Arlington Heights Family Law Firm
Diverse Cook County families have many different legal needs. But most family law disputes involve the same basic issues, such as child support, alimony, child custody, and property division. Furthermore, all these cases could affect your legal and financial rights. So, it is important to have an attorney who understands the nuts and bolts of these cases and is also a strong advocate for you.
That is the combination that we offer at Andrea Heckman Law. Our professional team has years of experience in family law matters. So, we use proven methods to deal with the issues in your particular situation. Because of this experience, we also serve as a strong voice for you at the negotiating table and in court.
Pre-Divorce Family Law Services in Cook County
The use of premarital agreements has increased significantly in recent years, particularly among Millennials. Thanks to streamlined procedures and new laws, mostly the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, these pacts are more than divorce insurance. Premarital agreements set your marriage on a stronger foundation.
Financial squabbles are a leading source of marital strife. It does not matter if the couple has a lot of money or very little money. Premarital agreements allow couples to make decisions about property division, alimony, and other financial issues before they become an issue in the marriage.
Furthermore, if either spouse has been married before, inheritance and succession disputes plague many marriages. These issues are especially troublesome if there is a family business. Once again, premarital agreements resolve these disputes in advance.
Typically, judges always uphold premarital agreements as long as they are not glaringly one-sided, and each spouse had an independent Arlington Heights family law attorney throughout the process.
Marriage Dissolution in Illinois
In 2016, Illinois lawmakers made some substantial procedural changes to the state’s divorce laws. For example, the former six-month waiting period is gone, at least in most cases.
In other areas, the divorce laws are very much the same. These proceedings still resolve all the financial and emotional issues in a divorce. These issues include:
- Alimony: A mathematical formula that considers the income disparity between the parties and the length of the marriage determines the amount and duration of alimony payments, at least in most cases. Although spousal support is usually available, the party requesting alimony must still prove that it is necessary under the circumstances.
- Parenting Time: To conform to the new co-parenting law, many divorcing couples turn to nontraditional parenting time arrangements. In one popular model, the children stay in the same place, and the parents rotate between different residences.
- Child Support: Illinois is an income share state. So, the court considers a number of factors when assessing the child support obligation. Judges have limited discretion to deviate from guideline amounts in some cases.
Most marriage dissolution matters settle out of court. These settlements are usually in everyone’s best interest, from both a financial and emotional perspective.
Post-Divorce Proceedings in Arlington Heights
Modification actions and step-parent adoptions are usually the most common post-divorce proceedings in Cook County.
Judges may modify any of the above-mentioned areas if circumstances materially and substantially change. Special issues often arise with regard to alimony modifications, such as the obligor’s retirement or the obligee’s marriage-like relationship.
Step-parent adoptions effectively substitute a biological parent with a step-parent. Typically, judges waive the social study and expedite these adoptions in other ways as well. If the biological parent refuses to voluntarily terminate his or her parental rights, a name change might be a good idea. This order does not have the same legal effect, but it does ensure that everyone in the house has the same last name.
Contact a Dedicated Lawyer
Arlington Heights families have many different legal needs. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Arlington Heights, contact Andrea Heckman Law. Home and after-hours visits are available.