In our family law practice area, communication is our number one priority since it allows clients to be aware of each stage in the proceeding and make informed decisions. We work diligently to provide efficient service to our clients and to protect their best interests while striving to work toward the goal of resolution. We encourage our clients to behave in a manner that maintains integrity and is the least disruptive to the family.
Prior to commencing our divorce services, we meet with a potential client in consultation. During the consultation we seek to educate the potential client on the divorce process and the issues that must be addressed, including the various stages of the case and trial and the parties' financial situation, which includes business interests, bank accounts, inheritances, maintenance, non-marital property, personal property, real estate, retirement funds, stocks, vehicles and the possible division of same. For cases involving children we also discuss the best interests of the children, child care expenses, child support, children's representatives, custody evaluations, holiday scheduling, medical expenses, medical insurance, mediation, parenting time and visitation, and the various types of custody: joint, sole or shared.
Divorce involves not only a dissolution of the bonds of matrimony but also involves the classification of property as marital or non-marital assets and liabilities, maintenance of your spouse and issues regarding your children. Grounds for the divorce must also be proven during the proceeding. Any person anticipating a divorce should have a working understanding of the court process as well as the substantive issues to be addressed.
Child Custody and Support
Our firm assists clients in child custody, visitation and support disputes. Child support in Illinois is based on statutes that establish guidelines based upon net income of the payor, which takes into account allowable deductions for payment of support, medical insurance, medical expenses not covered by insurance, child care costs, life insurance and other expenses incurred for the children.
Depending upon what is in the best interest of the child, the court may appoint a guardian of the person or the estate or both the person and estate of a minor child. A guardianship may be necessary in several instances including, but not limited to, cases where the parents of the child are not able or willing to provide care for the child. If you are not a natural parent of a child who is currently in your care or if your family circumstances are such that a child to whom you are not the parent will be in your care soon, you need to obtain the legal guardianship of the child so you can arrange for his or her education and medical attention.
If you have a child out of wedlock, your parental issues are addressed through a parentage action. Paternity cases involve issues such as establishing parentage, contesting parentage, obtaining DNA testing to determine parentage, child custody, child support, visitation, medical insurance, medical expenses and other issues relating directly to the child. Either parent in Illinois can file an action with regard to parentage issues. If you have a child with a parent who is not your spouse, we can provide information and representation to address your needs.
This area ranges from implementing terms of a divorce decree to providing review of ongoing obligations such as support for children or a former spouse. If a former spouse is not complying with the terms of a divorce decree, steps can be taken in court to ensure the enforcement of a court order. Custody and support are also reviewable in certain circumstances and a party to a divorce action needs to know his or her options. Events such as losing a job, the emancipation of a child, new employment and other changes in your life or the life of an ex-spouse could result in a modification of the terms of a divorce decree.
The addition of a new family member through an adoption can be a wonderful experience. Certain steps must be taken during the process to ensure that appropriate notice and consents are obtained. Whether the adoption is related or unrelated, we will work with you to analyze your options and fulfill the requirements for a successful outcome.
For a variety of reasons, some couples seek to enter into an agreement in advance of marriage to provide for future events such as death or divorce. A pre-nuptial agreement can address these concerns. We strive to assist the client in dealing with this sensitive issue in a manner that is respectful of both parties' intentions while protecting the interests of our client.
Our civil union practice involves not only advice to those couples considering entry into a civil union but also the preparation of additional financial and legal documents that may strengthen the status of the couple outside of Illinois. Whether same-sex or opposite sex, couples entering into a civil union may have unique challenges. We strive to remain at the cutting edge of this still developing area of law.
We advocate for our clients' best interests with dedication and vigor to obtain the best result possible while maintaining a level of reality so our clients obtain fair and reasonable results.