Chicago Divorce Attorney and Family Law Lawyer
Serving Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties
Andrew J. Harger is a family law attorney with the experience and expertise necessary to handle all aspects of any family law issue.
Under Illinois law, a divorce is referred to as a "dissolution of marriage." In general, there are four main issues to be resolved in a marital dissolution: dividing community property; identifying separate property; determining child custody and visitation; and calculating child and spousal support. There can also be a number of sub-issues depending upon the nature of the case. Having an expert divorce attorney to help navigate these issues is crucial.
Custody & Visitation
There are two considerations in determining custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parent’s rights and responsibilities to make decisions concerning their child’s healthcare, education and welfare. Physical custody refers to the primary residence of the child. A parent may have sole legal and sole physical custody of their minor child or they may have joint legal and joint physical custody of their child with the other parent. An expert divorce attorney is crucial to obtaining the best possible results in a a case involving issues of custody and visitation.
A legal separation refers to the division of community property and the determination of custody and support issues without the termination of the marital status. Unlike a marital dissolution, parties that seek a legal separation are not returned to the status of single persons; the parties are still legally married but without the legal rights and responsibilities that come with the marital status. Anyone considering a legal separation should consult a divorce lawyer in order to understand the consequences.
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement made between two spouses before their marriage that sets out how the parties will handle their assets, debts and living expenses in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement provides a financial roadmap that protects separate property and assets. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement by an expert divorce attorney can protect these assets and opportunities.
Parents have a legal obligation to support their minor children. The factors that influence the amount of child support include each party's respective income and assets. A divorce attorney must provide correct financial data calculations to the court in order to obtain the best possible results when determining child support obligations.
In Illinois, spousal support called "maintenance" (previously referred to as "alimony") is ordered for the support of one spouse by the other. The amount and length is determined by a number of factors set forth in statutes and case law.
More than any other area of legal practice, a family law case often involves many other areas of law that become part of the family law case. These areas include real estate, estate planning, wealth management, education, criminal defense, general civil practice and so on. It is important to find a divorce lawyer that can guide you through all aspects of your family law case rather than just one phase of it.