A competent attorney is key in settling your divorce in a timely manner. We can help you navigate your divorce and work towards a fair resolution.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, formerly known as child custody in Illinois, refers to the care, maintenance, and control of a minor child.
Our firm supports clients who are facing a paternity case. We devise a legal strategy to help protect your parental rights.
If you and your partner are looking to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, our firm is here to help. We work hard to ensure your contract serves your best interests.
We offer assistance to those who need to determine child support. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to represent you in court.
Our divorce attorneys work with cases involving the dissolution of same-sex marriages and civil unions. We provide you with the guidance that you need.
We have extensive experience as advocates for those who experienced domestic violence. You can depend on our attorneys for sound legal advice during this challenging time.
As your child’s Guardian Ad Litem, we represent their best interests in child custody cases and fight for the best outcome.
Divorce can be a complex process. If there is an ongoing dispute between you and the other party, you may benefit from our mediation services.
We are experienced negotiators and have successfully settled cases involving marital and non-marital property.
WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC was established to provide clients with access to excellent advocates, negotiators, mediators, and experienced litigators. Ms. Ward, a skilled Chicago divorce lawyer and the founder of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, has exclusively practiced matrimonial and family law nearly 20 years and continues as Adjunct Faculty at The John Marshall Law School teaching family law legal writing to law students since 2005; the legal writing program is ranked #6 in the country for law school writing programs by US News & World Report (2019). Ms. Ward also had the honor of speaking at the “Leaving a Long-Term Marriage” workshop produced by The Lilac Tree, an Evanston-based not-for-profit resource for women contemplating divorce. She has also provided a matrimonial-related lecture series at The Latin School of Chicago Adult Education Program and on more than one occasion has lent her commentary to Chicago Tribune related publications on family law articles and topics of interest. The classroom, lecturing, publishing and courtroom experience provides clients with well-rounded representation, finesse at settlement negotiation, precise drafting skills, and litigation expertise.
Consult with an attorney at one week prior to needing to initiate any action.
Signing off on an engagement letter, information intake sheet and payment of a retainer formalizes the attorney-client relationship to commence a case or initiate any action with the court.
Completion and exchange of financial affidavits, preparations of balance sheets, calculations of support, and issuance of formal discovery.
If minor children are involved, these two components are key aspects to an allocation judgment.
Reviewing settlement options with the client to discuss global settlement of terms taking Illinois law into consideration.
If there remain items of concern then sometimes mediation will allow the parties to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom.
Court intervention can occur at any stage wherein the parties are unable to reach an agreement.
Marital settlement agreement and formalization of settlement terms for entry by the Judge.
Formalization of parenting time and decision-making for entry by the Judge.
The parties either proceed to prove-up or the next stage is preparations in setting the case for trial, including formal discovery completion, depositions, subpoenas, witness lists, expert reports and the like.
Our firm has represented many clients through custody cases and witnessed, first-hand, the impact of custodial conflict and works closely with clients to achieve the best results under the law.
Our firm works closely with clients at the onset of their case to obtain the full financial disclosure of both parties to be able to properly and accurately calculate child support under the guidelines provided by Illinois law.
Our firm has handled the dissolution of civil unions and same-sex marriages and has the knowledge to provide you with guidance and answers during this process.
Our firm represents clients of various personal and professional backgrounds with each client having their own unique issues and concerns, but all are going through the same divorce process.
Often domestic violence actions are emergency matters that require immediate attention and a good understanding of the court system to achieve needed protection, so please contact WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, if this is applicable to your case.
A guardian ad litem is an attorney for the parties’ child or children. The guardian ad litem is required to investigate the facts of the case, interview the parties, and testify or submit a written report to the court regarding his or her recommendations in accordance with the best interest of the child.
Mediation is a confidential process where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties in reaching an agreement regarding any unresolved or contested issues in their case.
In the cases where a man and woman are not married and have a child, a paternity (or parentage) case is applicable. The court has the power to determine parentage, legally, establishing who a child’s father is or is not under the law.
If you are engaged (or are already married) and want to ensure that you have a mutual understanding of certain obligations or specific divisions are in place, should something go awry in your marriage, then a Premarital Agreement (also known as a Prenuptial Agreement) or a Postnuptial Agreement may be the best option.
Determining marital property from non-marital property is a very important aspect of the divorce process and to the parties going through a divorce.
If maintenance is appropriate, there are many forms it can take, including but not limited to reviewable, permanent or non-modifiable.
It was quick and easy and those are two words I did not think I would say about my divorce. We are still friendly too. We just were not meant to be together anymore. Ward Family Law made sure to draft the documents with the terms that we agreed on which kept us on good terms and there was no fighting. I cannot recommend them enough if you are looking for a clean, honest, quick, easy divorce.
We were set to get married in a little over a month and my family insisted on a premarital agreement. On my very first call Jennifer explained the entire process and timing. They hit the ground running and got everything completed and signed well before our wedding date. That made everything much less stressful so I thank them so much for their professionalism and timeliness.
Our plan was to get married after the baby was born and then a year later we still were not married and we were going our separate ways. I had no idea that the birth certificate alone did not make me the legal parent of our baby in Illinois. Luckily, Ward Family Law handles these cases and established paternity through a DNA test and submitted the results to the court. We now have an agreement on time with our kids and support too.
Cannot recommend Jennifer, Emily and the entire team at Ward Family Law enough. If you have a divorce, custody or other family law matter then stop looking. They will have your back until the end. While my case was messy, they kept it on track and brought it through to the end. It was the best that I could have hoped for.
We already split up all our accounts and had no debt. We just needed the paperwork for the divorce. We started it on our own and then realized just how complicated it all was and needed to make sure it would get accepted by the divorce court. In came Jennifer and she explained the "friendly" divorce process that they oftentimes do and that allowed us to get it all done on our terms and fast.
When our child graduated high school I needed a lawyer to file papers to stop my child support payments and to figure out how we were going to pay for college. Jennifer at Ward Family Law got everything together and filed with the court. From start to finish it was smooth and by filing at the right time my child support payments did not continue for months and months. That saved me so much money - enough to cover the retainer in the first place. Well worth it to do it right
My kid was graduating high school and I needed to end my child support obligation and also needed to get money for college costs and expenses. While these are two different things, the attorneys at Ward Family Law handled the court filings and had the right order entered by the Judge terminating my child support obligation and then also got a contribution order entered for college costs and expenses. What a relief and I cannot say enough good things about the family law team.
I wanted a legal team that could do it all since I didn't know which way it would go. I was unsure about mediation, settlement, or litigation and my research showed that they could do it all. They did. Mediation was guided by my attorney, Jennifer, at Ward Family Law and although it was not a great outcome it was because the other side would not compromise. No problem. Jennifer transitioned the case to litigation to push for what I knew was right and what I knew I needed to fight for. We fought the good fight for my kids…
I am already a very anxious person. Ward Family Law walked me through the process and was with me every step of the way. Emily is patient and communicative. She would call or email me back the same day and made sure I was comfortable. The divorce was a difficult time but she made it so much better and I couldn't be happier about the outcome.
We were getting married in a month and needed to get our premarital agreement done quickly but also done right. Ward Family Law got us a list of talking points for me and my fiance to figure out what we wanted included and they walked me through the financial disclosures and other things that have to get done to make sure the premarital agreement is valid. Otherwise, what is the point, right? They did the draft of the premarital agreement and since we had talked through it with their guidance prior it made the entire process so easy. Highly recommend!!
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