Divorce represents a serious transition in your life that is also a serious legal matter. If you’re facing a divorce, you may be asking yourself – how do I find a top divorce lawyer near me – and this is a very important place to start. An experienced Chicago divorce lawyer will help you negotiate divorce terms that protect both your parental and financial rights and find your best path forward.
In Illinois, what you likely think of as legal custody and physical custody are called now called an allocation of parental responsibilities: parenting time and decision-making guiding your post-divorce parental rights, responsibilities, parenting time, decision-making. The term parental responsibilities refers to parenting time and who will be making important decisions on behalf of your children moving forward, and you and your ex can share this responsibility – or one of you can take it on yourself. The kinds of decision-making involved include the topics of:
Parenting time refers to how you and your ex will divide your time with your children. Parenting time often includes a detailed weekly routine schedule that includes which days of the week and weekend each parent has parenting time along with pick-up and drop-off times and locations. There is also the consideration of holiday parenting time, spring break parenting time, winter break parenting time, and summer parenting time.
Child support is the payment system established by statute through the State of Illinois that ensures both parents remain financially responsible for supporting their children. Specifically, Illinois has become an income shares model in calculating child support so that both parties are required to provide support. Child support is determined in accordance with a state calculation methodology taking each parties income into consideration along with how many overnights a parent has annually.
Any and all assets and liabilities that are accrued during the marriage are typically considered marital property; these properties, which also include assets that you and your spouse acquired over the course of your marriage are considered marital property, and upon divorce, they must be divided between you in a manner that is determined to be equitable. Even a fairly straightforward division of marital property can become very complicated very quickly, and some of the factors that tend to further complicate the issue include:
Spousal support, which is known as maintenance in Illinois, may or may not play a role in your divorce case. Maintenance, which is also known as alimony, is calculated by the statute provided in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act taking many things into consideration: income, employment, duration of marriage, allocation of the marital estate, the non-marital estate, and other factors.
The accomplished Chicago divorce lawyers at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, recognize the significant role your divorce will play in your life, and we are committed to knowledgeably negotiating for favorable terms that protect your rights and support your best post-divorce future. We’re on your side and are here to offer our skilled guidance, so please don’t hesitate to reach out and 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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