Hinsdale Divorce Attorney
Trusted Legal Advisors for Challenging Divorces
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., our team of divorce lawyers in Hinsdale is dedicated to providing experienced, resourceful, and comprehensive legal counsel that sets us apart from other law firms in the area. With a reputation for our collaborative approach to difficult cases, we have supported numerous individuals through tough times and are ready to do the same for you. Our Hinsdale divorce attorneys focus exclusively on family law and divorce, ensuring that we are fully dedicated to your case.
Entrust Your Divorce to Us
Every divorce is unique, with its own set of factors and complexities. Beware of law firms that offer cookie-cutter solutions. Instead, work with our Hinsdale divorce lawyers, who take a personalized approach to every case. We sit down with you to gain a thorough understanding of your situation, discuss your expectations and goals, and develop a tailored strategy. Regardless of the complexity of your case, rest assured that we are equipped to handle it.
We are here to assist you in all aspects of your divorce, including:
- Alimony: If there is a significant income disparity between spouses, the court may award alimony or spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage for both parties.
- Child support: After divorce, children deserve the same standard of living they enjoyed during their parents' marriage. Child support ensures that one parent provides financial assistance to the other for the children's day-to-day care, extracurricular activities, and other needs. The support must be used exclusively for the child's benefit, not the household as a whole.
- Child custody: The court determines which parent should have the authority to make important decisions and reside with the children. Initially, the court seeks to grant custody rights to both parents, recognizing the positive impact of having two parental figures in a child's life.
- Visitation: Even if a parent does not have custodial rights, they can still receive visitation rights. These rights typically include weekends, holidays, and special occasions, allowing non-custodial parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children.
- Property division: In Illinois, marital property is divided based on equitable distribution rules. This means that property acquired during the marriage is divided fairly, not necessarily equally. Separate property that solely belongs to one spouse is not subject to division.
Grounds for Divorce in Illinois
In Illinois, you can file for divorce based on either fault or no-fault grounds.
- No-fault grounds typically involve irreconcilable differences, where spouses have been living separately and apart for a specific period.
- Fault-based grounds may include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, drug addiction, and other reasons. However, most divorces in Illinois are filed on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences.
How to File for a Divorce in Illinois
Our Hinsdale divorce attorneys believe that the process of filing for divorce should be straightforward. If you believe it's time to end your marriage and are concerned about the legal steps involved, consult with our attorneys today.
We can guide you through the divorce process, starting with the initial steps:
- Wait to file: In Illinois, you cannot file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences unless you have been separated from your spouse for at least 24 months. However, this waiting period can be reduced to 6 months if both you and your spouse agree to an uncontested divorce and sign a waiver.
- Prepare the divorce papers: While waiting, our Hinsdale divorce attorneys can assist you in preparing the necessary divorce papers or "petition for dissolution of marriage" in advance. This way, you'll be ready to file as soon as the waiting period ends.
- File the petition: We will file your petition or divorce papers with the appropriate court. The petition should accurately reflect the reasons for your divorce and your desired outcomes, including the division of marital property. Matters related to your children can also be addressed, ensuring that the court receives the most up-to-date information.
- Serve the divorce papers: Once the court accepts the divorce petition, it must be officially served to your spouse
- or respondent. Our Hinsdale divorce lawyers can help you arrange for the proper service of the papers.
- Obtain a response: Before the divorce case progresses further, you'll need to receive a response from your spouse. The response can indicate approval of the divorce petition, resulting in an uncontested divorce, or disagreement with some aspects, leading to a contested divorce.
Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more issues, such as child custody, property division, or spousal support. It often requires court intervention and can be more time-consuming and expensive. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce happens when both spouses agree on all matters and can submit a joint settlement agreement to the court. Uncontested divorces are generally faster, less adversarial, and more cost-effective.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?
While it is possible to handle a divorce without an attorney, it is highly recommended to have legal representation, particularly in complex cases involving significant assets, child custody disputes, or instances of domestic violence. Our skilled Hinsdale divorce attorneys can provide valuable guidance, protect your rights, navigate the legal process, and help negotiate a fair settlement. We ensure all legal requirements are met and assist in resolving any conflicts that may arise.
