Family Law Terms related to Divorce in Illinois


Divorce law is regulated by states and raises issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody, support and visitation rights among couples who are married.

Child Custody or Parental Responsibility

These terms refer to who has decision making power about the child’s medical, educational, religious and other major decisions.

Child Support

Child support is a court-ordered payment of support from one parent to another parent.

Child Visitation or Parenting Time

Court ordered time you get to spend with your child.

Maintenance, Spousal Support (Formerly called Alimony)

Monthly payments to support your ex-spouse.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law involves situations when parties decide to resolve a legal matter outside of a courtroom and sign an agreement that they cannot go to court with the attorneys they hire unless they have a full agreement. What makes collaborative law unique is its use of communication/divorce coaches and financial neutrals to help settle legal conflicts and the disqualification provision of the professionals if the parties want to use the court.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is actual or threatened emotional or physical abuse by one member of a family against another. There needs to be a family, dating (or former dating) or certain other type of close relationship between the parties for it to be considered domestic violence. 


Marriage, broadly defined, is the legal union of two people. Requirements for a valid marriage differ from state to state and country. As long as the couple was legally married somewhere in the world, Illinois courts can dissolve that marriage if the parties have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days or 6 months for cases involving children.


An adoption creates a parent–child relationship between persons not related by blood. Once a child is put up for adoption, the parental responsibilities of the biological parents are terminated. Emancipation of Minors: State laws govern the ability of a minor to become legally free from parental dependence before he or she reaches the age of majority.

Fathers’ Rights

When it comes to family law issues, fathers have the same rights as mothers.