Getting the right Illinois family law help has never been easier than now. Our team of Illinois family law attorneys has done it all and is experienced in every aspect of Illinois divorce, child custody, father’s rights, or child support cases. Going through a family law issue in Illinois is no easy task; it is an emotionally heart wrenching ordeal for most, and even those that have moved past the emotional aspects often find themselves stuck in one place because they do not know how to get what they deserve from the Illinois court system. Part of the reason is because Illinois family law statutes are some of the most confusing in the entire country. This is due to the fact that it has been decades since these laws were initially authored, and thousands of cases have changed the ways the laws are deciphered. With one of our Illinois family law professionals on your side, you can rest assured that you have a proven winner advocating for your interests. Here’s the best part – connecting with one of our professionals is always free!
Get the Illinois Family Law Help You Deserve!
We’ve seen it all, the horror stories, the drawn out custody fights, the bitter divorces over property or because of a cheating spouse. That is not to say we are callous and uncaring to your situation just because we’ve seen the worst of the worst. By connecting with us, for free, you will not only be connected to a skilled Illinois family law expert that knows your rights, but one that is compassionate to your needs and emotions as well. When you need someone to explain the process by which your matter will be handled, our professional network prides themselves on putting your emotional needs first to help you move on to the next chapter in your life. Getting in touch with an Illinois family law attorney is essential to protecting your rights and your emotional well-being.
What Laws Are Used for Illinois Family Law Cases?
Illinois family law cases are governed by a combination of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (commonly called the IMDMA and found at 750 ILCS 5/) and thousands of Illinois Appellate and Illinois Supreme Court case decisions. Because of the complexity of these laws and the ways in which various Appellate court decisions have interpreted the meaning and use of the statutes, attempting to go through and Illinois family law case without a knowledgeable attorney is not recommended. Oftentimes, the plain, everyday meaning of terms and phrases in the statutes are not how the statutes and laws are applied in court, as seen by differing court opinions that constantly change the application of the laws. Our Illinois family law attorneys know how to apply these changes to your personal case and get you what you deserve.
Illinois Divorce Help and Advice
As we mentioned earlier, Illinois family laws are complex, confusing, and have been modified due to thousands of judges interpreting the law in different ways. This is why, should you find yourself in a situation where you are considering divorce, you should speak to a skilled divorce lawyer first to understand your rights. Illinois is what is known as a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that, for the most part, grounds, such as adultery, abandonment, etc., to divorce your spouse are not necessary. In fact, more than 90% of Illinois divorces are on grounds of Irreconcilable Differences, which is essentially no fault. The remaining divorces are usually on grounds of mental or physical cruelty, as well as a few others. Illinois family law guidelines provide for a more simple route by divorcing under no-fault rules.
The reason for Illinois being a no fault state is obvious: if you had to actually prove that your spouse did something wrong (cheated on you, etc.), every case would be forced into a trial, with both sides putting on evidence and testimony from witnesses as to what happened. The system would grind to a halt, and for the most part, people would not be able to prove the grounds they rely on, and thus, would not be allowed to divorce. This is why Illinois is a no fault divorce state (along with every other state in the country). The basic guidelines for a no fault Illinois divorce are as follows, and based on Irreconcilable Differences, as defined in statute at: 750 ILCS 5/401(a)(2), explained below:
• The parties have been separated for 2-years, or are willing to waive the 2-year requirement and state that they have been separated for 6-months or longer;
• One of the parties must have been a resident of Illinois for at least the last 90-days prior to filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or prior to the court date when the parties are divorced; and
• The parties agree that Irreconcilable Differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and future efforts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.
When these minimum thresholds are met, the parties can proceed with having a Judgment, Marital Settlement Agreement, Parenting Agreement, and all other documents entered and ordered by the Judge. With a skilled Illinois family law attorney on your side, you can get through this process in a quicker, more manageable way and hopefully turn a contested divorce into an uncontested divorce.
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce in Illinois
Only two-types of divorces exist: a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce (agreed divorce). The difference between the two is no small matter – this is where all the big decisions are made, depending on what type of divorce you will go through. An Illinois uncontested divorce is where both parties agree on all major issues of ending the marriage: what to do with the property, bank accounts, children, visitation, child support, vehicles, etc., and can come to an agreement on everything for the sake of ending the marriage on a positive note. A contested divorce, by contrast, is usually the one that is depicted on TV or in the movies – the parties argue over the disposition of property, they fight over custody of the children, and, in bad instances, they even involve orders of protection and restraining orders enforced by the police. Illinois family law attorneys understand that the differences here could mean years being extended to the divorce process. Our Illinois family law attorneys will explain hat your particular situation calls for – speak with an experienced Illinois divorce attorney today!
Getting the right Illinois divorce help and advice can often turn what could be a highly contested, long drawn out divorce into an uncontested matter. When parties simply cannot get along, an attorney can step in, negotiate the terms of the parties, and help them find common ground. This only happens when both parties realize that there is only so much that the courts will do, and in the end, after much fighting, what the attorney attempting to mediate the situation has proposed, is probably what the judge would decide 3-years later at trial. Keep in mind that in Illinois, uncontested divorces can be completed in as little as 2-weeks in some instances, whereas contested divorce battles can and do last for years and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Only a skilled Illinois family law attorney can provide the right divorce help and advice to help get you through the process as smoothly as possible.
