When many people hear the term family law, they automatically think of divorce. While it is true that divorce is one important legal issue that many family law courts grapple with, there a number of different legal matters that fall under the broad umbrella of divorce, including child custody, property division, and spousal maintenance issues. For help with these and other issues related to family law (such as prenuptial agreements or orders of protection), please contact one of our dedicated Schaumburg family law attorneys today.
Illinois adheres to the legal theory of no-fault divorce, which means that divorcing couples are not required to prove that one of the spouses was at fault for the end of the marriage. Instead, the parties need only claim:
Evidence that divorcing spouses have lived separate and apart for six months is deemed sufficient proof that this burden has been met. Another requirement for filing for divorce is that one of the parties must be a resident of Illinois. The divorce will only be granted if one of the parties can prove that he or she has legally resided in the state for the past 90 days.
Another legal issue that is commonly raised in family law courts is how parenting time and parental decision making will be divided between two parents. Illinois courts no longer use the term custody but instead discuss a division of parenting time and parental responsibilities. Parenting time is the amount of time that a child is able to spend with a parent, during which time the parent is responsible for:
Parental decision making, on the other hand, refers to the ability each parent has to make decisions about raising the child. This includes decisions regarding healthcare, religion, education, and extracurricular activities. How these two aspects of parental responsibility are ultimately allocated will depend on what a court deems to be in a child’s best interests. While these issues often arise during divorce proceedings, this is not the only time that such decisions are necessary, as parenting time matters could arise even if two parents were never married.
Family law courts also grapple with domestic violence issues, which include allegations of physical violence, threats, depriving someone of his or her liberty, and sexual abuse. Victims of this type of abuse can seek an Emergency Order of Protection from the courts which can prohibit the abusive party from contacting the victim or his or her minor children. These orders are only valid for a maximum of 21 days, at which point a full hearing will be held where both parties can present evidence as to whether a longer Order for Protection is appropriate. Offenders who violate an Order for Protection could face criminal prosecution.
If you or loved one have questions about a family law-related issue, please do not hesitate to contact the dedicated Schaumburg family law attorneys at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders P.C. today.