Divorce Lawyers in Arlington Heights

At the Law Office of Robert Thomas we understand the sensitive nature of family disputes.

Family Law

Family law addresses all matters related to relationships and the law. Family law includes divorce, uncontested and contested divorces, divorce mediation, and all matters relating to the children of the parties. Family law also addresses high net worth divorce cases, dissipation of marital assets, and transmutation of property.

Family law involves sensitive information and deep emotional decisions. The Law Office of Robert Thomas and its staff are understanding and sensitive to the needs of its clients. You and your family will always be treated with respect and sincerity as if you were part of our family.

Northern Illinois Divorce and Family Law Attorney

When you walk into the office, you will be greeted by kind and understanding members of the office. You will work with highly educated professionals, who have a track record of winning cases.

High Net Worth Divorces

High Net Worth Divorces involve clients who possess substantial assets and who require special care. High net worth divorces involve complex transactions, thorough analytical review of financial statements, and an intimate understanding of tax and estate laws.

One reason why high net worth divorces are complicated is because couples share accounts, business assets, investments, and they may own multiple properties. The Law Office of Robert Thomas concentrates on the division of property in divorces involving a wide range of complex assets, including but not limited to, deferred compensation plans, retirement plans, inherited property acquired before marriage, real estate and separate property holdings.One of the key ways to avoid disputes that can lengthen the divorce process is a careful accounting of and valuation of assets and liabilities. Robert Thomas networks with experts who can determine the value of assets. When dealing in transactions involving assets and liabilities, careful tax planning is a key element.

Northern Illinois Divorce and Family Law Attorney

The Law Office of Robert Thomas has more than 25 years of law experience. Robert Thomas is an experienced tax attorney, holding a J.D. and L.L.M. He is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, the Ohio Bar Association, and the U.S. Tax Court. His staff includes a certified public accountant with a concentration in taxation who specializes in valuing and distributing high valued assets, retirement accounts, and investments.

Dissipation of Marital Assets

Dissipation of Marital Assets is the wasting of marital assets through extravagant spending, reckless gambling, excessive borrowing, or fraudulent conveyance of property to a third party without knowledge or permission by the other spouse. In other words, courts believe dissipation of marital assets arise when marital property is used for the sole benefit of one spouse for purposes unrelated to the marriage at the time the marriage is undergoing an irreconcilable breakdown. This is a common problem in high net worth divorces.

Northern Illinois Divorce and Family Law Attorney

The Law Office of Robert Thomas has more than 25 years of law experience and possesses a deep and knowledgeable understanding of the rules of dissipations. Robert Thomas and his knowledgeable staff review and analyze all relevant account statements and perform a thorough asset search to determine whether dissipation has occurred. If dissipation exists, Robert Thomas will aggressively pursue any claims of dissipation in the courts on behalf of his client.

Transmutation

Transmutation in common terms means to “convert” or “comingle.”
Transmutation by commingling happens when separate (pre-marital property) and marital property become mixed together to such a degree that each cannot be identified and separated for purposes of classification and distribution during a divorce. Transmutation can be made by gift, and occurs when the owning spouse makes a gift to the marriage.

Disputes happen when separate funds are placed in a joint account or when marital funds are placed in an account that had been separate. Combining marital and separate funds in a single account generally makes the separate funds marital “only when it is impossible to trace the separate funds.”

If the transmuted property loses its identity, then there is transmutation and the contributing estate must be reimbursed. The law Office of Robert Thomas works closely with clients starting at the initial consultation to explain transmutation and to aggressively pursue reimbursement when transmutation does occur.

Divorce

Whether your divorce is contested and involves several issues that must be negotiated and settled in court, or whether your divorce is uncontested and the parties are in agreement to most issues, we are committed to achieving an effective and speedy resolution.

A dissolution of marriage is the legal term for a divorce. It happens when two people have been legally married, and one or both goes through the court process to have the marriage ended.

Legal Separation

A legal separation is a court order between married people allowing the court to be able to issue future orders in regards to money and children, however the couple remains married.  A legal separation allows a couple to live apart—and at a later date—decide if a divorce is appropriate.

Child Custody

There are two types of child custody– legal and residential — and both can be sole or joint. Legal custody refers to the parent’s authority to make important decisions about the child or children’s upbringing. This includes where the child(ren) will attend school, what activities they will be involved in, and what religion they will be exposed to. Residential custody refers to where the children live. Parents granted residential or physical custody are often referred to as “custodial parents.”

