In ye olden days, divorce petitioners had to prove cruelty, abandonment, adultery, or another kind of marital misconduct by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. So, if a petitioner had insufficient evidence, the judge could easily deny the request. But Illinois is now a no-fault divorce state. One spouse’s testimony that the marriage has broken down, for whatever reason, is sufficient. The other spouse can try to convince the filing spouse to give the marriage another chance. The non-filing spouse can also delay the process. But once someone files for divorce, the other spouse cannot legally stop the process.
The divorce itself might be a fait accompli, but the issues in a divorce are different. Both spouses have important legal and financial rights in areas like child custody and monetary support. A Chicago family law attorney can shape the orders in these areas in ways that promote your interests. So, although your divorce cannot be denied, at least in most cases, the terms are up in the air, at least for the most part.
There are two overarching principles here. First, the child custody and child visitation provisions must be in the best interests of the children. That is markedly different from the best interests of the parents. Second, there is a presumption that children benefit from meaningful and consistent contact with both parents. There is some dispute as to how much evidence is necessary to refute this presumption.
First, let’s look at best interests. To help determine what is best for the children, Illinois law sets out a number of factors. Some major ones include:
Now, regarding the contact presumption. Current, verified allegations of domestic violence definitely upend this presumption. On the other end of the scale, a parent’s refusal to take children to church might be almost irrelevant. Everything else is somewhere in between.
In Illinois, child support and spousal support or maintenance are normally straightforward. A formula that accounts for things like the proportional income of both parents, the parenting timeshare plan, and the children’s special needs usually determines the child support obligation. Alimony is often controlled by the income disparity between the spouses and the length of the marriage.
Property division is different. Illinois law requires property divisions to be equitable. That is not necessarily the same thing as equal. Some factors to consider include the standard of living during the marriage, relative earning potential of each spouse, and noneconomic contributions to the relationship.
Classifying property could be an issue, as well. There is not always a clear distinction between marital and nonmarital property. For example, Husband might use money from his paycheck (marital asset) to make the payments on a car he bought before the marriage (nonmarital asset).
A judge cannot deny your divorce, but a judge can materially alter its terms. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Chicago, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. We routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.
Walked in just for consultation, and in less than 45 days, my case was closed! Thanks to attorney Andrea Heckman, with all her passion and professional manner! Couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much for everything! Great attorney for all family needs! Thank you.
From the moment I walked in as a client to the end when everything was complete, I was very pleased with attorney Andrea Heckman, her knowledge, and professionalism! Her whole staff was always helpful. I would use them again if needed and refer them to everyone I know! Thank you.
Andrea Heckman has been my attorney helping/guiding/advocating for my children and I regarding my custody situation. We are in the process of working towards a more equal parenting schedule, and I have faith in her efforts and expertise to accomplish this.
I have used this office since 2018 and have nothing but excellent things to say. Andrea Heckman handled my divorce with no faults. Andrea is currently handling my child custody case and has been on top of everything! Andrea Heckman is an unstoppable force, and I would recommend her to anyone!
I could not ask for a better attorney to represent me during my case which is Andrea Heckman. Anytime I had any questions, I got a response in a timely manner. Andrea walked me through a very difficult time which was a divorce/child custody case. Andrea is very knowledgeable and motivating. The staff has been nothing but welcoming and professional. If I have to go to court for anything, I will definitely be giving this firm a call again.
Heckman Law is handling my divorce/custody. Andrea is very professional, knowledgeable, and responsive. She will take the time to answer and explain any questions you may have. She usually responds within a few hours. Honest about possible outcomes, whether it’s good or bad news. My ex doesn’t want to negotiate or cooperate with anything. Andrea is willing to fight in the courtroom for you. The case is ongoing.
I was represented by Andrea Heckman, and if it wasn’t for her, I would have been so lost. She guided me through my difficult situation. Some lawyers are about money. I knew that Andrea cared about me and my situation.
Ms. Heckman is a great lawyer. She helped me get time with my daughter when my ex was being nasty and refusing to let me see my baby. I thank her for all her hard work.
Ms. Heckman managed our parents’ will and advanced care planning documents expeditiously, skillfully, and with compassion during a stressful situation. We referred her to a family member for divorce with child custody issues, and she was pleased enough to refer her to 2 others for divorce services. A true professional.
Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.