Palatine Family Law Attorney
A generation ago, most households consisted of a married mother and father who had never been married to anyone else, along with their pure biological children. Today, that is no longer the case. Most children still live in two-parent homes, but many of these families are blended families. Moreover, single-parent homes, which were almost unheard of a generation ago, are now quite common.
Today’s complex families need legal support from a dedicated Palatine family law attorney like Andrea Heckman. We understand the complex financial and emotional issues that blended families deal with on a daily basis. We get to work quickly and strive for a long-term, cost-effective solution that puts you in the driver’s seat. Our time-honored approach in these areas often produces results that exceed our clients’ expectations.
Common Non-Divorce Actions in Cook County
Traditional and step-parent adoption are among the most common types of non-divorce family law actions in Cook County.
Traditional adoption may be an agency adoption or a private adoption, and a good Palatine family law attorney plays a crucial role in both these endeavors. Although many agencies handle the legal paperwork and adoption nuts and bolts. Even the most diligent agencies do not represent your family’s legal interests. Only an attorney can do that.
Private adoptions involve intricate rules. For example, all adoption steps must be performed correctly and in the right order. If there is any misstep, a biological parent could come forward even years after the fact and challenge the adoption.
Step-parent adoption is an expedited legal process that usually has tangible emotional benefits for your family. However, these proceedings also involve biological parent termination, which is anything but an expedited process.
If the to-be-terminated parent does not agree to the action, which is quite common, a name change is often a reasonable compromise. Name changes do not have all the legal effect of adoptions, but at least everyone in the house has the same last name.
The non-divorce family law umbrella also covers paternity matters. Even if your name is on the birth certificate and you participate in a child’s life emotionally and financially, you have no legal rights. In most cases, only formal legal parents receive credit for the financial support they provide, have a voice in their children’s lives, and have the right to know about graduations and other milestone activities.
Divorce modification is very common as well. Typically, a Palatine family law attorney should legally modify your divorce decree at least once every three years.
These modifications often involve both parenting time divisions and Family Support Obligations (FSOs), like spousal support and child support. People move a lot and change jobs frequently. Any changes to any divorce orders, even if they are agreed and in writing, must be legally incorporated into the decree.
What to Expect in a Palatine Family Law Case
Adoption cases are hardly ever contested at the time. Paternity cases are usually uncontested, as well. Most modifications, on the other hand, are not 100% agreed. Many times, the parties agree that a modification is necessary, but disagree on some of the nuts and bolts.
If a mother challenges a paternity action, or simply refuses to give written consent, most Cook County judges order DNA swab tests. These tests are completely non-invasive and very accurate.
Modification proceedings are much like divorces. A judge usually holds a temporary hearing to make interim orders. After that, the parties conduct discovery. The information-gathering process could take a few hours or a few months. A mediator often engineers a final resolution.
Contact an Assertive Lawyer
Today’s blended families need tangible legal solutions to everyday problems. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Palatine, contact Andrea Heckman Law. After-hours visits are available.