Attorney Elgin IL – Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – 2155 Point Boulevard Suite 220 – Call 847-628-8311
Welcome to the Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo. Our practice areas include family law, guardianship, elder law litigation and probate litigation.
The practice of family law covers a wide range of disputes that the judicial system handles including divorce, child custody and spousal support. If you are considering divorce, it’s in your best interests to hire an Attorney Elgin IL to represent you and protect your rights to obtain the most favorable outcome for you. Read on to learn more about how divorce works in the state of Illinois:
What is a “no fault” divorce?
A no fault divorce in the state of Illinois is basically when the spouse initiating the divorce doesn’t need to demonstrate that the other has done something improper. To obtain a divorce on these grounds, all that’s required is one spouse must state a reason the state recognizes.
Those reasons include, for example, adultery, bigamy, abandonment for a minimum of one year, abuse of alcohol or addiction to drugs for two years, recurring physical abuse or mental cruelty.
To file papers to obtain a no-fault divorce in our state, one of the spouses must have been a resident for a minimum of 90 days. For answers to any questions about no fault, talk with an Attorney Elgin IL at 847-628-8311.
What is a “fault” divorce?
A fault divorce can be granted when the grounds are there and one spouse is seeking those grounds for their divorce. Standard grounds for fault include infliction of emotional or physical pain, adultery, and desertion for a certain length of time.
It’s helpful to note that courts in Illinois do not take into account fault when determining division of property among the spouses. (Ask your Attorney Elgin IL for more information on this.) Or, when determining amount of alimony.
Fault may be a factor, however, when the court considers child custody and child visitation issues. An experienced Attorney Elgin IL will advise you on how to proceed in a fault divorce.
Attorney Elgin IL – What are the most common issues between spouses in a divorce?
Typically, the main issues that must be resolved in divorces are division of property, custody and visitation of children, child support and payment of alimony. (Alimony is also referred to as spousal support or maintenance.)
With the guidance of their Attorney Elgin IL, spouses can decide on an agreement that resolves some or even all of the issues in their case. The agreement must receive approval by the court, especially if it’s regarding child custody or child support payments.
When spouses are not able to come to an agreement on any of these issues, their Attorney Elgin IL presents their arguments to a judge who will then settle the matters for them according to Illinois law.
If you are contemplating ending your marriage, it’s essential to speak with an Attorney Elgin IL who will look out for your interests. Call the Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo for a free consultation today at 847-628-8311.
An Overview of the Divorce Process in Illinois
In Illinois, we can view the divorce process in three phases: temporary, discovery and resolution.
The Temporary Phase
This phase of the process is intended to give some temporary stability. Typically, this phase is managed through each spouse’s Attorney Elgin IL.
On occasion, cases will need to be resolved at a court hearing. In this instance, a court order binds each party until a final judgment is attained, the court dismisses the case or the parties reach a settlement.
The objective of the temporary phase is to remedy any immediate problems that a family may be experiencing. In a domestic violence case, for instance, seeking a restraining order against the offender would be a form of temporary stabilization.
The Discovery Phase
This phase in a divorce procedure entails identifying the issues at hand. This would include assets, debts, children and property shared by the spouses. If little is in dispute as to these matters, some couples may decide to waive discovery.
In a lot of cases, however, a spouse may want to verify that the estimate supplied by the other spouse is accurate. This would require a formal discovery, in which the Attorney Elgin IL requests financial statements and related paperwork.
Also, the discovery phase is when parents identify what type of child custody arrangements they are seeking. If parents are in disagreement over custody issues, mediation is often the next step. In mediation, your Attorney Elgin IL can communicate with the other side to help resolve matters of dispute.
The Resolution Phase
This is the phase when Attorney Elgin IL are able to help their clients settle their case. While each divorce case has unique elements to it, many cases can reach a settlement. It becomes unreasonable and not very practical for spouses to continue arguing over minor issues.
