Family law has undergone significant changes in recent years. Because of the complex nature of divorce, child support, child custody, and spousal maintenance laws in Illinois, you may need to discuss with a qualified family attorney what your rights and obligations in Bolingbrook may be. Speak with a skilled Bolingbrook family lawyer that could advocate for you.
In 2016, Illinois became an exclusively “no-fault” divorce state, which means there are no longer “fault-based” grounds for a divorce in Bolingbrook. All that you need to demonstrate in court is the presence of irreconcilable differences that caused an irretrievable breakdown in your marriage and defied attempts at reconciliation. Typically, you should also prove that any future attempts at reconciliation are futile and not in the best interest of your family. In some cases, you and your spouse may not need to be separated for any length of time before a Will County judge will grant your divorce.
Under the 2017 law, maintenance (also known as alimony) payments will be equal to 20 percent of the support-seeking spouse’s gross income subtracted from 30 percent of the higher-earning spouse’s gross income. Furthermore, there is a cap on spousal support at 40 percent of the couple’s combined gross income. Judges are given less discretion under these standards for spousal support then they were previously when courts had a list of factors and recommendations to work from when determining alimony. However, a judge can still deviate from this standard under certain circumstances.
Modifying maintenance payments can be difficult. If you are already paying spousal support, you may—with the help of a qualified family attorney—be able to have that amount altered in the event of a “substantial change in circumstances” that affects your ability to pay or your spouse’s need for the support.
Starting in 2016, Illinois courts began applying an “income shares model” for child support. This model considers the income of both you and your spouse and attempts to provide your children with the same level of support they would have received if your marriage had not dissolved.
While the related online spreadsheet provides an easy-to-follow matrix, it is important to note that—similar to spousal support—the judge in a child support case may deviate from this formula in certain circumstances. Your family lawyer could explain further about what this could mean for your case in Bolingbrook.
Courts adjudicating child custody—now called “allocation of parental responsibilities” in the laws applicable to Bolingbrook—will apply the “best interest of the child” standard. The “best interest of the child” directs the judge to consider a list of factors affecting the child’s overall well-being on mental, emotional, and social grounds as well as physical and financial ones.
In Will County, a judge can assign parental responsibilities for each major area of the child’s life to one parent or both parents. This means that, for example, you may be responsible for the education of your child, while you and your former spouse are both responsible for the healthcare decisions concerning your child.
In addition to the aforementioned major areas of family law, a family lawyer could also help you draft marital settlement agreements, advise on the potential benefits and drawbacks of a legal separation, and help oversee the division of assets in a divorce.
Many aspects of family law are deeply personal, and you will likely need a compassionate family attorney in Bolingbrook who understands the difficulty of going through this legal process. Contact Reidy Law Office LLC today to schedule a consultation about your legal options.