Divorce can be complicated and can encompass all issues revolving around the family unit. Because of its nature, much of family law may involve serious psychological and emotional stress, not just for you, but for your children as well.
While every divorce is unique to the individuals and circumstances involved, there are some similarities. One of the first steps you can take to face divorce in a more confident and productive way is to understand some of the basic requirements of the divorce process.
Important to that first step and understanding the basics of divorce is consulting with a divorce attorney. Working with an experienced Will County divorce lawyer can help you more confidently to navigate the complexities of your divorce proceedings. If you are considering filing for divorce, need to establish or modify your parenting rights and responsibilities, or if you are looking to modify a previous court order, our family law firm can examine all aspects of your case, advise you of all your legal options going forward, and recommend the next best steps for you and your family.
The decision to end a marriage is one of the toughest decisions that you may ever make. There are many things that you may need to consider when filing for divorce including the well-being of children, potential spousal maintenance, living arrangements, division of assets and liabilities, and more. You have options and it is important to understand those options.
Divorces in Illinois are no-fault divorces, meaning the state does not lay blame on you or your spouse. However, certain actions of you or your spouse during the marriage can affect the final divorce decree that is entered in the courts. In some cases, the parties may already be in agreement regarding the divorce but need help understanding the process or what to do next. If this sounds like you, you might benefit from limited scope representation, which could save you a significant amount of money when compared to other divorce cases. For shorter marriages with fewer assets, the parties may be able to seek a joint simplified dissolution of marriage. Regardless of how contested or uncontested your case may be, if you live in Will County or the surrounding areas our family law firm could help assist you in exploring your options and rights when filing for divorce.
“Child custody” is often misunderstood. In fact, Illinois law no longer uses the term “custody” because it was so often misunderstood and lead to many unnecessary court battles. Traditionally, “custody” was used to identify the party who made the major decisions concerning the children. Custody neither decided a superiority of one parent over the other, nor did it decide who paid child support. Now, instead of arguing over a misunderstood term, Illinois allocates parental responsibilities and parenting time.
Parental responsibilities include four, and only four, major decisions: (1) Religion, (2) Education, (3) Health Care, and (4) Extracurricular activities. Courts cannot and do not get involved in “minor” issues such as whether your child eats breakfast. This is because we do not want our courts to micromanage our lives. The parties can make all decisions jointly or some decisions jointly. For example, if mom is a doctor and dad is a teacher, the parties can agree to decide religion and extracurriculars jointly and allow mom to decide all medical issues and allow dad to make all educational decisions. After allocation of responsibilities is determined, the parties must agree on a parenting schedule during the school year and during holidays. If the parties cannot agree, the court will consider a variety of statutory factors before rendering a decision that the parties may or may not like.
Child support is completely different from “child custody” or allocation. The courts are guided by statutory formulas, but each situation is different. You should speak with one of our family law attorneys to better understand your rights and responsibilities.
Maintenance (sometimes called “alimony”) is payment by one former spouse to another former spouse for a length of time determined by the court. There are several factors to consider before maintenance is awarded. If you are concerned about your obligation to pay maintenance, rights to receive maintenance, delinquent payments, or finances have changed, you should speak with an experienced Will County family law attorney to help navigate the issues.
Divorce is never easy on the people involved. It is important to have a family lawyer in Will County that you can trust during the most difficult time in your life. At Reidy Law Office, we believe in teaching our clients the relevant law and how it relates to the client’s specific situation. Then, we create the specific strategy for the individual client’s case. Our mission is to help people through the difficult times in their lives and to create a starting point for a better life going forward. Conveniently located in Mokena, we serve clients in Will County, Cook County, Kankakee County, DuPage County, and more.
Brian W. Reidy,
Illinois Divorce and Family Law Attorney
At times, many details and aspects of the divorce process can seem intimidating and even overwhelming. Fortunately, a thorough and dedicated divorce lawyer could make a dramatic difference in how prepared you are to handle the challenges a divorce may present.
If you are considering divorce, our firm could work to help you understand the divorce process at each stage so that you can feel more confident and secure in your approach. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
The Children of a Non-Traditional Family Scholarship will award one student with $1,000 to be used towards their educational pursuits. If you are a child of a non-traditional family, we want to hear how this positively impacted your life. For more information about the scholarship application requirements, please visit the scholarship page.
This Holiday season, Reidy Law Office is partnering with Toys for Tots to help deliver a message of hope to less fortunate children in our community. We are participating as an official drop off location and collecting donations at our office in Orland Park. For more information about when and where we’ll be collecting donations, visit our Toys For Tots page.