Family Law, Matrimonial Law, and Divorce

The terms “Family Law,” “Matrimonial Law,” and “Divorce” are sometimes used interchangeably; however, they are different. Family Law is a broad category that is not necessarily dependent upon a marriage or civil unions.

Appeals

No matter how thorough the trial preparation and how skilled the Illinois divorce lawyer, at times a party in a high-stakes case is dissatisfied with the results and wants to appeal. Trial judges are not perfect and can make mistakes; at other times, one of the parties refuses to accept the trial court’s final decision.

Child Support

Who has custody of the child or children is an important issue in every case, but just as important is assuring the necessary financial resources to be able to maintain a child’s standard of living now and into the future. The law recognizes this obligation and provides for child support to be paid by one parent to the other.

LGBTQ Representation

Marriages: Thanks to the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges decided in 2015 marriage is no longer limited to heterosexuals. This expands the same rights and responsibilities to the LGBTQ community concerning marriage and divorce as those of heterosexual marriage.

Collaborative Divorce

Can serious marital conflict be resolved without the time and expense of litigation? Yes—divorce need not be a battleground. The end of a marriage or resolution of family conflict is painful enough. 

Parental Responsibilities and Visitation

Children are the precious product of a marriage, so parenting issues are the most emotionally draining issues that arise when marriages fail. Spouses may divorce each other, but they do not divorce their children.

Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act seeks to prevent repeated physical abuse and harassment among family, household members and disabled adults.

Trial Court Litigation

We help clients prioritize their goals, go over all the possible approaches available, and help clients assess which approach will both advance the case and motivate the other party to settle.

Maintenance / Alimony

Maintenance, or spousal support, is a payment that one spouse can be ordered to make to the other spouse in order to provide support to a spouse who is not capable of supporting him or herself in the marital lifestyle after the marriage ends.

Marital Settlement Agreements and Separation Agreements

Marital Settlement Agreements are agreements incident to a dissolution of marriage. A Separation Agreement is an agreement between parties who remain married but are no longer living together who want to define their legal obligations and responsibilities to each other.

Mediation

Mediation is a process in which divorcing couples meet with a trained mediator to explore ways to resolve family disputes with a voluntary agreement. Mediators do not represent either party.

Negotiated Settlements

The best result in any family law matter is a negotiated settlement. Divorce is a unique type of adversarial proceeding in that often the parties must deal with each other for many years following the dissolution of their marriage, especially if they have children.

Parentage / Paternity Cases

Having children outside of marriage has become an accepted alternative in today’s society. Indeed, more than half of births to American women under age thirty occur outside of marriage.

Post Divorce Disputes

Post-divorce disputes, commonly referred to as post-judgment or post-decree matters, include enforcement of divorce judgments and orders as well as modifications of those judgments. 

Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements

A Premarital Agreement, also commonly referred to as a Prenuptial or Antenuptial Agreement, is a legally binding contract, entered into by parties before their marriage, that defines what will happen when the marriage ends, either by dissolution or the death of one of the parties.

Property Division

Dividing property in a divorce is more complex than it may seem. First, careful study and research are necessary to be sure that all property is accounted for. 

Retirement Plans and Benefits

Many parties who contemplate divorce are surprised to learn that their retirement benefits comprise a large share of the couple’s joint assets. Nevertheless, retirement benefits have become among the largest assets to be addressed during the divorce process.

Sports and Entertainment Family Law

Representing professional athletes, media personalities and entertainers or their spouses has been an important part of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP’s history over the past 35 years.

Tax and Financial Planning in the Context of Divorce

Taxes and their impact touch almost every aspect of life; divorce is not excluded. Federal, state and local taxes must be considered in the divorce process.

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