People who go through a divorce in Chicagoland have many questions. How long will the marriage dissolution process take? How much alimony will I have to pay? What will happen to our house? How much child support will I receive? Where will our children spend their time? Since every case is different, your questions may be different, as well.
At the Andrea Heckman Law, we try our best to answer all your questions, even if the answers are not favorable. Because of our vast experience in this area, we can give you reliable legal guidance. This experience also enables us to get you the settlement you deserve. If things look bleak from a legal or financial standpoint, our strong advocacy often makes a significant difference.
The fate of the children is usually the most important question in a divorce case, as children are by far our most precious assets. Until recently, parenting plan arrangements usually followed the “every other weekend and every other holiday” pattern. But lately, arrangements which are closer to 50-50 have gained favor. The “empty nest” arrangement, wherein the children remain in the same place and the parents periodically swap residences, works well in some cases.
Of course, such an even division is not best in all cases. Under Illinois law, the parenting plan must be in the best interests of the children and not in the best interests of their parents.
Normally, property division is a 50-50 prospect, as well. Here as well, there are a number of variables, such as the future economic prospects for each spouse. Illinois law requires an equitable division of property and debts, which is not necessarily the same thing as an equal division.
Normally, the spouses come to an agreement about property division matters. Cook County judges almost always uphold these agreements, as long as they are not blatantly one-sided and both spouses had an equal voice in the process.
DSOs (Domestic Support Obligations), such as spousal maintenance and child support, are usually more objective. State law includes formulaic amounts that are presumptively reasonable. For child support payments, the two biggest variables are the number of children and the parents’ income. Roughly the same thing is true in alimony matters.
The objective approach does not leave much room for variables. However, it does lead to consistent results which are rather easy to predict.
In 2016, Illinois lawmakers did away with all grounds for divorce other than irreconcilable differences (no-fault divorce). The residency requirement waiting period varies, but it is normally 90 or 180 days. There may be a no-fault waiting period, as well, but typically, the parties waive this requirement. By the time one spouse files for divorce, both spouses are usually at least somewhat ready to move on.
If the parties cannot agree as to the above issues, the judge makes determinations based on a number of factors. If circumstances change, and they almost always do, divorce orders may be legally modified later.
An Illinois divorce fully resolves all financial and legal matters in a way that is as streamlined as possible. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Rolling Meadows, contact the Andrea Heckman Law Convenient payment plans are available.
I could not ask for a better attorney to represent me during my case which is Andrea Heckman. Anytime I had any questions, I got a response in a timely manner. Andrea walked me through a very difficult time which was a divorce/child custody case. Andrea is very knowledgeable and motivating. The staff has been nothing but welcoming and professional. If I have to go to court for anything, I will definitely be giving this firm a call again.
Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.