At SBK Law Group, Illinois residents find up-to-date answers to questions about family law. The following questions and answers below are samples presented as illustrations. The information may not pertain to your unique circumstances. For a personalized analysis of your needs and the issues that you face, consult with one of our family law attorneys.
Question: I’m considering a divorce. What’s the first step?
Answer: Preparing a divorce petition can be a simple or complex process, depending on the nature of your marital assets and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Legally speaking, the first step is to file a divorce petition with the district court of your county. A divorce attorney can help you fill out the petition properly and file it correctly to begin the process.
Question: How are investments, retirement accounts, and other complex assets divided during a divorce?
Answer: Individual cases vary greatly. It may take months to divide complex assets. Proper asset division may depend on whether you have a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement and what is considered marital property. If one spouse has stayed home instead of working for part or all of the marriage, alimony may also be a factor in dividing assets. The sooner you start working with an attorney to determine your assets and decide what really matters to you, the better.
Question: My ex and I have been divorced for some time, but now I need to move for work. How can we update our child custody agreement? Or: My health has deteriorated, and my earnings from employment have decreased. Can I request a modification of my spousal maintenance? Or: I am about to remarry. Will this affect my spousal maintenance?
Answer: Work with an attorney to pursue a modification of your custody order or spousal support order as needed. Moving, getting remarried, health issues, job changes and other life changes are all common reasons to request a modification of the custody and support order(s) contained in your divorce decree. An attorney can help you address these issues efficiently and correctly to present a modification request to the court.
Question: My spouse and I don’t agree on all aspects of our divorce, but we don’t want to go to court. What other options do we have?
Answer: If you and your spouse are struggling to communicate constructively and come to decisions about your divorce, mediation can be an effective form of alternative dispute resolution. A third-party mediator can help resolve the matters you disagree about privately and on your own timetable instead of by a rigid court calendar.