Lake Forest Family Law Attorney
Lake County is one of the most diverse areas in Chicagoland. People from all walks of life live together in this area. There is strength in that diversity, and there is also unity in that diversity. Families of all shapes, sizes, colors, and economic backgrounds often struggle with the same legal, emotional, and financial issues.
An experienced Lake Forest family law attorney, like Andrea Heckman, does not just solve these problems. Our office also gives families the tools they need to succeed. These tools include clear legal documents, effective orders that set the stage for effective co-parenting, basic problem solving skills, and more. Our overall goal is to improve your family’s life through the legal process, and we never forget that simple commitment.
Marriage dissolution is the most common family law proceeding in Lake County. Legally severing matrimonial bonds is not as cumbersome as it used to be. For example, state lawmakers did away with the old two-year waiting period in 2016. However, divorce is still a complex matter that involves emotional and financial concerns.
Emotionally, the divorce must include a parenting plan that fosters a healthy co-parenting environment. In most cases, the parents share rights and responsibilities regarding their children.
Divorce also includes a number of financial issues. Property and debt division is often a time-consuming process that relies on a number of subjective factors. Spousal and child support obligations can be difficult to calculate, as well, largely depending on the parties’ needs and income sources.
Agency adoption is a popular choice for many individuals and couples who want to expand their families and/or want to reach out to less fortunate members of society. The advantage of an agency adoption is that the agency usually takes care of most legal aspects of the adoption. The disadvantage is that, without their own attorney to guide them, many adoptive families get lost in the agency shuffle.
Private adoption may be a better choice. The adoptive family has much more control over this process. However, there are very strict rules. Even a minor technical violation, such as paying a little too much for the biological mother’s medical expenses, could undo the adoption. Without a good Lake Forest family law attorney, private adoptions are way too risky.
Most Lake County families are blended families. Step-parent adoption is one of those rare cases when a simple legal document has a profound emotional effect. The step-parent adoption process is usually streamlined. For example, most judges do not require a home study. This procedure also solidifies the emotional bonds between the members of a household. A Lake Forest family law attorney can help you take full advantage of everything a step-parent adoption has to offer.
Your name may be on your child’s birth certificate, and you may provide emotional and financial support to both mother and child. But these things are meaningless in a court of law.
In most cases, only legal fathers have an absolute right to form bonds with their children. Otherwise, a mother may unilaterally sever those bonds. Sometimes, a mother can even put a child up for adoption without notice.
Legal paternity has other benefits, as well. If something happens to the mother, you are in a good position to take care of your child. Furthermore, when your child gets sick, doctors know the child’s full family medical history.
Divorce decrees are not set in stone. Most people move frequently and change jobs even more frequently. As a result, even the most thoughtful parenting time and financial support orders may become completely outdated and unworkable.
Procedurally, modification is often a lot like a divorce. Following a temporary hearing, the parties exchange information about their claims and concerns. If the parties are unable to resolve all matters between themselves, the case usually goes to mediation or trial. Most divorced parents need a Lake Forest family law attorney to legally modify their decrees at least once every three years.
Reach Out to an Assertive Lawyer
Nearly all Lake County households need family law services at one time or another. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Lake Forest, contact Andrea Heckman Law. After-hours visits are available.