Allocation of Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time
(Formerly Child Custody & Visitation)
This is often the most difficult, emotional, and contentious part of a divorce or parentage case. It is important to remember however that in most circumstances both parents will need to work together in the future to parent the child together. We can help you resolve parenting time and decision-making matters in a collaborative manner.
Child support payments are required by the parent who the child does not spend the majority of time. Illinois statute sets forth guidelines to determine the amount of child support that must be paid, which is based upon the income of both parents and the amount of overnights the child has with each parent. Beyond the base child support payments, payments for other expenses including college, health care, education, extracurricular activities, and work related childcare may be required. We can help you ask for child support payments or assist you if you are being sued for child support payments.
A contested divorce refers to when spouses are unable to reach an agreement on all or even some of the issues related to their divorce. In a contested divorce, litigation is required to resolve the dispute. Typically, both parties will each get their own attorney. A contested divorce will likely be much more expensive and take more time than an uncontested divorce. We can fight vigorously for you and your rights.
An uncontested divorce refers to a divorce where spouses are able to reach an agreement on all of the issues related to their divorce. In this situation, an attorney will draft a marital settlement agreement. Because uncontested divorces are time efficient and cost saving, it is becoming a more common method for divorcing spouses. We can advise you of your rights, draft your marital settlement agreement, and represent you in court when you "prove-up" your case, that is when you go before the court and tell the judge the terms of your agreement.
Unfortunately, domestic violence sometimes becomes part of a divorce or parentage case. This can be terrifying and emotional. If a parent, child, or other individual is a victim of domestic violence or is in imminent danger of being a victim of domestic violence, the court can enter an order of protection, which can prohibit the abuser from contacting the named protected persons. We can help you through this difficult and emotional time.
Historically, it was unofficially presumed that the mother would and should always get custody of the children while fathers should pay child support and maintenance (alimony). However, there is no legal presumption that one parent should have sole decision-making or the majority of parenting time with the child. Fathers should and often do get sole or joint decision-making and equal or the majority of parenting time with their children. We can help fathers get allocation of parental responsibilities and liberal parenting time.
Parentage court resolves issues for couples who have a child together but who never married. We can help you establish the parentage for your child (determine who the father is), establish child support, and draft a parenting plan including allocation of parenting time and decision-making.
A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement, is a contract that parties enter into before they get married that states what will happen in terms of assets, property, and sometimes even certain limited aspects relating to children if the marriage ends. We can help you come to an agreement before you get married.
A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a premarital agreement, but it is entered after the couple is married. In a postnuptial agreement, the couple agrees how to divide their assets and property if the marriage ends. We can help you come to an agreement after you have been married.
Maintenance (previously known as alimony) is a payment amount that one ex-spouse pays to support the other ex-spouse after the marriage ends. The purpose of maintenance is to put both spouses on more equal economic footing. Maintenance is often awarded when one party was the primary breadwinner and the other was a stay at home spouse. The amount of maintenance and how long it will be ordered to be paid will vary by case and by the couple's situation. There are statutory formulas that provide guidelines as to how much maintenance may be awarded and how long that award may last. We can help you request maintenance payments or try to persuade the court not to order maintenance.