Divorce Lawyer in Arlington Heights, IL

Contested Divorces in Illinois

No one ever plans to get divorced, but unfortunately, it still happens. The divorce process is often replete with emotional tension and legal nuances that can leave a person feeling overwhelmed. Fortunately, you do not have to face this challenging time alone. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney can provide you with the legal advice you need to bring your contested divorce to a successful conclusion.

At the law office of attorney Robert S. Thomas, we will handle the unique circumstances of your situation to ensure that your best interests are zealously represented throughout every level of your divorce. Our office has decades of experience and specializes in high asset divorces, alimony disputes, and complex divorce litigation. Get the most from your divorce, and contact our office for legal representation you can depend on.

The Scope of Our Illinois Divorce Practice

Our law office offers competent legal representation for all divorce aspects, giving particular attention to asset protection, spousal support, and custody disputes. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, contacting our office in Arlington Heights can provide you with a clearer understanding of the matters regarding your divorce.

Property Division in an Equitable Distribution State

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that during divorce proceedings, if a couple cannot agree on how their shared property will be divided, it becomes the responsibility of the court to distribute all marital assets equitably, although not always equal.

When divorces involve assets of substantial value or complicated marital property, the attorneys of both parties will have to scrutinize finances. Oftentimes, property valuations are used to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and judgments regarding property division are accurate. Moreover, before making any final legal decisions, spouses should be well informed about the tax implications stemming from property division that could affect their business interest, benefit plans, real estate, and even alimony.

Transmutation of Marital Assets and Divorce

In divorces involving significant asset division, it is essential to protect all separate property during the divorce. Separate property includes all assets you owned before marrying your spouse and wealth gifted to you by a third party. Unlike marital property, separate property is not subject to distribution. However, the individual property may lose its protected status if it is commingled with marital property. This process is also known as transmutation.

Transmutation occurs when an owning spouse makes a gift of separate property to the marriage. For instance, if you deposited an inheritance (separate property) into a joint bank account with your spouse (marital property), your legacy could now be considered marital property if the funds cannot be traced back.

In these situations, the commingled property has lost its identity, and the contributing spouse must be reimbursed.  

Alimony

In action for legal separation, dissolution of marriage, or invalidity of marriage, the law allows either spouse to ask for spousal support. The judge may grant a permanent or temporary award for amounts or periods of time determined by the court.

Without regard to marital misconduct, alimony is determined by the requesting party’s financial need and the spouse’s ability to pay. The judge may consider many factors including the present and future earning capacity of each party, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the tax consequences on each party’s property. The judge may also consider the contributions of the requesting spouse to the education, career or license of the paying spouse, and any other factor deemed relevant to spousal maintenance.

Child Custody and Support

A couple may file for divorce in Illinois if one spouse has lived in the state for at least 90 days. However, the court may not determine custody awards unless the children have lived in the state for at least six months.

In Illinois, child custody awards are based upon the best interest of the child. When deliberating this decision, a judge will consider all relevant factors, including the child’s needs and each parent’s ability to provide for them. Typically joint custody is preferred by the courts, but a judge may alter the sentence if they believe joint custody would be detrimental to the child’s overall well-being.

A judge also has the authority to issue child support orders to ensure that the wellbeing of the child is being taken care of. Child support orders are to provide for the mental, physical and health needs of the child. In Illinois, orders are calculated following the Flat Percentage Income Model and are usually based of the net income of the obligor parent. The amount of child support a parent pays if determined by statute and the number of children they have.

Complex Divorce Litigation

The law office of attorney Robert Thomas also takes on complex divorce cases. These unique situations involve legal matters that require a more intense level of pre-trial discovery and legal strategy during litigation. These cases typically involve high asset division, business interest, and hotly contested custody disputes. Complex divorce litigation can also include cases where orders of protection are needed to ensure the safety of a party during the defense proceedings. Regardless of the unique situations regarding your case, the divorce process in these intricate situations warrant the legal advice of an experienced divorce attorney.

Attorney Robert Thomas Serves Clients in Arlington Heights, IL

Attorney Robert. S. Thomas has over 25 years of experience defending the best interest of his clients and is prepared to do the same for you. Whether you need representation during a high asset divorce, alimony dispute, or complex litigation, attorney Robert Thomas has the knowledge and tenacity to fight your case to the very end. Call our office located in Arlington Heights today for a free consultation.

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