Although when many people hear the term family law, they assume that a person is involved in divorce proceedings, this area of the law actually encompasses a much wider range of issues and services, including domestic violence, modification of existing court decrees, and paternity cases. These topics all come with their own specific issues, so it is important for anyone who is seeking advice on a family law matter to speak with an experienced Frankfort family law attorney who can advise them.
Many of the issues faced by family law courts involve child custody matters, which can be but are not always raised as part of a couple’s divorce proceedings. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for parents who were never married, as well as for other relatives, such as grandparents, to seek assistance from Illinois courts in coming up with a parenting plan that both establishes paternity and allocates parental decision-making responsibilities and parenting time.
Parents always have the option of resolving these kinds of issues in an out-of-court setting by coming up with their own parenting plan that takes into account shared parenting schedules and standards for decision-making. Any agreements reached by a couple must, however, be approved by a court before they become legally binding. Alternatively, a couple that is unable to come up with its own parenting plan will need to litigate these issues in court, after which a court will make a decision based on what it deems would be in a child’s best interests.
The area of family law also encompasses domestic violence matters, which, while they can arise during divorce proceedings or child custody matters, can also be brought up whenever allegations of family violence are made. Under state law, domestic abuse is defined as not only physical abuse, but also harassment, willful deprivation of or interference with personal liberty, and intimidation of a dependent. When this type of violence occurs against a family or household member, the victim can seek an Order of Protection from a family law court, which has the power to:
An experienced Frankfort family law attorney can help explain your own rights under Illinois law, including how to file for and enforce an Order of Protection.
Family law courts also grapple with issues related to spousal maintenance, including:
These determinations require courts to assess a number of factors, including the financial needs of each party, both parties’ incomes and earning capacities, the length of the marriage, the ages and health of both parties, and the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during their marriage.
If you need help with a family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of the dedicated Frankfort family law attorneys at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. via online message.