Divorce Attorney Rockford IL
When You Need A Divorce or Family Law Attorney,
we can help you through a myriad of legal issues involving your family relationships, including:
• Legal Separation
• Child Support
• Spousal Maintenance
• Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
• Guardianships through Probate
“Family law and divorce law involve the most sensitive areas of your life, and
periods of family transition can be extremely stressful and emotional. Our reliable
and caring attorneys have years of experience guiding our clients through these
tough times. Our lawyers will help you identify your key objectives and then
develop a legal strategy that will assist you in achieving those goals. We have
experience resolving conflicts through both negotiated settlements and through
For a Free Consultation – Contact A Rockford Divorce Attorney
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
In Illinois, the only grounds for divorce is irreconcilable differences, and thus, every divorce is a “no-fault” divorce. This is a departure from prior law, which allowed a spouse to allege that the other had committed wrongs like abandonment or extreme and repeated mental cruelty.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when both parties negotiate and come to an agreement on all of the issues surrounding the divorce prior to filing. An uncontested divorce can be completed with a single court appearance and is inexpensive.
What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
Like a divorce, a legal separation is a formal court proceeding that can resolve issues such as spousal maintenance, child support and allocation of parenting time and responsibility while the parties live separate and apart. However, unlike a divorce a legal separation does not permanently end the marriage and allows for the possibility of reconciliation. If reconciliation does not occur, the ultimate divorce may be less contentious and costly after legal separation because many of the issues surrounding the divorce have already been resolved in the previous court proceeding.
What is Marital Property?
As a general rule, any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered marital property during a dissolution proceeding and are subject to division by the court. Exceptions include assets received by gift or inheritance by a spouse during the marriage. Such gifts and inheritances are considered that party’s non-marital property and are not subject to division by the court during a divorce.
What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?
A Marital Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) is an agreement between parties to a divorce that resolves non-parenting issues surrounding the divorce such as division of assets and liabilities, spousal maintenance, and child support. If the parties are able to resolve all of these issues through an MSA, a trial will not be necessary.
If the Court Awards Maintenance (formerly known as alimony), How Much Will I Receive?
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides a formula for calculating the amount and duration of maintenance if it is awarded. The amount is calculated by taking 33 ⅓% of the paying spouse’s net income and subtracting from it 25% of the receiving spouse’s net income. However, if the that amount, when added to the receiving spouse’s net income would result in the receiving spouse having more than 40% of the parties’ combined net income, the maintenance amount will be reduced.
Here’s an example. Spouse A has a net income of $40,000.00 and Spouse B has a net income of $100,000.00. Spouse B would be the paying spouse and Spouse A would be the receiving spouse. 33 ⅓% of Spouse B’s net income is $33,333.33. 25% of Spouse A’s net income is $10,000. The maintenance amount would be $23,333.33 (being $33,333.33 minus $10,000.00). However, their combined net income is $140,000.00, and 40% of that is $56,000.00. Paying the full $23,333.33 in maintenance to Spouse A would mean he or she would end up with $63,333.33, which is over the 40% maximum. Spouse A’s maintenance would be reduced down so he or she doesn’t receive over 40% of the combined net income. The maximum Spouse A can have is $56,000.00, and because he or she earns $40,000.00, the maintenance would be reduced down to $16,000.00.
Courts determine how long spousal maintenance payments will continue using a table that multiplies the duration of the marriage by a factor that increases as the duration of the marriage increases. This sounds complicated, but the bottom line is that the longer you have been married, the closer the duration of your maintenance payments will get to equalling the duration of your marriage. If you have been married 20 years or more, the duration of spousal maintenance will either be equal to the duration of the marriage or continue indefinitely.