The village of South Elgin, located in Kane County, has as its motto “Where Tradition Meets the Future.” About two-thirds of the households there consist of married couples, and nearly half include children under the age of 18. It has been ranked as one of the 100 best places to live in America by Money magazine multiple times. Unfortunately, divorces and disputes regarding children are not uncommon. At Kollias & Giese, P.C., our experienced South Elgin divorce lawyers help people going through a divorce, as well as people dealing with child custody, child visitation, or child support issues. We understand that the end of a marriage can be mentally and financially stressful, and we offer a free consultation regarding your situation.
Under current Illinois law, any married person who has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days can file for a divorce. While asserting specific grounds for divorce (such as adultery, willful desertion, or cruelty) is still an option, most divorces proceed on the “no fault” ground of irreconcilable differences. This usually saves time and money, since the only requirement is that the court find that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Neither party is assigned legal blame for the fact that the marital relationship has reached a point at which it cannot be repaired. While certain situations, such as one or both spouses serving in the military, can potentially complicate matters, the granting of a divorce is usually a fairly simple proposition.Common Issues in Divorce Cases in Illinois
However, once a court decides to declare the parties’ marital union dissolved, there may be other issues that need to be addressed. Our divorce attorneys can guide South Elgin residents through this process. For couples without children, contested issues may include the division of property and debts. This begins by identifying “marital property” – usually property acquired during the marriage, except by gift or inheritance. Property owned by a spouse prior to the marriage is considered “non-marital property” in most situations, although there can be exceptions in specific circumstances. Once the court has determined which property is “marital property” (and which financial liabilities are “marital debts”), the court makes an equitable distribution. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, since Illinois is not a community property state.
For couples who have minor children, the court must also make a decision concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Previously, these issues were known as “custody and visitation,” but the courts no longer use the traditional terms. Instead, a divorce court is required to decide which parent should be responsible for certain types of decisions that typically arise in the rearing of a minor child. Our South Elgin divorce attorneys can make sure that your voice is heard in these situations.
Major decisions affecting a child include issues such as religion, health care, choice of school, and participation in extracurricular activities. The court may decide that one parent is responsible for one type of decision, while the other assumes responsibility for other decisions, or it could declare that such decisions be made jointly. The court will also make an allocation of parenting time and, depending on how much time a child spends with each parent (and the parents’ relative earning capacities and living expenses), may order an amount of child support that one parent must pay to the other.Seek Legal Guidance to Understand Your Options
If you are considering filing for a divorce or have been served with a complaint for divorce filed by your spouse, you need to speak to a divorce lawyer in South Elgin about your situation. While there are common factors in family law cases, each case must be decided on its own merits. To get started on your divorce or family law matter, call Kollias & Giese, P.C. at (630) 407-1200 or contact us online and ask for a consultation.