Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois custody attorney,Under Illinois law, a parenting plan is a written agreement that sets forth how parents will make decisions related to their children and how they will divide parenting time. Having a workable parenting plan is a critical component to the welfare of your family.

Parenting Plan Terms

Typical terms of parenting plans include:

  • Who will be the primary residential parent;
  • The child’s schedule with each parent;
  • Holiday schedules;
  • Which parent has decision-making responsibility as to the child’s education, religious activities and medical issues;
  • How expenses will be shared for items like daycare, medical expenses, and extra-curricular activities;
  • College savings expectations;
  • Prohibitions of or conditions on relocation;
  • Modes of contact between the parents to resolve future issues or disputes;
  • How each parent can obtain records and information regarding the child; and
  • How the child is to be transported between parents.

Considerations When Drafting a Plan

A well-written plan will be practical and feasible. It will be flexible enough to allow for unforeseen circumstances that arise yet specific enough that both parents will be held to the plan. If a parent does not follow the plan, the case can be reviewed by the court and adjustments will be ordered.

Unless there is an extenuating circumstance that arises, a parenting plan cannot be modified for two years. Thus, it is important to include all terms that may be needed.

Filing Parenting Plans

Both parents must file a plan within 120 days of requesting parental responsibilities. If the parents can agree on a parenting plan, the document should be submitted to the court within that 120 day period. Courts typically will adopt a parenting plan agreed to by both sides.

If the parents do not agree, the court will use the proposed plan in determining custody (which is called “parenting responsibilities” under Illinois law). Parenting responsibilities will be allocated after a hearing where the parents, family, and other witnesses will testify. The judge will make his or her ruling based on what would be in the best interests of the child.

Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Child Custody Lawyer

The experienced DuPage County child custody attorneys at Mulyk, Laho & Mack, LLC can be a great resource for a parent looking to create a functional parenting plan. Our firm has helped many families create parenting plans that make life easier and reduce conflict. We can provide alternatives that you may have overlooked and can negotiate terms with the other parent to eliminate the need for a judge to make a ruling. Contact our firm at (630) 852-1100 today.



Posted in Child Custody Tagged , , , , , ,

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 & Mack, 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.



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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 & Mack, LLC offer free consultations. Call (630) 852-1100 to schedule your first meeting today.



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