Dennis A. Delman has particular expertise in the area of family law, and assists individuals and families in Evanston, Skokie, and throughout the Chicago area with divorce and all the issues that may arise, such as child custody, support, and the property division. We provide sound advice based on years of experience, and effective advocacy to ensure that your rights are protected and that all issues are resolved with your best interests in mind.
Grounds for Divorce in Illinois
Divorce in Illinois may be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, mental cruelty, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness or a drug habit, adultery, impotence and imprisonment. Irreconcilable differences is often referred to as a no-fault divorce. The party seeking a divorce must show that there is a breakdown in the marriage, that they have been living separately for two years (unless the case settles and the parties sign a waiver of the requirement, in which case it is only six months required), and that all efforts to reconcile have failed and further efforts are futile.
Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that the marital property will be divided by the court in a manner which is fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal. Although marital misconduct is not generally considered in the property division, the court may look at the differing level of contributions to the marriage – both monetary and nonmonetary – that each spouse made in determining how to divide the property in an equitable fashion.
In order to obtain a fair property settlement, it is essential that every asset (and debt) be properly characterized as separate property or marital property, and that each piece of property be properly valued. Having an experienced attorney is critical to making sure that you do not get taken advantage of in this process. We are experienced in handling large or complicated estates, including conducting business valuations and drafting Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to properly divide a retirement or pension plan.
Child Custody and Support
Illinois recognizes the best interests of the child as the guiding force in determining to grant joint or sole custody, and how to award visitation and parenting time in the absence of a parenting plan drawn up by the spouses.
Both parents have an obligation to support the children following the dissolution of a marriage in Illinois. This obligation continues until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, and both parents may be deemed to have an obligation to contribute to the child’s education following high school. If one parent has custody or in most cases, residential custody, the law assumes that the residential parent is contributing to the children’s needs, and directs the other parent to pay a percentage of his/her income to the custodial parent. Percentages are generally calculated as follows: 20% of income after mandatory deductions if there is one child, 28% if there are two children, up to 50% or more if there are six or more children. Any deviations from these percentages are the exception.
There are no percentage guidelines for the award of spousal maintenance or support. Whether or not there is any award of maintenance, and if so, the amount of money and the length of time the payments will continue depend entirely on the circumstances of the parties.
Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney
Dennis A. Delman has over 30 years of legal experience including all aspects of family law. Mr. Delman is frequently called upon by the court to serve as a court-appointed attorney in family law matters. Contact Dennis A. Delman, Attorney at Law for assistance in your divorce or family law matter.