Keep Educated- Subscribe to Divorce/Family Law Research Updates

Announcing an offer to provide legal research on a subscription basis to our family law and divorce law customers.

If you are interested in staying up to speed on what Illinois case law says about family and divorce law issues like maintenance, child support, custody or parenting plans, this is for you! We are actively seeking your feedback on the topics of interest to you.

To subscribe, please email us your interest on our contact-us page. We will be providing payment and paypal options soon.

This is our commitment to meet the increasing demand for those of you who want to be hands-on in your cases. We feel you deserve greater transparency and the right to see the law for yourselves. We hope you will take advantage of this new way to help us serve you even better.

Divorce, Separation and Family Law during Covid 19 – did you know it might be cheaper now?

At Solutions First, we do not believe in divorce or separation as a solution to all spousal or partner difficulties – only to those marriages and relationships that are so bad that you no longer feel like you. If you find yourself in that painful situation, we want you to know that the courts have worked diligently to make family and divorce law cases continue forward.

As a result of Zoom and video access, our lawyers are spending less time in courtrooms and/or in travel mode. In our experience, this means that clients pay far less for time spent in court. Many family law attorneys charge a premium for hours spent in court so this newfound efficiency may very well make the expense of court time less than it was before. If you have come to the inevitable decision that you need to separate or divorce, we think this is important for you to know. We will do our best to not let the economics get in your way of seeking a better situation.

Racism and George Floyd- Unacceptable! We pledge to treat our divorce and business clients with zero tolerance for any form of racism or bigotry.

One cannot help but read or hear each day of the horrible racial mistreatment experienced in our country. We should be ashamed that, after all the years since the abolition of slavery, we even still hear these stories.

It is ALL of our responsibility do our parts to help make our world a better place. That is why I am stating on this website that we pledge to make sure all of our divorce and business mediation and litigation clients are treated with dignity and decency. We will not tolerate prejudice or mistreatment of any clients based on the color of their skin, their sexual preference, their gender, their age, or any other reason that is undeserved.

We invite questions or concerns at any time.

Illinois Spousal Support and Divorce – Creative advocacy matters!

So many clients ask us about how spousal support is calculated. Many of them are afraid of not getting enough. Others are afraid of paying too much or too long.

One of the scariest and most difficult things to face in divorce is the splitting of money. No matter how much or how little, divorce means whatever the amount of money that exists, it is going to go less far.

In Illinois, only people who were married and getting divorced are entitled to spousal support. This type of support is now called maintenance, but it used to be called alimony. Illinois does not recognize cohabitation as a basis for any sort of maintenance or spousal support. In other words, our state does not recognize common law marriage.

Spousal support consists of 2 main components – 1 ) duration and 2) amount.

As for duration, the law provides a formula for the number of months spousal support will be paid based on the number of months of marriage. The law changed not too long ago to exclude from the number of months of marriage the time spent in divorce court. It is important that, if you are sure you are going to be getting a divorce that you plan for that exclusion of time.

As for the amount of spousal support, again there is a formula provided by Illinois law that takes into account both spouses’ incomes, essentially providing for the subtraction of 25% of the receiver’s net income from 33 1/3% of the payor’s net income. In addition, there is a cap at certain dollar amounts.

While these components can be found in Illinois written law on divorce, what many don’t know is that arguments can be made for deviations. To illustrate, a payor might be able to successfully argue that the recipient spousal does not need support. Another argument the paying spouse might make is that recipient spouse would enjoy a standard of living in excess of the standard of living during most of the marriage.

A receiving spouse similarly can argue for spousal support to be granted above guidelines. If there is illness, special circumstances, age differences, or other circumstances that may weigh on a judge’s decisions, all of those aspects should be presented.

We believe that our clients deserve more than just book-fed law. We will get to know you and make sure you receive a strategy built on your life’s situation. You deserve to have the equities of your situation presented.

Scared of Divorce? We want to help paint a new picture!

Increasingly, we are getting calls from people who are very scared that at this precarious time. They are being told to leave. Or they are being told that their partner or spouse is leaving.

We know that statements like these can strike fear. A flood of uncertainty follows. What will happen to me? How often will I see our children? How will I survive financially? What will happen to me? How will I retire? In simpler terms, one wonders- WILL I BE OK? It is like staring at a blank canvas and not knowing what to paint.

At Solutions First, we help people be ok!  The separation and divorce process are certainly far from fun. But usually, most people on this path realize they were unhappier than they were willing to admit. They find a new journey, a new hope for something better. They draw a new picture on their life’s canvas and find a different perspective.

Divorce and separation are undoubtedly an end. But they are also a beginning. A beginning of something better can sprout. We commit to making the best new beginning for you that we can. We know that may seem impossible. But we see it time and time again – an awakening in our clients, who find greater happiness and hope than they have had in a long while. There is no utopia. But most of our clients feel like they find themselves again and are happy to have the opportunity to paint a better future.