Additionally, when a divorce reaches this stage it has been underway for at least three months. The experience can be somewhat trying and getting to a settlement is generally in the interest of all parties. When a settlement is attained, documents are prepared and then signed by both spouses and a brief hearing is then held before a judge.
This hearing is held to allow the judge to hear the circumstances and settlement terms. In the rare case that the judge views the settlement as unfair, then the judge can choose to reject the settlement.
Talk to an Attorney Elgin IL if you are considering divorce at 847-628-8311
Below you’ll find some helpful FAQs about divorce and issues relating to divorce like alimony, child custody and child support in the state of Illinois:
-How long does it take to get a divorce? Like a lot of legal matters, this depends on the issues that are at stake and the degree to which both parties disagree. Generally, the greater the disagreements between the parties means the longer the case will take to resolve.
Typically in the state of Illinois, it will take around one month to finish the paper work and to set the final court date. If a divorce case cannot be resolved and must go to trial, it will typically take at least one year to complete. Your Attorney Elgin IL will keep you updated as your case proceeds.
-Does it make a difference who files for divorce first? It doesn’t usually matter who files first. The person who files the case is referred to as the Plaintiff and the other party is the Defendant.
-What if one spouse does not want a divorce? Though Illinois state law permits a spouse to legally contest the grounds for a divorce, typically it is not possible to try and stop a divorce.
-Is it okay to start dating during ongoing divorce proceedings? There is no legal issue with dating while a case is pending. From a practical standpoint, though, if you begin a new relationship it can risk exacerbating the situation with your spouse and make them less agreeable.
Also, by exposing children to your new relationship it may cause confusion and, as a result, this could play a part in custody decisions.
-What are the differences between joint and sole custody? With joint custody, each parent maintains an equal input regarding decisions that affect their children. Major decisions are generally viewed as those that impact educational, healthcare and religious matters.
Children still typically reside with one parent primarily, with that parent known as the residential custodian. In sole custody, one parent makes the decisions on matters affecting the children.
-How do courts determine child support payments? Amount of child support payments are based upon the number of children resulting from the marriage. According to state law, there are set minimum guidelines regarding payment of child support that are based on a percentage of the paying parent’s net income.
The Illinois guidelines are one child is 20 percent of the payer’s net income; two children are 25 percent; three children are 32 percent; four children are 40 percent; five or more children are 50 percent of the paying spouse’s net income.
Along with child support, courts will often determine that a child support-paying parent must pay 50 percent of day care costs incurred by the main custodial parent in relation to their employment or education.
-Does one spouse have to pay the other’s legal fees? The law doesn’t require one spouse to be automatically accountable for the other spouse’s Attorney Elgin IL fees. If one spouse possesses the majority of the available resources, the court is required to direct that spouse to assist the financially dependent spouse with legal fees and court costs.
The financially dependent spouse must demonstrate that they are unable pay the costs solely with their own resources.
-How do I decide on the grounds for my divorce? The grounds of irreconcilable differences are on a no fault basis and basically mean the marriage is broken down as a result. To apply these grounds, the spouses must live separately for at least six months.
They must also agree to waive a two year waiting period. If one of the spouses doesn’t agree to the waiting period, the plaintiff can still move ahead after two years on the basis of irreconcilable differences even without the other spouse’s consent.
For a divorce based upon fault, common grounds may include mental or physical cruelty, prolonged drug or alcohol abuse, adultery and irreconcilable differences.
The grounds alleged in a divorce will generally not influence distribution of property or child custody unless behavior alleged in the grounds directly impacts the children.
-Is it okay for one spouse to move the children out of state? In Illinois the law does not permit minor children to permanently leave the state without consent from the court. Vacations in which children leave the state, however, are allowable without a specific court order as long as the other spouse is notified.
-After filing a petition for divorce, when can a spouse obtain child support or child visitation? Generally, courts have the jurisdiction to give temporary orders during a pending divorce case. Basically, as soon as a case begins, one of the spouses can request that the judge grants temporary child support or child visitation terms.
