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Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my divorce take in McHenry County, Illinois?

The length of the divorce process can vary. If your divorce is uncontested, it could be finished in a matter of weeks. If your divorce is contested, and if it has to go to trial, it could take over a year (depending on a variety of factors in your divorce and the availability of the court). Most cases, however, settle well before trial.

How much does a divorce cost in Illinois?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say. The cost of a divorce depends on how many contested issues there are and how long it takes to resolve them and the cooperation of the parties. At Diamond Divorce Law, we offer a flat fee for uncontested divorce cases.

Does the court take into account which parent the child wants to live with for custody in Illinois?

Sometimes. The older the child is, the more the court will take their preference into account.

Are there advantages of uncontested divorces in Illinois?

Yes. Uncontested divorces have the advantage of being over quickly, not running up extensive legal fees and not running into hostility between the parties.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to file for divorce in McHenry County, Illinois?

Illinois has established forms and procedures to file for divorce yourself, but there are many decisions that could have long-term effects when dealing with children, real estate, investments, debt. For this reason, our clients have found the process to be much easier once they hire a qualified attorney.

How is spousal support calculated in Illinois?

Illinois has guidelines for spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance. This is based upon the income and assets of the parties. There are online programs you can use to run the numbers yourself, or work with a qualified family law lawyer to see how much you could end up paying or receiving.

How is child support calculated in Illinois?

The Illinois guidelines to determine child support are based upon the parties’ income(s), as well as the number of children involved and a number of other factors. There are online programs you can use to see how much you could end up paying or receiving for child support, as well, but we recommend working with a qualified family lawyer to determine applicable amounts.

Are parenting classes required in McHenry County divorces?

Yes, if the couple has minor children.

Why should I retain a family law attorney in McHenry Illinois?

Family law issues like divorce, custody, child support, spousal support, parenting agreements and other related issues can be complicated, confusing and overwhelming. Retaining a competent family law attorney can prevent costly mistakes, reduce stress and prevent problems before they happen. In many situations having a competent family law attorney is like having a good coach that understands the rules, the players on the team and the best way to reach your goals.

When should I retain a family law attorney?

Whenever you have any concerns or unresolved family law issues, you should consult with a family law attorney. Usually, the sooner the better. When it comes to resolving family law issues, an ounce of prevention usually creates a pound (or many pounds) of cure. In most situations family law issues are easier and less stressful to manage proactively. The longer things fester, the worse they get.

My ex-spouse is not paying for child support as agreed in court. What are my options?

The first and best option is to contact a qualified local family law attorney for advice as to your specific situation. Generally speaking, if your ex-spouse is not complying with a court order they will be subject to contempt proceedings for non-compliance with court ordered payments. They can be ordered to show up in court. If they don’t have an adequate explanation for non-payment, they may be subject to fines or possibly incarceration (that is, going to jail). There are other procedures that may include revocation of driving privileges and other penalties.

If there is no existing court order for support, you should seek a court order specifically ordering the support to be paid, which is then enforceable by the court.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce means there are some issues on which the parties are not in agreement. This could be a simple issue such as who gets the dog “Ralph” or a more complicated issue like how will the $10 Million dollars of marital assets be divided between spouses.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the parties have already agreed on all issues. The parties may also agree on expedited and simplified procedures that can streamline the divorce process.

Do I have to pay child support?

In Illinois, if there are minor or dependent children, the court will ask the parties to submit calculations of the amount of child support determined in accordance with Illinois guidelines. If that amount is not being paid, the court must consider and approve the reasons the guidelines are not being followed.

Can I maintain custody of my children?

If parents of minor or dependent children are separating, they should have a court order establishing custody. In Illinois, instead of the term custody, it is now called parental responsibility.  Parental responsibility includes parenting time and decision-making. Other issues such as child support, medical expenses and the like also should be addressed by a court order so that your agreement on these issues can be enforced by the court if need be. An experienced family law lawyer can be of great assistance with this.

Will I need to pay spousal support?

Spousal support was once referred to as alimony or maintenance. It applies to divorces where there is a discrepancy in the earning ability of the parties. In Illinois, there are guidelines for this which include certain considerations when determining whether spousal support will apply, as well as by and to whom it will be paid. There are also guidelines as to the amount that should be paid and the time during which it should be paid. An experienced family law lawyer can assist you in determining whether spousal support will apply in your case and, if so, what the guidelines are for the amount, by and to whom it will be paid, as well as the timeframe for such payments.

How often will I be with my children?

The circumstances of each case differ. In some cases, parenting time is split 50/50 and in other cases there are many types of schedules for parenting time. If the parents reach an agreement, the court will usually approve their agreement. If not, the court can order parenting time schedules after considering the evidence and witnesses presented by each of the parents.

If I want to move, how will this affect my divorce?

There are usually no restrictions on moving unless you have minor or dependent children. If there are minor or dependent children, any moving of the children is restricted by applicable court order(s) as well as certain statutory requirements. There are some regulations that allow moving within a 25 miles radius to certain Chicagoland collar counties. Moving children without complying with the court order can cause major problems and should be avoided. If you have minor or dependent children, please seek advice from a competent family law lawyer regarding your options.

How do I preserve my rights as a father?

Your rights as a father are the same as the rights of the mother. It is a common misconception that a mother has more rights than a father solely because she is the mother. If a father has a history of being the primary stay-at-home caretaker of the children while the mother is the income provider, the father’s rights would be no different solely because he is the father.  If parents don’t agree on custody matters prior to divorce, the court will make a determination based on what is in the best interests of the child (or children). The counsel of a competent family law attorney is essential to avoid mistakes.

Here’s how it works:


Call to schedule a complimentary consultation

(either in person or via phone)


We’ll listen and gather more information about your case, and thoroughly explain your options.


Our team will create a plan to move forward

We know that divorce and child custody issues can be overwhelming -- sometimes you don’t know where to start and it can be hard to see a path forward.

There are a million different ways people can lose money during a divorce. At Diamond Divorce Law, we listen, we return phone calls, and our entire team is here to help make sure each and every client gets the support and resources they deserve.

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