Family Law Attorneys Helping You Move Forward

When families disintegrate, the emotional and financial results can be devastating. Divorce, child custody disputes, and many other family law issues that arise are sensitive and life-changing. They can rarely be resolved amicably on your own, and trying to do so often complicates matters even more. That’s when you need a family law attorney to help you through this difficult time. The experienced and compassionate Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., always focus on our clients’ needs and feelings, and we work to resolve the issues they are facing in the most effective and efficient manner.
Whether you need advice about a divorce or help with guardianship, we offer free consultations and will help you find the best solution for your individual situation. With office locations in Woodridge and Chicago, we represent clients throughout the entire Chicagoland area. Call our DuPage County family law attorneys today at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Family Law Attorneys Serving DuPage & Cook Counties

Family law is complex and encompasses a range of issues, including marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, paternity, and other matters related to the family structure. Family law also addresses controversial issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage, as well as criminal matters like domestic violence and child abuse. Illinois family laws may differ somewhat from those in other states. For example, in 2003 the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a man who acknowledges paternity cannot reverse this later on the basis of DNA testing. And in 2013, the state legislature legalized same-sex marriage. Our experienced attorneys at Wolfe & Stec know the system and can help you through the myriad laws dealing with family issues.
Our family law attorneys handle a variety of legal concerns facing families in Illinois. Family law is complex and encompasses a range of issues, including marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, paternity, and other matters related to the family structure. In addition to divorce and child custody issues, our lawyers assist clients with:
  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Adoptions -- Illinois Adoption Laws include areas such as who may be adopted; the age of consent for adoption; home residency requirements.
  • Domestic Abuse - If you are in immediate danger seek legal help and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • Orders of Protection -- Illinois Protective Order Laws, which are commonly called "restraining orders” are often needed if you are a victims of domestic violence or threatened or stalked by former spouses.
  • Paternity
  • Wills, Trusts, and Guardianships and Estate Planning

Sensitivity Matters

Family law issues can stir up a lot of negative emotions for people – pain, sadness, embarrassment, resentment – but there is help available, and you may find comfort in knowing a lawyer is on your side. The seasoned attorneys at Wolfe & Stec handle all Illinois family law cases with sensitivity, respect, and discretion. There is no charge for the first consultation, and we are happy to schedule appointments at either of our offices, located in Woodridge and Chicago. Delaying can only complicate your situation and make matters worse. Call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 or contact our team online.

Securing the Best Family Law Solutions for You

Divorce & Separation in Illinois

Divorce: Divorce is one of the most common family law issues. In Illinois, both fault and no-fault grounds are allowed, or you can base your divorce on the fact that you’ve been separated from your spouse for at least two years (six months if both parties agree). There is a residency requirement that at least one spouse must be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before filing for divorce. Property is divided equitably.
Even if a marriage ends amicably, you need legal guidance, as one small mistake could have serious consequences.
Once a divorce decree is final, it cannot be changed, and you’re most likely stuck with its terms. In Illinois, both fault and no-fault grounds are allowed; or you can base your divorce on the fact that you’ve been separated from your spouse for at least two years (six months if both parties agree). There is a residency requirement that at least one spouse must be a resident of Illinois for 90 days before filing for divorce. Property is divided by equitable division. Even if a marriage ends amicably, you need legal guidance because one small mistake could have serious consequences. Once a divorce decree is final, it cannot be changed in most circumstances. Revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act make it easier and less stressful to get a divorce. Spouses no longer need to state reasons for wanting a divorce, such as adultery, abandonment, cruelty, and incarceration, or even irreconcilable differences. Now, all divorces will be considered to be no-fault divorces. This change also eliminated the waiting period for divorce. Couples no longer have to prove that they had lived separately for at least six months, or two years if one spouse didn’t agree. You can now seek a divorce whenever you are ready to end the marriage. Property division laws have also changed. The court now must provide explanations for decisions regarding a divorcing couple's property. Decisions on property may no longer be based on relationship issues such as adultery and alienation of affection.

Helpful Links About Illinois Divorce

There's more to know about divorce in Illinois; you may find the following websites useful.

