Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois custody attorney,Many people do not fully understand what marriage entails from a financial and legal standpoint. Often what is impressed on couples before getting married is how spouses should act towards each other and how to have a successful, long-lasting marriage.

However, in the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract with legal implications. Most important is that after marriage, the spouses will form what is called the “community.” Any income, assets, or debts acquired during the course of the marriage will be considered community property that is owned by both spouses.

Upon divorce, the community will be split equitably between the spouses. The only way to avoid creating community property is for both spouses to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Reasons Couples Sign Prenups

Spouses choose to sign such an agreement for several reasons:

  1. At least one spouse has children from a prior relationship. Many people would want their children to receive a sufficient inheritance, which may not occur if a community property regime is established.
  2. Both spouses work. Community property was intended to protect the spouse who stayed home to raise children from being left with no support in the event of divorce. In the present day where both spouses often work, many feel as though the community property regime is outdated and should not apply to them.
  3. One or both spouses owns a business. A business owned by a spouse could be part of the community. Divorces involving a business can become complicated and interfere with the running of the business. A prenup can establish the business as separate property.
  4. The spouses have a large differential in assets or debts.
  5. The parties wish to address spousal support. Spousal support (or alimony) can be set or eliminated in a prenup. Child support and custody arrangements cannot be agreed to in a prenup.
  6. The parties wish to keep inheritances separate. Typically, inheritances are considered separate property, however, there are ways in which a court may determine that inheritances become community property. To be sure that your ex will not have ownership over your inheritance, a prenup can be used.

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney to Draft a Prenup

There are numerous way that a prenup can be invalidated during divorce. Agreeing to a prenup is a major decision, and having an attorney oversee the process will mean that your decision is honored in the years to come.

Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

While signing a prenup agreement will not be the most romantic part of your wedding festivities, many couples believe that these agreements help them in the long run. The knowledgeable DuPage County prenup attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC can draft a prenup agreement that will be enforceable and that is tailored to your needs. Call (630) 852-1100 to speak to a lawyer today.



Posted in Premarital agreement Tagged , , , , , ,

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois custody attorney,Many times when a blended family forms, stepparents wish to adopt stepchildren in order to legally reflect the relationships that have formed. When a stepparent adopts a child it means that the stepparent is awarded the legal responsibility to support and care for the child.

Requirements for Stepparent Adoptions

There are a number of requirements that must be met in order for stepparent adoption to be a possibility:

1. The stepparent must be married to the child’s primary residential parent.

2. The parent of the child that the stepparent is not married to must terminate his or her parental rights. A child cannot have three legal parents. Termination of parental rights means that the biological parent will not have custody or visitation rights. In some cases, this may not be an issue because the other parent is dead. In other cases, this may not be an issue if the biological father did not register with the Putative Father Registry within 30 days of the birth of the child or take other steps to preserve his parental rights. If the other parent does not agree to terminate his or her parental rights, the parent’s rights may be terminated by the court if the parent is proven to be unfit.

3. If the adoptive child is at least 14 years old, he or she must consent to the adoption.

Proving a Parent’s Unfitness

If the biological parent will not voluntarily give up parental rights, Illinois law provides that the parent can be declared unfit for certain enumerated reasons, including:

  • Child abandonment;
  • Failure to sustain a reasonable degree of concern, responsibility or interest as to the child’s welfare;
  • Substantially neglecting the child;
  • Leaving the child for the three months prior to the adoption process;
  • Cruelty to the child; and
  • Repeated physical abuse.

Benefits to the Adoptive Child

There are several key benefits to the child should a stepparent choose to adopt. Perhaps the biggest benefit is symbolic as a group of people that has been acting as a family will be recognized by law as a family.

Other benefits include:

  • Two legal parents who are present for the child;
  • New last name for the child, if desired;
  • New birth certificate;
  • The child’s ability to inherit from the adoptive parent;
  • The child’s eligibility for certain benefits that may be available from the military or Social Security; and
  • The child’s eligibility for health insurance.

Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Adoption Lawyer

Adoptions should be overseen by a knowledgeable attorney. Failure to properly execute adoption procedure and paperwork will create complications in the future. We also represent parents who do not wish to have their parental rights terminated. The skilled DuPage County adoption attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC offer free consultations. Call (630) 852-1100 to schedule your first meeting today.



Posted in Adoption Tagged , , , , , ,

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois pedestrian accident lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,Relationships can enjoy peaks and valleys of good times and bad. Weathering the storm is not always possible, and marriages or partnerships entered into with the utmost of good faith cannot stand the test of time. Amicable or not, if a relationship ends, the question of how property a couple own or shares will be divided.

In the case of a married couple, dissolutions of marriage proceedings will determine how this is negotiated. If you are a couple in a domestic partnership, not formally married, what do you do? Consulting with a family law attorney upon entering your relationship will help afford each partner protection down the line if the relationship sours.

Civil Union Protections

Much like a prenuptial agreement in which married couples allocate how assets will be distributed in a divorce, your attorney can also craft a document for a domestic partnership to function in the same way. If your relationship has produced children, a civil union agreement will outline what arrangements will take effect and which partner will primarily care for the children and matters of child support.

The rights to enjoy analogous benefits to marriage were conferred to couples in civil unions as of 2011. The Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act provides:

“…persons entering into a civil union [ will benefit from] the obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses.”

In the event of a dissolution, certain provisions of particular sections of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act shall apply to a dissolution of a civil union. As it relates to children of the union is more unclear therefore your civil union attorney will advise you to obtain a determination of parentage as to any children of the relationship so, going forward, important decisions regarding education, health, and general welfare can be made without reservation. Bids for custody or to claim support of your children can be made by either or both biological parents also if parentage is clearly established at the outset.

Skilled legal representation will help you formulate a civil union agreement that will mirror child custody and support issues available to married couples. Careful consideration of certain legal tests will also apply including:

  • What is in the best interest of the child;
  • The wishes of the child;
  • The relationship between each partner and the child;
  • An amicable agreement between all parties if possible; and
  • Consideration of other matters such as schooling, siblings, and extended family.

Illinois Civil Union Attorneys

Experience and compassion are desirable qualities to have in your attorney. An understanding of the nuances and wrinkles in relationships can help an attorney craft an appropriate agreement incorporating your unique circumstances. The seasoned DuPage County civil union attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC can carefully draft an agreement that will serve the needs of your family post break-up. If your partnership dissolves in the future, know that you have the protection to move to the next phase if you have a civil union agreement in place. An initial 30-minute complimentary consultation is available to you in our Glen Ellyn, Illinois office or conveniently by telephone.


Posted in Civil Unions Tagged , , , , ,