Divorce is never easy. It can be devastating for the couple, their children, and other family members. In fact, it is one of life’s greatest sources of stress, but it is sometimes the only way forward. In fact, almost 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. During this turbulent time, when you are likely to be worried about your future, your finances, and the impact on your kids, you need a skilled Woodridge divorce attorney to guide you through the process.
As trial lawyers, our divorce attorneys know the importance of thorough preparation and aggressive representation. As people with families ourselves, we understand that divorce is not simply about dividing assets and property — it marks the end of a significant part of your life. Our divorce lawyer represents our clients with a deep sensitivity to the emotional impact divorce has on all parties affected.
You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are on relatively good terms. You both just want a speedy and fair resolution and to then be able to move on with your lives. There’s no need to hire a lawyer, right? Wrong.
Children have issues; spouses become jealous or spiteful over new relationships; or one person may start to believe that the other is coming out ahead financially. Having an attorney can protect your rights when a once-cooperative spouse turns sour.
Remember, once your divorce is final, mistakes are almost impossible to undo; and not only can they cost you a significant amount of money, but you and your children can suffer effects that may last a lifetime. It is wise to have a divorce attorney in Woodridge involved to make sure you get it right the first time.
Some of the reasons to hire a Woodridge divorce lawyer include:
The divorce process is complex, and laws constantly change. For example, the 2019 major revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. During the Trump administration, there were changes to tax liability regarding maintenance payments. With the Biden administration in office, there may be more changes that the Illinois legislature will have to address with additional amendments. Your attorney can help you through the steps and processes and ensure that you understand the changes.
If you live in the DuPage County area, you want a divorce attorney who knows both the local courts and the other lawyers and has their fingers on the pulse of the way the legal system runs in Woodridge. This kind of support can make a significant difference. Reach out to us at Wolfe & Stec at 630-305-0222 to learn more about how we can support you.
You have made the difficult decision to divorce. You have done your research and hired a divorce attorney in Woodridge to represent your interests. It is time to get started. Below we have shared some important details of which you should be aware. In Illinois:
You must abide by each of these rules in order to proceed with your divorce. If you do not meet the stated criteria, or file incorrectly, you will not be able to move forward.
In Illinois, the divorce process can be divided into three phases: temporary relief, discovery and resolution. Each is discussed below.
Not every divorce looks the same. Some cases require special handling, due to finances, family dynamics, or other unique situations. Our lawyers bring the experience necessary to expertly represent their clients even in the most challenging divorces. If you have a special situation in your divorce, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced, knowledgeable divorce attorney in Woodridge for help. Some common special situations include:
Major areas for high conflict include:
It is in your best interests to reduce the acrimony in your divorce and approach it with a level head. Let your attorneys do the talking and never make your children confidantes in the dispute. If approached by a spouse with ill will, consider avoiding direct contact if you can’t calm the situation. Do not be afraid to seek professional help.
Military Divorce: An Illinois military divorce involves different laws than a civilian one. We have the expertise to handle divorce for both service members and their spouses. Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS section 521, there are military rules and regulations for serving papers on a soldier; laws for maintenance, child and spousal support; and division of a military pension. Active duty spouses have legal protections to allow them to “devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation,” through 60 days post active duty, so there are times it is necessary to postpone the filing of your divorce papers. There are also federal laws that allow for support for former spouses of military members who served significant time in the armed forces.
We have the skills and experience to represent all of our clients with a tailored and personal approach. That said, there are several alternatives to traditional litigation that are available to those considering divorce. These include:
With regard to custody matters, the court requires divorcing spouses to enter mediation to resolve these issues. This may not be the best course of action in some cases, and the state courts recognize this, allowing some couples to opt out if the situation warrants it — for example, where there has been domestic violence as an issue.
There are variations to the process of divorce mediation in Illinois, including the possibility of mediation through a phone conference. To ensure that couples speak freely, nothing is submitted to the court until there is a final written agreement. Couples may decide to undergo mediation before filing a joint petition for divorce or at any time before their court date.
Spouses and their attorneys sign a contract called a Participation Agreement, stating their commitment to resolving issues according to collaborative principles and guidelines. Settlement is reached through a series of meetings where the couple is guided through the process by their attorneys in a structured, non-adversarial way. Once everyone agrees, documents are prepared and presented to the judge for approval and entry of judgment. Collaborative attorneys may not continue to represent their clients if the process breaks down and goes to litigation.
If you have questions regarding alternative approaches to divorce, our team is available to help. Our breadth and depth of experience in all matters related to divorce in Illinois make us a valuable resource to the community.
Divorce can be complicated and highly emotional. As you contemplate a new phase of your life, it is only natural that you would have questions. Below, our divorce attorney in Woodridge has provided answers to some of the more general questions we receive.
There is no simple answer to this. The time a divorce takes depends upon the issues involved. When simple and uncontested, it can take as little as two months. If it is contested and the spouses are fighting over issues such as property division, child support and custody, and spousal maintenance, divorces can, in some cases, take several years.