When To Hire a Family Law Attorney

It may seem like a big step to hire a family law attorney, but the earlier in the process the better if your goal is to reach an efficient and favorable outcome. Some people are tempted to go it alone and file their own family court paperwork, but this is frequently a mistake. Family law in Illinois is complicated and involves a lot of legal technicalities. That’s why it’s best to hire an experienced and successful family law attorney who will listen to your concerns, formulate a strategy and guide you through the legal process. At Wolfe & Stec, we have years of experience working with families who are torn apart and who are trying to find a resolution so they can move forward with their lives. Our family law attorneys are compassionate, informed and trusted. Please reach out today to a family law attorney at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 to schedule your free initial consultation.

What Makes a Good Family Law Attorney?

The characteristics of a family law attorney that you should look for are the same characteristics you want in a smart friend. Intelligent, informed, caring, supportive, confident – these are traits to look for in a family law attorney. You want an attorney who knows family law backward and forward, is on good terms with other court professionals and is adept at negotiating with opposing family law attorneys. You probably have a lot of questions. A good family law attorney is also a good listener who respects your concerns and is willing to patiently answer your questions. There is no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter solution when it comes to divorce, child custody or parenting agreements. You need a family law attorney who pays attention to your unique situation and suggests solutions and strategies that achieve your desired outcome.

Wide Range of Family Law Concerns

Our family law attorneys handle a variety of legal concerns facing families in Illinois. In addition to divorce and child custody issues, our lawyers assist clients with:
  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Adoptions -- Illinois Adoption Laws include areas such as who may be adopted; the age of consent for adoption; home residency requirements.
  • Domestic Abuse - If you are in immediate danger seek legal help and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • Orders of Protection -- Illinois Protective Order Laws, which are commonly called "restraining orders” are often needed if you are a victims of domestic violence or threatened or stalked by former spouses.
  • Paternity
  • Wills, Trusts, and Guardianships and Estate Planning

Child Custody & Support in Illinois

Child Custody: When it comes to the lives of your children, you want to come to an agreement that will provide the best possible outcome for their futures, but you also need to protect your financial well-being. Parents should never try to negotiate custody or support obligations without the help of experienced child custody lawyers. The laws and guidelines can be difficult to interpret, and making a mistake could mean returning to court and nasty drawn-out battles that adversely affect your children. Illinois courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. Illinois Child Custody Laws govern child custody decisions and procedures, including information about the availability of grandparents' visitation rights. Custody issues our Illinois family law attorneys handle with our clients include:

Family Law Terminology Related to Custody

In an effort to put both parents on a more equal footing, the revised Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act has changed old vocabulary and modernized old concepts of child custody and visitation. "Parental Responsibility" is the new term for custody. Instead of making a determination of who has joint or sole custody, each parent now has “parental responsibility” for making decisions for the child. One parent may still have most of the decision-making responsibilities, or these responsibilities may be split between the parents in the major life areas such as education, health, and religious upbringing. For example, the court may give one parent the right to determine the child's religious upbringing and the other the right to make medical decisions. "Parenting Time" is the new term for visitation. Children may spend most of their time with one parent, or they may split their time fairly evenly with both. However, neither parent is labeled the primary or made to feel as the secondary parent. The term “visitation” may still be used in situations such as when dealing with third parties, such as with “grandparent visitation.” Illinois courts are required to make all determinations based on what is in the best interest of the child, presuming that children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after divorce. Determining best interests can include a review of the wishes of the parents, wishes of the child, past allocations of parenting time, and the mental and physical health of all involved.

Family Law Issues Our Attorneys Handle Related to Custody

Parents should never try to negotiate custody or support obligations without the help of experienced child custody lawyers. At Wolfe & Stec Ltd., our Illinois family law attorneys handle custody issues that include:
  • Child Support: Illinois requires all parents to support their children. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources and how much time each parent spends with the children. Here are some child support calculators to give you an idea of state guidelines.
  • Child Custody Removals
  • Parenting Agreements/Plans
  • Non-Parent Custody
  • Visitation -- including visitation rights of nonparents, such as grandparents, siblings and other relatives.
  • Parental rights – the changed law makes it difficult to terminate parental rights, requiring a "preponderance of the evidence standard."
  • Relocation – In some counties, parents will only be permitted to relocate up to 25 miles without court approval, while in others they may be able to relocate up to 50 miles. This includes relocation out of state.

