Family Law Attorneys in Hoffman Estates
Hoffman Estates is one of the most diverse Chicago suburbs. People from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds make their home here. That diversity makes Hoffman Estates an exciting place to live. That diversity also presents challenges, especially in family law. All these families have unique legal needs, and Illinois law recently changed dramatically, so many people are confused about their rights.
At Delaney Heckman, we work to find lasting and cost-effective solutions for these families. Because we offer a full range of services, we focus not just on individual cases. We build attorney-client relationships that last. So, whatever legal needs your family has, and whatever configuration it is in, we are here to help.
Pre-Divorce Services in Cook County
Until very recently, only super-rich couples with extensive non-marital assets bothered with premarital agreements. But the legal landscape is much different now. So, if you have been married before, you should probably consider making a premarital agreement. Today’s prenuptial agreements are much more than divorce insurance. In many respects, they make your marriage stronger.
For example, money is one of the leading causes of marital strife. The problem could be too much money, or too little money. Either way, a prenuptial agreement takes money out of the picture, so it never has a chance to poison your relationship.
Additionally, many couples quarrel over inheritance and succession matters, especially if a family business is involved. Once again, premarital agreements resolve these issues before the couple exchanges vows. So, the marriage begins on a more solid foundation.
To make their wishes clear, many couples have a Hoffman Estates family law attorney draw up executory documents, such as wills and trusts, along with their premarital agreements.
Marriage Dissolution in Illinois
The Prairie State is now a pure no-fault jurisdiction. Irreconcilable differences are the only divorce ground. So, the focus is on the property division and on the children, and that is where these matters should focus.
Illinois law requires an equitable property division. That is not necessarily the same thing as an equal division. Some factors include:
- Relative age, health, and educational background of each spouse,
- Economic and noneconomic contributions to the relationship,
- Standard of living during the marriage,
- Custody of minor children, and
- Any agreements between the parties.
In terms of property division, that last bullet may be the most important one. Most Cook County judges approve agreed settlements, if they are not glaringly one-sided and each spouse had an independent Hoffman Estates family law attorney.
Somewhat similarly, all child custody and visitation decisions must be in the best interests of the children. Since this phrase is rather vague, Illinois law provides some factors here as well. They include:
- Needs of the child,
- Parent’s background (i.e., was one spouse the “caregiver” spouse and the other one the “breadwinner” spouse),
- Any emotional, physical, or other disabilities of a parent or child,
- Child’s preferences, if any, and
- Maintaining a stable environment for the children.
Once again, that last bullet may be the most important one. Many judges are willing to leave well enough alone. So, if the current setup is working, even if it is flawed, most judges would rather not change it.
Post-Divorce Services in Kane County
Divorce decrees are not set in stone for a reason. Financial and other circumstances change over time. When that change occurs, either party may ask the judge to modify child custody, spousal support, child support, or other orders.
At Delaney Heckman, we also handle other ancillary services, such as step-parent adoptions. This streamlined adoption procedure helps many blended families feel closer to one another. Legal name changes often accomplish the same goal, and these changes are even easier to make.
Contact a Dedicated Lawyer
Families of all shapes and sizes have different legal needs. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Hoffman Estates, contact Delaney Heckman. Convenient payment plans are available.