Family Law

 

Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage

There are specific rules for getting divorced in Illinois. We can help you determine if mediation, collaborative law or traditional litigation is appropriate for you and can help navigate the court system.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Co-Parenting
At all times, we work with you to devise a co-parenting agreement that is “in the best interest of the child”. This includes listening to you, prioritizing the many issues involved such as actual time spent at each parent’s home, communication, holidays, attending children’s events and school conferences while taking into account each parent’s schedule. Each agreement is prepared to meet the unique needs of your family as you move forward.

Child Support
Illinois law provides child support guidelines. Courts also look at what is in the “best interest of the child” in determining the appropriate amount of support. Factors such as the lifestyle to which the child is accustomed, education, extra-curricular activities and other factors specific to your children are taken into account. We can help you negotiate a fair agreement. If circumstances change, we can help you modify your current support agreement. We can help you recover unpaid child support either by seeking court assistance in enforcing its’ order or through mediation or collaboration directly with your spouse.

Spousal Support and Maintenance
There are now statewide guidelines for maintenance, such as those for child support. The formula for determining if maintenance will be allocated is based on a percentage of each party's income, the years of marriage and total net income of the parties. In addition, courts in Illinois look at numerous factors in determining if and for how long maintenance should awarded. These include: length of marriage, the current employment status of each spouse and earning potential, current salaries, health and age of each spouse and other factors. We can help you recover unpaid maintenance either by seeking court assistance in enforcing its’ order or through mediation or collaboration directly with your spouse.

Division of Property
Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state. Equitable does not necessarily mean a “50/50” split. Courts will look at a variety of factors in determining what is fair. We can help you sort through how the courts determine who gets what in a divorce.

Paternity
Illinois law grants parents certain rights and obligations towards their children. These include co-parenting, decision making and support. Conflicts arise when one parent wants to either force or prevent the other parent from participating in the child’s upbringing. A DNA test establishes parenthood. We can help you establish your legal standing as a parent or not and help protect your rights and those of your children.

Pre-Nupital Agreements
These agreements are prepared before and in anticipation of marriage and serve to define the parties rights and obligations in the event of a split. They are highly individualized and take into account factors such as family assets, businesses and debts, children from a prior relationship and the expectation of the parties. “Pre-Nups” can provide security and help avoid costly litigation later.

Civil Unions
By listening to your concerns and looking at the assets and debts accumulated during your partnership we can help provide a working agreement for easing the pain when it ends. We can assist in helping you define a relationship with children who have been a part of your partnership.