The Law Office of Christina Martell

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27475 Ferry Road, Suite 130, Warrenville, IL 60555

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Warrenville family law attorney adoption

When you get married to someone who is already a parent, you often form a close bond with his or her children as well. In some cases, you may decide that it is in the children’s best interest for you to become their legal parent. Step-parent adoptions can be a great way to ensure that children are provided for and supported by a two-parent household, and if you believe this option is right for your family, you can take the necessary legal steps to make sure the adoption goes smoothly with the help of a family law attorney who is well-versed in Illinois law.

Following the Step-Parent Adoption Process

The best way to ensure that you follow the proper procedures for a step-parent adoption is to hire an experienced adoption attorney early on who can guide you through the process and help you address any challenges that arise. Typically, these challenges involve someone else who can claim parental rights. Depending on the situation, you should be prepared to:

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Wheaton family law attorney adoption

Open adoption allows a child’s birth parents to have additional rights and future access to their child. However, they must form a solid relationship with the adoptive parents to utilize said rights. Whether you are looking to release yourself from the allocation of parental responsibilities, or gain them through adoption, be sure to consult with a knowledgeable adoption attorney.

Open Adoption Overview

An open adoption is a form of adoption that allows the birth parents to have some sort of relationship or contact with their child even after he or she has been adopted. After the adoption process is complete, however, the adoptive parents assume the same legal rights and responsibilities that the birth parents once had. 

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West Chicago family law attorney parenting time

Summer vacation is often a time of bliss for your children, but it may be less exciting for you. If you are divorced, you and your ex-spouse must create a parenting plan before finalizing your divorce. This legal document essentially states who will make decisions for your kids and how those determinations will be made. The plan outlines who will be allocated the parental responsibilities (child custody), in addition to parenting time (visitation). In addition, it should include how each parent receives important information about your children (medical or educational records), as well as how they will be transported between households for parenting time. When your children are on summer or holiday breaks, your normal parenting time schedule may be disrupted, but by following the tips below, you can work with your ex-partner to alleviate the stress for everyone.

Top Tips for Modifying the Routine

Summertime often forces you and your ex-spouse to establish a brand-new parenting time schedule, which can make co-parenting problematic. To make things a little less difficult for you and your ex, here are a few steps to achieve a smoother transition:

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Cook County adoption attorney

Family is an important part of life. Because of this, many couples who are looking to start or expand their families turn toward adoption. According to the Donaldson Adoption Institute, 6 in 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption. This means that they themselves, a family member, or friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had put a child up for adoption. There are many factors that can influence your decision to adopt. If you are considering adoption, it is a serious endeavor that should not be taken lightly. Whether you plan on adopting as a foster parent or through a private agency, having a family law professional by your side will make the entire process much easier.

Below are a few facts you should know before initiating the adoption process:

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Winfield child custody attorney

A child’s best interest is the key focus of any custody decision in an Illinois divorce. If parents do not agree on child-related issues, Illinois courts will intervene, and they usually favor a shared parenting arrangement. However, if a parent is believed to be a danger to the child, that parent may not be allocated any of the parental responsibilities, or their time with the child may be restricted or supervised. The job of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is to protect children. If they see, hear, or believe a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect, a caseworker may open a child custody case to determine if a parent should be involved in his or her child’s life. According to the United States Children’s Bureau, the number of children who received a child protective services investigation or alternative response increased 10 percent from 2013 to 2017. These investigations are intended to protect the child from further harm. 

If You Are Accused of Child Abuse

Whenever an incident is reported, a DCFS caseworker’s job is to investigate the case to find out if it meets the agency’s guidelines for uncovering abuse. Additional steps may include a home visit by the caseworker within 24 hours of the report. During the home visit, he or she will gather and review any evidence and talk with other individuals who are involved in the case. These people can include your child, your child’s doctor, family members, and/or teachers. The caseworker will have 60 days to complete the investigation and come to a final decision. If he or she determines that the report revealed evidence of abuse on your part, further action will result. To ensure that your rights are protected, you should contact an attorney as soon as you learn that you are under investigation by DCFS.

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