Family Law Lawyer Near Schaumburg
Once upon a time, most families were essentially the same. Most households contained a married mother and father who had never been married to anyone else, and their pure biological children. Today, however, most children live in nontraditional households. Illinois family laws have largely kept pace with these changing family dynamics.
At the Andrea Heckman Law, our compassionate family lawyers near Schaumburg understand the emotional, legal, and financial challenges today’s families must navigate. That is because most of the people on our professional teams are either divorced themselves, or their loved ones are divorced. We take the time to listen to you. Whether you need help with an original determination or a subsequent modification, we are on your side.
All Illinois divorces are now no-fault divorces. As a result, the primary focus is always on the children as opposed to the parents. Child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the children. These determinations include things like where the children will live, how much contact they have with the non-residential parent, and who makes important decisions about their lives, such as where they go to school and what doctors they see.
Child custody determinations significantly affect financial matters, such as spousal support, property division, and child support. Generally, it is in the best interests of the children for them to remain in the family home. If that is the case, the remaining marital property must be divided accordingly. Property division is not always as straightforward as it seems. First, family lawyers near Schaumburg must classify property as marital or nonmarital. Then, marital property must be divided equitably. That is not necessarily the same thing as equality.
In terms of child support, Illinois is an income share state. So, the parenting time division directly affects the child support obligation. This same division often affects spousal support, as well.
The best interests of the child change over time. Children grow emotionally and physically. Family situations also change over time. People change residences and jobs.
When these things change, many parents make informal side agreements. Frequently, these side agreements are unwritten. For example, Dad might start dropping off the children at school on Monday morning instead of dropping them off at Mom’s house on Sunday night.
These side agreements, even if they are in writing, are completely unenforceable in Cook County family court. If one parent unilaterally decides to go back to the way things were, the other parent is in contempt of court. In the above example, every late drop off is potentially a separate contempt charge.
The same thing is true regarding support payments. As far as the court is concerned, the scheduled payments are all that matters. Any financial changes are irrelevant unless they are in writing.
So, when circumstances substantially change, a family law attorney near Schaumburg must legally modify the divorce paperwork. If the change is agreed upon, most judges approve the alterations without holding a hearing.
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Financial and emotional marriage dissolution orders are not set in stone. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney near Schaumburg, contact the Andrea Heckman Law Convenient payment plans are available.