Illinois Child Custody Help and Advice
Of all the Illinois family law issues that exist, none are more intense than those dealing with child custody issues. Illinois child custody matters revolve around deciding which parent will be the custodial parent and which parent will be the noncustodial parent. The custodial parent is the parent that the child will live with on a full-time basis, whereas the noncustodial parent is the parent that has visitation rights with the child. Illinois family law courts prefer to have parents agree on issues regarding raising the children, and they prefer parents to agree to joint custody and work on child issues together in a positive manner. However, this is not always possible, and when parents cannot agree, the courts will order one parent to have sole custody of the children.
Illinois follows the “best interests of the child” standard (available at:750 ILCS 5/602), which means the court considers various aspects such as: the moral fitness of each parent, the emotional needs of the children, the developmental needs of the children, the relationship between the children and each parent, the parents living arrangements, and many others. One of our Illinois family law attorneys will explain how this is applied to your particular situation when you contact us!
Joint Custody versus Sole Custody
Two types of Illinois child custody exist, joint custody and sole custody. The differences are not quite what they used to be, but there are serious differences. Illinois joint custody is for parents that agree on the overall aspects of raising their children and understand that they must cooperate and work together in a positive manner for the best interests of the children. Joint custody is only possible when both parties agree to follow a plan of cooperative parenting, even if they can’t stand to be with the other person in a relationship. Illinois sole custody, on the other hand, is where one parent is granted the sole and primary decision making authority for the children. The other parent is still given the right to school records, religious upbringing (discussed in depth in: In Re: the Marriage of Minix vs. Minix ), doctor appointments, and most other parental responsibilities, but the day to day decision making power rests with the parent granted sole custody.
Gone are the days of the parent being granted sole custody being able to deny access to the children or having the ability to move out of state with the children. Having a parenting agreement in place, even with a grant of sole custody, lays out dozens of different rights and responsibilities for each parent to follow. Only a local Illinois child custody lawyer can let you know what the chances are of getting what you want in your child custody case. Speaking with an expert is easy; we’ve got a team of Illinois family law attorneys waiting to answer your questions.
Illinois Child Support Help and Advice
Illinois has simple looking rules that are actually incredibly difficult to understand and have hundreds of exceptions to each and every rule. Illinois child support is governed by statute at 750 ILCS 5/505, and dictates that the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s net income, regardless of the custodial parent’s income level. Illinois child support is based on this statutory minimum schedule:
• 1-child = 20% of net income
• 2-children = 28% of net income
• 3-children = 32% of net income
• 4-children = 40% of net income
• 5-children = 45% of net income
• 6 or more kids = 50% of net income
At first glance, it looks like the formula is easy to figure out if you simply know the noncustodial parents net income amount. However, there are dozens of exemptions that can either make the amount higher or lower and only a knowledgeable Illinois child support attorney can look at your particular situation and let you know what your rights are. A number of exemptions used for calculating net income for purposes of child support was covered in depth in the case of In Re: the Marriage of Ackerley, 333 Ill.App.3d 382 (2d Dist. 2002).
In the above-mentioned case, (Marriage of Ackerley 333 Ill.App.3d 382 (2d. Dist. 2002), a father who now earned over $500,000.00 a year had previously been ordered to pay child support based off his lower income level at the time of the divorce. However, he failed to disclose bonuses as required by the initial court order. The Appellate court in this case found that at his new income level, he would be ordered to pay more than $5,000.00/month in child support, however the court felt that an amount that large would be a “windfall to the children.” This case represents just one example of how the guidelines for child support can be adjusted based on a number of factors and, of course, having an experienced Illinois family law attorney fighting on your side!
Illinois Father’s Rights Help
Times have changed and it is no longer the case that mother’s are granted sole custody or even granted the right to be the custodial or residential parent just because they are the mom. Illinois father’s rights lawyers fight for dad’s custody and visitation rights on a daily basis and we have the best around on our team. The courts have finally begun to recognize the fact that father’s are at least as good of parents as mother’s, and in many instances, even better parents. Studies show that children that grow up in fatherless homes are more likely to commit crimes and drop out of school. It is this reason that having a father in a child’s life is so important. Our team of Illinois family law attorneys understand that under the “best interests of the child” standard, (found at: 750 ILCS 5/602), means that a variety of issues must be explored and the decision must be made on those guidelines.
Illinois is one of the most pioneering states in the country when it comes to father’s rights. Because the court system understands that father’s have an irreplaceable role in a child’s life, they have begun to force mother’s into mediation and oftentimes allow for a 50/50 parenting time split during the litigation process. By giving father’s the chance to play an integral role in their child’s life, a professional mediator or evaluator has the opportunity to really see which parent is the best for that child. But make no mistake about it, if you go it alone, you will almost certainly lose. With the help of an expert Illinois father’s rights lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that your rights to custody and visitation will be preserved.
Get the Illinois Family Law Help and Advice You Deserve!
Illinois family law help is available with just the few clicks of your button or by picking up the phone and giving us a call. The difference between speaking with members of our team and someone else is simple: our Illinois family law attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate. Illinois family law rules and statutes are complex and confusing, but with the right help on your side, you can get your life back on track. Illinois family law help and advice is here – get what you deserve!
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