Family Law, Matrimonial Law, and Divorce

Family Law is a broad category that is not necessarily dependent upon a marriage or civil unions.

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. For example, paternity, adoption, juvenile abuse or neglect, domestic violence proceedings, as well as custody/visitation controversies involving non parents (i.e. grandparents or siblings) fall into Family Law in addition to divorce/dissolution of marriage. Matrimonial Law is more specialized and relates to controversies that arise out of the marital type of relationship. With civil unions being legalized in Illinois, their dissolution is governed by the Dissolution of Marriage Act as well. Ironically, that would now be part of Matrimonial Law. This term is also not restricted to dissolution of marriage or a civil union, but would also encompass, for example, legal separation, a declaration of invalidity (formerly annulment), pre- and post-marriage or civil union agreements, the modification of judgments, the enforcement of judgments, and the like.

Divorce (in Illinois referred to as Dissolution of Marriage) is essentially the same as matrimonial law. Matrimonial law is a more modern term used instead of divorce law, and is considered as part of the trend to make dissolutions of marriage less hostile.

Schiller DuCanto & Fleck is preeminent among Chicago family law firms in providing skilled and sensitive services to clients in all three of these areas. With three convenient office locations, our Chicago divorce attorneys have the experience and knowledge to handle your divorce proceedings with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity.

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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.

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.

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.

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