Family law concerns itself with each of the terms of divorce, post-divorce modifications, paternity, parental responsibilities, parenting time, and decision-making for children issues both inside and outside of marriage, paternity, and much more. Because family law concerns directly affect you and your family, your rights as a parent, and your financial rights, they are all primary concerns and having an experienced family law attorney in Chicago in your corner is well advised.
The State of Illinois uses parental responsibilities, which is both parenting time and decision-making, to replace what you may think of as your child custody arrangements. Parental responsibilities incorporate both decision-making authority and the schedule by which you will divide your parenting time with your children’s other parent. Ultimately, the court takes the children’s best interests – as guided by best-interest factors – into consideration when making these primary determinations.
Child support is intended to ensure that both parents continue supporting their shared children financially – in accordance with their ability to do so. While many variables can be considered in the calculation process, the primary concerns remain the number of overnights each parent has with the children and each parent’s income. Even when parents divide these overnights fairly evenly between themselves, the child support obligation will likely fall to the higher earner.
Illinois distinguishes between marital property – the property you acquire as a married couple – and separate property (non-marital property) – the property that you bring into the marriage with you and keep separate over the years. Upon divorce, marital property must be distributed between the two of you in a manner that is considered fair in relation to the circumstances of your marriage and divorce. Separate property, however, remains the property of the original owner.
Illinois uses the term spousal maintenance to replace alimony, but it only factors into those divorces in which both the following apply:
In Illinois, a child’s father must be identified through the establishment of legal paternity if his or her parents are not married at the time of the child’s birth. This can be as easy as both parents signing off on the father’s paternity or as complicated as the court requiring DNA testing. The establishment of paternity comes with considerable benefits for everyone involved, including:
The seasoned family law attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW in Chicago are well acquainted with successfully guiding complex family law concerns like yours toward advantageous outcomes, and we’re here for you too. To learn more about what we can do to help, please don’t hesitate 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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