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IL family lawyerWhile annulment and divorce are often categorized together, both processes have their own distinct criteria and need to be considered separately. Divorce is the end of a valid marriage, whereas annulment ends the marriage due to its lack of validity. Contrary to popular belief, annulments are not easily acquired and require specific criteria to obtain. A DuPage County family law attorney can make this process much smoother and represent your annulment case.

Annulment is a challenging process with strict deadlines, however, it will help spouses avoid difficult proceedings such as property division and shared marital debt. Additionally, the judgment leans toward returning to the lives of both parties prior to marriage.

Grounds for Annulment in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, the annulment process is referred to as a judgment of invalidity. There are four ways in which you can be granted this type of judgment in Illinois.

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IL family lawyerWhen it comes to children, the court’s job is to make sure that the children’s best interests are protected at all times. In some cases, this may mean that a parent loses custody of his or her children for a while, but in some cases, a person may lose their parental rights altogether. A parent can only lose their rights to their child if they are considered to be an “unfit” parent by the court’s standards. Unfortunately, this can be the outcome of many situations when custody is contested or when couples get divorced.

What Makes a Parent “Unfit?”

Unlike years ago, most people believe that a child grows up happiest and healthiest when they have a relationship with both their mother and father. In most cases, the goal of the court is to make sure that the child has a relationship with both parents by any means necessary. If a parent’s actions are of concern to the court, they may choose to restrict the amount of time that they spend with the child or restrict some of the decision-making responsibilities that they have.

In some cases, the court may determine that the best course of action is to cut ties between the parent and the child completely. In these cases, they must be able to come to a determination that the person is unfit to be a parent. A person can be considered unfit if they have:

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IL divorce lawyerPrenuptial agreements have always had some sort of societal taboo on them, but in recent years, society’s opinion of prenuptial agreements, or prenups for short, has evolved and more people have accepted their role. A prenuptial agreement is a document that both people sign before they get married that spells out the terms of their divorce if they were to ever get one. As a legal agreement, your prenuptial agreement is subject to certain standards and rules in order to be enforceable. If the agreement violates any of those standards or rules, those sections may be invalidated, if not the entire agreement. If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement, it is important to make sure your agreement follows the rules, so it will be enforceable if you ever need to use it.

Not Having Full Financial Disclosure From Both Spouses

Before you sign a prenuptial agreement, both you and your spouse are supposed to disclose all of your financial information. This includes any property that you own, inheritances you expect to receive, and any liabilities you may have, such as student loans or credit card debt. Without full disclosure, the argument could be made that you did not fully understand what you were agreeing to when you signed the agreement.

Making the Agreement Extremely One-Sided

Another issue that stems from the previous issue is having an “unconscionable” agreement. While there is no legal definition of “unconscionable” in Illinois, it typically means extremely unfair or heavily favoring one spouse over the other.

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IL divorce lawyerFor many spouses, contemplating the multitude of issues that will need to be addressed during the divorce process can be very stressful. As you consider how you and your spouse will divide your marital property, how you will share custody of your children, and other concerns related to the dissolution of your marriage, you may be preparing for a difficult and contentious battle. However, you may be able to make matters easier by determining how you can avoid conflict and cooperate with your spouse to make decisions about your divorce. Instead of resolving legal issues through a costly and time-consuming divorce trial, you can use alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is one of the most popular and beneficial methods of resolving disputes. Whether you choose this option on your own or are ordered by the court to proceed to mediation, you can realize a variety of benefits.

Reasons to Choose Divorce Mediation

During mediation, you and your spouse will work together to create a divorce settlement that will detail all of the decisions made about the outstanding issues in your case. A neutral mediator will guide you through these discussions, make sure you understand how the law applies to you, and offer suggestions on how you can resolve your differences.

There are a number of reasons why mediation can be beneficial, including:

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IL divorce lawyerIt is difficult to imagine life before the Internet or social media. Information that used to be found in libraries can now be found on a computer or phone with the click of a button. Sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are popular with people of all ages and backgrounds. Many individuals find them an ideal way to keep in touch with family or friends who may live far away since they can post photographs and videos of themselves or their kids. Watching a soccer game or musical performance online can be a good substitution if someone cannot be there in person, especially this past year due to coronavirus restrictions. Although there are many benefits of social media, there can be negatives, too, especially if a couple is going through a divorce. In some cases, posts or comments made on a website can be used as evidence in legal proceedings such as asset division, spousal maintenance, or child custody.

Think Before Posting

Connecting with others electronically has become even more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual visits through video conferencing apps or SnapChat and TikTok allow people who are staying at home the ability to stay in touch with loved ones who they cannot see in person. With more time on their hands, people have turned to social media sites to pass the time. However, it is important to be careful about what is posted if you are going through a divorce, as certain things can be misinterpreted and used against you.

Consider these tips regarding social media use while your marriage is ending:

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