Dupage County Lawyers

Chicago, IL Family Law Issues


When families disintegrate, the emotional and financial results can be devastating. Divorce, child custody disputes, and other family law issues are life-changing and involve multiple generations.  Laws are complex, and issues are so emotion-laden, they can rarely be resolved amicably on your own. Attempts to do so often complicate matters even more, so it makes sense to consult an experienced 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 a child-custody issue, we offer a free consultation to 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.

What is Family Law?

Family law encompasses a range of issues related to the family structure, such as divorce, child custody and visitation. Family laws also address 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, and they are constantly changing. For example, on January 1, 2016, Illinois became a trendsetter by changing terms like “custody” and “visitation” in divorce and parentage cases, and in 2013, the state legislature legalized same-sex marriage.

Here is an overview of the most common family law issues and how we can help:

Divorce & Separation

The recent revisions 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.

Child Custody, Visitation & Support

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.

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.

Additional Family Law Concerns

In addition to divorce and child custody issues, our family law lawyers assist Illinois clients with:


Our Lawyers Know That Sensitivity Matters

Family law issues can stir up a lot of negative emotions for people. The laws and guidelines can be difficult to interpret, and making a mistake could mean returning to court and nasty and costly drawn-out battles that adversely affect you and your children. Fortunately, there is help available, and you may find comfort in knowing a lawyer is on your side. The seasoned Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec handle all 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 our offices. Delaying can only complicate your situation and make matters worse. Call us today for your free consultation at 630-305-0222 or contact our team online.