Category Archives: Family Law

IL family lawyerLosing your job can drastically reduce your income. As a parent who provides child support, you may wonder if losing your job constitutes grounds to modify your existing support order. Here is what the law says about obtaining child support reductions after job loss and how an Illinois lawyer can help.

Demonstrating a Substantial Change in Circumstances

Under Illinois law, child support can only be modified if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” since the current support order. Losing your employment or having your hours or wages significantly reduced likely qualifies as a substantial change.

Be prepared to provide proper documentation like termination notices, payroll records, and unemployment determinations to prove your income reduction. The change in income must be large and lasting enough to justify a support modification.


IL divorce lawyerIf your child is in an unsafe situation with the other parent, you may need to file for emergency custody with an Illinois lawyer. Getting emergency or temporary custody allows you to protect your child while your permanent custody case proceeds. Here is how the emergency custody process works in Illinois:

File a Petition for Emergency Order

To request emergency custody in Illinois, you must file a “Petition for Temporary Emergency Custody” in court. The petition should detail reasons why the child is currently at risk of harm in their present environment. Examples include abuse, neglect, drug use in the home, or the child’s special medical needs not being met.

Meet the Standard for an Emergency Order

Illinois courts can only grant emergency custody orders when there is an urgent and immediate need. You will have to convince the judge your child is in danger of physical or emotional harm without the temporary order. Offering evidence like police reports, medical records, or school/counselor statements can help meet the emergency standard.


IL family lawyerWhen parents separate or divorce in Illinois, one of the most important issues to resolve is a parenting plan arrangement, also known as child custody. Negotiating agreements can be extremely emotional and challenging. However, there are steps you can take with an Illinois attorney to help achieve a fair outcome that prioritizes your child’s best interests.

Understand Illinois Parenting Plan Laws

The parenting plan laws are designed to promote the child’s welfare and best interests. Illinois uses the “best interests of the child” standard to determine custody. The court considers factors like the wishes of the parents and child, the child’s interactions with family, the child’s adjustment to home and school, and the mental and physical health of all parties. 

Courts typically order joint custody, unless there are reasons against it. Joint custody means parents share decision-making rights and parenting time. Taking time to understand these laws and factors will help you negotiate within the framework of Illinois guidelines.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce can be an extremely complicated and stressful process, especially when substantial marital assets are involved. Navigating the asset division process requires understanding complex financial matters, tax implications, and understanding how Illinois law handles high-net-worth divorces. Working with an Illinois lawyer can help with the process.

Classifying Assets as Marital or Non-Marital in Illinois

The first major task is identifying and classifying all assets as marital or non-marital. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), marital property includes any assets acquired or income earned during the marriage, as well as any appreciation in value of non-marital assets during the marriage. Non-marital assets that are exempt from equitable division include:

  • Assets owned prior to the marriage
  • Inheritances, gifts, or life insurance payouts acquired during the marriage (unless co-mingled with marital assets)
  • Assets specifically excluded by a prenuptial agreement
  • Compensation for personal injury during marriage

Proper classification is crucial, as only marital property will be divided in the divorce. Non-marital assets remain the separate property of the owning spouse. For high-net-worth couples, items like business investments, stock options, and real estate acquisitions can be especially tricky to categorize. Working with forensic accountants and financial experts is essential for properly valuing assets.


IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is never easy. On top of the emotional turmoil, there can also be complex legal processes to navigate, especially if you are dealing with alimony and spousal support. Making mistakes during this process can lead to financial loss, damaged relationships, and unnecessary stress. Knowing the common divorce mistakes ahead of time can help, along with the guidance of an Illinois attorney.

Failing to Meet Illinois Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in Illinois, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. This is a firm requirement under Illinois law. If you file before meeting the 90-day minimum, your case could get thrown out resulting in wasted time and money. Make absolutely certain you or your spouse have physically resided in IL for 90 days before taking legal action.

Not Knowing Where to File the Petition

You must file the petition for dissolution of marriage in the correct county in Illinois. This is determined by where you or your spouse have lived for the past 90 days. Filing in the wrong county can delay proceedings. Consult with an attorney to ensure you file in the proper jurisdiction.


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