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What Does a Family Lawyer Do in Arlington Heights, IL?

What Does a Family Lawyer Do in Arlington Heights, IL?

You may be wondering, “what does a family lawyer do?” What a family lawyer does in Arlington Heights, IL, often includes handling divorce cases and related matters such as child support and alimony. He or she can help in contested and uncontested divorces, high-asset splits, and with adoption, guardianship, and paternity matters. Post-judgment modifications also fall under these attorneys’ purview, for example, if child custody or child support terms need to change.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Family Lawyer in Illinois?

Most family lawyers are responsible for divorce cases to some extent. However, a divorce lawyer may focus more on certain types of divorce, such as uncontested divorce, while other lawyers may focus more on divorce litigation.

Handling Divorce Cases

Sometimes, people are still figuring out whether they should divorce or what the implications would be. Talking with a family lawyer can offer clarification, peace of mind, and a blueprint for moving forward.

Family lawyers can handle a divorce case from beginning to end (and beyond, in cases of post-judgment modifications and other matters). They can help with high-asset divorces, which may be more complex due to the types of assets and jurisdictions involved. Divorce can involve many nuances, and family lawyers have experience in these areas:

  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support and enforcing or modifying child support orders
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Marital agreements, commonly called prenuptial or postnuptial agreements

Even in a seemingly straightforward divorce, issues can quickly get complicated. For example, couples may not agree on what is marital and separate property. This can especially be the case if commingling of separate property occurred, or if one spouse’s efforts or contributions caused a separate asset to increase in value.

Child Support and Alimony

Child support is an important issue for many parents, whether they are married or not. Family lawyers can help determine child support amounts using Illinois guidelines. They include the time the child has with each parent the parents’ net incomes, and child-related expenses such as child care, health care, and education.

Family lawyers can also assist with income changes that affect a parent’s ability to pay or receive child support. If a parent does not pay the required support, lawyers can file for enforcement actions, such as wage garnishments.

Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance and alimony, does not apply in all divorces. A family lawyer can help you determine if it applies in your case and negotiate the terms. Lawyers can advise clients on how to make a fair spousal maintenance agreement.

The longer a marriage lasts and the more intertwined the spouses’ financial ties become, the more likely alimony will apply. Alimony considerations also include the financial need of the lower-earning spouse.

Adoption and Guardianship

Family lawyers often advise prospective adoptive parents, birth parents, and others. They can handle LGBTQ second-parent adoption and surrogacy matters. In cases of parental rights being terminated, a lawyer makes sure the case meets all legal requirements.

Adoption can be intensive, involving paperwork, court filings, home studies, various deadlines, different states, and other legal hurdles. Just one misstep by someone who does not have a lawyer can significantly slow down a process. Family lawyers can save their clients a lot of time and reduce stress.

In guardianship matters, family lawyers can represent people who want legal guardianship of a minor or adult. They can help with petitions for guardianship and present evidence supporting the case in court. They can also assist with guardianship modifications and terminations. Lawyers can also work with family members as they navigate negotiations or court proceedings.

Why Hiring a Family Lawyer in Arlington Heights, IL, Is Important

Why is family law important? The answer is partly because many people seek out the expertise of a family lawyer at some point. These lawyers can help with a wide variety of matters and ensure that any agreements or changes follow Illinois requirements as well as requirements in other applicable jurisdictions. Important reasons to hire a family lawyer include these:

  • Streamlining paperwork, including preparing and filing the right legal documentation
  • Representing you in court on issues such as child custody or spousal support
  • Negotiating asset division, parenting time, and other issues for the best outcome
  • Resolving matters quickly and out of court when possible using alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation
  • Navigating complex cases

Navigating Complex Legal Proceedings

Even relatively simple family law matters such as an uncontested divorce with minimal assets and no children can be complex. That is because the average person, understandably, may not know what to do or have hours to spend getting up to speed.

Complicated cases, such as those involving trials, multiple borders, domestic violence, or high net worth, can be too daunting for someone to navigate alone. Family lawyers in Arlington Heights, IL, can quickly identify the issues, prioritize items, and represent clients in a trial if necessary.

Protecting Children’s Rights in Custody and Support Cases

How can a family law attorney help with child custody? These lawyers can help parents negotiate parenting plans that serve the children’s best interests, present evidence in court to show a judge why a parent might be unfit, and coordinate with child psychologists, mediators, and other professionals. They can work to enforce child support orders, so a child has access to shelter, food, and clothing.

In many cases, family lawyers can help parents avoid a bitter divorce trial that would stain the co-parenting relationship and affect the children emotionally. When such trials are inevitable, lawyers can minimize the strain on the parents and children as much as possible.

Ensuring Legal Protection and Compliance

Family lawyers can do wonders for peace of mind during uncertain times. For example, people who attempt to handle an adoption themselves may worry that they won’t file the right paperwork or will leave matters open enough to be challenged years down the road. Family lawyers close these holes and help you avoid mistakes. They ensure legal protection and compliance with local, state, and other laws.

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