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Peoria Family Law Blog

How can I get custody of my kids in a divorce situation?

When you are in the middle of a divorce, probably the biggest worry is for the well-being of children involved. You are ending what was supposed to be a lifelong commitment and your children are confused and hurt; they may even think this divorce is their fault. Nothing could be further from the truth. You want the best for your kids and so does the state of Illinois. The state has several statutes that deal directly with child custody.

Chapter 40 deals with custody issues. It is called the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It specifies that the court system has jurisdiction to enforce law that deals with children and custody in a divorce situation. A parent must file a petition for dissolving the marriage or for the custody of any children that are a part of this marriage. It must be filed in the county in which the person filing is a resident.

Property division needs careful attention

When a divorce is imminent, property division will surely come into play. Knowing what Illinois law says about this is essential. Also important is having legal representation that is not afraid to get you what is rightly yours. At Borsberry Law Offices, P.C. in Peoria, Illinois, we have your best interests in mind. We follow the letter of the law when it comes to property division and we will guide you fully through this process.

Property division usually means you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have property and assets that need to be divided up. Along with your debt, these will be carefully considered by the court. If you came into the marriage with property or have received an inheritance, you don't have to share these with your spouse when getting a divorce. They remain fully yours.

How does getting a divorce work in Illinois?

Have you had the thought of getting a divorce because you spouse may have cheated on you? If you think that you will be offered a chance to bring your two-timing spouse to court to testify you may have the wrong idea about divorce in most places, specifically in Illinois.

Illinois is considered a "no fault" divorce state. This means that, even though one spouse may have committed the unpardonable sin of infidelity, your chance to embarrass him or her may not happen in the court of law. The no fault divorce offered by this state streamlines the process of divorcing and it eliminates the need to have evidence presented that supports you or your spouse's reason for seeking a separation of this type.

The authorities and your rights in child custody

Getting the authorities involved in a child custody case is not always a good idea. If you are a parent and someone has called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on you, you need to do some basic research and ask questions to determine what your rights are under the law.

You need to have an attorney, first off. Advising your attorney and informing him or her that the authorities at DCFS have been called in is important. Anything that you tell the investigator or the police in this case can be used against you, so don't answer any questions unless your lawyer is there with you advising you.

Child support assistance available

Getting a divorce is hard. Getting a divorce when children are involved is even more difficult. The Division of Child Support Services in Illinois offers services to all residents of the state, not just those who receive public assistance. The Department of Child Support Services offers services to all families in Illinois.

DCSS can help you locate the parent that is not living with the children. This non-custodial parent may have obligations that need to be fulfilled. DCSS can help you establish the paternity of the father. This can be helpful when you aren't married and there is a question of who the father is.

Property division of an inheritance can be tricky

Getting a divorce often involves property division. Inheriting property and assets may be an issue. For instance, if your grandmother dies and leaves you property and assets in her will and makes no mention of leaving anything to your spouse, this may be a matter for the court to decide.

This is considered an inheritance acquired during a marriage and what action you take with this property will determine how this property is dealt with by the judge.

What is no-fault divorce?

Illinois is one the vast majority of states that now follow no-fault divorce laws. Essentially, what that means is a couple can obtain a divorce without providing a reason, other than the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. This is a legal term meaning that the couple is no longer getting along and it is unlikely that the relationship will be repaired.

In other words, the spouses don’t have to point fingers, blaming each other for what went wrong. This is much different from the fault-based divorce laws of the past, which required at least one spouse to prove bad behavior such as adultery, cruelty, violence, desertion or impotency. Of course, as well all know, accusations like these and others are still made in many contested divorce cases.

Same-sex marriage backdating provision to soon fall out of effect

For a time, the only option same-sex couples had available here in Illinois for a legally recognized union was to get a civil union. However, this changed last year when same-sex marriage was legalized in the state. As a note, the legalization of same-sex marriage did not take civil unions out of Illinois law; same-sex couples (and opposite-sex couples as well for that matter) can still form a civil union in the state if they wish. 

One of the options the legalization of same-sex marriage opened up for same-sex couples here in Illinois who are in a civil union is the option of converting their civil union into a marriage. 

College expenses issues in Illinois divorces

Issues regarding the kids are oftentimes the dominant legal issues in divorces of parents here in Illinois. There are a wide range of child-related issues that can be present in a divorce. Some such issues can have some rather major long-term implications. One such issue is the issue of the kids' future college expenses.

Sometimes, parents help their kids with their college expenses. In a divorce of parents, one of the issues that sometimes arises is whether any arrangements regarding helping with future college expenses of the kids will come out of the divorce. Divorcing parties can reach agreements in a divorce on how future college expenses of the kids will be handled. Also, sometimes, Illinois courts issue orders regarding parental help with future college expenses of the kids in divorce cases. 

Joint simplified dissolutions in Illinois

Here in Illinois, in addition to the standard divorce process, there is also a simplified divorce process. This simplified process is called a joint simplified dissolution.

A joint simplified dissolution is something that some Illinois divorcing couples who have an uncontested divorce may find attractive, as it is a simpler and expedited process as compared to the standard divorce process. "Simpler" and "quicker" are two words divorcing couples are generally pretty glad to hear when it comes to their divorce. 

Borsberry Law Offices, P.C. 411 Hamilton Boulevard, Suite 1510 Peoria, IL 61602

P: 309-740-7246

TF: 888-674-7192

F: 309-402-0660

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