You Deserve a Compassionate Advocate

Navigating the complexities of family law issues can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. At Hanauer Law, you'll find a team of dedicated attorneys and paralegals who understand the various aspects of family law, including divorce, child custody, spousal support, property division, and domestic violence. With our vast experience and client-centered approach, we’ll work tirelessly to understand your needs and goals and help you confidently move forward with your life.

Divorce lawyer, Robert Hanauer

Hanauer Law is Here For You

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience, but having a compassionate and skilled legal team behind you makes all the difference. At Hanauer Law, we understand that discussing personal matters with a stranger is not easy. That's why our founder, Rob Hanauer, makes it his mission to provide top-notch legal representation and a supportive environment for his clients.

As a husband, father, and former educator in business law and paralegal studies, Rob has the perfect combination of insight, talent, and empathy to represent you during this difficult time. Alongside Rob, our team of dedicated professionals at Hanauer Law is trained to personalize the legal process, ensuring you feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with us.

When it comes to protecting your rights and best interests in the courtroom, you can trust the team at Hanauer Law to be your steadfast, tenacious advocates. We will work tirelessly to ensure your case is handled as seamlessly as possible so you can focus on rebuilding your life.

Get started today by scheduling a consultation with a Hanauer Law divorce attorney in Wheaton. Together, we will navigate the complexities of divorce and work toward securing a favorable outcome for you and your family.

Understanding Illinois Divorce Law

Grounds for Divorce

Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state. As such, you can file for divorce based on "irreconcilable differences." To file for a no-fault divorce, you must prove that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. If the parties have lived separately and apart for at least six months, irreconcilable differences are presumed.

Property Division

Illinois follows equitable distribution laws, meaning marital property will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Factors that courts consider when dividing assets include:

1. Each party’s contributions to the marital estate

2. Agreements between the parties

3. Any dissipation of the marital assets

4. Length of the marriage

5. Both parties' incomes and earning capacities

6. The value of each party's non-marital property

7. Parenting time arrangements for children

8. Tax consequences of the property division

It’s important to note that separate property, such as inheritances or gifts made to one spouse, is typically not subject to division in a divorce. However, inheritances and gifts should not be commingled with marital property; otherwise, they could be treated as marital property in a divorce.

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Child Custody and Support

Determining child custody and support in a divorce requires considering the best interests of your children. Illinois has abolished the terms "custody" and "visitation," replacing them with "allocation of parental responsibilities" and "parenting time."

Allocation of parental responsibilities involves making important decisions in the child's life, such as choices regarding healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, and religion. Parenting time refers to the actual time a parent spends with their child.

Both parents are expected to contribute to their child's financial support, with the amount of child support determined by an income-shares model. This approach considers both parents' incomes, parenting time, and other expenses related to raising the child in order to arrive at each parent’s child-support obligation.

The Divorce Process in Wheaton

Initial Consultation

The first step in the divorce process is the initial consultation. Be prepared to provide background information about your marriage, finances, and any children involved. This is crucial, allowing your Wheaton attorney to understand your needs and tailor their advice accordingly. During your consultation, the professionals at Hanauer Law in Wheaton will provide attentive support and knowledgeable legal advice.

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Filing for Divorce

Your attorney will help you prepare the necessary documentation. A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the formal document initiating the divorce, which outlines the grounds for divorce and the desired outcome for issues like property division and child custody. A financial affidavit is a document that sets forth income, debts, assets, and liabilities. You must file both of these documents with the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, DuPage County in Wheaton, Illinois. It is ideal to obtain an attorney familiar with local court rules, such as those specific to domestic relations proceedings found in Article 15 of the local rules for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.

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Mediation and Settlement

Mediation and settlement can be viable if both parties agree to a more amicable divorce process. In this stage, you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys will work together to reach compromises in divvying up assets, determining parenting rights and responsibilities, and settling any disputes. Some key elements in this phase may include exchanging or negotiating:

  • Financial documentation (e.g., bank statements, property deeds);
  • Proposed parenting plans; and
  • Proposed marital settlement agreements with divisions of assets

When the parties are addressing issues related to children, the Court will likely order the parties to mediation in an attempt to efficiently resolve the contested matters.

Trial and Judgment

If mediation is unsuccessful, the divorce will proceed forward through the court system. If trial is necessary, your divorce lawyer will present your case before a judge and argue on your behalf. You may be called upon to testify, provide evidence, or subpoena witnesses to testify. During this stage, the judge will decide on any of the following issues that remain unresolved:

  • Asset and property division;
  • Parenting time and child support; and
  • Maintenance (or alimony) payments, if applicable

Once a judgment is reached, the court will issue a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, which finalizes your divorce.

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Post-Divorce Considerations

Modifications to Divorce Judgments

It's not uncommon for your circumstances to change after a divorce. In such cases, you may need to request a modification to the divorce judgment or parenting plan. Here are some common reasons for modifications:

  • Change in income: If you or your ex-spouse have a significant increase or decrease in income, the maintenance or child support payments may need to be adjusted.
  • Relocation: If one parent plans to move, it may require modifying the parenting plan.
  • Change in child's needs: As your child grows older, their needs and expenses may change, which could necessitate a modification to the parenting plan or support order.

To request a modification, you'll need to file a petition with the court and prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Enforcement of Divorce Orders

Unfortunately, there may be instances when your ex-spouse doesn't comply with the terms of your divorce judgment. In these cases, you'll need to take action to enforce the order. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Document the violations

Keep a detailed record of instances when your ex-spouse doesn't follow the court orders, including dates and descriptions.

2. Communicate with your ex-spouse

It's always a good idea to attempt to resolve the issue amicably and respectfully before resorting to legal action. Communicate your concerns and try to reach an agreement.

3. Consult with a divorce attorney

If your ex-spouse disregards the court orders, contact a qualified divorce lawyer in Wheaton, Illinois, for guidance on your next steps. They can help you understand your options for enforcement, such as filing a motion for contempt or seeking other relief from the court.

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