Responsive & Compassionate Legal Counsel
The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel P.C. is widely recognized as a premier divorce firm in Highland Park. If you are facing divorce or are already in the middle of one, then you should pick up the phone and dial (312) 487-2795 now. When we are on your side, you will feel more confident that your case is moving in the right direction, no matter how big of a fight your spouse brings.
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A divorce is not as simple as ending your marriage and walking away. Instead, there are many different steps and procedures to follow. One mistake along the way could make a mess of your divorce and impact your life for years to come.
To sidestep avoidable errors during a divorce, put our Highland Park divorce lawyers in charge of your case. We know how to handle all factors of straightforward and complex divorces alike, so there will never be any bad surprises.
Let us help with these divorce factors and many more:
- Property division: Illinois is one of many equitable distribution states when considering property division during a divorce. Under this rule, a divorce court will expect the marital property to be divided fairly, which does not mean equally. We can help ensure that you get your fair share of marital property and that your separate property is not unjustly counted as marital.
- Alimony: When a divorce ends, the court wants to make sure that both spouses can continue to live comfortably and not suffer a dramatic change in living standards. To reach this goal, the court might order the spouse of higher income to pay alimony or spousal maintenance. Alimony depends on several factors, such as the duration of the marriage and each spouse’s separate earning capacity.
- Child custody and visitation: Any divorce decision that involves your children must reflect the best interests of those children. In other words, your preferences are secondary to your children’s needs. For child custody and visitation, the court will only want to give parental rights to the parent who is the best fit for parenthood and who makes the children comfortable and happy. Both parents can share custody and parenting time, though.
- Child support: A child support order can be created to ensure that your children still have access to all that they need to be happy and healthy after the divorce ends, including special interests and day-to-day care. Typically, the spouse who has more parenting time will receive child support from the other but this might not be the case if that spouse also has significantly less income than the other.
Four Steps in the Average Divorce
What does the divorce process typically look like in Illinois? When you hire our Highland Park divorce attorneys, you do not need to worry about the details of the divorce process, but we would be happy to discuss them with you all the same. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help reduce the stress levels throughout your case, after all.
During a divorce, four basic steps that must happen include:
- Waiting period: Illinois requires you to be separated from your spouse for at least two years if you want a divorce just for “irreconcilable differences.” However, if both parties want an uncontested divorce, then a waiver can be used to reduce the waiting period to just six months.
- File the petition: When the waiting period is over, you can file a petition for dissolution of marriage, which is the legal document that says you want a divorce. In this document, our attorneys will help you outline the reasons why you want a divorce and what your expectations are for the divorce process, such as how you want property to be divided, what alimony should be paid, and so on.
- Serve the divorce papers: The petition for dissolution or divorce papers must be officially served to the spouse who did not file it. Our attorneys can help arrange for the papers to be served.
- Get the response: When the respondent receives the divorce papers, they will be given the opportunity to review them and decide how to respond. The response will either say that they accept all aspects of the divorce (uncontested) or that they have an issue with at least one aspect (contested).
Our team is dedicated to making your divorce as stress-free as possible. At the start of the case, we know that you will notice how responsive and friendly we are. Our Highland Park divorce attorneys will make every effort to reach a positive outcome that reflects you and your family’s best interests, just as you deserve.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. has an impressive track record in negotiating, settling, and litigating all types of divorce cases. Since our firm was founded in 2009, we have successfully resolved numerous disputes to secure a better life for our clients. Every time a new client visits our firm, they are met by an experienced team of divorce attorneys who are genuinely interested in their well-being. We look forward to hearing your story, too.
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