Category: Divorce Law in Illinois

Divorce Law in Illinois – Resources & Answers to Common Questions

We’re a law firm specializing in divorce and family law. In this section of our site you’ll find articles, resources and answers to common questions about marriage & divorce law in Illinois.

If you need legal help or representation please click here to request a free 30 minute confidential consultation with one of our team.

Why Do I Need a Guardian Ad Litem?

If you’re in the process of divorcing or planning for divorce, you may need a guardian ad litem. This is just a fancy way of saying that your children will have an independent professional who represents your children’s best interests.

It’s important to know what a guardian ad litem is, what he or she will do in your case, and how to manage your relationship with him or her. After all, it’s in your best interest to work with this attorney rather than make his or her job more difficult.

Continue reading “Why Do I Need a Guardian Ad Litem?”

A man signing a divorce agreement

My Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers – Now What?

There are complications that arise throughout divorce cases. However, few complications arise well before the case even starts. But in a select few cases, there are spouses who refuse to accept the divorce and try to refuse, even if the case appeared to be an uncontested divorce.

Don’t fret: Your spouse’s refusal to sign the papers doesn’t mean your case won’t proceed. Instead, you should focus on strategies both you and your Naperville divorce attorney can use to keep your case on track and without the speed bump your spouse can add to the process by refusing to sign.

Continue reading “My Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers – Now What?”

The 3 Biggest Financial Mistakes in Divorce

Most couples encounter two major issues in a divorce: parenting time and financials. Typically, parenting time is resolved well before the end of a case, leaving the property and debt division center stage.

There’s just one problem: the financial issues are what push many cases from settlement to litigation. In fact, the most significant mistakes couples make in negotiating a divorce are almost all related to financial issues. And, when pushed to the limit, financial issues can leave both you and your soon-to-be former spouse in a tough position once your divorce is over.

Read on to learn 3 of the most significant financial mistakes in divorce and what you can do to avoid making the same in your case.

Continue reading “The 3 Biggest Financial Mistakes in Divorce”

Divorce and the Discovery Process: What to Know

When you’re getting divorced, you need to know everything about your spouse. This includes assets, liabilities, and other, vital information that’s necessary to divide property like bank accounts, the marital residence, and more.

This is where a process called discovery comes in.

The discovery process typically begins soon after the divorce is filed. Below, we’ll discuss the various types of discovery that may be filed in your case, what you’re expected to provide, and other details you should know.

Continue reading “Divorce and the Discovery Process: What to Know”

Your Spouse Filed for Divorce: Now What?

Most divorce articles you read will tell you what to do as the spouse who files for divorce. But, what if you’re the spouse served with divorce papers? Then what?

Getting served may catch you off guard. However, this is no reason to proceed through the divorce process in a clumsy way. In fact, it should serve as a wake up call to remind you of your rights and to take proper steps to protect your children and personal interests throughout the process.

In this article, we’ll discuss the general procedure you should expect after being served and five steps and tips you should keep in mind as you proceed through the divorce process.

Continue reading “Your Spouse Filed for Divorce: Now What?”

How Your Location Affects Divorce

Across Illinois – from Wheaton to Joliet, from Aurora to St. Charles – Does your location change the way you approach divorce?

Do you live in Wheaton? Or, how about North Aurora? Or, maybe even Oswego? How about South Naperville or even further South into Plainfield or Romeoville? Do you think this affects your case?

It does in a number of subtle ways.

Where you live affects a couple of important factors in your case, including:

  • Where either you or your spouse can file; and
  • The procedural requirements of your case

In this article, we’ll discuss both so you better understand how where you live affects how your case will be handled.

Continue reading “How Your Location Affects Divorce”

Why You Want a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

You’re probably thinking: “Of course a law firm will tell you to hire a divorce attorney.” And while that may be true of most firms, we value transparency and honesty with our clients. That’s why we wrote this article: to offer a straightforward discussion of your divorce attorney’s role and why you’ll want one.

Read on to learn:

  • A basic overview of your divorce attorney’s role;
  • 5 benefits of hiring a lawyer; and
  • The alternative to hiring a divorce attorney

Continue reading “Why You Want a Naperville Divorce Lawyer”

What’s Divorce Really Like?

Clients come into our office with all sorts of questions about divorce. Aside from the specific questions that are going to be unique to all cases, the one question we get the most is “What is divorce really like?”

It makes sense why people come to us with this question. After all, most of what people know about divorce is what their friends tell them or perhaps what they’ve seen on television. And while friends may have some sort of idea of the process having gone through it themselves, it’s still important to set yourself straight before you pay any Naperville divorce lawyer’s retainer.

We wrote this article to help anyone considering divorce learn more about the process, how cases begin, how they proceed, and what to expect up through your prove up day and thereafter. We hope it accomplishes this for you and if you have any other questions regarding divorce, please feel free to contact Larry to discuss the unique details of your case.

Continue reading “What’s Divorce Really Like?”

Divorcing in Different States: Where Do You File?

Jack and Jane are married and were married in Illinois. However, they have since separated and for the past year, Jack has been living in Indiana while Jane remained in Illinois with their two children. Now, after realizing that they cannot work things out, Jack and Jane want to end their marriage.

But, where can/should they file?

