Family Law Lawyer in Schaumburg
Today’s Schaumburg bears little resemblance to yesterday’s Schaumburg, and not just in terms of size. Until fairly recently, most residents spoke German as their first language. One of the town’s largest churches held services in German until the 1970s. That was about the same time the American family began changing significantly. Before then, most children lived in traditional nuclear homes. Today, blended families in various forms are the norm.
Regardless of what tomorrow brings for Chicagoland or the American family, the experienced Schaumburg family law attorneys at Andrea Heckman Law will be there to serve you. We will use the same proven methods which have generated results time after time. But we are not stuck in the past. We constantly test new technologies and new techniques. If they work, we use them to benefit our clients.
Today’s marriage dissolution rate is about twice as high as it was in the 1970s, which was the beginning of the no-fault era. In 2016, Illinois lawmakers passed one of the nation’s first pure no-fault divorce laws. For the most part, evidence-based divorces based on things like adultery or mental cruelty are no longer available. This law also ended the dreaded two-year divorce waiting period, at least in most cases.
So, it is much easier to file for divorce than it was in years past. Largely for that reason, more people now see divorce as an acceptable way to end an unsatisfying marriage than ever before.
However, the middle part of a divorce is much the same. Our Schaumburg family law attorneys help filing and non-filing spouses deal with divorce issues, such as:
- Child Custody: The aforementioned 2016 changes included a co-parenting law. This law presumes that children benefit from frequent, meaningful, and consistent contact with both parents. Parenting time decisions, such as residential and non-residential roles, must be in the best interests of the children.
- Property Division: Illinois is an equitable division state. The marital estate, which includes debt and assets, must be divided equitably. That’s usually, but not necessarily, the same thing as equally. Some factors to consider include child custody provisions, the length of the marriage, and the future earning ability of each spouse.
- Family Support Orders: In most cases, mathematical formulas determine both child support and spousal support obligations. Some child support factors include the number of children, the parenting time division, and the income of both parents. Some spousal support factors include the length of the marriage and the relative income of the spouses.
These issues might seem complex, and in a way, they are. Nevertheless, most divorce matters settle out of court. These resolutions reduce legal fees for each side. Furthermore, out-of-court settlements set the stage for a successful co-parenting arrangement.
Procedurally, these actions are much live divorce actions, except there is no marriage to dissolve and so there is no marital property to divide. Usually, the parenting time division is the only substantive issue in these cases.
Incidentally, a legal paternity action is the only way to establish a legal parent-child relationship. Signing the birth certificate only creates an administrative relationship, mostly for child support purposes. A legal relationship creates a solid timesharing arrangement. That predictability is good for children.
Adoptions, including step-parent adoptions, are basically a subset of paternity actions. Other related matters include name change orders and terminations of parental rights.
The American family did not stop changing in the 1970s. These changes continue. Therefore, the need to modify existing orders continues, as well.
Usually, the judge will modify custody, financial support, or other provisions if circumstances have materially and substantially changed and the proposed change would be in the best interests of the child. That is different from the best interests of the parent.
Regardless of the scope of the modification, it is always important that a judge approve it in writing. Informal side agreements are not enforceable in Illinois family courts. Therefore, if one parent unilaterally decides to go back to the way things were before, the other parent has no recourse whatsoever. Furthermore, as far as the state is concerned, the only enforceable custody and support orders are the ones in the court’s file.
Contact a Thorough Cook County Attorney
At one time or another, your family will probably need legal services from an experienced family law attorney in Schaumburg. When that happens, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. for a free consultation. Convenient payment plans are available.