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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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 Frankfort child support order modification lawyerSome of the most difficult concerns you will face during your divorce are the issues that are related to your children. Many parents worry about the well-being of their child when they get a divorce, both emotionally and financially. The state of Illinois believes that both of a child’s parents have an obligation to financially provide for that child, so almost all divorce cases involving children also involve child support. The amount of child support payments will depend on a variety of circumstances, including each parent’s income, the number of children that support is being paid for, and how parenting time is allocated between the parents. Once a support order is established, that order will remain in effect until the child reaches adulthood -- unless a parent requests that the order be changed.

Modifying Child Support

Every three years, an Illinois child support order is eligible for a modification review. If the order has not yet passed the three-year mark, or if the need for a change is urgent, then a parent may be able to still have the child support order modified. In these cases, a “significant change in circumstances” must be proven before modifications can be made to the child support order. 

What Is a “Significant Change in Circumstances?”

By far, the most common way a child support order is changed in Illinois occurs when one of the parents claims that new circumstances warrant a modification. Illinois courts are given broad discretion when it comes to determining what does and does not qualify as a significant change in circumstances.” Here are some examples of changes that may require a modification: 

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 Mokena adoption attorney for home studiesFor many people, adoption is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to expand their family. If you are considering adoption, there are certain processes that you must go through and qualifications that you must meet before you are permitted to adopt a child. In the state of Illinois, a home study is an important piece of the adoption puzzle. No matter which way you choose to adopt -- whether through a private agency or individual or through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services -- you will have to complete a home study as a part of the requirements to adopt.

Why Are Home Studies Used?

Many people believe that a home study is simply a home visit to talk to you and the other family members in your home. While this included in an adoption home study, it is just a small piece of the bigger process. Home studies are intended to allow social workers to evaluate families and determine whether they have not only the financial resources to adopt a child, but also the emotional ability to accept a child into their family.

Background Checks

Background checks are a requirement for all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the household where the child will be living. The background check must be passed by all members in order for the family to be eligible to adopt. Children who are between the ages of 13 and 17 must consent to a search in the child abuse and neglect registry and the child sex offender registry.

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 New Lenox divorce attorney for financial issues
By far, the most common form of adoption in Illinois and throughout the United States are related adoptions. A related adoption means the parent and the child are in some way related to one another. Step-parent adoptions are one of the most common forms of related adoptions, and they occur when the biological parent of a child remarries and their new partner adopts the child.

When a step-parent adopts a child, that person wants to assume the parental rights and responsibilities of that child. There may be many reasons why a step-parent would want to adopt their step-child; some step-parents want to formally solidify their parent-child relationship or be the child’s second parent when their other biological parent is not present. Regardless of the reason, there are certain things you should know before you pursue a step-parent adoption: 

  1. Your child can only have two legal parents. The state of Illinois only allows a child to have two legal parents at any given time. This means that you would have to make sure that your step-child’s other parent would have to relinquish their parental rights.

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Orland Park adoption lawyer

Adoption is a great way to help a child and bring them into your family. Whether you are a same-sex couple, a couple who is unable to have children, or an unmarried individual who wants a child, adoption is a viable option. Adoption can prove to be a challenging and time-consuming process because of all of the legal hurdles you face. One element of the adoption process that can be difficult is gaining proper consent so you can finalize the adoption. Gaining consent means the appropriate parties have agreed to give all rights and responsibilities related to the child to the new adoptive parents.

Who is Required to Consent in Adoption?

If the birth mother and biological father still have parental rights and legal custody of the child, both the mother and the father (if paternity has been established) are required to consent to the adoption. If the child is no longer in the legal custody of the parents, then consent can be given by:

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Mokena family law attorney child paternityThe only time the legal father of a child is presumed in Illinois is when the mother is married when the child is born or within 300 days before the child is born. In these cases, the man the mother was married to is presumed to be the legal father of the child. If the mother was unmarried at the time the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, then it is her responsibility to establish the paternity of the child. Paternity can be established through a couple of different ways, but it is essential that it is done, especially if the mother is attempting to seek child support from the child’s father. Paternity cases can be confusing, which is why getting legal help is advised in these situations.

Ways of Establishing Paternity

If your child’s paternity is not automatically presumed, then you must go about establishing your child’s paternity through alternate means. There are two other ways you can determine your child’s paternity: through the use of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or by actions taken by a state child support agency or a judge. The easiest way to establish your child’s paternity is to fill out and sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while you are at the hospital and have your child’s father do the same.

If your child’s father is unwilling to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, you may have to enlist the help of the courts or Illinois Child Support Services. Either of these processes will require you, your child, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing before an Order of Paternity can be established.

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