Mt. Prospect Divorce Lawyer
In 2008, a national publication named this Chicago suburb as one of the best places in America to raise a family. The families in Mt. Prospect today are much different than the ones in this area a generation ago, largely due to the 1970s no-fault divorce revolution. Marriage dissolution issues, like parenting time division and property splits, are a fact of life for most households.
The Mt. Prospect divorce lawyers at the Andrea Heckman Law understand how these issues affect your family. Therefore, we offer long-term, cost-effective solutions to provide stability in an unstable situation. Later, when financial and/or emotional circumstances change, our professional team offers both sound advice and solid representation in modification matters.
In some states, marriage dissolution cases only address some of the relevant issues. But in Illinois, these matters fully resolve most divorce issues, as outlined below.
Parenting Time Division
Until recently, the tender years doctrine determined most child custody matters. Under this informal rule, which held that youngsters of “tender years” belonged with their mothers, children almost always remained with their mothers following a divorce. At best, fathers received limited visitation time.
Legal changes in 2016 codified an ongoing trend in Cook County family courts. This trend was toward co-parenting. The law now presumes that, in most cases, children benefit from consistent and meaningful contact with both parents. In other words, mothers and fathers share parenting responsibilities, even if they no longer share the same address.
Nevertheless, the divorce decree must still designate a residential and non-residential parent. The residential parent usually has the final say in matters like the child’s residence, doctor, and school.
Frequently, this power is almost absolute. To equalize this structure, our Mt. Prospect divorce lawyers often include limiting language in decrees, such as a clause limiting the child’s residence to Cook County and adjoining counties.
These matters, along with the relative income of each spouse, also help determine the child support obligation.
Illinois is an equitable division state. Marital assets and debts must be divided equitably. That is not necessarily the same thing as an equal division. Instead, the marital estate must be divided in such a way that it does not present an unfair financial burden for either party. This division process also includes spousal support, if appropriate.
Generally, the property division phase is either the most simple or most time-consuming portion of a divorce. If the marriage lasted less than a year or two, there is usually little or no property divide. Similarly, if the spouse had a premarital agreement, most Cook County judges enforce such pacts. However, if there was no premarital agreement and the relationship lasted longer than a few months, property division is quite intricate.
Commingled property is a good illustration. Assume one spouse sells stock he bought before the marriage (his nonmarital property) to fund improvements to a rental house the other spouse owned before the marriage (her nonmarital property). Depending on the additional facts, the house and all future rental income could be the wife’s nonmarital property, the husband’s nonmarital property, or marital property subject to equitable division.
Some factors to consider in this division include the length of the relationship, relative age, health, and employment prospects of each spouse, the custody of minor children, and any noneconomic contributions to the marriage.
Contact a Dedicated Lawyer
Almost all marriage dissolution matters are emotionally and financially complex. For a free consultation with an experienced Mt. Prospect divorce attorney, contact the Andrea Heckman Law Convenient payment plans are available.