West Dundee

Family Law Attorneys Advising Residents of West Dundee

The village of West Dundee is home to about 7,000 residents. Nearly 40 percent of the households there have children under the age of 18, and nearly 60 percent involve married couples. About a third of the population consists of people between the ages of 25 and 44, who are relatively early in the process of building their careers. Unfortunately, a divorce sometimes becomes necessary when a marriage breaks down. Although Illinois no longer requires proof of fault-based grounds in divorce cases, and a divorce may be uncontested, sometimes complex issues must be resolved during the dissolution of a marriage, especially when children or a substantial amount of marital assets are involved. At Kollias & Giese, P.C., our West Dundee divorce lawyers provide legal advice to people going through a divorce or another family matter. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your legal rights and how our firm can help you during this difficult time.

Most Illinois divorces are granted based on irreconcilable differences, such that it is no longer necessary to prove that one’s spouse is guilty of adultery, abandonment, or cruelty. However, this does not mean that a divorce court (probably the Circuit Court of Kane County for West Dundee residents) does not take the parties’ actions into account in deciding other issues in the divorce, such as the division of marital property and debt or issues concerning the children. In fact, there are many factors that must be considered in making these decisions, and it is important that each spouse be represented by an attorney of their choosing if they cannot agree on these matters.

Understanding Illinois Family Law Issues

In a divorce case, the court has three basic tasks. It must end the marriage, equitably divide the marital property and debts, and allocate parental responsibilities and parenting time in a manner that is in the best interests of the children. (The court may also consider other issues, such as the necessity of spousal maintenance or child support.) A divorce attorney can advise West Dundee spouses on how a court is likely to view certain issues.

As stated above, the task of legally ending the marital relationship between the parties can be simple. Assuming that one or both spouses have resided in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days (residency is required in order to establish jurisdiction), all that the court needs to do is enter a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that it is not in the family’s best interest that the marital relationship continue. Deciding other issues can be a much more complex task, though.

In dividing property and debts, the court must first decide which assets and liabilities are “marital” and which are not. Generally, “marital property” and “marital debts” are items of property and debts that were acquired after the parties’ marriage. However, there are some circumstances in which this may not be true, and a West Dundee divorce attorney can explain the exceptions. For example, property that is acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage is usually deemed “non-marital,” as is income derived from such property. Once property has been sorted into marital and non-marital, the court must make an equitable distribution of marital property and marital debt. Illinois is not a community property state, so “equitable” does not always mean “equal.”

Discuss Your Circumstances With a Family Law Attorney

Another complex issue in a divorce is the allocation of parental responsibilities – that is, the determination of which parent will be responsible for making certain decisions regarding a child’s education, health care, religious upbringing, and other matters. Parenting time and child support are also issues upon which reaching an agreement can be difficult. If you are contemplating filing for a divorce, or if you are already divorced and believe that a modification of a prior decree is warranted based on a change in circumstances, Kollias & Giese, P.C. can help. You can reach us for an appointment with a divorce lawyer in the West Dundee area by calling 630-407-1200 or contacting us online.