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Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer

Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer

The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is about seven years. During this time, most couples purchase assets, incur debts, and have children. So, most divorces involve financial and emotional issues. Unless the parties have a premarital agreement in place, these issues can be quite divisive when the spouses separate. The result is usually a long, drawn-out court fight that no one really wants.

At SLG Family Law our diligent Arlington Heights divorce lawyers are ready to take on both kinds of issues. Before we go to a hearing or a pretrial negotiation session, we thoroughly prepare. In family law, as in life, people who do their homework typically do well on the tests. This down-to-earth approach has served us well for many years. We believe it will produce results that exceed your expectations.

Emotional Issues

As mentioned, most divorcing couples have minor children. Whether they admit it or not, young children typically need a safe, structured environment and reasonable discipline. The parent best able to provide these things usually becomes the residential parent. The other parent usually becomes the non-residential parent.

Note that we did not say “custodial” and “noncustodial” parents. Illinois now has a co-parenting law. So, children do not live with one parent and visit another one. Instead, today’s law presumes that consistent contact with both parents is in the children’s best interests. 

In many situations, the traditional every-other-weekend/every-other-holiday arrangement works nicely for families. But other families want or need a different arrangement. These options are available under the new law. Some possibilities include:

  • Empty Nest: Normally, the children move back and forth between their parents’ households. In empty-nest arrangements, the parents move back and forth between their children’s residence. Though it obviously only works in limited situations, this option is usually very good for the children.
  • Block Scheduling: The major problem with empty nest custody is that the setup often does not get close to a 50-50 parenting time division. Block scheduling addresses this issue. Children spend about two weeks with Parent One, about two weeks with Parent Two, two weeks with Parent One, etc. For the most part, this schedule is in place 12 months a year.
  • Extended Weekend: Another way to even the parenting time is to begin weekend parenting time periods on Thursdays and end them on Mondays. Over time, this small change results in a more equitable division. As long as the parents live in the same or an adjacent ZIP code, this setup usually works quite well.

The equal time presumption does not apply in domestic violence situations and a few other scenarios. In these cases, most judges usually order limited or supervised visitation, at least until a parent overcomes a problem or disability.

Financial Issues

Alimony, child support, and property division are usually the three major financial issues in an Illinois divorce.

Formulas, which are presumptively reasonable, usually determine most spousal and child support matters. The alimony formula accounts for the income disparity and length of the marriage. Child support depends on a number of factors, since Illinois is an income share state. Some of these factors include the income disparity between the parties, number of children, and parenting time division.

As for property division, Illinois is an equitable division state. A 50-50 division is presumptively equitable, but that is not always the case. Some factors include the standard of living during the marriage, the earning ability of each spouse, and any agreements between the parties, such as a premarital agreement.

Rely on a Compassionate Attorney

Most marriage dissolution matters involve intricate emotional and financial issues. To schedule your free consultation with an Arlington Heights divorce lawyer, contact SLG Family Law. We routinely handle matters throughout Chicagoland.

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