Areas of Practice
McHenry County Divorce & Family Law Attorney
Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage
At Franks & Rechenberg, P.C., we have been helping clients through the divorce process in McHenry, Kane, Lake, Cook and DuPage counties for the past 30 years. Issues involving child custody, visitation, child support, maintenance, and the division of property and debt are all encompassed in a divorce proceeding. Sometimes these issues are rather routine, but more often they are clouded and complicated with the facts and circumstances which cause a client to be found in the divorce process.
High Net Worth Divorce
The ownership or partial ownership of a business can significantly complicate a divorce. Issues of valuation and potential limitations in ownership documents can create obstacles’ to fair distribution of the asset. Also, in this day and age of complex financial products, the issue of value, vesting and tax implications require a sophisticated attorney to guide a client towards a fair division of assets. In addition, detailed analysis of financial records is often required to determine if assets are being dissipated or hidden from a spouse.
Illinois law provides a process to pursue a legal separation. That formal judicial process ultimately requires the entry of a judgment for legal separation for the process to be complete. The pursuit of a legal separation is typically prompted for medical or religious reasons. Spouses may not wish to continue living as husband and wife, however, for whatever personal reason; they want to maintain the status of marriage. The main purpose and limitation of the legal separation statute is to provide for the support of the family, both children and the spouse in the event the primary wage earner leaves and offers no support. However, if both parties agree to a legal separation, issues regarding division of property, and debt can be included as if the parties were divorcing.
It is very common for couples to have children out of wedlock. Therefore, Illinois law provides a statutory scheme to preserve both parents’ rights in the event of a breakup. The parentage laws allow either parent to pursue DNA testing to establish or disprove the parent child relationship. After that threshold is passed, either parent can pursue child support payments, contribution to daycare expenses, health insurance and other miscellaneous expenses associated with raising a child. Further, the parentage laws provide for the establishment of custody and a regular visitation schedule.
Child Custody and Visitation
Typically, the most contention in any family law case arises out of the issues of custody and the creation of a visitation schedule which maximizes a time share of the child/children for both parents. Many factors are involved when a court determines whether one parent should be awarded sole custody, or whether the parents should be awarded joint custody. The issue of primary residential custodian is also often in dispute. The ultimate question for those determinations is whether the parents can amicably come to agreement on issues of the child/children’s health, education and religious and cultural upbringing. Then, the court will need to establish a visitation schedule.
Child Support and Spousal Maintenance
Illinois law provides a formula to calculate child support depending upon the number of children involved. In addition, Illinois recently enacted guidelines for the establishment of Maintenance (formerly known as alimony). Both of these laws allow for deviation depending upon many variables, so you should seek competent legal advice to establish your rights or obligations.
Modification/Enforcement of Judgments/Post Divorce Issues
Most final judgments arising out of a family law Court place affirmative obligations on one or both parties. If that party does not meet their obligation set forth in the Judgment, Illinois law provides enforcement mechanisms to compel compliance, whether the obligation is financial or behavioral. In addition, the law also provides for processes to modify custody, visitation and financial obligations after a final judgment is entered by a Court.
Division of Retirement Assets
The division of retirement assets is a very detailed and intricate process. Most retirement funds require the preparation of some type of Qualified order so that the division complies with IRS rules and regulations, and does not trigger a taxable event. Also, State, Federal and Military retirement funds each require very unique Qualified orders and involve complex processes to implement those orders.
Orders of Protection/Domestic Violence
Domestic violence, harassment, and intimidation are all too common in domestic situations, so the Illinois Courts are prepared to deal with these often life threatening situations through the issuance of Orders of Protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. Under certain circumstances, an emergency order of protection can be issued without notice to the other party. These orders can be pursued in a family law case or as an independent action. In addition, civil injunctions in your family law case can be issued even if violence is not involved, for example a spouse or partner jeopardizing your job through excessive phone calls or visits to work. Orders of Protection can be pursued for you, your child/children or an incapacitation adult in your care.
Child Support Enforcement
Often, a party will obtain a child support order requiring the other party to pay a monthly obligation, yet that party still fails to meet their obligation. Every Illinois County has tools designed to enforce the payment of child support, such as: wage deduction orders so support is automatically paid: Petitions for Rule to Show Cause proceedings designed to hold the non- paying parent in contempt with the potential penalty of incarceration; suspension of driving privileges; and the ability to attach non-wage assets.
DCFS Hearings and Appeals
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services have the responsibility to protect the welfare of minor children. Usually DCFS involvement is initiated by a third party complaint, which then triggers an investigation. Upon the completion of the DCFS investigation, the department will make an indicated finding, an unfounded indication, or the commencement of a protective proceeding in Juvenile Court. If you are indicated, your name will be placed on a central registry for a period of years depending on the offense. If you work with children, or are a licensed professional, that action itself could affect your employment and future employment. However, Illinois law does create a process to fight and expunge an indicated finding, and our attorneys have significant experience in all phases of that process.
Pre & Post-Nuptial Agreements
Whether it is your first marriage, or fifth marriage, you have the right to pre-arrange a financial outcome of a divorce in the event your relationship does not work. In addition, many circumstances can arise when it becomes necessary after a marriage is consummated to enter into a post nuptial agreement. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage act provides for both types of agreements, although the elements of the act must be strictly followed.
Under very particular circumstances, grandparents do have the right to pursue legal custody of a grandchild, or court ordered visitation rights. Each case, though, is very unique so it is important to seek experienced legal counsel for a case evaluation.
We also handle these types of cases:
Guardianship Proceedings for Minors or Disabled Adults
Financial Powers of Attorney & Health Care Powers of Attorney
The law firm of Franks & Rechenberg, P.C. serves clients in Barrington, Crystal Lake, McHenry and Bull Valley in addition to many other communities in McHenry County and Lake County. Please contact us today for a free consultation by filling out the form below.