Judges prefer to grant both parents legal custody and give only one parent primary residential custody. This allows the children to have one “home base” where they live while still spending time with both parents. In such cases, the non-custodial parent is granted regular visitation, which is sometimes referred to as “parenting time.” This arrangement allows both parents to share in the important decisions, while recognizing the children’s need for consistent living arrangements.

Visitation

Visitation is the time determined either by agreement of the parties or by the court when the non-custodial parent is with the child(ren). When the child is an infant (i.e. ages 1-4) the courts do not want overnight visitation with the non-custodial parent. The infant child will be with the non-custodial parent during the day and the infant child is returned at night to the primary residential parent. Once the child starts school, courts will allow overnight visitation with the non-custodial parent. Visitation is governed by 750 ILCS 5/602.5-602.9.

Child Support

Child support is typically calculated based on the non-custodial parent’s gross earnings from all sources of income, less certain taxes and allowable deductions, and then multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children of the couple.

Property Distribution

Property distribution is the foundation of your finances for years to come after a divorce. Robert Thomas has the experience and knowledge needed to analyze complex asset holdings, examine inheritances and certain gifts, determine and prove income dissipation, and appropriately distribute marital assets according to your situation.

Spousal Maintenance or Support

The court looks at several things to determine an equitable amount for spousal support; such as: the ability to pay spousal support, mandatory deductions, the length of the marriage, the ability of the other spouse to earn income and self-support him or herself, the standard of living of the couple, the tax consequences of the support payments for both parties, and the debts of the couple.

Order of Protection

An Order of Protection is an official legal document, signed by a judge, that is filed against a current or former family member that forces that individual to keep a distance or to limit interactions with another family member. Enforceable in court, it can be drafted to meet your specific needs as they apply to your situation.

Paternity

Establishing paternity means legally determining the father of a child. When the parents are not married, paternity can be established by the mother and the father voluntarily signing paternity papers or involuntarily through the court system. The establishment of paternity offers the chance at a fulfilling father-child relationship, it offers a sense of identity and belonging for the child, it increases the possibility to know about any diseases or disorders that exist in the father’s family, many of which may not show up at birth or in childhood.

Establishing paternity also entitles the child to the father’s financial and economic

benefits, such as, child support payments, health insurance, Social Security, pensions and veterans benefits.  Lastly, paternity also establishes the right to inherit from the father when he dies.

Parentage

Parentage is when two people have a child and they are not married to each other, the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46/101-905) determines the rights and responsibilities of the parents for the child and for each other. Since the parties are not married there are no property issues involved. Removal- if the parent having residential custody of the child(ren), also known as the custodial parent, wants to move from the state of Illinois to another state or to a foreign country and to take the child(ren) with him/her, then the custodial parent must petition the court in the jurisdiction where that parent lives and get the court’s permission to move. The custodial parent does not need the court’s permission to move within the state of Illinois. This applies to both divorce and parentage cases. Removal is governed by 750 ILCS 5/609.2.

Remove or Relocate Minor Child

If the custodial parent wishes to remove, or relocate, the minor child from the state of residency or more than 25 miles from the current residence, that parent must ask the court for permission and prove to the court that the relocation of the child is in the best interest of the child. The court will consider the impact the relocation will have on the relationship and the visitation schedule between the child and the non-custodial parent.

Post-Judgement Modifications

A divorce, dissolution of civil union, or a judgment for parentage does not always address future issues that may arise years or even decades after the fact.  Post-judgment modification proceedings may involve a modification of child custody and visitation orders or the termination or modification of child support or spousal support. It is possible for these modification proceedings to be more complicated and time consuming than the original proceedings. Accordingly, it is important to ensure that you have competent representation in any modification proceedings. Robert Thomas has twenty years of experience in modifying judgments.

Life Insurance

As for life insurance, at a minimum, the parent paying child support will be required to obtain life insurance naming the child(ren) as beneficiaries and the other parent as trustee for the child(ren). If the parent paying child support dies before this obligation would terminate, the courts want to make sure the child(ren) receives money that would otherwise be due to the child(ren). This is governed by 750 ILCS 5/505(a)(3)(f) and 750 ILCS 5/510(d) and 510(e).

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