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Anderson and Associates, P.C.

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708-226-9904

Orland Park divorce lawyer

Frequently, legal blogs provide a concentrated look at the parts and pieces that make up a divorce. They explain each area in-depth and look at the finer details of the different aspects of divorce. However, it is also important to take more of a bird’s-eye view at the divorce process to understand how it plays out as a whole. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is always the first step you should take. Not only can an attorney give you a better idea of what the road ahead of you looks like, but he or she can provide an outside perspective on your case while advocating on your behalf.

Filing a Petition

As with any legal process, the court must be notified of the impending legal action. A person who wishes to get a divorce must file a petition. The state of Illinois does not have a waiting period to file a petition, but at least one of the spouses must legally reside in the state on the day of the filing. In order for an Illinois judge to grant the divorce, one spouse must have legally resided in Illinois for 90 days before the judgment.

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Oak Forest child support lawyer

When parents get a divorce, they will both continue to be responsible for providing for their child financially. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act includes regulations about when and how child support must be implemented into a custody arrangement. Most often, the noncustodial parent will be legally obligated to pay the custodial parent a particular amount. However, depending on several factors, including if parents share equal or near-equal amounts of parenting time, this may not always be the case. By working with an attorney, you can ensure that all the relevant factors are taken into account when calculating child support obligations.

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Child Support?

The amount of child support that a parent has to pay is based on a formula laid out in state law. This formula determines a Basic Support Obligation that is based on the number of children and the income earned by both parents. Each parent will contribute a percentage of this obligation, depending on the amount they contribute toward their combined income and, in some cases, the number of overnights the children spend with each parent every year.

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Orland Park divorce lawyers

Divorce is stressful and it is rare that anyone walks away financially unscathed. Splitting up means leaving a combined household and having to set up two different homes and lives. It also means assets and debts will be divided, and despite the best efforts of the court, individuals often feel shortchanged. However, there are some steps a person can take in order to take less of a financial hit in a divorce. 

Know Your Assets and Debts (And Your Spouse’s)

Not every husband or wife is totally honest about what they own or what they owe. If you are faced with divorce, one of the first things to do is account for all bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, insurance policies, etc. that your spouse has. You also need to know where you stand on debt, like credit cards, taxes, and medical bills. One way to go about finding any hidden items is by getting a copy of your spouse’s credit report. If there is anything you do not recognize, you will need to dig deeper, perhaps with the help of a forensic accountant.

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Oak Forest family law attorney guardian ad litemA Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is a legally appointed attorney who is assigned by a judge in child custody cases at the request of one parent or the other (or their attorney). The GAL is supposed to act as the legal representative of the child or children. They are in a position to spend time interviewing the parents, children, and other parties involved in the case, and they will then report directly back to the judge.

Should I Request a GAL?

While you may feel that your children will be better off with a GAL involved in your case, you must understand that the GAL is not supposed to act as an advocate for either parent, and they will focus instead on the children’s needs. They are tasked with legally determining the best interests of the child. Even though you and the GAL both have your child’s best interests at heart, there may be many negatives to involving a GAL in your case.

If you are financially unstable, for example, a GAL may see that as a sign that you may have trouble providing for your children. If you report concerns to him or her that are unfounded, then the GAL may see you as overly emotional and/or acting out of anger rather than out of care for your children. The GAL may be focused on pursuing specific information that he or she knows the judge will want to know, rather than listening to the issues that you feel are important.

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Tinley Park divorce and pets lawyerIn the not-so-distant past, many people would have laughed at the idea of a pet’s custody being decided in court as part of a divorce settlement. However, last year, Illinois was the second state to pass a law stating that pet custody can indeed be determined in court, based on what the judge feels is best for the pet. Rather than still treating the pets as property, like an inanimate object or financial asset, your family pet may now be the subject of a custody case.

Proving You Are the Superior Pet Parent

Much like in a child custody agreement, judges will now have the authority and responsibility to consider the best living situation for the pets in a divorce case. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is ready to fight for custody, you will need to be prepared to prove your worth as a pet owner. Questions such as who took the animal to the vet, who typically cares for the pet, who has the better-suited home for the pet, and more may be considered. You will want to gather evidence, as you would with any other contested part of your divorce, to prove that you are the better pet parent or that the other party cannot give your animal friend the life that he or she deserves.

Coming to an Agreement

In some cases, divorced spouses may end up having to split custody, just like they would with children. In these cases, it is also a good idea to reach a legal agreement ahead of time about who will pay for vet bills and make decisions about veterinary care, where the pet will stay when either or both spouses will be traveling, etc.

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Orland Park, IL 60462
708-226-9904
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Schaumburg, IL 60173
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Wheaton, Illinois 60187
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