Can we just use a mediator?
Mediators cannot perform the legal procedures for a divorce, nor can they give either party advice. Their function is simply to get an agreement and they cannot comment on the fairness of the agreement if the parties agree. The better method is to get a lawyer who is settlement oriented and then go to the mediator and confer with the lawyer so that you understand your rights.
Is collaborative law faster?
Not necessarily. You can negotiate endlessly in collaborative law if no case has been filed in court.
Is collaborative law a better way to go?
Not necessarily. It depends on your individual circumstances. If you need experts to help you make decisions, that may be a better way to proceed. If not, two settlement minded lawyers can settle a case fairly and without a lot of court appearances if both parties want to complete the matter without fighting.
Is Collaborative law cheaper?
Not necessarily. In collaborative law, both parties have to have attorneys and sometimes the attorneys bring in experts like accountants and psychologists. Your case may require those experts. Both lawyers and experts will require fees. If your issues and your marital property warrant that expenditure it may be cheaper or as cheap as getting two lawyers who are settlement oriented and experienced who may also need to consult experts.
Can I get sole custody?
Illinois no longer uses the term “custody.” The legal responsibilities that were meant by the term custody are now divided into parenting time (schedule) and decision-making responsibilities in the areas of Healthcare, Religion, Education and Extra-curricular activities. The parties may jointly share decision-making, divide it between them, or one parent may be awarded all of the decision-making. Generally the factors to be considered are the same as in custody cases of the past.
Can I get alimony?
Alimony is now called maintenance. A new statute regarding the award of maintenance contains guidelines based upon the length of the marriage and the parties’ incomes. The judge is not required to follow the guidelines, but most of them do unless given a strong reason to do otherwise.
Will the new tax law effect my maintenance?
Through the end of 2018, maintenance will be taxable to the person receiving it and deductible to the party paying. As long as the judgment is entered before the end of 2018, that tax treatment can apply in the future despite the new tax code. Beginning in 2019 maintenance will not be taxable to the recipient or deductible by the person paying, so new guidelines are being passed to make maintenance paid based on net income instead of gross income to produce a fairer outcome for both parties.
How much child support will I collect?
Child support used to be calculated as a percent of net income. Now there is a formula based on both parties’ incomes. It is difficult to calculate unless you use computer software made for that purpose.