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Divorce FAQ

Illinois Divorce & Family Law FAQ

We’ve compiled some of the most common questions we receive from prospective divorce and family law clients, along with some answers we hope you will find helpful as you consider your options. Remember, every case is different, and this FAQ is not a substitute for consulting with an attorney about your specific situation.

Do I really need a family lawyer?

Yes, you do.

You’re not required to have a lawyer representing you in a divorce or family law case, but it is the best way to avoid the common pitfalls that can derail your case. Your rights, your children and your finances are too important to leave in the hands of anyone who is not a proven family law attorney. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know and that can be dangerous when everything you hold dear is on the line.

Learn more about the benefits of having a skilled lawyer on your side.

How long will my divorce take?

There is no way to pinpoint how long it will take to resolve a specific divorce. There are a variety of variables that can influence how long it will take to resolve a divorce. In general, divorces where there is agreement on all the major issues (children, real estate and financial assets) — known as an uncontested divorce — will be resolved more quickly than a divorce where there is disagreement on those issues — known as a contested divorce.

How much will my divorce cost?

Again, there are many variables that influence the cost of a divorce. In general, a contested divorce will generate higher costs than an uncontested divorce.

Will I have sole custody of my children?

The legal term for what is thought of as sole custody is decision-making. It is rare that one parent will be granted the power to make all decisions about their child. It typically only happens in cases where one parent is absent or deemed to be unfit.

Get more answers to your questions about allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.

How can I get child support?

When a couple is married, it is presumed that a man is the father of his wife’s child. When parents are unmarried, it can be a bit more complicated. To obtain child support, it will be necessary to prove paternity. Learn more.

What is Allocution of Parental Responsibility in Illinois?

In Illinois, the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities is the legal process determining which parent will have decision-making authority and parenting time with their child.

The court will consider various factors when making this determination, including the child’s age, health, and relationship with each parent. The court may also consider any history of abuse or neglect. Ultimately, the goal is to make a decision that is in the child’s best interests.

How does a legal separation work in Illinois?

Some residents of Lake County, Illinois, may realize that they need to live separately from their spouses and want the necessary legal protection to be able to do so safely and securely. However, for religious, financial or emotional reasons, or some combination of these reasons, they may not prefer a full blown divorce.

Illinois law allows a couple to obtain a court order for legal separation. As part of a legal separation order, a court may allocate parental responsibilities and establish both child support and spousal maintenance.

What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?

Probably the biggest difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that the couple remains legally married. This has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, the spouses cannot legally re-marry; on the other hand, they may be able to enjoy tax incentives, health care benefits and other advantages because they decided to keep their marital status intact.

In Illinois, another big difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that, in a legal separation, a court cannot enter orders dividing the spouses’ property unless both spouses agree that the court can do so. If there is no agreement, then the spouses must either work any issues out between themselves, or one of them will have to choose to ask for a divorce.

I need legal advice specific to my situation. What should I do next?

Call our Gurnee, IL office at 847-855-8447 or submit a contact form to get in touch with an experienced family law attorney.