The term “family law” encompasses a wide range of legal matters, including not only divorce, but also property division, child support, alimony, pre and post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence-related issues. How these kinds of legal matters are resolved tends to have a significant impact on the lives of the parties involved, making it especially important for Illinois residents who have questions about child support, parenting time, or dividing marital assets, to consult with the best family law attorney Chicago before going forward with their case.
Although becoming more and more common, divorce is by no means a simple process, as severing this legal bond also requires the parties to determine a host of related issues, including how their marital property will be divided, whether a spousal maintenance award is appropriate, and if the couple has children, how parenting time and parental responsibilities will be shared. Fortunately, Illinois is now a no-fault divorce state, so whatever a couple’s circumstances, neither party will be required to prove that the other was at fault for the marriage’s failure. Instead, both spouses must only attest that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage in order to obtain a divorce.
Under Illinois law, parents have certain legal rights and obligations when it comes to their children. One of the most important legal rights is the right to visitation, which is now referred to as parenting time. When divorced or unmarried parents are able to see their children is determined by assessing what type of parenting schedule would be in a child’s best interests. Although parents are strongly encouraged to come up with their own parenting plans in an out-of-court setting, doing so is not always possible, in which case, a court will be required to step in and not only decide how much time each parent gets to spend with their child, but also who will be responsible for caretaking functions and significant decision-making about the child’s religious upbringing, healthcare, and education.
While child support-related legal matters are often raised during the divorce process, this is not the only time that these types of issues are brought to the court. Anyone with children, including couples who were never married, are legally obligated to financially support their offspring. Whether one of a child’s parents will be required to pay child support depends in large part on how parenting time is divided between the parties, as well as both parties’ incomes and expenses, and the child’s specific needs. Fortunately, even if child support is awarded, these orders can be modified at a later date if one of the parties undergoes a significant life change.
For help with your own family law matter, please contact one of the best family law attorneys in Chicago by calling or sending an online message to The Law Offices of George M. Sanders P.C. today. A member of our legal team is standing by to begin working on your case.