Helping Chicago-Area Residents Navigate Divorce
Chicago Divorce Attorney
Divorce attorney with offices in Chicago and Northbrook provides savvy guidance and vigorous representation
Sometimes people just aren’t compatible or things just don’t work out. That’s why Illinois lets you file for divorce based on specific grounds, but also permits “no fault” divorce — you know that all-encompassing phrase, “irreconcilable differences”? The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. helps Chicago area residents navigate the concepts and technicalities of divorce and ensure their position is heard on such critical issues as allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, spousal maintenance, parenting rights and the division of marital assets.
Divorce is not difficult to pursue
The grounds for filing a divorce in Illinois are very simple. According to state law, there is only one reason or ground for divorce, and the ground is simply irreconcilable differences. This means that it does not matter if you are seeking a divorce based on, adultery, cruelty, or desertion. All divorces will fall under irreconcilable differences.
How much does divorce cost? Typically there are attorney fees and court fees, mediator fees or arbitrator fees. But the biggest costs are household-centric — spousal maintenance, which is Illinois’ legal term for alimony, and child support need to be worked out, as must the division of marital property. Child support won’t be determined until allocation of parental responsibilities is determined. While an order to pay alimony and child support may be set, the amount of those payments can be adjusted post-divorce should financial circumstances change for either spouse or the child.
Allocation of parental responsibilities
In determining allocation of parental responsibilities, the court aims to meet the best interests of the child and weighs several factors. These considerations include the child’s current relationship with each parent, the physical and mental health of the child and each parent, whether there is a history of domestic violence, and the wishes of the child.
After the new divorce act became effective on January 1, 2016, Illinois Courts now have the authority to divide parenting responsibilities between both parents.
Once allocation of parental responsibilities has been established, the court will go about determining how much child support one spouse will need to pay to the other. There is a formula the courts observe; however judges have discretion to modify this formula. A judge will have discretion after considering several key factors, including the parents’ financial resources and the child’s:
- Likely standard of living were the parents to have remained married
- Emotional and physical health
- Education needs
While the court is considering your children’s best interests, The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman represents your best interests in ensuring the balance of obligations and entitlements between you and your divorcing partner is determined fairly.
The division of marital property can be simple or involved. For one, it includes not just assets but debt. For another, it is to be divided equitably, which does necessarily mean equally. The court considers not only each spouse’s past earnings, lifestyle and earnings potential, but also how much each contributes to rearing the children, right down to who feeds and dresses the children and takes them to soccer practice, and to mowing the yard and making repairs about the home.
Assets and debts brought into the marriage and gifts and inheritances received during the marriage are excluded from the division process. But all other assets and debts are considered marital property and, thus, fair game. The court may decide to award the martial residence to the home in which the child resides; this decision is predominantly made in the child’s best interest. The process of dividing assets can become particularly complicated when real estate, business and investment assets, such as stock and mutual fund shares held in retirement funds, are part of the mix. Our background in tax law proves helpful in anticipating the tax and other financial ramifications of complex property division, often generating solutions that minimize tax dilution and leave more assets on the table, potentially for both parties.
Let us help you get a divorce that is complete and final
The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. believes divorce is meant to correct an error, not give rise to new ones. To see how you can get a divorce that anticipates if not precludes problems that could occur down the road, call us at 847.897.5288 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We maintain conveniently located offices in Northbrook and the Chicago Loop.