Depending on the circumstances, a divorce can be an exceedingly difficult and trying legal process. Because you are making such an important life decision, it is understandable that emotions are high, and the process seems intimidating. With help from the right Chicago divorce lawyer, you can successfully navigate the emotional tole and complicated legal process. Most likely, your decision to divorce was not one taken lightly; neither should your choice be to find the best divorce lawyer for your case. With so many attorneys to choose from, the process may seem overwhelming. In this blog post, we will discuss how to choose the best Chicago divorce lawyer for your case.
Do I Even Need to Hire a Divorce Attorney?
While you may be tempted to represent yourself (after all, no one knows your situation like you do), hiring the right divorce lawyer to advocate on your behalf can spare you hours of heartache and costly mistakes. Because family law encompasses precious things like your children, finances, and future, there is nothing more important than getting it right. Depending on your unique circumstances, there may be complicated factors at hand that would require the expertise of an attorney.
Additionally, emotions are high during this time which may cloud your judgement and negatively impact your case. You need a compassionate but prudent attorney by your side.
Identify Your Biggest Concerns
Before you schedule a consultation, make a list of your concerns and future goals. Your divorce case may involve children, a business, child and spousal support, and property division. After you have pinpointed your goals and concerns, find a lawyer with experience in that area.
Research the attorney and check their credentials, practice areas, and most importantly, any disciplines they may have and why. Once you have narrowed down a few, schedule consultations with them. You should treat your consultation like a job interview; after all, you are hiring this attorney to represent you and advocate for your best interests. Prepare a list of questions to ask. For example, here are a few important ones:
- Who will work on my case?
- How many cases like mine has your firm handled? What were the outcomes?
- Can you give me a rundown of your fees?
- How often will I receive a bill?
- Will you update me on the status of my case? How often?
- How many years of court and trial experience do you have?
- What problems do you foresee?
- How can we accomplish my goals?
Make sure your attorney is compassionate, sympathetic, and most importantly, interested in your overall goals. Your goals should be theirs and they should fiercely advocate on your behalf.
We offer free consultations to help you choose the best divorce lawyers for your case. When you call, you will have the opportunity to speak directly with one of our Chicago divorce attorneys. Our attorneys are experienced in family and divorce law and have the compassion and heart to fiercely advocate for you. Our firm handles family, divorce, custody, parenting, and domestic law matters for clients in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, and McHenry County including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Aurora, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, St. Charles, Clarendon Hills, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Chicago, Woodstock, Waukegan, Vernon Hills, Barrington, Long Grove, Barrington Hills, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Cary, Lake Zurich, Lake Forest, Geneva, Lake Barrington, Northbrook, Deerfield
While the legalization of marijuana has been a heated debate for many years in the United States, Illinois has always been progressive in its views. In 2013, Illinois moved to legalize medical marijuana use. In 2016, Illinois decriminalized marijuana. Authorities fined any person(s) caught possessing less than 10 grams rather than jailing them (a very progressive move given the history of criminalization). And finally, recreational sales of marijuana began January 1, 2020. Although many states have legalized pot, it remains illegal at the federal level. However, that may change soon. In a historic move today, Congress passed a bill for the first time ever for legalization. While its legalization is not guaranteed (given the republican controlled Senate), this is monumental. Regardless of marijuana’s federal legal status, there is still a stigma around consumption. You may be wondering how smoking marijuana may impact your Illinois divorce and child custody case.
Marijuana May Impact Illinois Divorce and Child Custody Cases
Because the legalization of marijuana in Illinois is still recent, there is not a lot of definitive information. It may compare to the use of alcohol. If it is casual consumption, it should not be a problem. However, if use becomes excessive and puts children in harm’s way, then it is an issue.
Something that is clear though, responsible use of a legal substance within Illinois law will not lead to incarceration. In divorce proceedings, a judge may look at the criminal history of a parent to determine the child’s best interests. Convictions may curtail or terminate parental time. With the legalization of marijuana, this should no longer be an issue. Additionally, Illinois has moved to expunge many arrest records for marijuana related crimes. This can significantly help you in your child custody battle.
Keep in mind, a vindictive spouse may take advantage of the stigma surrounding marijuana use to paint you in a negative light. In this situation, it is important to have an experienced (and tolerant) Chicago divorce attorney by your side.
If you are a parent that enjoys a responsible blunt occasionally, there are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Do not leave paraphernalia in common spaces where your children can access it.
- Do not use marijuana around your children. Save smoking for after bedtime or when they are not around.
- If you enjoy edibles, make sure to not store it somewhere your children may mistake it as a snack.
If marijuana has negatively affected past divorce proceedings, contact us. There are remedies available to you since its legalization. If you are a marijuana user worried about how it may impact your case, our experienced Chicago divorce attorneys are here to help!