BURTON A. GROSS
Please note the first two questions apply to married couples only. All others apply to both dissolution (divorce) cases and parentage (paternity) cases.
Does Illinois have no fault divorce?
No, Illinois has a modified form of no fault known as irreconcilable differences which requires a minimum period of separation.
How are decisions regarding maintenance (formerly alimony) and division of marital property made?
The divorce act lists the factors to be considered in setting maintenance and dividing property. The factors given the greatest weight in most cases have to do with the length of the marriage and the economic situations of the parties.
Is child support based on a percentage of the payor's net income?
In most cases child support is set by statutory guidelines based upon the number of minor children to be supported. However, in some situations the court may enter a support figure above or below the guideline, and in cases where the payor's income cannot be determined, support will be based upon the needs of the child(ren).
Is joint custody a good thing?
Joint custody depends on the ability of the parties to set aside their differnces and communicate with each other about child issues. In some cases it works and in others it does not.
What happens when one of the parties cannot afford to pay a lawyer?
The law allows for the court to order the other party to contribute to the attorney fees and costs of the economically disadvantaged party.
How long will it take to finish my case?
Impossible to answer because it depends on so many factors. What is possible to say is that well over 90% of all cases get settled through the attorneys.