A divorce is rarely easy. When children are involved, even an amicable divorce can take a turn for the worse. When property is involved, it is important to take action to ensure that your future interests are taken care of. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, your divorce or family law matter can be handled in such a way as to benefit your current and future interests as well as those of your family.
At The Gil Law Group, our team is comprised of award-winning, skilled, dedicated and hardworking divorce and family law professionals. As such, our goal is to educate, negotiate, mediate or litigate to the best interests of our clients. Our legal team has years of collective experience in trying divorce and parenting time cases throughout the Chicagoland area. Our expertise and our commitment to our clients have made us one of the leading divorce and parental responsibility law firms in the Chicagoland area today. When you work with a lawyer at our firm, you have the backing of our entire team in helping you achieve a favorable result in your family law issue.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
The terms “custody” and “visitation” no longer exist in the State of Illinois due to recent changes in the law effective January 1, 2016. Instead, now the courts must decide the allocation of parental responsibilities, this means parents will be responsible for significant decision-making responsibilities in the areas of: education, religion, health, and extracurricular activities; and how much parenting time each parent should spend with the child.
One parent must be designated the parent with the majority parenting time, but that does not mean that person is in charge of making all of the decisions in the child’s lives. How does the court determine who should make the major decisions in the child’s life? They must determine what is in the child’s best interests.
Best Interests of the Child (750 ILCS 5/602.5)
In determining the child's best interests for purposes of allocating significant decision-making responsibilities, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, without limitation, the following:
(1) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child's maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to decision-making;
(2) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
(3) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(4) the ability of the parents to cooperate to make decisions, or the level of conflict between the parties that may affect their ability to share decision-making;
(5) the level of each parent's participation in past significant decision-making with respect to the child;
(6) any prior agreement or course of conduct between the parents relating to decision-making with respect to the child;
(7) the wishes of the parents;
(8) the child's needs;
(9) the distance between the parents' residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, each parent's and the child's daily schedules, and the ability of the parents to cooperate in the arrangement;
(10) whether a restriction on decision-making is appropriate under Section 603.10;
(11) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child;
(12) the physical violence or threat of physical violence by the child's parent directed against the child;
(13) the occurrence of abuse against the child or other member of the child's household;
(14) whether one of the parents is a sex offender, and if so, the exact nature of the offense and what, if any, treatment in which the parent has successfully participated; and
(15) any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant.
To establish a child support order in Illinois, the amount of child support is considered for the order depends on the non-residential parent's net income and the number of children for which he or she is responsible. The chart below represents the minimum of what may be ordered according to the Illinois Statutory Guidelines.
Statutory Guidelines of Child Support
The guidelines in the chart are applied to each case unless the court makes a finding that the amount determined in the guidelines would be inappropriate after considering the best interests of the child. Relevant factors for deviations may include but are not limited to:
The financial resources and needs of the child(ren);
The financial resources and needs of the residential parent;
Standard of living the child(ren) would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved, the separation not occurred, or if the parties had married;
The physical and emotional condition of the child(ren) and their educational needs; and
The financial resources and needs of the non-residential parent.
Net income is the total of all income from all sources, minus the following deductions:
Federal income tax;
State income tax;
Social Security (FICA);
Mandatory retirement contributions;
Dependent and individual health/hospitalization insurance premiums;
Prior obligations of support or maintenance actually paid pursuant to a court order or administrative order;
Expenses to repay debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income;
Medical expenses necessary to preserve life or health; and
Reasonable expenses for the benefit of the child and the other parent, exclusive of gifts.
If net income cannot be determined, the court shall order support in an amount considered reasonable in the particular case.
Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing the process are quite complex. Working with an expert in adoption law will help ensure that your adoption proceeds smoothly. Our attorneys will:
Provide an unbiased explanation of adoption procedures and develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs;
Explain your rights and the adoption laws in Illinois;
Assess the risks involved, including what costs are permissible and ensuring that birth parents' rights are legally terminated before placement is finalized;
Review and negotiate adoption agency contracts to ensure your interests are served;
Clarify you options for post-placement arrangements, if any, with birth parents and draft or review an agreement to ensure your interests and those of the child are served.
Order of Protection
It is against Illinois' laws for a household or family member to beat, harass or intimidate you. Most abusers become more violent over time, and beatings tend to become more frequent and severe. If you are experiencing abusive behavior, an order of protection is an important tool that can help provide safety for you and your children. You can also ask for an order of protection for an elderly person or someone who is unable because of a disability to ask for one themselves.
An order of protection is a written court order, signed by a judge, which requires an abusive household or family member to do or not do certain things. The order can:
order an abuser to not abuse, harass or stalk you, your children, and certain other people;
order an abuser to leave and not enter your home for a certain period of time;
order an abuser to return certain property to you and prohibit the abuser from destroying your property;
order an abuser into counseling; and
order protection for your children.