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Family Law

Family law issues are typically seen as the most important in all the legal profession because of the simple fact that they have such a major impact on the most important areas of your life. We can help you through any type of family legal issues such as:​

  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) – A dissolution of marriage (divorce) is started by a person, known as ‘the Petitioner,’ when they file a petition for dissolution of marriage. This will then be served to their spouse, who is known as ‘the Respondent.’ The Respondent will then need to file his or her appearance and answer and/or respond to the petition. This is just the beginning of the divorce process in the state of Illinois, and having an attorney there to help is very important. The process is not completed until the Court enters a judgement for dissolution, which can take months, or even years, to complete.

  • Parenting Time (AKA visitation) – Illinois has done away with the concepts of ‘visitation’ and ‘residential custody,’ and replaced them with ‘parenting time.’ Under Illinois law, each parent will be entitled to a reasonable parenting time schedule, which is based on the best interests of the child. The Court will allocate parenting time in an attempt to maximize each parents involvement in the child/children’s life. The reason for this new term is to remove the implication that one parent has control of the child/children and the other merely gets to visit. Most parents, with the help of their attorneys, can come to an agreement regarding parenting time, and then have it approved by the courts.

  • Parenting Responsibilities (Formerly known as “child custody”) – Under Illinois Law, decision-making authority concerning the child is not necessarily assigned to just one parent. The courts can divide this up based on the best interests of the child. For example, the mother may be put in charge of making the decisions regarding healthcare and religion, while the father gets to make the decisions about education and extracurricular activities. Parents often come to an agreement regarding parenting responsibilities outside the courtroom, and then present their desires to the court for approval.

  • Child Support – In Illinois, a child has a legal right to receive child support. Right now the child support paying parent’s (who is typically the parent who has less parenting time) obligation will be determined based on the new (as of July 1st, 2016) ‘income shares’ model. The Courts will refer to economic tables that will help them to determine how much money needs to be paid based on each parent’s prorata share. This is a fairly complex calculation, and having an attorney look at the specifics of your situation can be very helpful.

  • Maintenance (AKA alimony or spousal support) – Maintenance is a payment given to one spouse from the other. There are four types of maintenance that the courts can choose from when needed:

    • Permanent Maintenance – This is typically awarded when the receiving spouse is not employable, or is only employable at a lot income rate compared to the spouses standard of living during the marriage.

    • Rehabilitative Maintenance – This is maintenance that is paid for a set period of time so that the receiving spouse can improve their ability to earn an income and support themselves.

    • Rehabilitative Maintenance Subject to Review – This is the same as the previous type, but with no set expiration date. The court will review the need periodically to determine when it should end.

    • Maintenance in Gross – This is a specific, nonmodifiable, sum of money that is paid.

  • Property Distribution – In Illinois, the Court will distribute marital property equitably, which does not necessarily mean evenly. Equitable distribution is an attempt to distribute property fairly based on the needs of each party, and any children. For example, if one party has less need for a specific piece of property, the court will likely award it to the other party. Property in this case means any real estate, tangible personal and shared things, and financial property (bank accounts, IRA’s, 401(k)’s, ect).

  • Parentage Cases – Parentage cases determine the paternity of children born to relationships other than a marriage. Parentage actions also include the resolution of parenting time, parenting responsibilities, and child support related to children of unwed parents.

The Benefits of Broad Knowledge and Experience

At Lake Cook Legal Solutions, we are experienced and knowledgeable in the areas of Illinois law that affects our clients, their families, and careers, which is a great benefit to our Family Law clients. If you seek advice from an attorney who only specializes in divorce, they could overlook potential problems in other areas of law that may affect you, such as property or business matters. Worse, they could miss opportunities or solutions that would better fit your family and your needs. Our experience and skill in diverse law practice areas is recognized by our peers, earning our law firm a stellar reputation as a premier family law firm.  For a free consultation, contact us today.

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