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IL divorce lawyerFor the past couple of decades, the composition of the American family has been changing. Years ago, the “ideal” family was seen as a mother and a father, happily married with two biological children, a boy and a girl, and the family dog. Now, there is more diversity within American households than ever. Many children live in households without one of their biological parents or with their grandparents, without either parent at all. Many families have now also opened their arms and adopted children from many backgrounds.

One of the most popular ways people adopt in Illinois is through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS.) These types of adoptions occur to children who are currently in the foster system in Illinois and often have unique situations. If you are looking to adopt a child from the foster system, an Illinois adoption lawyer can guide you through the process.

Children Come From a Variety of Backgrounds

Children who are in the custody of DCFS are in the foster care system. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, there were more than 125,000 children in U.S. foster care systems waiting to be adopted in 2018. The most important thing to realize before you make the decision to adopt a child who is in the foster care system is that these children often come with their own baggage. Children who are in the foster care system and were removed from their homes because their environment was not safe. These children often have suffered from neglect, physical violence, a parent’s drug abuse or even sexual abuse.

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IL divorce lawyerUnfortunately, domestic violence is something that is present in millions of families throughout the country. Domestic violence occurs when a person commits an act of abuse or violence toward a family or household member. Sometimes, it can be a stressful event that triggers the beginning of the violence, such as a separation or divorce. Other times, violent tendencies that were already present are just exacerbated by the divorce. Whatever the situation, there are remedies available to you to help you protect yourself and your children. The most common form of help for these situations includes the issuing of an order of protection.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legally-binding court order that can help protect you if your spouse is being violent or abusive. An order of protection can contain provisions that your spouse must adhere to or face further penalties, with the most common requirement being to stay away from the petitioner. An order of protection can be brought against a person by any of that person’s family or household members, including spouses, former spouses, parents, children, roommates, people who are dating and adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.

What Can an Order of Protection Do?

Contained in an order of protection are what are called remedies. These are things that the respondent is either prohibited from doing or things that the respondent is required to do. There are many different remedies that can be included in an order of protection, though the most common remedies include:

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Posted on in Family Law

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL order of protection attorney,An order of protection, sometimes referred to as a restraining order, is a court order that restricts an individual accused of threatening or abusive behavior from continuing their behavior against the accuser. Abuse includes physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or interference with personal property.

There are several ways an order of protection can be obtained. You can file an order of protection through an attorney, request one with your divorce petition, request a criminal order of protection if there have been criminal charges filed against the alleged abuser, or contact a local domestic violence program for help.

Illinois Order of Protection

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Illinois order of protection attorney, Illinois family lawyer, An order of protection, also known as a restraining order, is filed when one individual feels threatened by the other and/or has experienced abuse. They are meant to keep you safe and out of harm’s way.

According to the 750 Illinois Compiled Statute 60/, Orders of Protection, an order of protection may be filed by:

  • An individual who has been abused by a family or household member, or by an individual on behalf of a minor child or adult who has been abused by a family or household member and because of age, health, or mental or physical disability cannot file.
  • A foster parent, legal guardian, or adoptive parent of that child if the child has been placed in the foster parents' home by the Department of Children and Family Services or by another foster child agency.

Orders of protection are often issued during or just prior to the filing of a divorce, a child custody dispute, or as a result of domestic battery charges.

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parentingIn the past, parenting was often solely an option for heterosexual couples. Whether through biological means or adoption, the nuclear family became the norm in American culture. Times have changed and this is now no longer the case. Many same-sex couples now have large families, both biologically and through adoption. Despite the open-mindedness that has now spread throughout the U.S., same-sex couples still experience legal differences in terms of parenting.

What Is Second Parent Adoption?

 In the eyes of the court, there is a difference between the biological parent and non-biological parent regardless of the amount of parenting each person actually does. This means that the non-biological parent does not have any legal rights of the child. If the child was sick in the hospital, only the biological parent is considered family. In the case of separation or divorce, the non-biological parent would have no right to see their child if the biological parent made that decision. While this may not be an issue when both parents are on good terms, this could become a problem if the marriage goes south. Many do not realize the power that emotions can have over a person until they experience heartbreak or a downhill marriage.

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