Family Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Serving Kane County
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we have helped countless individuals and families navigate the complicated process of divorce and other matters of family law. Serving the needs of clients for over 50 years, our firm accumulated vast experience and knowledge of the law. In the course of handling such cases, we often hear many of the same questions, including:
Q: What is the legal definition of marriage?
A: Under the law in Illinois, marriage is considered a binding civil contract between two, consenting individuals with the legal rights to marry one another. Once limited by law to heterosexual couples, marriage in Illinois is now considered the right of both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. Those who wish to marry must obtain a marriage license, authorized by an appropriate state authority or church official, either in a civil ceremony or by holy matrimony.
If you are considering marriage in Illinois and would like information regarding your rights, contact Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC today.
Q: What are the legal benefits of marriage?
A: A couple who is legally married is afforded a number of benefits provided by law at both the state and federal levels. Such benefits include:
- Tax advantages and the right to file joint income tax returns;
- The right to create a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) to increase financial protection and reduce potential tax liabilities; and
- Rights to receive spousal benefits related to insurance, disability, military, wages, and retirement benefits.
Q: What is a legal divorce?
A: In Illinois, a divorce or dissolution of marriage is a termination of a marital union, through litigation, mediation, or collaborative law. The process must address issues including marital property, child support, and parenting responsibilities, which may be resolved with guidance from an experienced divorce lawyer.
Q. What is a no-fault divorce?
A: Today, all divorces in the state of Illinois are granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. These dissolutions do not assign responsibility for the divorce to either party and are commonly known as no-fault divorces. Marital misconduct, including adultery or abuse, is not considered when determining spousal maintenance or when allocating marital property.
Q: When parents cannot agree, how do courts decide on custody or parenting responsibilities?
A: If divorcing or unmarried parents cannot agree on matters of child custody, now called the allocation of parental responsibilities, the court must make provision that it finds to be in the best interests of the child. Contributing factors include the child's age, his or her relationship with each parent, each parent's ability to care for the child, and what the child wants. The court will also consider each parent's willingness and ability to cooperate and foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent.
Q: Should a child's age affect parental responsibilities or parenting time schedules?
A: Many child development and relationship experts believe that a child's age should factor into how much time he or she spends with each parent. Depending on the circumstances and the abilities of each parent, schedules may be amended to meet the child's changing needs as he or she gets older.
Q: How is child support calculated?
A: In July 2017, a new Illinois child support went into effect that changes how child support is calculated. This law uses an income sharing model that considers both parents' incomes, as well as the amount of parenting time and responsibility that each parent enjoys. Other factors that could affect a child support order include educational costs, medical needs, and out-of-pocket expenses covered by each parent.
Q. Can I terminate visitation because of unpaid child support?
A: According to Illinois law, child support and rights to parenting time, previously called visitation, are two completely separate matters. There, you do not have the ability to deny or terminate the other parent's parenting time due to unpaid child support.
Q: Can I get child support if we never got married?
A: Legal parents have the right to seek child support regardless of whether you were ever married. If paternity has been established, you may seek child support from the other parent.
For more information about these topics, or for answers to any other family law questions you may have, contact our office and speak to experienced family law attorney. Call MKFM Law at 630-549-0960 today.