FAQ – Family Law
Family Law Attorneys serving Kane and Kendall Counties
Family Law cases can involve divorce, custody, visitation, division of assets, division of debts, maintenance, child support, paternity and domestic violence orders of protection. Family Law matters are serious in that they can dictate what happens with your children, your finances, and in many cases, your family’s safety.
No matter what your family’s legal concerns may be, the attorneys at McAdams & Sartori, LLC can help you figure out the best way to approach your case in court.
Common questions we receive in Family Law Cases
Can a father really get custody, or do courts lean toward giving mothers custody?
That antiquated stereotype is not accurate in Kendall and Kane Counties. Many fathers are determined to be better suited to be the custodial parent. In fact, gender of the parent is not a factor that the court typically considers when determining the best interests of minor children for custody purposes. If you have a good faith belief that you are better suited to have residential custody of your child/children, as a responsible parent you have a duty to yourself and your child/children to at least meet with an attorney to discuss your facts and circumstances.
The father of my child and I were never married. Do I need his permission to move out of Illinois with our child?
Yes. If you want to move outside of the State of Illinois, you would be wise to meet with an attorney before discussing this issue with your child’s father. In the event that the child’s father does not agree, you will need to seek relief in family court prior to moving out of state, even if you have never filed a Paternity action in court before this issue arose. This is called a Petition For Removal and it will be your burden to show the court that it is in your child’s best interest to move away from his/her father. I suggest you retain an attorney who has had extensive experience in removal matters to assist you in obtaining this relief.
Can I get an accounting of where my child support money goes so that I can be sure that it is used for my child/children?
This is a frustrating dilemma, but the answer is no. In Illinois, child support is based upon a statutory guideline and not based solely upon the needs of the child. Other than clothing, food, medicines, diapers, formula, and those obvious expenses, there are other overhead expenses incurred due to being the custodial parent. For example, a custodial parent has to live in larger accommodations, has higher energy costs, has higher utility bills, and incurs other miscellaneous and difficult to account for expenses related to the child such as gasoline for transportation.
How do family law attorneys charge their clients?
Every law firm is different, but most family law attorneys charge a retainer as an advance on filing fees, service of summons expenses, and their hourly rate. You typically pay the attorney for the time he or she spends on your case and would be required to continue to pay until the matter is resolved. At McAdams & Sartori, LLC, our policy is that we return any portion of your unused retainer.
What are the steps of a divorce?
If you decide to file for divorce, we will prepare a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage that addresses all of your specific needs. After reviewing the document with you, we will draft a new case sheet, a summons, and file the documents at the Circuit Clerks Office for you. We will then provide your spouse with copies and wait to see if your spouse obtains an attorney, files an appearance and response, or allows the matter to go into default. If an appearance is filed, local court rules require you to provide a completed Comprehensive Financial Statement within 30 days. We will assist you in completing that document as well as drafting our own requests for information. Typically, temporary orders are sought while the divorce is pending to address issues such as contribution to marital expenses, child support, visitation, maintenance, and attorney’s fees until the matter can be resolved by agreement or trial.
How long does it take to get divorced?
Every case is different depending on the complexity of the issues. We have historically gotten a couple divorced in two days, and others in under a week. So a divorce does not have to be a lengthy process. It really depends on the cooperation of the parties. When both parties are willing to resolve issues, the matter can move forward much faster.
There are other instances where you can expect the matter to take several months to be resolved. When custody is at issue, judges typically appoint a Guardian ad Litem to do an investigation and report back to the court. These cases take additional time to allow for that investigation. Other cases where spouses dissipate marital assets, attempt to hide marital assets, or a special valuation of assets are needed can also result in a longer divorce process.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys
Contact McAdams & Sartori, LLC in Yorkville, Illinois if you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have any family law questions. Call (630) 553-1313 to schedule an initial consultation today.