Family Law Attorney
A good family law attorney can help them navigate all of these issues. In addition to these issues, we also work with clients who are facing other types of familial issues, from post decree issues (after divorce) to orders of protection, guardianship and paternity.
In addition to divorce, here are some more ways our team at Diamond Divorce Law can help you and your family.
Parentage / Paternity
Parentage is the legal relationship between a parent and a child. When your divorce leads to other family law issues such as child support, parenting time, and decision-making power, parentage will need to be established before moving forward with these types of decisions.
In some cases you may need to establish parentage. The process is not incredibly complex, but it does involve a good amount of paperwork, as well as a hearing. It’s best to hire a reliable family law attorney to help you through the process so that you can move forward with everything else as soon as possible.
Child Support v. Alimony
During a divorce that includes children, the courts in Illinois will use both parents’ incomes to calculate the amount of child support that will need to be paid.
In Illinois if a parent has a child over 146 nights a year, that parent will receive child support from the other parent. If both parents have the child for over 146 nights per year, each would be entitled to child support from the other for the number of nights they have the child.
Illinois also has guidelines as to the amount of child support to be paid and the courts must follow these guidelines unless there is a finding by the court establishing a reason to vary the guidelines.
Alimony, also known as maintenance, is the payment from one former spouse to another in order to help support that spouse’s finances after a divorce. In Illinois there are also guidelines for alimony based on the income of the parties. If a court determines that a party is entitled to alimony, it may follow the guidelines unless there are specific reasons not to follow them.
In Illinois, the court will examine each marriage on a case by case basis to determine whether one spouse should receive alimony.
If the court determines that it is necessary, they’ll look at a variety of elements in order to determine how much spousal support should be paid, including:
- Age and condition of lesser-earning spouse
- Earning ability of lesser-earning spouse
- Earning capacity of both spouses
- Length of marriage
- Any history of domestic abuse
Sometimes, the alimony arrangement will be temporary (i.e., just during divorce proceedings). In other situations, the alimony will be considered short-term (until the spouse is able to finish a degree, find a better job, etc.).
In some cases, permanent alimony will be granted. The duration of this type of support is indefinite with no specific termination date. In many cases, the higher-earning spouse will be required to pay it until one of the two parties dies or until the recipient of the support remarries or cohabits with another person on a conjugal basis.
A court decision about child support or parenting time is not always permanent. In certain circumstances, a decision can be changed “post decree,” or after the decision has already been made.
Usually, in order to change a decision, certain circumstances must be in place. For example:
- Relocation of one of the spouses
- A change in one of the spouse’s income
- A spouse’s refusal to comply with the court order
- A child turns 18
- Scheduling changes
Orders of Protection
In some situations, family law cases stem from danger or domestic violence. Luckily, Illinois law has orders of protection that can help protect a victim from their abuser.
Depending on the case, orders of protection can do any of the following:
- Prohibit physical abuse, harassment, threats, etc. from your abuser
- Ban your abuser from your shared residence (or specifically while using drugs or alcohol)
- Require your abuser to stay away from you and anyone else in the order, as well as locations you frequent
- Require your abuser to go to counseling
- Require your abuser to appear in court
- Give you temporary possession or temporary legal custody of children with your abuser
Protective orders can also require other actions for you and your abuser to take for your protection.
If you feel unsafe with someone in your household, contact an attorney immediately.
When someone is unable to make and communicate responsible decisions about their personal care and/or finances because they have a disability, they may need a guardian.
Disabilities that can qualify for guardianship include:
- Mental disabilities,
- Physical disabilities, or
- Developmental disabilities
Illinois prides itself on having one of the most progressive guardianship laws in the country. The two most common types of legal guardianship in Illinois are: guardian of the person and guardian of the estate. The difference between the two is basically financial, with guardianship of a person being court-appointed as to who will make decisions about healthcare, comfort and wellbeing of that person, while guardianship of the estate involves management of their estate or finances, including income, assets, investment accounts, etc.
If you have a loved one who may need the benefits that come with guardianship, you should speak with an Illinois family law attorney as soon as possible.
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.