Chicago Family Law Attorneys
Protecting Your Rights & Best Interests
Family law disputes can be emotionally overwhelming legal issues. Your future, your finances, and your relationship with your children are all at stake. As a result, it is important that you retain experienced legal counsel who will go to battle to protect your best interests. The attorneys at Pissetzky Law LLC have a proven track record of success in their over 20 years in practice. They understand what is at stake and will work diligently to ensure you have the representation you need to see you through these trying times.
Our firm represents clients facing the following issues, and more:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Modifications of prior orders
- Protection orders
- Civil unions
Contact Pissetzky Law LLC online or at (312) 883-9466 to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.
Getting Divorced in Illinois
To file for divorce in the State of Illinois, one of the spouses must file a petition in the county where they reside, and they may only do so after they have been a resident of the state for at least 90 days, pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/401, et seq. and 5/451 et seq. The petition for divorce can specify no-fault separation, such as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or a separation period of two years, or it can specify specific grounds for divorce, such as adultery, violence, addiction, criminal conviction, and more. The court can take these grounds into consideration when settling certain divorce disputes like spousal maintenance or child support payments.
The lengthiest step in a divorce is commonly the settlement process, during which spouses must resolve any marital disputes that arise, such as those concerning property division, child custody, and child support. If the couple has a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, the dispute resolution process may be simplified if the agreement has already established how property should be divided in the event of divorce.
Spouses can work out an agreement mutually with their attorneys or during mediation, but if they cannot reach a final agreement they will proceed to litigation, where a judge will make the final decision.
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Child Custody Negotiations
One important divorce dispute that may arise is child custody. Illinois family law recognizes two types of custody – legal, or a parent’s authority to make legal decisions for the child, and physical, or where the child will reside and when a parent will have visitation time with the child.
Parents can negotiate their own physical custody schedule detailing when the child will spend time with each parent, but, unlike other states, Illinois does not presume a joint schedule, should the parents be unable to reach an agreement. Instead, a judge will rule based on the best interests of the child, which may grant one parent sole physical and/or legal custody, particularly in the case of violence or abuse.
To decide on the appropriate custody arrangement, the court must make a determination based on factors including:
- The child's wishes, should they be old enough
- The wishes of each of the parents
- Any potential threats to physical and emotional wellbeing of the child, including reports of domestic violence or credible threats of violence
- The relationship of the child to each parent and the willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and their former spouse
- The parents’ and child’s current and future needs to support their physical and mental health
- The child’s current schooling and relationship to their community
The child’s best interests are also the guiding principle for the court to approve or deny a modification request after the initial terms have been settled.
Calculating Child Support
Another important family law matter is child support. The non-resident parent is obligated to pay child support to contribute to the costs of raising the child to maintain the child’s standard of living. The amount of child support will be based on both parents’ combined net incomes against the costs of raising a child. These costs include:
- Providing food and housing for the child
- The cost of clothing
- Transportation fees
- Medical expenses
- The costs of education and extracurricular activities
- Any other extraordinary circumstances that may apply
Like with custody, the judge will make their decision based on the best interest of the child. This looks at the child’s financial needs to maintain their educational, physical, and mental wellbeing; their current standard of living; and the needs and financial responsibilities of both parents.
Whatever your case, you do not have to go through your family law dispute alone. Pissetzky Law LLC is here to support you, and our team of tenacious lawyers will guide you through every step of your family law matter, whether you are going through a divorce or settling a custody decision. As a multi-disciplinary firm, we have the unique advantage of being able to look at your matter from multiple angles in order to build a strong case to protect your rights and the best interests of your family.
To learn more, schedule your consultation with Pissetzky Law LLC today. Call (312) 883-9466 or contact the firm online.
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