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Naperville family law attorneyGetting married, at least in Illinois, requires more than simply a wish to be together. It requires compliance with all the relevant laws, which includes being of legal age and having no impediment that might prevent a valid marriage from going forward. It does happen, though, that many are unaware of some part of the law or are not aware that some characteristic of the bride or groom actually prevents the marriage from being solemnized. Marriages can either be declared void from the beginning, or they can be voided by a court due to alleged wrongdoing.

Void Marriages

In order to marry, a couple must be able to provide proof that they (1) are either of legal age or have their parents’ consent to marry; and (2) know of no legal impediment to the marriage, such as the bride and groom being related within forbidden degrees. A void marriage occurs when one or both of these conditions are not fulfilled Examples might include one spouse being married already to another or the spouses turning out to be cousins. It is also possible to have a marriage declared void (rather than voidable) if one of the spouses is a minor who does not have their parents’ consent to wed.


Naperville family law attorneyUnder Illinois law, every child has the right to support from his or her parents, regardless of marital situation or whether or not they were born in wedlock. If this support is not paid, the state takes it extremely seriously, because it is a public policy concern to ensure that children within the state are well cared for. The Illinois Non-Support Punishment Act (INSPA) was established to set a procedure in place to punish those parents who fail to comply with that obligation. If you are cited for failure to pay child support, you may face wage garnishment and even criminal charges if the backlog and the failure to pay are egregious enough.

The Offense of Failure to Support

The INSPA was passed in 1999, taking effect in October of that year. It establishes the offense of failure to support, which is a misdemeanor if a first offense, and a class 4 felony if a second or higher, or if the amount owed is significant. The law works both within the state and federal framework, coordinating with the federal Child Support Enforcement Program and those of neighboring states if need be.


Posted on in Family Law

Naperville family law attorneyAdopting a child is a process that will necessarily be slow, so as to ensure that potential parents are fit to have such a responsibility. However, when the adoption is necessary due to a parent’s remarriage, the process can go noticeably faster, assuming the pattern of required events actually occurs. Stepparent adoption is fairly common in Illinois.

The Procedure

While most adoptions can take quite some time, a “related child” adoption can be quite easy if the child’s other parent consents—a stepchild counts as a related child under the Illinois Adoption Act. The other parent’s consent can be recorded on the relevant form, and your petition will almost always be approved as long as you have completed the other adoption requirements, such as hiring a guardian ad litem and proving you are under no legal disability that would impede your ability to parent. No criminal background check is required for stepparents and certain other relations who seek to adopt, though in a non-related adoption this might conceivably be what holds up the process the most.

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