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DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Divorce can be an extremely difficult process for a couple to go through. When the couple are parents, it can be even more complicated for the entire family. Sometimes, a couple can get divorced amicably. They recognize that they should not remain together as a married couple, but they are still able to communicate productively and try to figure out how their entire family’s best interests can be served. Other times, the divorce is more acrimonious. The people who once married each other now consider each other the enemy and they are no longer able to even sit in the same room peacefully. In cases like this, when the parents simply are unable to forge a parenting plan together, a guardian ad litem, or GAL, might be appointed by the court to try to determine what would be in the child’s best interests. If you believe you are headed toward an acrimonious divorce and you have questions about how a court-appointed GAL might affect your divorce, an experienced Naperville, IL divorce lawyer can walk you through the entire process and answer your questions. 

What Does a Gal Do?

When parents go through divorce in the State of Illinois, one of the many things they need to agree on is called a parenting plan. This is an outline of how parental rights and parental responsibilities will be divided among the two parents. Unfortunately, in many divorces, the two parents cannot seem to agree on anything. Their strained relationship makes it impossible for them to communicate in a healthy, productive way, even when it comes to what would be best for their children. 

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DuPage County Paternity LawyerWhen a couple has children after they are married, the hospital and relevant government authorities automatically determine that the woman who gave birth to the baby is the mother and the man she is legally married to is the father. Even though this might not always be the case, the man who is married to a woman who gives birth is automatically and legally recognized as the child’s father unless proven otherwise. But if the two parents are not married, things can be a tad more complicated for a father who wants to be involved. If you aren’t married but you know you want to be an involved father in your child’s life, an experienced Naperville, IL family lawyer will be able to walk you through establishing paternity and answer any questions you may have.

Why Do Fathers Need to Prove Their Paternity?

When a baby is born to a married couple, that couple is automatically considered the baby’s parents. If the couple decides at some point later to get a divorce, the fact remains that those two people are the child’s parents and they will need to settle on a joint parenting plan that accounts for how they will raise this child separately. The fact that they are no longer married does not affect the father’s claim of paternity, although it could impact how much time he gets to spend with his children and how much authority he can have over decisions that relate to them.

When the baby’s parents are not married, it can be more complicated. Illinois law recognizes the importance of parent-child relationships and seeks to ensure that both child and parent can have access to each other when it is in their best interest. However, when an unwed couple has a baby, the mother is automatically recognized as such, but the father needs to either prove or be proven that he is the father. Depending on several personal factors related to the specific couple in question, the father may not want to be responsible for this child, and proving his paternity will help the mother get various resources that she has a legal right to. In other cases, the mother may not want the father’s input and involvement, but if he has established paternity, she cannot keep him away from the child.

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Naperville Divorce AttorneyWhen parents go through a divorce, many issues need to be worked out in their divorce settlement. These issues lay out how the couple will continue raising their shared children once they are no longer married. The two sides will need to reach agreements that become legally binding through the courts. They need to agree on things like child support payments, parental rights and responsibilities, and the other things that need to be decided regardless of whether the couple getting divorced has children, like division of assets, distribution of debt, and spousal support.

The decisions about these matters are made based on each spouse’s financial situation at the time of the divorce. If you were only able to hold down a part-time job due to all your household responsibilities, but the fact that you took care of household maintenance meant your spouse was able to work full-time and advance in his career, you likely were granted child support payments. If you are a divorced parent who depends on shield support payments to help you meet all your financial responsibilities and your spouse has just quit his job, an experienced Naperville, IL, divorce lawyer can help shed light on this difficult situation so you know how to move forward.

Will My Newly Unemployed Ex Automatically Stop Paying Child Support?

The State of Illinois allows for modifications to child support arrangements in a divorce settlement based on new circumstances. One of the criteria is that the change or loss of income needs to be involuntary for the child support arrangement to be amended. If your ex was fired from his job, this would fall under this category. But if he quits, it is not considered involuntary, and the divorce settlement would likely remain unchanged.

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