Family Law Child Support Issues

  • Collecting Past-Due Child Support Payments
  • Pay Child Support or Face an Arrest Warrant
  • How To Modify a Child Support Agreement
  • Paying for College When Parents are Divorced
  • Retroactive Child Support

Cost of a Family Law Attorney

As you can imagine, the cost of hiring a family law attorney can vary somewhat significantly depending on the cooperativeness of the parties involved, the complexity of child custody and visitation and the number of financial assets involved. The more time used bickering with a former spouse, the greater the attorney fees.According to a survey by Lawyer.com, the average divorce in Illinois costs $13,800, including $10,900 in attorneys' fees. Attorneys' fees are a significant chunk of the cost of divorce because the average hourly rate for attorneys in Illinois is $260. Your attorney's hourly rate—plus the rate of any paralegals and other firm staff—factored with the total time spent on your divorce case will determine the amount of attorney’s fees you'll pay. Other expenses include fees for things like court filings, the cost of copying and sharing documents, and compensation for expert witnesses and consultants like child custody evaluators, appraisers or financial analysts.

Generally, family law attorneys handling child custody cases bill either through a flat fee or by the hour, Lawyer.com states. If a lawyer charges a flat fee, expect to pay $3,000 - $6,000. A lower fee is in no way indicative of a low-quality legal representation.

Spouses who have minor children or a high net worth have higher divorce costs than the state average. In addition, if you file for a divorce in Illinois based on fault, such as adultery, impotence, substance abuse, cruelty, or abandonment, the cost of your divorce is likely to be higher than the average.

Whether or not minor children are involved, divorces in Illinois that involve a dispute over alimony also cost more than the average. In alimony disputes, spouses often disagree on how much the working spouse actually makes or how much the part-time or non-working spouse should be able to earn. According to survey results, divorce involving alimony disputes costs an average of $19,100 in Illinois, including $15,900 in attorneys' fees.

Getting to a settlement or preparing for trial in these situations can be expensive because of the costs of hiring and reviewing the opinions of financial experts and vocational analysts. And, of course, the more alimony a spouse requests, the more the other spouse will fight it and the more expensive it becomes.

For a better understanding of the potential cost of your case, contact Wolfe & Stec for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your situation. Call our family law attorney at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 to schedule your free consultation.

Our DuPage County Family Lawyers Know That Sensitivity Matters

Family law issues can stir up a lot of negative emotions for people – pain, sadness, embarrassment, resentment – but there is help available, and you may find comfort in knowing a lawyer is on your side. All of our conversations are confidential. The seasoned attorneys at Wolfe & Stec handle all Illinois family law cases with sensitivity, respect and discretion.
At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we made our reputation one client at a time, and we put every ounce of our ability into every case. There are no ready-made solutions in divorce and family law – every case needs to be considered on its own merits. Our lawyers take the time to delve deeply into the problem and to understand your goals and concerns. Then we develop a legal strategy designed to achieve those objectives.
There is no charge for the first consultation, and we are happy to schedule appointments at either of our offices, located in DuPage County and Chicago. Delaying can only complicate your situation and make matters worse. Call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882 or contact our team online.

Family Law Reviews

Fabulous & Straight Forward - Very Easy to Work With

Natalie is incredibly qualified and knowledgeable in her field. She is a straight shooter and gets the job done. When it comes to your case and the direction to take she is honest, ethical, and trustworthy. There was never a question as to where we were in the process or where we were going. I trusted her with my case - completely. She was very easy to work with and kept me apprised of upcoming court dates and details regarding discussions with OC. I highly recommend Natalie as an attorney. 5 out of 5 stars

Worth Every Penny

Natalie is very quick to get back to me with any concerns that I may have. She keeps me informed on court dates and any hearings or work she's done. She's smart when it comes to the law. 5 out of 5 stars

Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce? A Prenuptial Agreement Can Solve the Age-Old Question.

February 22, 2019 / Divorce

What happens to the dog when “pet parents” decide to divorce? Divorce is a messy and often contentious process, especially when couples don’t agree about dividing assets. When an animal has become an integral part of the family and is loved by both partners, deciding who gets a beloved pet after divorce can be a … Continue reading Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce? A Prenuptial Agreement Can Solve the Age-Old Question.



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Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-388-7882

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