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Rockford, Illinois Family Law Blog

Estimating the value of a small business

Many couples in Rockford, Illinois, are involved in a family business. Whether they are the co-founders and sole stakeholders or a part of a larger operation that includes other family members or even those outside the family, these businesses present wonderful opportunities for married couples both in terms of providing a livelihood and growing one's wealth.

However, there are some circumstances in life that mean the couple, or someone, will have to part with all or some of their business. This is true in the event of a high asset divorce, in which the couple will divide their business between each other or one of the spouses will cash out. However, it is also true in other situations, like when there are financial problems or if one of the spouses dies unexpectedly. Unmarried couples who own a business together may also face business valuation issues.

Guardianship as a means of grandparent custody

Oftentimes, grandparents in Rockford, Illinois, have to step in to raise their grandchildren when the children's parents are unable to do so for whatever reason.

In some cases, the child's parents may have tragically died or developed a serious medical condition, while in other cases, the parents may be struggling with drug or other issues that makes it hard for them to raise a child safely.

Alternative means of resolving custody issues- Part II

Many Rockford, Illinois, parents are probably willing to try to work out their child custody and parenting time issues out with each other without going to court. Not only does doing so save time, stress and money, it also, we are consistently reminded, an important component of making sure that one's children are able to heal more completely after a divorce.

But let's say that a couple has tried either mediation or collaborative divorce, and they simply could not come to an agreement. Or, we can suppose there are situations when the relationship between the two parents is such that they simply will not be able to agree in an informal setting, at least not without some court intervention.

What should I do if I discover financial deception?

A previous post on this blog discussed warning signs a Rockford Illinois, resident who is going through a divorce, legal separation or even the breakup of a non-marital union should look for if he or she is at all concerned if the person's spouse or companion is trying to deceive him or her with respect to financial affairs or property.

The next question a person might ask, assuming they discover financial deception is afoot, is what he or she can do about it, assuming of course that calling the authorities is not an option. After all, someone who is willing to hide assets or siphon off wealth to friendly parties, like relatives, in the hopes of getting back after a separation are undermining the justice system and hurting not only the person who helped acquire that property but quite possibly the parties' children as well.

Learning the signs of financial deception

When a divorce is in the works, sorting out financial issues can out a lot of stress on both parties. Sometimes, one of the spouses may feel tempted to hide assets in order to gain the advantage when it comes to division, or even simply out of spite.

Unfortunately, even people we think we know well can still deliver unpleasant surprises. Knowing some common signs of deceptive behavior can help you protect your interests and move towards a fair property division process.

Review of Illinois' relocation laws in child custody cases

Especially with people taking the time now at the end of the year to plot out their futures, many Rockford, Illinois, residents might be contemplating a move to be closer to extended family, take a new and better job or some other reason.

Those who have children at home and are single parents need to consider as part of their planning how the move might effect their child custody and visitation arrangements. Like other states, Illinois has relocation rules that limit whether and to what extent a parent, even a parent who has a child the majority of the time, can move long-term.

How one figures income in difficult support cases

Under Illinois law, just about any money a parent makes, even if it is not taxable, can count when a court is determining child support. In fact, one of the most controversial parts of figuring child support is determining the appropriate figure to input for each parent's income.

Generally speaking, child support laws favor calculating income generously rather than risk underestimating a parent's income and, thus, the amount of support a child will receive. As such, a parent can, and should, ask to see the other parent's paystubs and tax returns, but should also ask for documentation of their pensions, stocks, trusts, and other accounts.

What are an unmarried father's rights in a child custody case?

If you're a Rockford man who has fathered a child and you are not married to the mother, you may have questions about what your rights and responsibilities will be towards that child. This is especially true if your relationship with the mother comes to an end and you are concerned that you need to exercise your legal rights. Can unmarried fathers fight for child custody or visitation?

For an unmarried father to seek custody or visitation, it will first be necessary to prove to the court that you are, in fact, the child's father. Otherwise known as establishing paternity, this only requires both parents' signatures on a form if there is no dispute. But when paternity is disputed, DNA testing will be required. A court can order a DNA test and provide an order legally confirming (assuming the results do) that the man asking for the test is the biological father of the child.

Bill seeks to equalize parents in child custody hearings

Some Rockford fathers may have a particular fear when heading into a hearing regarding the custody of one or more of their children. That fear is that a judge will automatically assume that the children should stay with their mother, leaving the father with sometimes meager visitation rights or the burden of proof as to why he should have anything greater. This fear is not without a basis in history.

Recently, however, an Illinois State Representative has introduced legislation intended to put both parents on more equal footing in a child custody matter. The Shared Parenting bill would require that a judge begin under the assumption that a balance of time with both of the child's parents is the best solution to a custody dispute, rather than assuming that one parent (often, the mother) is the best choice by default.

Illinois family law on the responsibilities of adoptive parents

The State of Illinois provides a number of important rights for residents working towards growing their family through adoption. There are also certain responsibilities spelled out for these individuals in Illinois family law.

Potential adoptive parents are responsible for cooperating with an adoption agency in an honest manner. They may not withhold information that the agency asks for. As any new developments occur within the family, to the extent that they may be relevant to the adoption, the agency must be promptly informed. They must also participate in the training required by the agency for potential adoptive parents.

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