Divorce is a serious transition that affects your financial rights as well as your rights as a parent. While the emotional component is often intense, it’s important to pay careful attention to the legal aspects and to your divorce terms, which will guide your future. If you’re on the lookout for the best divorce lawyer near me, it’s time to reach out to an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer for the professional legal guidance that you need.
Every divorce is as unique as the marriage involved, but the terms of divorce do not vary, including (as applicable):
If you and your divorcing spouse – with the professional legal guidance of your respective divorce lawyers – are able to reach a compromise on each of the terms that apply to your divorce, you’ll be able to bypass the court’s intervention and keep the negotiations between yourselves. There is also the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) option of mediation. Any terms that you are unable to resolve outside of court will ultimately need to be determined by the judge presiding over your case.
Those assets that you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage are most likely considered marital property, and they will need to be divided equitably between you upon divorce. Any separate property that you brought with you into the marriage and kept separate throughout remains separate, though there are caveats that can put it at risk. This division of property is often one of the most hotly contested divorce issues and you should contact an experienced divorce attorney to ensure protections and an understanding of the process.
Parental responsibility is Illinois is an allocation of parenting time and decision-making (which are the legal and physical custody items previously discussed). The decision-making aspect of parental responsibility can be either taken on by one parent or shared, and the kinds of decisions involved include:
Parenting time is Illinois’ term for physical custody, which concerns itself with how you and your ex will divide your time with your children. There is room for personalizing your parenting time schedules to meet your family’s needs.
Both parents are responsible for their children’s financial support, and because child support is calculated in accordance with state guidelines that take each parent’s income into consideration, the higher earner is typically responsible for making child support payments though the number of overnight parenting time is now a factor.
Spousal maintenance or alimony or spousal support is generally reserved for those instances when one spouse lacks the financial ability to support himself or herself upon divorce, and the other has the ability to offset the financial deficit, while the recipient obtains the education or job training to become more financially independent. Illinois is unique in it’s statutory calculations.
The trusted divorce lawyers at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, in Chicago have the experience, legal skill, and drive to help protect your parental and financial rights throughout the divorce process. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us today.
I knew we were going to have a custody battle from day one. It was going to be mean and messy and expensive and long. I did not know if I could handle it but I had to do it for my kids. Jennifer litigated my case to the end - we had an attorney for the kids, we had psych evaluations, we had reports for the Judge, we had court date after court date. She was strategic, smart, planned well ahead, and kept on top of everything. Thanks to her and her legal eagles my kids are in a…
We were not married but had two kids and we were both listed as the parents on the birth certificates. What I did not know at the time was that the birth certificate (for parents who are not married) does not count in Chicago! You have to have a paternity test or have signed some special paperwork at the hospital that we did not know about at the time. Ward Family Law prepared the court filings so that we could establish our parental rights. Thank you!
At the end of my divorce case I realized that the paperwork required us to provide the court with a Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in order for our retirement and investment accounts to be divided as we had agreed. The problem was that we did not have them done in time. Jennifer and her team stepped in and handled contacting the plan administrators, completing the draft QDROs, submitting them for pre-approval of everyone and then presenting them to the court. While we had hoped this was super easy there were a lot of steps and a lot of things…
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