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Peoria Family Law Blog

Married fathers are spending more time with their kids

father's job was to provide an income for the household and the mother's role was to take care of the household. There are still many families that embrace this traditional family setup, but there are more women in the workforce now than there has even been. In addition to this, fathers are spending more time with their children.

The Pew Charitable Trusts notes that married fathers spent 7.3 hours in 2010 caring for their children. This was far higher than what it was in 1965. While 7.3 hours per week is a mere fraction of how much time it takes to raise a child, and subsequently, how much time mothers spend caring for children, it nonetheless shows that fathers are developing a stronger and more personal bond with their children. These figures also do not illustrate the fact that there are households where responsibility for raising the child is either shared almost equally with the wife or is the sole responsibility of the husband.

Important things to do during divorce people tend to overlook

There are many things you should do to get ready for a divorce. You need to get your personal finances in order and evaluate your resources so that you end up with an equitable division of the assets you share. 

Divorces entail a lot. There is much to contend with during this time, and it is easy to overlook something critical. When you first file for divorce, you want to make sure you take care of a few things immediately. Doing so will make the divorce proceedings so much more manageable. 

What is Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage?

If you are an unmarried father in Illinois, you may need to go through several legal steps to ensure you have the rights and resources to build a relationship with your child. One possible way to solidify your rights is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledge of Parentage form. Once you sign this form, you are legally responsible for supporting your child. Understanding how the VAP process works may help you determine the best way to secure your parental rights.

According to Illinois Legal Aid, state law assumes you are a child's father if you are married to his or her mother when she conceived or delivered. However, if you are not married to the child's mother, establishing parentage requires additional steps. The simplest circumstance occurs when you and the child's mother both agree that you are the father. She may agree to list your name on the child's birth certificate, but this step alone may not legally establish your parentage. The state requires a VAP form. You may sign and submit this form before the child is born or at any time after the birth.

PTSD and preparing for a custody dispute

Custody disputes can be challenging for anyone, but some parents have an especially difficult time when it comes to preparing for this crucial family law issue. The outcome of a custody dispute can be one of the most significant aspects of a divorce, and the court's decision could have a major impact on the future of a child and both of his or her parents. If you are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder due to military conflict or any other factor (such as a traumatic car accident), it is crucial to be especially careful when approaching your divorce and a dispute over how the custody of your child will be determined.

For some people with PTSD, daily life can be challenging. Depression, stress and other negative emotions can get in the way of work and make it harder for someone to focus on family law matters. You may have to set aside additional time to review your options and some of the ins and outs of your case, as well as the different factors that the court will take into review when they are determining how to award custody.

Child custody and summer break

Parents often have many considerations when it comes to divorce and their children, from child support payments they will need to make (or expect to receive) and discussing these issues with young kids. However, custody can be an especially challenging issue for many parents for various reasons. For some parents, the summer is a great time to approach the custody process because kids are out of school. For example, sharing parental responsibilities with an ex may be easier when school obligations are not part of the picture. On the other hand, this time of year can also be challenging with respect to custody.

If your child is out of school, they may be exposed to stressors and negative emotions while you or your child's other parent work through the divorce process. It may be easier to discuss this topic with your child during this time of year, since they are not occupied with homework and spending most of their days in the classroom. If you and your ex will share custody, this may be a convenient season to familiarize yourself with the changes in your lives since children do not have to be taken to and from school every day. On the other hand, issues related to childcare may arise, especially if you work.

How can I manage debt after a divorce?

It's no secret that divorces can be expensive. This is especially true if you're ordered to remit spousal support, which can be challenging when starting over after the end of your marriage. Proper budgeting is crucial for staying current on this and other recurring payments, as explained by The Balance

Make a list of debts you owe

4 social media posts that may complicate your custody case

With the popularity of smartphones on the rise, everyone seems to use some type of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms offer excellent opportunities for meeting new friends and staying in touch with old ones. While going through a custody dispute, what you post on social media may be problematic. 

If you regularly use social media, you may have difficulty giving it up altogether. Fortunately, you probably do not have to avoid posting during your custody battle. You should, however, think about what you post online and in other places. Here are four social media posts that may complicate your custody case: 

How can I be a better father?

After a divorce, your children will need you more than ever. That's why it's so important to take a look at your skills as a father to determine whether there are any areas in need of improvement. Very Well Family offers the following advice in this case, which allows you to forge a healthy, loving relationship with your child that lasts a lifetime.

If you have joint custody with your ex, it's important that remain civil to one another. Of course, this is often easier said than done, especially when infidelity or other serious issues led to the demise of your marriage. Despite these circumstances, you and your ex must work together to raise your child in a loving and responsible matter. This entails remaining polite and respectful, particularly when in front of your kids. 

Ways a postnuptial agreement could be invalidated

Many couples who have a lot of assets at stake compose prenuptial agreements to describe how they would like their property divided should they decide to divorce. However, not every couple takes this option, though after tying the knot, some couples may wonder if they should have done otherwise. Fortunately, drafting a postnuptial agreement is an option. Still, any couple should be careful that they do not unintentionally make the postnup unenforceable in an Illinois court of law.

Per FindLaw, since postnuptial agreements generally handle the same issues that prenuptial agreements address, the same circumstances that can cause a court to void part or all of a prenuptial agreement also apply to a postnuptial. Like a prenuptial, a postnuptial agreement should be in written form. The spouses involved should have reasonable time to read over it and ponder its provisions. No pressure or duress should be involved to force a party to sign the agreement.

Do I need a prenup?

Prenuptial agreements establish rules about asset ownership when a couple enters into a marriage in the event the union ends in divorce. While many people believe these legal documents are only suited to the extremely wealthy, they're quite useful in a wide variety of situations. Forbes offers a few examples of people who should have prenups in place before they marry. 

For people entering into a second marriage, prenups are actually useful as an estate planning tool. If a spouse dies while married, the surviving spouse is entitled to some percentage of the estate. This can be a real issue if you plan on leaving your adult children the majority of your assets, as you're not permitted to disinherit your spouse. A prenup provides a waiver to these rights, so a couple can plan their estate as they see fit, which is crucial to ensure your final wishes are respected. 

  • I cannot even express in words the level of gratitude that I feel. ‘Thank you’ doesn't seem to be enough. Please know that your services and compassion will never be forgotten! I am forever grateful!

  • Thank you so much for your hard work and expertise. I feel as a father in the state of Illinois that what I am trying to achieve is nearly impossible. I am so glad I chose to have your office full of extremely intelligent women represent me.

  • We would like to say thank you for your expertise, education, and kindness when we met with you! Your confidence has helped to comfort us and give us hope that resolution of the issue is possible.

  • I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your time, energy, and efforts you put into our case. Thank you for helping make our son's quality of life better. I cannot tell you how happy we are!

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