Family Law

 “For business leaders and other high-profile individuals, family matters can get bound up with financial complexities and corporate responsibilities that make a tough situation even harder to manage. We are problem solvers dedicated to helping our clients and their families navigate this difficult and emotional area of the law with dignity, compassion and privacy.”

— Dean S. Dussias —

Our goal is to provide the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the area of family law. Our lawyers are skilled at handling financially complicated cases in a discreet and confidential manner, helping clients negotiate when possible, while remaining prepared to litigate as necessary. We believe going to trial should be a last resort. Our clients appreciate that we often recommend alternatives to costly court proceedings such as mediation and collaborative divorces. We aim to resolve disputes in a rational and cost effective manner without dragging anyone through the mud.



 **** CHANGES IN THE LAW ****

Beginning January 1, 2016, the family law community experienced major changes as the Illinois Marriage & Dissolution of Marriage Act (hereinafter “Act”) has been drastically revised. If you are considering filing for divorce, or have already filed, it is important that you understand that new changes are in effect.  It is even more important that you retain an attorney who knows and understands the new changes in the law.  You do not want to be in a position where your spouse’s attorney is updated on the law and your attorney is not.  Therefore, the attorneys at DSWKLOGOhave taken the time to understand the changes in the law so that they can better advocate for you.  Attorneys at DSWKLOGO encourage their clients to become familiar with the law so that the client can better understand the outcome in his or her matter.  This is just an overview of the major changes related to Illinois divorce law, however, you should contact an attorney at DSWKLOGO to discuss these, and other changes, in depth.


APPLICATION

Pursuant to Section 801, the new Act applies to all cases filed with the court. This includes not only those that have been filed since the new Act’s effective date as of January 1, 2016, but also those cases which were filed prior to January, 2016 as well.

DIVORCE

Our family law attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent any client in all divorce matters, from the most basic, uncontested divorce, to highly complex financial and custody disputes. Read more…

GROUNDS

Now, the only grounds for dissolution is irreconcilable differences. The waiting period of six months, when parties are in agreement, has been repealed. The waiting period of two years, when the divorce is contested, has also been repealed.

SAME SEX DIVORCE & SEPARATION

With civil unions in place since 2011 and full marriage equality for same-sex couples in effect since June 1, 2014, Illinois law for LGBT individuals facing dissolution and separation is still evolving.  In this complex area of law, it’s important to work with attorneys who can navigate the challenges of putting legislation into real legal practice, working with clients to craft agreements that stand the test of time.  Read more…

PROPERTY DIVISION

All property acquired subsequent to the marriage is presumed to be marital property and subject to equitable distribution by the court. Property acquired by a method identified under 750 ILCS 503(a)(1)-(8) is specifically identified as non-marital property,  Read more…

MAINTENANCE

The award of maintenance is a two-step process: (1) determination of whether a party is entitled to maintenance; and, if the party is so entitled, (2) determination of the amount and duration of the award.  Previously, the court was directed, among other factors, to consider the present and future earning capacity of each party in determining whether maintenance is appropriate.  Read more…

RELOCATION – Previously REMOVAL

Previously, the Act required custodial parents to obtain court permission to move outside of Illinois. Now however, depending on the amount of time allocated, when one parent wishes to relocate with a child, there are additional and revised procedures which govern the proposed relocation.  Read more…

PARENTING – Formerly CHILD CUSTODY

The commonly known words “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced with the terms “parental responsibility” and “allocation of parental responsibility,” respectively.  There is nothing more valuable to come out of a relationship than children. Custody disputes, whether as part of a divorce or a parentage action, can be overwhelming to both parents and children.  Read more…

EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES – Post-High School

Post-high school educational expenses have been limited since the revised Act has taken effect. This has been done to ensure more consistency and fairness with such awards/allocations.  Read more…

PATERNITY

In parentage cases, also called “paternity cases,” the court establishes, legally, who a child’s parents are. These cases often arise when the parents are unmarried. Often times, paternity cases progress similarly to that of a traditional divorce, where issues of child support, visitation/parenting time, etc. are litigated.

ILLINOIS PARENTAGE ACT of 2015

The new Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 became effective on January 1, 2016. This new Act entirely repeals the former Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 although many aspects of the new law are consistent with the former. Some major changes are as follows:  Read more…

POST DIVORCE DISPUTES

Post-divorce disputes, commonly referred to as post-judgment or post-decree matters, include enforcement of divorce judgments and orders as well as modifications of those judgments. Enforcement Read more…

FEES

One of the most significant updates in the Act relates to interim post-divorce or “post-decree” attorney’s fees. A petition for temporary attorney’s fees in post-judgment matters may be heard on a non-evidentiary summary basis; this change effectively declares that evidentiary hearings are no longer mandatory.   Read more…

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

If you or someone that you know has been the victim of domestic violence or domestic battery, then there may be a need for legal protection in the form of an Order of Protection or other injunctive relief. Read more…

DEFENSE OF WRONGFULLY ACCUSED

We are also mindful that clients are often placed in a defensive position caused by wrongfully obtained orders of protection, allegations of sexual assault, kidnapping, child abuse, spousal rape, or other crimes of domestic violence. In highly contested divorces, spouses accuse each other of alleged unlawful activity. Read more…

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

A Collaborative Law process begins with each party retaining two separate attorneys from law firms that are not affiliated. These attorneys must be specially trained in the Collaborative Law approach  Read more…

PRE & POST-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

If you are looking to protect your wealth in the future, it may be advisable to consider entering into a formal agreement with your fiance or spouse to preserve your financial rights. Business owners, athletes, entertainers, and individuals, Read more…