Divorce ranks up there as one of life’s greatest stressors, and, unfortunately, almost 50 percent of marriages in the United States wind up in divorce court. At this turbulent time, when you are likely to be worried about your future, your finances, and the impact on your children, you need all the help you can get.
As trial lawyers, we understand the importance of thorough preparation and aggressive representation. Our DuPage divorce attorney is here for you and will walk you through the process and stand by your side.
Our seasoned attorneys know the intricacies of Illinois divorce law, and we handle divorce and related family law issues involving the following:
It is always better for divorcing partners to work out their differences rather than to submit to the final verdict of a family court judge. Mediation offers a chance for both spouses to resolve issues with the help of a neutral third party under conditions that are designed to minimize the possibility of conflict.
There are variations to the process of divorce mediation in Illinois, including the possibility of mediation through a phone conference.
Couples may decide to undergo mediation before filing a joint petition for divorce or at any time before their court date.
How you stand financially after divorce is of great concern for both parties, so our 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, 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.
The more assets involved, the more you have to risk if your divorce is not handled properly. Our attorneys handle cases for individuals with high net worth and those involving family-owned businesses. We strive to protect your pre-marital, family, and business assets, and to make sure the distribution of marital assets is equitable and fair.
A normal divorce is bad enough, but when it degenerates into a high-conflict one, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Spouses undergoing high-conflict divorce often clash, fight, and show hostility in almost every situation. They frequently take each other to court and may take out restraining or no-contact orders and accuse their partner of domestic violence, physical abuse or sexual abuse.
Major areas for high conflict include:
An Illinois military divorce involves different laws than a civilian one, and 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, and laws for maintenance, child and spousal support, and division of a military pension. Active duty spouses have legal protection 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.
Prenuptial agreements can help prevent a lot of aggravation down the line, as they create a basis for agreement should divorce occur. Prenuptial agreements are best suited for people who have premarital funds and ventures they do not wish to blend with marital assets. Agreements also make sure money stays in the family in the event that the new prospective spouse passes away during marriage or in case of divorce.
However, if you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement may be an option. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement except that it is entered into and signed after marriage. Our attorneys will create a unique and personalized prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is tailored to meet your needs.
Illinois is an equitable distribution state — 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.
If you have a business, our attorneys will help you protect it in divorce, as well as your retirement accounts and any pre-owned property. In some circumstances, such as if a spouse was employed by or helped run the company, the spouse may be entitled to as much as 50 percent of the business in a divorce, so we work to ensure that you don’t do anything to put your business at risk.
In addition, partnership, shareholder and/or operating agreements should have provisions to protect the interests of the other owners if one gets divorced.
As of January 1, 2015, Illinois spousal support laws have changed. The new law sets out formulas that would apply in most cases to determine the proper amount of support and the number of years the maintenance award shall continue. (See 750 ILCS5/504.) Our experienced lawyers are there to help establish support payments and explain the types of support that you may be entitled to or must pay.
Illinois divorce law is complicated and changing, and the facts and circumstances of each case are different, so it makes sense to seek legal counsel to represent your interests. The skilled Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., can advise and guide you through every step in the process.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your individual divorce issues and answer your questions. For a free initial consultation with an experienced and compassionate DuPage County, Cook County or Will County divorce lawyer, contact us online or call 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882. We handle cases throughout Illinois and can make consultation appointments at our office.