Divorce of a Civil Union or Marriage

The lawyers at Jill M. Metz & Associates have successfully handled many divorce cases over the years, and are skilled at helping clients in the Edgewater, Andersonville, Uptown and Lakeview areas present their best case in court. Whether you are faced with a divorce, custody dispute or property valuation, the outcome of your case truly depends on your choice of attorneys. Choose the Chicago divorce lawyers at Jill M. Metz & Associates for compassionate, effective legal representation.

Divorce proceedings are difficult and painful for everyone involved. Jill M. Metz & Associates will help you by familiarizing you with the complicated legal processes and offering kind and dignified legal support.

You will be assisted in navigating the legal path required to determine the division of your property and the custody arrangements for your children. Jill M. Metz & Associates is here to protect your interests in this complex and emotional process.

Division of Property

In a divorce, all the family assets need to be analyzed and divided equitably. This does not mean that the court will simply award each party half of your property. Instead the court will hear both sides and come up with a fair plan based on each spouse's debt load, income, custodial status, disabilities and other factors.

Jill M. Metz & Associates will strive to make sure the outcome reflects your family's real situation. Our attorneys are able to negotiate the financial matters of child support and maintenance where appropriate, and litigate these matters if necessary. We can also help you make adjustments to your will and other estate documents.

Custody and Visitation

One of the most emotional aspects of any divorce is arranging for the custody of the children. The court awards custody based on the best interest of the child. For most families, joint custody is preferred. This keeps both parents involved in and responsible for the care of their children. Even with joint custody, one parent is typically designated the residential parent with the nonresidential parent paying child support to the residential parent. Jill M. Metz & Associates will help you arrange mediation, negotiate custody and visitation, and arrange a guardianship, if necessary. Our firm will help your family come to the best arrangement possible for the future of your children.

There are numerous reasons why couples choose or the judge decides that one parent will be the sole custodial parent. The decision may be based on how the parents interrelate with each other, on financial resources, or on other mitigating circumstances of the parties involved. In this case, the court will require the noncustodial parent to pay child support. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody, Illinois law requires that you go to mediation to work out a parenting arrangement. If an agreement can't be reached, the court will appoint an attorney or a guardian ad litem for the child. This representative for the child will continue negotiations with the parents' attorneys, but if an agreement can still not be reached, then there will be a hearing at the end of which the judge will decide.

Same-Sex Couples Divorce

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois and that civil unions are also still legal in Illinois, same-sex couples who join in a marriage or civil union must undergo a divorce proceeding if their relationship breaks down. Dealing with issues such as child custody, the division of marital property and more must be addressed before individuals can go their separate ways following a divorce. At Jill M. Metz & Associates, we work with same-sex couples and help them achieve the best outcome possible as we help them navigate Illinois' divorce process. Please speak with us today to learn more about our services and to discuss your needs.

Mediation: What Is It? Can It Help?

Mediation is a process where the couple meets outside of the more formal and adversarial atmosphere of the court. You and your spouse sit down with a trained mediator, who is a lawyer, social worker or mental health professional. Many couples have trouble communicating during a divorce, and a professional, neutral party can be invaluable.

Settling conflicts in mediation has many advantages over fighting each other in court. Mediation is confidential, and any personal information that surfaces will not become part of a public court record. It allows for the parties to arrive at more creative and personally satisfying solutions. Mediation is also much cheaper than litigation.

The law requires divorcing couples to go to mediation if the parties cannot agree on a custody settlement. There is no such requirement regarding property issues. However, many couples find the mediation process very effective at settling all kinds of differences that come up in a divorce.

Jill M. Metz & Associates has attorneys who can assist you through the mediation process.

Contact Jill M. Metz & Associates for a Consultation

Please contact our Illinois family law office online or call 773-878-4480 today to schedule an initial consultation.

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