjustments. You pay the same amount every month, even if your budget says otherwise. From time to time, this may leave you with barely enough to cover your own expenses. You may wonder if there is a way to change the amount of support you pay for your child.

What factors do Illinois courts consider in custody cases?

As this blog has discussed previously, whenever an Illinois court is deciding how to allocate parental responsibilities, the paramount concern will be what is in the child's best interests.

In order to determine a child's best interests, a court will look to a number of factors which are prescribed under Illinois law.

How does a legal separation work in Illinois?

Some residents of Lake County, Illinois, may realize that they need to live separately from their spouses and want the necessary legal protection to be able to do so safely and securely. However, for religious, financial or emotional reasons, or some combination of these reasons, they may not prefer a full blown divorce.

As is the case with other states, Illinois law allows a couple to obtain a court order for legal separation. One can think of this process as a middle ground between spouses just agreeing informally to live apart and a traditional divorce, in which a couple's marriage ends in the eyes of the state.

Why is it important to establish paternity for your child?

The establishment of paternity puts into play the issues involving the rights and obligations of the parents/child(ren). Issues such as parenting time, decision-making, support of the child, and other child-related issues can be addressed after the establishment of paternity.

Child support and health care expenses

Parents in Lake County, Illinois, and other parts of the suburbs of Northern Chicago may know enough about how child support works in this state to recognize that it in many cases follows a formula.

In other words, while parents might quibble about the numbers that should go in to a child support calculation, once these numbers are settled, the amount a parent must pay, to a great extent, is what it is.

What Our Clients Say

  1. For anyone in the Lake County, Illinois, area in need of a great family lawyer — I highly recommend Denis M. Gravel. His firm truly cares about you and he is an excellent, honest and upfront attorney. I was very proud to have his firm represent me in my divorce.

  2. I walked into Denis' office scared and unsure of how to proceed during this difficult time. Denis and his staff put my mind at ease. They not only helped me legally but also emotionally. They handled everything professionally, expertly and with compassion.

  3. Denis and his associates were very professional and attentive to my situation. Denis was able to allow me and my dad to continue living in my home and have fair visitation rights with my daughter. I will forever be grateful for his care, concern and devotion in achieving justice for me during my divorce.

  4. I remember the day I walked into his office, I was scared and very emotional unsure of how I would get through any of this. After leaving his office that day I felt a sense of calm and I knew I had the right person in my corner. Mr. Gravel is a very kind and compassionate man.

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