Frequently Asked Questions:
How much will this cost and how long will it take?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are communicating or not with your spouse/ partner/ other parent. Obviously, if communication exists, you have more options. For example, consider Collaborative Divorce or hiring one attorney to represent one of you. These are cost effective options that may be available to you.
If a traditional divorce is the only option, I will represent your position and advocate for you. I will explain the court process every step of the way so that you are well-informed and can work towards settlement instead of trial. My goal is to best advise you so that you are in the best position possible when all is said and done.
In some cases, for whatever reason, two sides cannot work out an issue. If that happens, you will understand the the possible outcomes and I will work with you so that you can best decide when it is right to stand your ground and ﬁght for what is best and fair for you.
Again, our goal is to advise you so that you are in the best position possible when all is said and done.
I have a business that I want to own after the divorce is ﬁnal. Is that possible?
Your livelihood is your life. You can protect your business and your job even when you divorce. A business valuation can be done to discover whether your business interests are marital or non-marital and what they are worth. This can involve expert valuation and possibly testimony. We can take you through this process step-by-step so that your interests are protected.
How often should child support issues be addressed in court?
If you are receiving child support and know the obligor’s yearly income, I can calculate the proper support amount you should be paying or receiving and advise you about whether it is time to modify support.
If you are paying child support and your income ﬂuctuates, I can calculate what you should be paying. If you have yet to ﬁle a petition to modify your support obligation, you cannot go back and make an adjustment. You must ﬁle a petition ﬁrst.
If you need ﬁnancial information and you file a petition, both parties must provide state required financial information so that you will know how to properly calculate current support.
When college expenses arise and an agreement cannot be reached, a petition for contribution can be filed so that all college expenses can be fairly apportioned.
I have never been married. I know that HFS can pursue child support for me for free, so what is the advantage of using an attorney to establish child support?
HFS will help you with child support, but there are many more ﬁnancial expenses associated with raising a child. Educational fees, extracurricular fees, child care expenses, out-of-pocket medical expenses and college expenses are all reasonable costs to which the other parent should contribute. A term life insurance policy as security for the support obligation is also routinely needed.
We no longer live in the county or state where the Judgment was entered. What can I do to enforce or modify the Judgment here?
Enrolling or transferring your case to the proper state or county can be done so that you can litigate enforcement or modiﬁcation of your Judgment where you live now. We can advise as to whether you can transfer your case to Illinois or to the county where you now live or whether you must litigate the issue where the Judgment was originally entered.
I need to move with my children because of my new job or my new husband’s job. Can I do that without having to go to court?
No. Relocation is an issue that must either be taken care of by agreement of the parties or by approval of the court. If the facts are such that moving to another state is in the best interests of your children, then your removal petition should be successful.
I have never handled the ﬁnances in my marriage. How do I ﬁnd out the full extent of what we own and owe so that I know what is or is not a fair settlement?
This is Divorce 101. A full, fair and complete disclosure of all assets and liabilities must occur before a settlement can be reached. If this is not done voluntarily, there are ways to make sure you ﬁnd hidden assets and liabilities. I will pursue all means of discovery so that you will re-capture lost or stolen assets known as dissipation. The settlement agreement can also protect you from liabilities your spouse is responsible when future difficulties arise.
I believe I am entitled to maintenance. How much will I be paid and for how long?
In Illinois, the maintenance laws are constantly changing. You need sound legal advise about whether maintenance is appropriate, the amount of maintenance and how long it should be paid. The answer to these questions depends on many factors. Statutes and case law provides guidelines, but each case is unique. I will advise you of your rights and guide you in your decision.
My ex does not follow our settlement agreement? What can I do?
Whatever the problem, Illinois law states that if your ex is not following a court order or judgment, you are entitled to enforce that order. In addition to compelling your ex to abide by the order or judgment, if the “failure to comply with the order or judgment was without compelling cause or justiﬁcation”, the court must also award you your attorney’s fees and costs.
I do not know where to begin, I have so many questions.
You begin by talking to an attorney. I will listen to you. I will evaluate what you need in order to put your life back together. Take the ﬁrst step and schedule a consultation today.
If you are involved in, or considering, a divorce, parentage case or post-dissolution proceeding, contact my office at 708-459-8234 to schedule a free initial consultation.