No one gets married with the expectation that someday they will be divorced, but couples get divorced every year in Illinois. If it happens that you and your spouse decide to go this route, do yourselves a favor and find family law attorneys who focus their practice on family law issues.
There are many attorneys who have personal injury practices combined with estate planning or other specific areas of the law who also list divorce as one of their practice areas. But when it comes to divorce, you want an attorney who just practices family law, including contested and uncontested divorces, legal separations, child custody issues, mediation, collaborative divorce, traditional litigation, and more.
Why You Want a Divorce Attorney Dedicated to Family Law
There are legal requirements that must be met concerning the filing of documents, division of property, child support, child custody, and more. Even if you and your spouse, at the time of your divorce, agree on the resolution of the issues, most couples who “do it themselves” consult a divorce attorney months or even years after the divorce is final hoping to make changes.
Where a Family Attorney Makes A Difference
A. Financial decisions regarding property division.
Illinois law divides marital property equitably, which means fairly, not equally. You may find down the road that you kept an IRA in exchange for cash only to realize that the cash was worth a lot more, and it was not an equal exchange.
B. Getting the correct court order for retirement divisions.
The division of many retirement plans requires a separate order and cannot be divided by a simple final divorce decree. If the separate order is not obtained, you may find yourself without money from a retirement fund that you expected to receive.
C. Creating a good parenting plan.
If you work with an experienced family law attorney, the attorney can guide you through preparing a parenting plan that will be in the best interest of the children and acceptable to the court.
Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce
If you choose a divorce lawyer who is experienced in collaborative divorce, you and your attorney will meet with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney along with neutral professionals who guide you through the divorce process.
Examples of neutral professionals include financial experts who help you make decisions about the division of assets, child support, and possible spousal support.
A child psychologist may participate and assist the two of you in preparing a parenting plan. The professional will guide you through how to work together in the future for the benefit of your children.
For more information about how lawyers who dedicate their practice to family law issues, contact the Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. to schedule a consultation.