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Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney surrogacy

Surrogacy can allow an individual or couple to fulfill their dreams of becoming a parent. However, surrogacy is also a complicated process – legally, emotionally, and financially. If you want to use a surrogate to have a child, it is essential that you learn about surrogacy laws in Illinois and work with an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer can protect your rights and the rights of your unborn child, draft a comprehensive surrogacy contract, and ensure that your surrogacy plan meets the requirements set forth by Illinois law.

Understanding the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act

The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (IGSA) establishes the requirements for a valid gestational surrogacy contract. If parents follow these requirements, the parents will be automatically named on the child’s birth certificate and will not need to take additional legal action to gain parental rights for their new baby. In a gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child. The egg and sperm are combined using in vitro fertilization and then the embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus. The IGSA sets forth many requirements, including:

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Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney order of protection

Domestic violence affects the lives of millions of individuals in Illinois and across the country. If you, your child, or a disabled adult who you know have been abused or harassed, you may be interested in getting an order of protection. Called restraining orders in other states, an Illinois order of protection is a legal court order that prohibits someone from further harassment and abuse. It may require the abuser, called the respondent, from coming to your home, workplace, or school or contacting you. It may even require the respondent to move out of your shared home or surrender any firearms he or she owns.

Emergency Orders of Protection May Be Granted Based on Your Testimony

In Illinois, there are three main types of protection orders: emergency orders of protection, interim orders of protection, and plenary orders of protection. Emergency orders of protection (EOP) are often issued on the same day that they are requested. In most legal actions, the respondent must be served with notice of the action. However, an EOP may be granted “per se,” which means that the respondent is not present or notified of the court order. The EOP may be granted on your testimony alone.

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Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney DCFS investigation

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems in the United States. Sadly, it is estimated that almost 700,000 children are abused every year in the United States. However, an allegation of child abuse is not true simply because someone accuses a parent of abuse. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is the governmental agency tasked with investigating claims of child abuse in Illinois. If you are being investigated by the DCFS after being accused of mentally, physically, or sexually abusing your child, there are several things you should do.

Keep Calm and Comply with the Investigation

If you have been accused of hurting your own child, you may be offended and dismayed. You may be furious with the accuser or shocked that he or she would make such an allegation. However, it is important to keep your emotions under control. Lashing out at the person who accused you or at the DCFS staff will only make your situation worse. Comply with the DCFS’s investigation. An investigator may visit your home, interview you, and speak with your child’s doctor, teacher, relatives, or other adults in the child’s life. The DCFS’s job is to investigate the allegations and determine if there is evidence that suggests that the allegations are true.

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Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney prenuptial agreement

If you and your soon-to-be-spouse are thinking about creating a prenuptial agreement or “prenup,” there are several things you should keep in mind. Prenuptial agreements, when formed correctly, are legally binding contracts. These documents can address issues such as spousal maintenance or alimony, property rights, division of property and debt, and several other issues that will arise if the marriage ends in divorce. Prenuptial agreements are especially beneficial in situations involving individuals on their second marriages, blended families, or spouses with a large discrepancy in wealth. However, if a prenuptial agreement does not meet certain criteria or contains mistakes, it may not be legally enforceable.

Problems That Can Invalidate a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement that is executed correctly is a contract that spouses are bound to by law. However, some mistakes can render a prenup virtually useless. Some of the issues that lead to a prenuptial agreement being invalid include:

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Arlington Heights, IL divorce attorney child support

A divorce may require that child support payments continue for years after a married couple separates, and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) has the power to modify child support orders so that they reflect any changes in Illinois law and personal circumstances. Although divorce settlements may require a spouse to pay both spousal support and child support, any modification passed by the DCSS does not apply to spousal support orders. 

Spousal support may also be eligible for modification, but you would have to bring that up with a different department. Navigating the complexities of the Illinois family court system can be challenging, so do not hesitate to reach out to a family law attorney with plenty of experience helping clients modify child support orders.

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