This village is about as far away from Chicago as a person can be and still be in Chicagoland. Out here, family law procedures are a little different. At the same time, Palatine is one of the largest cities in the area. So, the substantive elements of a contested divorce case are much the same as they are in other places.
Situations like these require both aggressive representation and solid legal advice. At the Delaney Heckman, we offer both these things. We work hard to prepare for hearings and trials. That preparation helps us tenaciously uphold your legal and financial rights. At the same time, we give you the most information possible before you make important decisions. All the while, we keep the lines of communication open, so you are never in the dark.
The Temporary Hearing in Palatine
In most parenting time disputes, things happen very quickly. Usually, just a couple of weeks after the moving party files papers, a Cook County judge holds a temporary hearing to determine interim custody. Some people think that this hearing is not too important because they think they will have another bite at the apple later. That attitude could lead to disaster.
Most judges like to maintain the status quo in family law cases, even if the situation is not perfect. So, the parent with temporary residential custody often assumes that role on a permanent basis as well.
At the same time, because this hearing takes place so quickly, there is little time for preparation and usually no time for discovery.
Fortunately, due to our years of experience, we have developed proven methods in this area. We know how to present effective evidence without piling it on. We also know which arguments resonate with which judges. These advantages set us apart.
Preparing for the Social Study in Palatine
A few weeks after the temporary hearing, assuming the case is still contested, the judge usually orders a social study. This investigation is often the second critical point in a parenting time dispute.
The judge appoints a licensed social worker to prepare a report. Attorneys have some input into the appointment process, and it is important to use this leverage where appropriate.
Next, it is important to get ready for the social study. Yet this preparation cannot seem fake or staged. In the past, here are a few things that have worked well for our clients:
- Clean the house, but do not make it look like a museum. Make sure the space appears lived-in. If your children are young, leave a toy or two on the floor.
- Make sure there is a nice mixture of past and present family pictures on the walls and/or on tables.
- The social services investigator will probably interview teachers, neighbors, and so on. It is important to reach out to these people and prepare them, and it is also important not to coach these individuals.
- In Illinois, there is a long list of factors which determine the best interests of children. The best approach here is usually to emphasize the positive and avoid the negative whenever possible.
If the social investigator recommends a favorable parenting time change, it is important to request a hearing as quickly as possible. Possession is usually nine-tenths of the law in these cases.
Rely on Savvy Lawyers
Effective representation is important throughout a child custody case. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Palatine, contact the Delaney Heckman After-hours visits are available.