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Wheaton, IL divorce law firmOne of the most important decisions you will make when going through a divorce is choosing who you will retain to be your divorce attorney. Having the right attorney—one who is not only skilled at his or her craft but also one who you feel comfortable and confident with—is crucial to having a successful divorce.

When meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time, there are several areas that you should make sure you find out information about. These areas include:

Attorney and Legal Fees

The amount an attorney charges, including their hourly rate, any required retainer, and other possible attorney and legal fees, is something that every attorney should be forthcoming with. No one needs any surprise fees, especially while going through such a life-changing event. Although an attorney cannot predict the exact amount your divorce may cost, he or she should be able to explain the standard charges, as well as situations that could come up which could cause those costs to increase.

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DuPage County gray divorce attorneyWhile the major story with regards to divorce statistics in recent years is the fact that in most age segments, especially the Millennial Generation, divorce rates are on the decline (which should not be that much of a surprise given that marriage rates are also on the decline for this age group). But possibly an even more interesting and multifaceted development is the huge spike in gray divorces, or divorces for those over the age of 50, many of which can be very complex divorces due to the large variety and amounts of assets, properties, and debts amassed through the years. Here are some of the reasons for the increase in gray divorces.

5 Primary Reasons for the Increase in Gray Divorces

Over the last two decades, there have been twice as many gray divorces as there were in the past. This doubling of gray divorce rates suggests a trend. Here are some of the most common reasons that so many people over the age of 50 are getting divorced:

  1. Less Stigma—These older generations have seen a dramatic shift in the way divorce is viewed by both society and religious organizations. Whereas in prior decades, divorce might have branded you as an outcast or someone who did not have the fortitude or fidelity to “make it work” in regards to your marriage. These days, you will probably hear someone say, “Good for them,” upon hearing of a couple’s divorce. That is because overall, everyone is much more accepting of divorce, especially due to the many negative consequences of failing marriages.

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DuPage County parenting time attorneyGoing through a divorce can be difficult on an adult as well as a child. The end of a marriage also means the end of the family unit as they knew it. Determining child visitation, now referred to as “parenting time” in Illinois, can be a complicated matter. The child’s best interest is what the court considers when parenting time rights are being established in any divorce settlement. Parenting time can be divided in many different ways, but it is imperative that the parents keep personal preferences out of the equation and devise a plan that works best for the child.

Determining the Child’s Best Interests

It is recognized by the state that in most cases, it is best for children to have a healthy relationship with both their mother and father, and those familial bonds are essential in their development. While parents may be able to reach an agreement on how to share parenting time, they may need to settle these issues in court if they cannot do so on their own. A judge will consider various types of information when determining the best outcome for the child, and the following elements are taken under advisement:

  • Parents’ wishes

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DuPage County child support modification attorneyAfter you have gone through a divorce and are paying or receiving child support, there may come a time when you believe the amount you pay or the child receives should be adjusted. In Illinois, this may be done through a modification review process.

When Can I Have My Child Support Order Modified?

Under Illinois family law, an order for child support is eligible for modification review every three years, or when there is a significant change in either parent’s income or in the needs of the child. In the case of a three-year review, a parent will receive a letter from the agency in charge, informing them of the right to request a review.

Who Conducts the Modification Review?

Modification reviews of child support orders in Illinois are done by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS). The agency is tasked with the responsibility to make sure child support orders are consistent with applicable Illinois law and changed circumstances involving all concerned.

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Wheaton divorce attorneyIn recent years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on fathers’ rights during and after a divorce. This is partly due to a trend in which many dads have taken more active roles in parenting compared to fathers in previous generations. In divorces that took place in the past, mothers were typically awarded what was called “sole custody” of the children, as well as alimony, child support, the marital home, and other assets. However, things often turn out differently in today’s divorces, since many mothers and fathers share in earning household income and raising children.

In modern divorce cases, mothers’ rights regarding child custody should not be automatically assumed like they often were in the past. During divorce, both parents should be sure to understand their rights and the ways they can reach a favorable outcome.

Protecting the Best Interests of the Child

In Illinois, the court is instructed to consider what is in the best interests of the child when it comes to the “allocation of parental responsibilities” (formerly known as child custody) and “parenting time” (formerly known as visitation). According to Illinois law, if married parents reside in the state, then a family court will decide on these matters as a part of their divorce proceedings. For an unmarried couple, paternity must be established before a court can address matters of parental responsibility and parenting time.

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