Few legal issues are as complex or as emotional as divorce. Even if a marriage has been short, many complicated disputes can arise involving children and marital property. Spouses can also feel intense emotions, such as anger, depression, or disillusionment, which can cloud their judgment. At Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd., our Crestwood divorce attorneys have guided countless men and women through the Illinois divorce process. Let us advocate on your behalf to protect your rights.
Divorce in Illinois starts with filing a petition in an appropriate court and serving a copy on your spouse. In this petition, a husband or wife provides important information, such as the names and ages of shared children, and makes requests for support.
Historically, a spouse could only file for divorce by claiming fault, but Illinois is now a no-fault state. In practice, our clients only need to claim that irreconcilable differences between the spouses have caused the marriage to irretrievably break down and that attempts at reconciliation are futile.
Divorce with minor children can be especially complicated. Once parents set up separate households, they must divide the children’s time and allocate decision-making power over significant issues such as medical care, education, and religious upbringing. This used to be called “child custody,” but Illinois now uses the label “allocation of parental responsibilities.”
Parents have the power to allocate these responsibilities themselves in a written agreement. When they cannot agree, however, 750 ILCS 5/602.5 outlines the factors a judge should consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interests.
Parents are also responsible for financially supporting their children even if the children do not live with them. Helpfully, Illinois has created guidelines for determining child support, and judges follow these guidelines in most cases.
Illinois views marriage as an economic union, and couples must divide their marital property and debts before they can divorce. However, a question often arises as to what assets are marital. Generally speaking, any asset obtained while married is marital, even if only one spouse’s name is on the title or deed. All other assets are separate property that is not subject to division during the divorce.
Under Illinois law, marital property must be divided “equitably,” which basically means fairly. A strict 50/50 division is not required, though that often is the end result. Couples retain the power to decide property division themselves, but many disputes can break out, especially when couples have significant assets or a family business. An experienced Crestwood divorce attorney can review your assets and help you navigate the division process.
A divorce can devastate one spouse financially, especially when he or she has fewer assets or lower earning potential. In some cases, a court will award spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), which usually consists of monthly payments from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning one.
Not every spouse is entitled to spousal support. A judge will review many factors, such as the duration of the marriage and each spouse’s age and financial situation. Where alimony is appropriate, a judge will need to determine a fair amount based on guidelines found in 750 ILCS 5/504.
If you are considering divorce—or if you have received a copy of your spouse’s divorce petition—you would benefit from experienced legal guidance. Please contact the Crestwood divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Demetrios N. Dalmares and Associates Ltd. today.
Demetrios, I cannot thank you enough for you diligence, patience, knowledge, concern and determination to represent my best interest. From the bottom of my heart, you are amazing and thank you for all you have done for me. Robin
With Demetrios, you don't have to worry about anything. He knows what he's doing. I have two lawyers before him. It was a long case and messed up for 2 years. Since Demetrios took my case, he finished it in a couple of months. He is very organized and smart, and he will take you through that very smooth process. Thank you so much Demetrios, I owe you a lot.
Demetrios Dalmares is a very good attorney. He did a great job in assisting me through my divorce. This is the attorney who will get the job done!
Demetrios has helped me through a very difficult time in my life. He is not intimidated by increased levels of challenges. He has been able to adapt to my unique circumstances and get over every hurdle with confidence. He's intelligent, kind and a good listener. I wholeheartedly recommend Demetrios and his excellent staff to all my family and friends. I assure you that his commitment to helping others is reassuring, and I hope it sets your mind at ease.
Mr. Dalmares was great to work with. He walked me through the process and kept me updated on any updates that had occurred. Highly recommended!
Thank you, Demetrios, for your tenacity, attentiveness and patience in working with me in finalizing my divorce. God Bless
5-star team, very helpful, very friendly, punctual. Hired for a paternity case and was very pleased with the outcome. Demetrios is great; I highly recommend!
I recommend Demetrios Dalmares with the highest praise as a divorce attorney. My divorce was settled quickly and without any unnecessary drama. I was updated regularly regarding the progress of my case. He was extremely knowledgeable, diligent and persistent. Demetrios Dalmares was clearly working in my best interest and the best interest of my three children. He is definitely the attorney you want on your side when going through a divorce. I cannot thank or recommend him enough!
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Husband: Couple shared ownership in a business, resulting in complex property division issues. After investigation of the couple’s financial history, our client received a much more equitable divorce agreement than what was originally offered.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Mother: Father became aggressive and violent toward Mother during their separation, prompting her to seek full custody of their children. At trial, the court granted Father supervised parenting time only and Mother was awarded child support.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Husband: Couple had been locked in a contentious divorce for nearly three years and changed lawyers several times. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. provided the experience and organization needed to resolve the case within months, avoiding a trial for our client.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife: Wife left a successful career to raise children. When Husband denied spousal support based on Wife’s previous earnings, Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. countered with evidence that retraining was needed, and our client was awarded spousal support.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife: Husband tried to intimidate Wife into a divorce settlement that heavily favored his interests by drawing out the case. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Wife through trial, where she received an equitable share of marital assets.
In a case where Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. represented Father: Mother began cohabitating with a new partner who made significantly more than our client. Law Office of Demetrios N Dalmares and Associates Ltd. successfully demonstrated that the new relationship justified a modification and obtained a favorable outcome through negotiation.