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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

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

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Cook County paternity attorneyBeing a parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences of someone’s life. However, in some cases, the identity of a child’s father may be questioned or contested. This may occur in situations where a couple is not married or if the mother had multiple partners. In Illinois, if a child’s mother is married or in a civil union when the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, her husband or partner is legally presumed to be the father of the child. By legally establishing paternity in Illinois, a father and child can confirm their relationship and all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it. For example, there are certain benefits for which a child is eligible as someone’s son or daughter. In addition, the father is entitled to specific parental rights.       

A Child’s Legal Rights

There are many benefits to a legal relationship between a father and child. Besides the emotional connection and support, financial obligations can help provide for a son or daughter’s future. Legally recognizing the father can aid the child in multiple ways, including: 

  • Child support for the child, including contributions to healthcare costs or educational expenses

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Cook County child custody lawyer remarriageThe decision to divorce does not come easily to many couples, especially after a long marriage or if children are involved. However, in many cases, divorce can be for the best if the relationship is dysfunctional or abusive. After a period of time, some people may fall in love again and wish to get remarried. This can mean a second chance at happiness for a parent, but their children may harbor negative feelings toward their new stepparent. A remarriage may also mean a new house and step-siblings, as well as changes to parenting time schedules and child support orders. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between co-parents. In addition, there are some practical ways to help you and your kids adjust to the transition of a new blended family.

Blending Family Units Together

Blending two separate families can be complex for many reasons. Children often feel resentment or anger toward their new stepparent, especially if they have to move into a new house or to a new state. The following are some key points parents should keep in mind when getting remarried:

  • Expect change - Routines and schedules will be different, so be prepared for an adjustment period as everyone gets used to a new lifestyle. This could mean a new home, new school, and step-siblings. 

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Oak Park divorce attorney mental illness

Mental health issues are prevalent in today’s society. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions each year. A mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or depression can be very challenging for a married couple and a family in general. In many cases, mental health issues can cause a couple to grow apart, and they may ultimately lead to divorce. Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, and irreconcilable differences is the only recognized legal basis for divorce. While the issue of mental illness is not a legal reason to file for divorce, it can significantly impact the divorce proceedings. 

Orders of Protection

In some divorce cases, a person’s mental disorder could lead to dangerous or even violent behavior. If someone fears for their own safety or the safety of their child, then they should take immediate action. This can include obtaining the following orders of protection

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Cook County family law attorney

Many people choose adoption for various reasons, such as a desire to expand their family, especially if they cannot have children of their own. However, adoption is a significant undertaking under any circumstances, and the process of adoption can be intimidating due to the emotional complications and legal intricacies involved. For many families, classes and support groups are great resources to help prepare the parents and the child for the transition. It is also helpful to talk to a law firm that has experience in adoptions to make sure you complete all the necessary legal steps.

Pre-Service Training Classes

Adoption establishes the adoptive parent as a child’s legal parent with all the rights and responsibilities of a child born to him or her. Sometimes, parents may choose to serve as foster parents first and eventually adopt the foster children at a later date. According to Illinois adoption laws, any child or any adult residing in an adoptive home for two years may be adopted, and family members are allowed to adopt any relative. The adoptive parent must be a resident of the state for at least six months; however, this requirement can sometimes be waived by the court, depending on the situation.

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Oak Park order of protection lawyer

A divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, especially if abuse is one of the reasons for the end of the marriage. Orders of Protection (also known as restraining orders) can be common in some high-conflict divorce proceedings. This type of court order can prohibit the abuser from physical abuse, stalking, or contacting the victim for a specified length of time. An Order of Protection also creates a criminal record for the abuser and prohibits him or her from lawfully owning a firearm, even for work. Since there are different types of Orders of Protection, it is important to understand the ramifications of each. If you have been served with an Order of Protection, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options.  

Types of Orders of Protection

There are three types of Orders of Protection in Illinois: Emergency (14 - 21 days), Interim (30 days), and Plenary (2 years). Under Illinois law, someone can only take out an Order of Protection against a family or household member, not a stranger or acquaintance. The “Petitioner" is the named victim of abuse on whose behalf the petition is brought. The “Respondent” is the person whom the order is brought against.

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