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Family Law Attorneys Chicago

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Family Law Attorneys Chicago

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. 

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

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

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. 

The Division of Marital Property

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.

Spousal Maintenance

Illinois uses the term spousal maintenance to replace alimony, but it only factors into those divorces in which both the following apply:

  • One spouse is left without the financial means to continue supporting himself or herself without the help of the other 
  • The other spouse has the financial ability to help

Paternity

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:

  • Increasing the financial resources available for supporting the child in question
  • Fostering a parent/child bond between the father and child
  • Allowing the father to participate in parenting, which can help balance the parental responsibilities between both parents
  • Ensuring the child’s right to paternal inheritance

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Chicago

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.

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