Discover What Our Firm Can Do for You
The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. is your reliable source for divorce representation. Our experienced divorce attorneys in Hinsdale are committed to providing exceptional legal counsel to families during their most challenging times. Whether you face complex financial estates or contested custody disputes, we have achieved favorable results for our clients and are prepared to handle any situation that arises in your divorce case. Choose us as your first choice when you want to ensure your divorce case is well-prepared for any scenario.
MerelFounder and Managing PrincipalJonathan Merel is an experienced attorney who advocates for his clients in all divorce and family law proceedings, including settlement negotiations and trials. Jonathan founded the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. in early 2009 after working for many ...
Caballero DunnManaging PartnerTo clients, Melissa Caballero Dunn is “the best” and a “rare” family attorney. To our firm, she is the engine that keeps us running a smooth operation. As Managing Partner, The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel relies on Melissa to know what's around every ...
DelgadoPartnerKatherine “Kat” Delgado counsels her family law clients with knowledge and compassion throughout their cases, including during settlement negotiations, in court, and in other adversarial settings throughout litigation. Her goal with every client is to ...
DeSanaPartnerJackie is a skilled and compassionate attorney who is dedicated to helping her clients navigate difficult situations. Jackie graduated from Wayne State University in 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Jackie continued her ...
FitzpatrickPartnerAurelija Fitzpatrick believes that a large part of her job is being a problem solver. She also understands that people are often misunderstood. Aurelija has a unique ability to collaborate with family law clients by listening to her client's concerns, ...
KayePartnerBrad Kaye is a divorce and family law attorney who knows how to win. His clients rave about his preparation and support as their divorce attorney . Brad gives his clients confidence in court, whether it's with a professional athlete, music industry ...
MargasonPartnerCharacterized by her ability to navigate the always diverse circumstances of family law cases, Ashley Margason is a trusted family law attorney with a reputation for extensive knowledge and efficiency. A client’s family law needs are unique. Every case is ...
McSurleyPartnerWilliam’s demonstrated ability to exploit all aspects of the legal process to his client’s advantage has helped divorce clients avoid costly litigation altogether, or prevail when such conflicts cannot be avoided. William places an emphasis on using his ...
NortonPartnerJosie graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology (2013). Josie continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2017), where she was named to the Dean’s List and earned a Certificate in ...
TararaPartnerAnnemarie Tarara is on the cutting edge of LGBTQ+ family law issues such as second-parent adoptions and the dissolution of same-sex marriages, civil unions, & domestic partnerships. She also represents clients in obtaining orders of protection and in ...
ZwaskaPartnerDavid Zwaska is an experienced litigator who makes the law digestible for family law clients every step of the way. Sure, Dave has the awards and resume that make him look like a great attorney to hire, including clerking for the Honorable Judge Raul Vega ...
BerndtAssociateKelsey graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with her Bachelor's in Social Relations & Policy and Women's & Gender Studies, where she found a passion for advocating on the behalf of those in need. Kelsey then attended Penn State Law, receiving ...
BroekemaAssociateMarleena graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Theory and Women’s Studies. Marleena continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2018, where she earned a certificate in ...
CashAssociateJeffrey Cash has focused his practice exclusively in the area of family law since 2014 and has represented individuals in all aspects of family law matters, including divorce , paternity, the allocation of parental responsibilities , parenting time, child ...
DeanAssociateMitchell graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Minor in Political Science. Thereafter, Mitchell attended DePaul University College of Law, graduating in May 2021 with a Certificate in Business Law. While ...
Hartrum IVAssociateLaude’s approach to family law is both comprehensive and client-centered. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2017 and DePaul University College of Law in 2020, Laude was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2021. During law school, Laude ...
LeeuwenburgAssociateCora attended Loyola University School of Law and practiced as a 711 student-attorney with the school’s Community Law Clinic where she gained experience as a Guardian ad Litem representing children in court. Cora has always been interested in family law ...
RyterskiAssociateBorn in Rochester, Michigan, Paige obtained her Paralegal Certificate and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in her hometown. By the time she was 21, Paige was finished with college and working as a Paralegal for a Criminal Defense firm in ...
TrabarisAssociateWill is devoted to guiding his clients through the difficult waters of divorce and other family law proceedings. Will knows that this process can be emotionally taxing and complex, so he prides himself on being a steady hand – as well as a clear head – ...
Direct, to the point, and thorough