These are terms for the monthly amount paid by one spouse for the benefit of the other. When determining whether maintenance is appropriate, the court needs to decide if a party is a maintenance candidate in the first place and will consider factors, which include the length of marriage, the income and earning potential of each party, the assets of each party, the age and health of the parties, and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

Next, the court uses the statutory formula and the factors indicated above to calculate the amount and duration of the maintenance award. The duration can be either on a temporary basis, short-term, or indefinite.

Experienced attorneys at Allen & Glassman, Chartered know and apply factors relevant to each case to either negotiate or litigate that amount.

Asset division

Over the course of your marriage, you have acquired assets and enjoyed the growth of existing ones. Maybe you brought a considerable asset to the table prior to the marriage. Here at Allen & Glassman, Chartered, we help our clients navigate the complexity involved in first identifying non-marital assets (and assigning to their respective owners) and then dividing marital assets to achieve the best outcomes.

Illinois is an “equitable division” state regarding assets, but equity is not always equal. Most assets divisions are negotiated between the parties and can be divided in creative ways to achieve the unique goals of a client while still being an “equitable” outcome.

In some cases, the court will determine the allocation of these assets. In those situations, the court looks at the relevant factors like the length of marriage, non-marital estate, assets awarded to each party, and dissipation (marital funds spent on a non-marital purpose) to name a few.

Whether you have complex financials including businesses, real estate, investments and the like or the basics, we at Allen & Glassman, Chartered have the expertise and network of experts to ensure the assets are properly valued and work towards an equitable division of that which you worked so hard to accumulate. We are sensitive to the argument and issue of substantial contribution made whether as a homemaker, breadwinner, or both!

Child Support and Related Costs

In Illinois, the court recognizes that both parents have a duty to support their child and it is because of this that Illinois uses an income share model to calculate child support. The court will consider each party’s income and determine a support amount based on each party’s share of the total household income.

While this calculation is a good starting point, it is not the entire story. The court has several other factors to consider and which good attorneys can effectively present such as the needs of the child, the spousal support amount, health insurance for the children, and the amount of overnights with each parent. The court also has the discretion to order that support be paid either above or below the statutory guideline depending on the situation of the parties and the best interest of the child.

In addition to child support, the court will also allocate certain child-related expenses such as life insurance obligations, childcare, extracurricular activities and camps, uncovered medical expenses, pre-college expenses, and others between the parties based on their income and other factors.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time (formerly known as “Custody”)

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (formerly referred to as “custody”) is the term used to describe the how the significant “roles” of a parent will be allocated moving forward. Often these “roles” will be divided equally with each parent’s opinions being heard and discussed prior to a joint decision being made, but the parties have to demonstrate the ability to get along cooperatively.

If parents cannot agree or communicate well, in these instances, the court determines that it is not in the child’s best interest for these decisions to be made jointly. It will thus award one parent the final decision-making power. This means that in the event of a disagreement, that parent with the final decision-making power shall make the ultimate decision. When making this determination, the Court will consider the best interests of the child, parent’s ability to cooperate and make joint decisions, past participation in these decision-making events, and the child’s needs.

Another aspect of parenting is parenting time (formerly referred to as “visitation”). Perhaps this is the most painful and difficult issue for parents and children alike because you will never be with your children 24/7 again. Illinois Courts generally try to provide the child spends as much time as possible with both parents while also taking into account the geographic location of the parents, the wishes of the child, the history of the family, and so many other “best interest of the child” factors. In some cases where the parties are unable to agree or if other issues like addiction or abuse are present, the Court will appoint a Child Representative or Guardian ad Litem to advocate for the minor child and help the parties negotiate or advise the Court when an agreement simply cannot be reached.

Allen, Glassman & Schatz, LLC