Serving DuPage County Residents in Divorce and Family Law Matters
Ending a marriage can be stressful and daunting, even under the best of circumstances. The divorce process can be complicated, dividing assets and debts can be contentious, and the inevitable emotional and psychological impact makes it all the more difficult to move efficiently through the legal process.
Working with the right Downers Grover divorce attorney can make all the difference. When you’re fighting for your fair share of marital assets, spousal support you need to maintain your standard of living, or custody (technically called “allocation of parenting time”) of your minor children, you’ll want to work with a law firm that:
- Has extensive experience in handling complex and contested divorce cases
- Has the knowledge and resources to manage the financial aspects of the case
- Understands the personal and emotional impact of divorce and will work with you to achieve an outcome that gives you peace of mind as well as financial security
Attorney Steven N. Peskind and the team at the Peskind Law Firm understand that providing excellent service to divorce clients means more than just managing the legal process effectively. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring that each client is comfortable, has his or her specific concerns addressed, and is well prepared for the journey.
We even have a Certified Divorce Coach on staff to assist clients in developing realistic goals and plans for moving forward after divorce and a certified public accountant (CPA) to examine questionable financial records and help ensure that the court has accurate information about your spouse’s finances.
Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in DuPage County
Many people embarking on a divorce in or around Downers Grove have questions about:
- How property will be divided
- Who will be responsible for debts
- How retirement accounts will be shared
- Whether one spouse or the other may qualify for spousal support (commonly called “alimony” or “spousal maintenance”)
- How custody and visitation (technically called “allocation of parenting time” is determined
- How child support will be determined
While full answers to those questions require an understanding of your specific situation, this overview will provide a general idea of what to expect in a DuPage county divorce. Your divorce lawyer will be able to provide more detail after learning more about your marriage, living situation, assets, income, and existing involvement with your children.
How does the court make parenting time decisions?
Illinois law sets forth a list of factors the court should consider, which includes:
- Who has historically been responsible for caretaking and decision making
- The relationship the child has with each parent, siblings, and any others involved
- Whether each parent is willing and able to cooperate with the other in making decisions for the good of the children and coordinating parenting time
- Whether each parent is likely to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
- Health considerations of everyone involved
- Any history of or known potential for violence
- The children’s adjustment to home, community and school
The court also has the discretion to consider any other criteria that impact the best interests of the child or children.
How is property divided in an Illinois divorce case?
The standard for property division in Illinois is “equitable distribution.” In many cases, an equal division of assets will be deemed equitable. However, equitable doesn’t necessarily mean equal, and there are many reasons a court might find it fairer to divide assets unequally.
In making this determination, the court will consider factors such as:
- The duration of the marriage
- The contributions—whether economic or non-economic—of each party
- Whether either party has dissipated the marital estate
- Any spousal support awarded to either party
- The ability of each spouse to earn a living
- Time the minor children of the parties spend in each parent’s home
- Medical needs, health limitations, age, and other personal factors
One exception is the division of retirement accounts. Retirement accounts are typically subject to a 50/50 split, but only of funds accrued during the marriage. For example, if one spouse’s retirement account contains $100,000, but $60,000 of that balance was accrued prior to the marriage, then the other spouse will be entitled to 50% of the $40,000 accrued during the marriage.
How can I prove that my spouse has more income or assets than he or she is claiming?
Once a divorce case has been filed by either party, both parties have the option of conducting discovery. The discovery process is designed to allow each party to obtain documentation of information relevant to the divorce case, such as income, financial account balances, and more. This information is submitted under oath, and may in some cases be requested of third parties.
If, after receiving discovery materials, you still believe that your spouse has falsified records or not made a full disclosure, our law firm is prepared to conduct further investigation, including forensic analysis by our in-house CPA.
What is the impact of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement?
In most cases, the divorce court will be bound by the terms of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. However, there are exceptions. If the agreement is found to be invalid by its terms, or because one spouse entered into the agreement under duress, the court may set aside the agreement.
Even when the agreement is found to be valid and enforceable, Illinois law allows a divorce court to deviate from the terms of the agreement if enforcing the agreement will cause one spouse to suffer hardship due to circumstances not contemplated when the agreement was executed.
The Advantage of Working with a Full-Service Downers Grove Divorce Lawyer
When you’re going through a divorce, you are likely facing many decisions and transitions. The last thing you need is a struggle to untangle complicated legal procedures and financial issues. When you hire the Peskind Law Firm, we are prepared to manage every aspect of your divorce case, from assisting you in planning for the future to investigating your spouse’s finances and fighting for your rights in the courtroom.
Schedule a consultation right now to learn more about how we can help you move forward with confidence. Just call 630-444-0701.
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