Although divorce may be one of the most common issues that family law lawyers encounter, it is far from the only one. Family law encompasses not only property-related matters, but also child custody, adoption, drafting prenuptial agreements, spousal maintenance, and paternity. If you need help with one or more of these issues, please call one of our experienced DuPage County family law lawyers today.
Becoming a parent comes with a wide range of parental rights and obligations, including the right to visitation and the obligation to financially support the child. In some cases, these rights and obligations can only be enforced after legally establishing a child’s paternity, which can be achieved via mutual consent or through litigation, in which case, the parties will be required to submit to DNA testing. Although most paternity suits are filed when a child is still relatively young, Illinois law actually gives residents up until a child’s 20th birthday to file this type of legal claim. Establishing or disestablishing paternity can be a difficult process, so if you need help proving or disproving paternity of a child, please contact our legal team for assistance.
Aside from dividing marital property, coming up with a child custody arrangement is one of the most commonly raised issues in family law courts. This is true not only for divorcing couples, but also for unmarried parents, or non-parent relatives who are seeking visitation. When families are unable to resolve these issues in an out-of-court setting, courts are often forced to step in and come up with an arrangement on the family’s behalf, in which the parents share parenting time and responsibility for childcare-related decision making. These determinations are primarily driven by what is in the child’s best interests, which requires an analysis of the child’s home, school, and community record, as well as his or her relationship with each parent and the distance between the parent’s homes.
When couples are able to come to an agreement on these issues on their own, a judge will only need to approve the agreement before granting a divorce.
A divorce legally ends a marriage, so when two people decide to dissolve their union, they are also required to come to an agreement about marriage-related benefits, which includes deciding how marital property will be divided and distributed upon divorce. Illinois is an equitable division state, which means that divorcing couples must divide all assets acquired during their marriage equitably between themselves. Separate property, on the other hand, or assets acquired by one spouse prior to marriage will remain in the sole possession of the original owner.
Couples who are unable to come to an out-of-court property settlement agreement will have their assets divided up by the court, which will take a number of factors into consideration when making this decision, including who is retaining the family home, each party’s income, and expenses, and whether the couple shares children.
Please call the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC at 847-255-9925 today to speak with one of our dedicated DuPage County family law lawyers today about your legal matter.