-What are the terms of a legal separation? A legal separation is a court proceeding in which the court grants a decree that legally separates the parties. It is a procedure similar to the beginning of a divorce and entails the filing of a petition.
The proceeding may only be filed by the spouse who has not yet vacated the marital residence. Legal separations are relatively uncommon. Typically, good candidates for legal separation are trying to safeguard their assets from the other spouse’s creditors. This is usually because after a legal separation is granted, bills and expenses incurred by one spouse aren’t the responsibility of the other.
-What if one spouse wrongfully takes money from the other spouse during a divorce proceeding?
If one party improperly takes money or sells assets during a divorce case, the court can take that into consideration when dividing the shared property. Illinois law views that when one of the parties takes money or assets for their own benefit rather than for the benefit of the family to be a dissipation of assets.
At the completion of the divorce, the court can give credit to the other party relative to the amount of the money that was allegedly taken.
Typically though, efforts should be made to assure that one of the spouses doesn’t improperly use their finances. While a divorce case is ongoing, the court can issue an order called a preliminary injunction. It’s an order that prohibits the improper use of resources by either spouse as a case is ongoing.
Additionally, bank accounts may be divided at the start of the case to assure one of the spouses doesn’t have access to all of the finances while excluding the other spouse.
-What happens if one spouse changes their mind after a petition for divorce has been filed? It is not uncommon for people to change their mind after filing for a divorce. In the event one of the parties decides to reconcile on a temporary basis, it can be done without dismissing the ongoing divorce proceedings.
*Divorcing? Protect Your Rights – Talk to an Attorney Elgin IL – 847-628-8311
Whether you are starting the process yourself or you’re responding to a divorce filing against you, it’s critical to gain an understanding of your rights. Having legal expertise on your side is a big part of easing the distress and emotional pain that are commonly part of going through a divorce.
When you’re aware of what is going to happen as you move through the proceedings, the stress of ending marriage becomes much more manageable. Our Attorney Elgin IL helps clients cope with each aspect of divorce such as child custody, division of property and allocating parental responsibilities.
Not surprisingly, the process can become more complex when one of the spouses chooses to contest the divorce. Our law firm has a successful track record in representing our clients in such cases. With an experienced Attorney Elgin IL at your side, you’ll understand your rights and be able to make decisions that are right for you on matters like:
-Child custody and parenting schedules.
-Division of debt and property.
-How your divorce will impact your estate planning.
Get more answers to your questions about divorce and how you should proceed by consulting with an Attorney Elgin IL at 847-628-8311.
Law Offices of Anthony R. Scifo – Elder Law Litigation – Probate Litigation Attorney Elgin IL
Whether on account of neglect or deliberate mismanagement, the improper handling of an estate’s assets is a serious matter. It’s recommended to retain an Attorney Elgin IL who specializes in practice areas like probate law and probate litigation.
If the estate in question is owned by an elderly or disabled person, getting an Attorney Elgin IL with expertise in elder law litigation and who fights against financial exploitation is essential.
Our firm’s Attorney Elgin IL thoroughly examines all aspects of an asset recovery case and takes decisive action to get the very best possible outcomes for our valued clients.
Talk to an Asset Recovery Attorney Elgin IL at 847-628-8311
Unless there are appropriate safeguards in place, bad management of someone’s assets isn’t necessarily obvious right away. In some instances, poor asset management is identified only after the estate owner has passed on.
As an asset recovery Attorney Elgin IL, Anthony R. Scifo is able to take action for your loved one by employing established strategies such as issuing a citation to recover or discover assets. This procedure enables us to:
-Locate and account for all the assets included in an estate.
-Examine all applicable documents.
-Communicate with finance experts familiar with the estate.
-Set up measures that will protect against additional removal of assets from the estate.
If you suspect deceptive estate dealings are taking place, it’s always best to contact an experienced Attorney Elgin IL as soon as you can.