Many people living in the Chicago area carry misconceptions about the divorce process and what it entails. A divorce is the formal end of a marriage contract, but it is also a legal process of dividing the couple’s property and determining custody of their children. If you are planning to divorce in the near future, or if your spouse has recently filed a divorce petition in the Chicago, IL, family court and you must respond, Johnson O’Keefe can help.
Why Hire a Chicago Divorce Attorney?
It’s possible to settle some aspects of your divorce privately with your spouse, and it’s common for divorcing spouses to spend time discussing their respective goals and expectations for their divorces before filing a petition. However, it is also possible for divorcing spouses to be unable to agree on anything, and the thought of negotiating mutually acceptable terms can seem impossible in these situations. Regardless of how easy or difficult you expect your divorce to be, investing in reliable legal counsel is a wise choice that can pay off tremendously in multiple ways.
When most people imagine divorce, they think of emotional arguments in the courtroom and impersonal judges delivering final rulings without regard for the personal dynamics at play in the case. Johnson O’Keefe specializes in helping Chicago, IL, area clients navigate complex divorce cases. We will help you identify the most contentious aspects of your divorce and discern any other variables likely to cause problems in your case.
Our team can help with all preliminary court filings, assisting you in meeting all applicable deadlines and preparing you for each new phase of your divorce. When you have the opportunity to resolve aspects of your divorce privately, we will help you take full advantage of alternative dispute resolution to streamline your divorce. No Chicago divorce attorney can ever promise a client a specific outcome to their case, but rest assured that when you choose Johnson O’Keefe to represent you in a Chicago, IL, divorce case, you will have responsive and compassionate legal counsel readily available to address the unique aspects of your divorce.
What Does Divorce Involve in Illinois?
Divorce is more than just ending your marriage contract; it is also the legal process of assigning separate property ownership rights between you and your spouse for all the marital property the two of you acquired during your marriage. Illinois uses the equitable distribution standard to resolve property division in divorce, meaning divorcing spouses should expect the fairest possible division of marital assets in their cases.
In resolving property division, some couples have significant gaps in their financial situations, and this can prompt spousal support or alimony determinations. The amount paid in spousal support typically depends on the disparity between the spouses’ respective financial situations, and the time that payments must continue hinges on how long the marriage lasted.
If divorcing spouses have children together, the most important part of their divorce will be their child custody determination. The family courts of Illinois are required to preserve the best interests of any children affected by the court’s rulings. Regardless of whether you and your spouse are willing to privately negotiate some aspects of your divorce, child custody is not an issue you may resolve privately.
An experienced Chicago divorce attorney will be an invaluable asset for crafting a custody case. While judges typically prefer to develop custody arrangements that provide children with as much access to both of their parents as possible, every family has different needs, schedules, and other everyday concerns that must be addressed in a custody determination. Most custody resolutions will also include terms for child support, which is money paid from a noncustodial parent to a custodial parent each month to account for their child’s basic living expenses.
What to Expect From Your Chicago Divorce Attorney
Every divorce will entail multiple issues, and private resolution is possible in some situations. Johnson O’Keefe specializes in guiding Chicago, IL, area clients through the divorce mediation process, a private settlement option that may help you streamline your divorce significantly, saving time and money on your dissolution. This option may not work for every divorcing couple, and although you will not be in the courtroom for the majority of your divorce proceedings with this method, you still need legal counsel you can trust to guide you through mediation.
When you choose Johnson O’Keefe to represent you in a Chicago divorce, you can expect personalized representation from our team from the outset of your proceedings. We will help you compile your financial disclosure statement, a crucial packet of financial information you must submit for the purposes of resolving all the financial aspects of your divorce. Our firm will assist you in gathering the required records and producing any supplementary information necessary for resolving complex financial matters. When it comes to more emotionally charged aspects of your divorce, like child custody, you can rely on our team for ongoing support and advice so you can make more informed decisions in this difficult area of your case.
Johnson O’Keefe can also provide legal support after the finalization of your divorce order. Many divorced spouses in Illinois must later return to family court to request modifications to the terms of standing family court orders. Whether you need representation for a completely new case or need to revisit an old court order to address recent changes in your life, we can help. The right attorney is a valuable asset in any divorce case, and our goal is to help you reach the best possible outcome in your divorce proceedings. If you are ready to speak with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney about your impending case, contact Johnson O’Keefe today and schedule a consultation with a Chicago divorce attorney you can trust.