Divorce & Family LawPractice Area
Our Practice Specializes In Cases Involving Divorce, Family Law.
At SpyratosDavis LLC, we strive to find cooperative solutions to family law disputes that do not sacrifice the future relationships of the parties involved.
We offer reasoned counsel, practical recommendations, and affordable legal services.
We represent clients through both simple and complex divorce proceedings, and we handle child custody and child support cases, alimony or maintenance, visitation and parenting agreements, prenuptial agreements, and work to obtain restraining orders for clients who are victims of domestic violence or abuse.
At SpyratosDavis LLC, we pledge to be your champion. Our team provides experienced, results-oriented legal representation for our clients. From Illinois offices in Lisle and Chicago, we handle a wide range of legal services for individuals and large and small businesses throughout Northern Illinois.
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Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning one does not need to prove that one party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
However, to obtain a divorce, one must file a dissolution of marriage action in the appropriate court and either have a trial or reach a divorce agreement.
Because Illinois recognizes same-sex marriages, it also recognizes same-sex divorces.
Grounds for Divorce
While Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, depending on the situation, an individual can request a divorce for grounds such as fraud in the marriage, adultery, one spouse still married to a previous spouse, abandonment of the family, and extreme mentally or physical cruelty or abuse.
Grounds are not typically important but can be when one spouse refuses to participate in the divorce.
An attorney can help you determine the best grounds for you in your situation.
Petition for Divorce
The petition for divorce or for enforcement of a divorce agreement is the initial court document filed to start the court case.
It explains the reasons for the divorce and the requests for the final outcome of the divorce.
The petition must be properly served on the other party before the case can properly begin and the divorce can be valid.
An attorney can assist in making sure that your spouse is properly served so that the divorce is valid.
Custody and Parenting Time
Custody and parenting time are the amount of scheduled time each party has to spend with the child(ren), and which party has input to make important decisions regarding the child(ren).
We will give you an overview of the various types of child custody and consider the pros and cons of each: physical custody, legal custody, sole custody, and joint custody arrangements.
Custody and parenting time can vary greatly depending on the circumstances in each case.
Child support is the amount of money one or both parties pay for the costs and expenses of the child(ren).
Child support is paid until the children graduate high school or reach the age of 18.
Although there is a formula for calculating support, it can vary depending on the circumstances of the parties.
The Illinois laws regarding calculating support will changed in the summer of 2017.
Alimony or Maintenance
Alimony can be awarded to a spouse based on the income of each party, the lifestyle and debts of the parties from the marriage, and the length of the marriage.
The need and amount can vary greatly depending on the individual circumstances.
We can assist you in determining if alimony is appropriate, the amount to be awarded, and the alternatives to alimony that may be available based on your circumstances.
Jurisdiction and Venue
Jurisdiction is the power the court has to make decisions and rule on the divorce or family law issues brought by the parties involved.
The divorce case must be brought before the proper state court. If the parties have lived or are currently living in different states, then multiple states may have jurisdiction over a divorce case.
Venue is making sure that the divorce case is brought before the proper county court. A divorce or family law case can be filed in the county where either party or any of the children involved live.
Our firm is available for and experienced in handling family law matters in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will counties.
We also have experience in enforcing and implementing rulings on divorce cases from other states or countries in Illinois courts.
Our office can help you determine the best jurisdiction and venue for your case.
Trial or Agreement
Spouses usually want to reach a settlement agreement in family law matters since it is usually less expensive, leaving the spouses with assets to start over after the divorce.
Reaching an agreement is also beneficial because it allows more party input on the final divorce terms.
We will work hard to help you reach the best agreement for your situation.
In a trial, the court, not the parties, decides the outcome.
When the issues are such that an agreement cannot be reached or the parties cannot compromise, a trial may be the only option.
If a trial is needed, we have the experience to try your case.
Judgment is the final court order ruling on the divorce or family law action.
It explains the rules to be followed by the parties moving forward.
It will set forth the details of the divorce, the payments of support and maintenance, the custody and parenting time, and the division of all debt and assets.
Non-Marital Debt and Property
Non-marital debt and property is typically the debt and property that was obtained before the parties were married.
It is not usually divided in the divorce unless, during the marriage, the parties agreed to share the debt and property.
However, the court needs to determine that the non-marital debt and property is not being divided in the divorce.
Family law and divorce cases can involve other issues such as the following: drafting and enforcing prenuptial agreements, allowing the children to move out of state with one of the parents, dividing property in other states, enforcing parental rights regarding non-biological/adopted children, adjusting child support and maintenance as one party’s income changes, and determining parental responsibility for college tuition.
Illinois is a No Fault State
You do not need a reason to get divorced in Illinois.
All that is required is one spouse willing to proceed with a divorce.
The other spouse does not even need to agree to the divorce.
Child Support Law Changes
The child support calculation laws in Illinois are changing as of July of 2017.
In cases where the parties have shared parenting, the new laws will allow child support calculations to take into consideration the amount of parenting time that the parents have with the child(ren).
Also, each parent’s income will be used in calculating the amount of child support to be paid.
Spousal Maintenance / Support
Illinois law permits awarding spousal support or maintenance but typically limits the awards in duration and amount, recognizing that most spouses have the ability to obtain meaningful employment after a divorce.
Spousal support should be used to make sure both parties have financial support after a divorce and should not be used as a punishment.
Same Sex Couple Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Rights in Illinois
In Illinois, most of the legal rights of marriage and divorce afforded to an opposite-sex couple are also extended to a same-sex couple.
It does not matter if the marriage occurred in Illinois or outside of Illinois.
Child Support Between Unmarried Couples
Illinois law will award child support to the custodial parent of a child even if the parents of the child were never married.
The Court will also award parenting rights and parenting responsibilities to the parents if they are unable to reach an agreement regarding the parenting of the child, despite the parties having never been married.
Child support and parenting rights of a child do not extend only to married couples.
Prenuptial agreements are recognized in Illinois and are useful for the parties to protect their pre-marriage assets in the event of a divorce.
They especially help to protect businesses the parties may have owned before their marriage from divorce litigation.
They can also give the parties certainty in their rights should a divorce occur.
However, prenuptial agreements must be in writing and must be carefully prepared so that they are enforceable and the Courts will uphold them long after the agreements were signed.
Illinois Does not Recognize Common Law Marriage
Illinois does not recognize common law marriages, marriages where the parties have not been officially married but live together and hold themselves out as a married couple.
Parties must be legally married in order to receive marriage and divorce rights in Illinois.
However, if one party mistakenly believes that the parties were legally married and wishes to be divorced, they may have some divorce rights under Illinois law.