The end of a marriage is often complicated enough when both spouses live in the same state. But when a spouse moves across state lines and stays there for an extended period of time, often more than three months, this can complicate the situation, especially when children are involved.

Continue reading “Divorcing in Different States: Where Do You File?”

Divorce Settlements vs. Trials: Comparing the Two Potential Paths

Any case relating to the breakdown of a marriage is uncertain. You do not know how much maintenance you will receive, your parenting time, property division, or what will come of any other issues at hand in your case.

After speaking with a Naperville family law attorney, you’ll quickly realize that litigating each issue (i.e. going to Court to reach a resolution), is quite costly. Moreover, if you still can’t resolve issues, a trial can increase your attorney’s fees tens of thousands of dollars depending on the level of preparation and the time in Court required.

This leaves you with a decision to make: Will you settle your case or go to trial?

Continue reading “Divorce Settlements vs. Trials: Comparing the Two Potential Paths”

Guardian Ad Litems: Who are They and What Role do They Serve in Your Divorce?

In any divorce case, the children’s interests are the most pressing concern to the Court. But with both parents hiring their own attorneys, the children often aren’t protected and their best interests may inadvertently fall to the wayside.

This is where a guardian ad litem steps in.

These professionals may be appointed at any time and serve an integral role when it comes to the children in any divorce proceeding. But, who are these professionals, when are they appointed, and what relationship will they have with you throughout the case?

Continue reading “Guardian Ad Litems: Who are They and What Role do They Serve in Your Divorce?”

How Long Does The Divorce Process In Illinois Take?

What to Expect From The Illinois Divorce Process

Ending a marriage can be an intimidating process. It’s unfamiliar and a time in your life when it feels as if everything is falling apart. This can make the process even more difficult and, in some cases, stops many from filing, even if they want to.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., our goal as your family law attorney in Naperville is to keep you informed and comfortable throughout your entire proceeding. This means explaining what is happening in your case and what to expect next every step of the way.

Here, we’re going to discuss the basic steps present in any case so you know what to expect before you call us for your free, 30-minute consultation. We hope doing so puts you at ease and makes you more confident moving forward and starting anew.

Continue reading “How Long Does The Divorce Process In Illinois Take?”

Divorce After 50: What You Should Know

At one point in time, getting divorced after a certain age was viewed as odd, if not unacceptable. In fact, in 1990, only 1 in 10 people who sought out and received a divorce were age 50 or older. Just years ago, that number has grown to more than 1 in 4 people, making the concept much more common.

With this new trend comes something else that’s new: A new set of issues and concerns that are quite distinct from the problems younger couples face in divorce. After all, most people who are getting divorced at age 50 or older have adult children, meaning child custody and parenting schedules are not a concern. Instead, issues such as property division and maintenance are the most significant concerns.

Continue reading “Divorce After 50: What You Should Know”

A pile of money and a college graduation hat

Who Pays For College And Handles Financial Aid After A Divorce?

College expenses are a major concern for any parent. However, parents who are getting divorced often have more to worry about, especially if a separation occurs well before a child is nearing the age at which they will attend college or pursue vocational school or any other professional training after high school.

After the age of 18, child support will end as this new financial need emerges. But, how much are you obligated to pay and what does the new Illinois law state regarding this issue?

Continue reading “Who Pays For College And Handles Financial Aid After A Divorce?”

Why You Should Consider a Collaborative Divorce

When you think of a divorce, a few common things likely to come to mind: Months or years of conflict, a significant amount of money spent, and a formal court setting that makes it difficult to resolve any issues. While all of this can be a reality for some couples, it doesn’t have to be the same for you.

Instead, you can consider a collaborative divorce.

The collaborative process is unknown to many but remains a great way to resolve conflict and come to an agreement regarding property and debt settlement, maintenance, child support, and all other issues without the need for extensive court time or litigation.

Does this sound appealing to you? Learn more about the entire process and how it works below!

Continue reading “Why You Should Consider a Collaborative Divorce”

A stack of documents on a desk

What is Divorce Discovery and How Does it Work?

When you decide to file for divorce with a Naperville lawyer, there are a few common first steps you’ll take to get the process started. If you’re the spouse filing, you (along with your Naperville attorney, of course) will file your Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage. Soon after, discovery will take place – at least in most divorces it will.

Discovery can be as simple or long and tedious as both the spouses and law firms would like to make it. But what is discovery and what purpose does it serve? We discuss this and more below!

Continue reading “What is Divorce Discovery and How Does it Work?”

Divorce 101: Your Naperville IL Attorney Explains Everything You Should Know

No couple gets married and plans on one day getting divorced. After all, you’ve built a life together, often with children, a home, vehicles, bank accounts, property and more.

Unfortunately, this can complicate the process, especially if you aren’t sure what to expect or how it will work.

Of course, no ordinary individual is an “expert” on the divorce process. In all likelihood, you haven’t been married and divorced before and even if you have, every case proceeds differently.

Though the end of a marriage can be both financially, mentally, and emotionally taxing, understanding the process and what to expect can make everything more tolerable as you put your new life together. In this article, we’re discussing some of the most factors of any divorce whether you live in DuPage, Will, Kendall, or Kane County.

Continue reading “Divorce 101: Your Naperville IL Attorney Explains Everything You Should Know”