One way to speed up the divorce process is to come to an amicable agreement with your spouse. The two of you can work out property division, maintenance and custody issues between yourselves. The process is more efficient if you both use attorneys to negotiate a deal that will easily be authorized by the courts.
The short answer is right away. Knowing when to hire a divorce lawyer can make the difference between an amicable split and a drawn-out battle and can impact your final settlement. It makes sense to contact an attorney immediately, even if you are just thinking of divorce, and certainly if you have been surprised by divorce papers from your spouse.
Yes. First ensure this is what you want. Consider working with a counselor to help you sort through your feelings. Consult with an attorney to make sure all is in order; preplan and gather all your paperwork before you tell your partner anything. Then:
If you have children involved that will be impacted by the divorce, the advice of a professional counselor will be vital. It may be best, however, to keep their counsel for purposes of making the event easier rather than using the therapist as a witness – or weapon – in the divorce. To know all of your options that are specific to your situation, it’s best to consult with a divorce lawyer in Woodridge sooner rather than later. Our experienced, compassionate divorce attorney at Wolfe & Stec can guide you through the process, start to finish, explaining every choice before you at each step of the way.
The list below shares some important steps to take.
Property division in the dissolution of a marriage is governed by statute. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning marital property is divided equitably, not necessarily equally. All property acquired after the marriage and before a judgment of dissolution of marriage is presumed to be marital property, and this is divided without regard to marital misconduct.
To determine what is equitable, both spouses are required to provide a complete disclosure of their financial information. You will have to provide pay stubs, income tax returns, and bank statements supporting the information listed in the affidavits. The court may also look at the dissipation of assets, tax liability, child custody and other matters.
We hope this information has answered some of your questions. That said, we recognize that you likely have a host of others, related to your unique situation. Contact our divorce lawyer in Woodridge to schedule a free consultation.
Their financial position post-divorce is of great concern for both parties, so our divorce attorneys focus on the financial planning aspects of divorce. We are familiar with the common tax, benefits and retirement issues that normally arise, but will refer you to a financial advisor if you need expert help on issues such as the short- and long-term impact of dividing property and analyzing pension and retirement plans. We can help you create a realistic budget and future spending plan. We can also connect you with a bankruptcy lawyer if this is a consideration.
Regarding property division, Illinois is an equitable distribution state. This means marital property and debts need not be divided 50/50, but according to what the courts decide is “equitable.” The court’s property division decision is guided by twelve factors set out in the law, and it does not consider “marital misconduct” in dividing the property and debts. The factors include:
Our Woodridge divorce lawyer will review all of this with you and help you understand how this law can impact your future.
Divorce is a major life-changer for children, who are bound to be affected emotionally and have fears and insecurities about their future. Will they get to see both their parents? Will they have to leave their home, school and friends? Will there be enough money for them to meet their needs?
In any divorce settlement, Illinois courts make the needs of the children a priority. Parents must devise a parenting plan that that outlines how both parents will continue to care for and provide for their children after separating.
You and your spouse ideally will work together on this. If this is not possible, or if there is significant animosity between you and your spouse, you can work separately but have attorneys come together to reach an agreement.
In making your plan, you should include all elements that are essential to your children’s physical, emotional and social needs, plus the needs and considerations of both parents. Basic plan essentials should include:
The number of issues that are related to and can impact your divorce are considerable. At Wolf & Stec, our Woodridge divorce lawyers are well-versed in all of them. They have helped countless individuals through the challenging processes of their divorce and are ready to leverage their experience for you. Among the additional issues with which we can help are:
Additionally, we are experienced in representing all types of families, including same-sex couples. We also represent both men and women as they embark on the process of divorce. We made a commitment to helping all individuals navigate the divorce process and embark on a new and exciting future.
The veteran divorce attorneys at Wolfe & Stec know the intricacies of Illinois divorce law, and we handle the full scope of divorce and related family law issues. Whether your case is simple or complex, amicable or contentious, we work hard to ensure it is resolved expeditiously and fairly, with minimal stress. Out of our Woodridge office, our divorce lawyers serve clients throughout DuPage County and surrounding counties.
Our divorce attorney is Woodridge is:
When hiring a divorce attorney, it makes sense to start by asking for recommendations from friends and family members who have gone through the process. Another good source is online research; review the websites of attorneys who handle your type of divorce situation. It may even be helpful to consult a local finding service that provides quality-assured lawyer directories and can connect you to an experienced lawyer in your area.
Once you have come up with several choices, take advantage of the free consultations offered and interview these attorneys to see whether you feel comfortable with them. Have questions ready to ask so you can determine whether the attorney has the experience, objectivity, and knowledge to represent you during the divorce proceedings, shares your divorce philosophies, is affordable, and is a good fit for you. Ask about how they would handle elements of a divorce that apply to your situation, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, etc. We believe you will find positive answers to these questions when you contact Wolfe & Stec.
Illinois divorce law is complicated and changing, and the facts and circumstances of each case are unique; it makes sense to seek legal counsel to represent your interests. The skilled Woodridge divorce lawyers at Wolfe & Stec can advise and guide you through every step in the process.