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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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Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney DCFS investigation

In March 2020, the State of Illinois banned all visitation between parents and children in the DCFS system with the intent of keeping kids and parents healthy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitation guidelines have changed over time, and if you are a parent who plans on visiting your child anytime soon, it is important to stay up to date with the evolving DCFS coronavirus guidelines. For any remaining questions regarding family law and the DCFS, consult a knowledgeable family law attorney in your area.

DCFS COVID-19 Guidelines 

Initially, all in-person visits between parents and children through the DCFS were banned. Remote visits were still allowed. For a couple of months, many parents were separated even from newborn children. This policy was heavily criticized, and as COVID-19 guidelines have evolved in the last few months, the ban has been lifted as well. However, there are some new rules to follow if you are planning for an upcoming visit. 

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Arlington Heights, IL domestic violence defense attorney

Domestic violence is a serious offense, and Illinois law treats it accordingly. One of the worst elements of the COVID-19 pandemic is how stay-at-home restrictions have led to a rise in domestic violence cases. Many people who relied on the flow of everyday life before COVID-19 to help avoid abusers now find themselves in dangerous situations. However, not all domestic abuse claims are true, and you should be prepared to develop a strong defense if you are accused of domestic violence. Whether an accuser does not fully understand the scope of domestic violence law in Illinois or he or she is making false accusations, the outcomes can still be serious. A domestic violence attorney who is well-versed in all aspects of family law will increase your chances of winning your case, so begin working with one as soon as you can. 

Worldwide Domestic Violence Rates 

Domestic violence rates have risen not just in the United States, but across the globe. For example, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, domestic violence hotlines in Spain experienced an 18 percent increase in calls. French police reported a 30 percent increase in domestic violence rates in April. The term “Intimate Terrorism” was coined to reflect experts’ observations that during prolonged confinement, abusers are using nearly the same tactics people would use when holding others hostage. Even the divorce proceedings that many victims were relying on to get them out of these dangerous environments were delayed because of the pandemic. 

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Illinois State Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association DuPage County Bar Association Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners
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