Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers
Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers understands that most family divorces are extremely complicated and involve a lot of sadness, anger, stress and confusion. With Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers we work to make the divorce process more manageable and less stressful by explaining all relevant legal issues and responding to the individual client’s needs in each case. Our goal is to help families achieve the custody arrangements they need, emotional peace of mind, and the necessary financial security to successfully rebuild and restart their lives following a divorce.
As most people are unfamiliar with the legalities surrounding divorce, the Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers can help you create and execute a plan to effectively manage the difficulties that come with ending a marriage. Some of these difficulties are transitioning to one income, potentially sharing parental responsibilities and dividing property accumulated during your marriage. Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers will take the time to listen to your concerns and guide you through every aspect of your case.
Illinois Divorce Laws
The term “divorce” refers to the termination or legal dissolution of a marriage. In all family law and divorce-related matters, each state has a separate set of laws that must be adhered to in order for a divorce to be legally binding. In Illinois, divorces can only be granted if one or both of the spouses meets the state residency requirement and if the grounds for the divorce are considered legitimate.
- Residency — An Illinois court may grant a divorce as long as one of the spouses was a state resident for a consecutive period of 90 days prior to filing for divorce, or was stationed in the state for 90 days while a member of the armed services. The divorce proceedings will take place in the county where one or both of the spouses resides. Any post-divorce actions will likely be handled by the same court.
- Grounds — Most Illinois divorces occur on a no-fault basis, citing irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce. However, Illinois does have fault grounds for divorce as well, such as mental cruelty, adultery, and abandonment. Whether or not you or your spouse pursues a no-fault or fault-based divorce will depend on a number of factors. Issues such as the status of your relationship, your needs, and concerns and interests during and after the divorce process will be taken into consideration.
Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers will represent you in all types of divorce cases, from the simple, uncontested divorce to the complex, high-asset case or disputed custody cases. No matter the circumstances, our experienced lawyers will guide you through the process while providing you with all the information you need to make informed choices along the way. Our family law attorneys explain every step and determine which issues are most important to your situation while devising an effective strategy to deal with them.
New Formula for Calculating Spousal Maintenance (“Alimony”)
Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers wants you to be aware beginning on January 1, 2015, the State of Illinois changed the way maintenance is calculated in certain cases. The new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/504),modifying the current law on maintenance, applies only to couples with combined gross income of less than $250,000, and for whom the judge has decided that maintenance is appropriate. For couples with a gross income in excess of $250,000, there is still no formula for maintenance. In any event, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney review your circumstances and determine whether maintenance is likely in your case.
This revision of the law provides more uniformity in maintenance (i.e. alimony) awards and limits (to a certain degree) the judge’s discretion. In prior rulings, judges calculated maintenance according to the factors listed in the law, which allowed for a wide range in the amount of maintenance awarded and its duration.
The new formula provides for a maintenance award equal to 30 percent of the payor’s gross income, less 20 percent of the payee’s gross income for a yearly maintenance total. The result is not to be greater than 40 percent of the parties’ combined gross income when added to the payee’s gross income.
The duration of maintenance is directly related to the length of the marriage.
Additional changes include:
- Judges cannot order unallocated maintenance and child support unless both parties agree.
- Judges are now authorized to make maintenance awards permanently terminate (vs. being reviewable) for marriages that have a divorce commence before their tenth anniversary.
While judges are not required to use this maintenance formula, they must provide an explanation (aka “findings”) if they choose not to follow these guidelines. This new tool helps us to work with the opposing party to reach a fair and appropriate spousal support arrangement while maintaining financial stability for both parties.
Legal Services for Nontraditional & Alternative Families
With the passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, same-sex couples are not only able to honor and memorialize their relationships, they are also able to end their civil unions and/or partnerships much like a divorce. In 2010, some of Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers filed Illinois’ first-ever civil union divorce. Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers is proud of this accomplishment and continues to promote and protect the rights of non-traditional families.
Over the years, Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers has grown to serve people who need diverse representation in nontraditional family law areas, for example:
- Civil Unions – While civil unions in Illinois are not recognized as a “marriage” under federal law, same-sex marriages from other states (and civil unions) have many of the same rights and protections as married couples in Illinois. Illinois civil unions, although not recognized as “marriages” under federal law, do have protections similar to marriage, including decision-making rights in the event one partner becomes incapacitated, hospital visitation rights, and inheritance rights. By the same token, civil-union partners, undergoing a “divorce” have nearly all the same rights as partners in a traditional family divorce..
- Domestic Partnerships – Domestic partners can achieve many of the same privileges and legal advantages afforded to married couples by documenting the relationship and entering into contractual agreements regarding child custody, transfer of property upon death, health care benefits and other issues.
Chicago’s 5 best Divorce Lawyers strives to be at the forefront of developments in family law. If you need strong, compassionate legal support from a lawyer who is familiar with the concerns on nontraditional families, or if your divorce involves a family-owned business, we can provide the intelligent, assertive representation your case requires. Contact any one of the 5 attorneys listed here.