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Frequently Asked Questions on Divorce, Custody, Maintenance, Child Support

Questions about Divorce and Other Family Law Matters in Lake County

Illinois Alimony and Child Support Attorney

A divorce case may be filed by someone who resides in Illinois.  However, a divorce case may not be finalized by the court until a person has resided in Illinois for at least 90 days.

What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?

Illinois is not a no fault state.  Illinois recognizes the following grounds:  irreconcilable differences, mental cruelty, physical cruelty, desertion, impotency, habitual drunkenness, venereal disease, attempt to take life, conviction of felon, adultery, bigamy and drug addiction.

Can a divorce be granted if the respondent’s whereabouts are unknown?

If the filing spouse has made a good faith effort to locate the missing spouse, and can swear under oath that the current whereabouts of the other spouse are unknown, then the missing spouse can be “served” by publication of notice in a local newspaper.

What are the filing fees for a divorce in Lake County, Illinois?

The current fee for filing a divorce petition in Lake County is $245.00.  If service is made to the other spouse by a sheriff or process server, then there is an additional fee for service which can range from $25.00 to $75.00.

How is property divided in Illinois?

The rule in Illinois is that property acquired during the marriage is classified as marital property subject to division during a divorce (there are some exceptions). Property owned prior to the marriage, may retain its character as non marital property not subject to division.

Does Illinois have Maintenance formerly known as Alimony?

Yes.  Maintenance may be awarded to either spouse for their support after the divorce.  Temporary Maintenance may be awarded while the divorce case is pending. The needs of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay are the primary factors in determining maintenance.  Since most spouses are working, maintenance (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time.  Maintenance may be paid in a lump sum payment of money or the award of some property.

Are there guidelines for custody of children in Illinois?

Many parents agree about the division of parenting time and how decisions will be made for the benefit of the children.  If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on joint custody or sole custody, the ultimate decision will be made by the Judge. 

How is child support determined in Illinois?

Illinois, like most other states, has guidelines for determining the amount of child support to be paid.  The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child’s best interest.

What about medical insurance for the children in Illinois?

A determination as to who will provide medical health care insurance for the children and how non covered medical expenses shall be paid between the parties is typically part of the parties’ marital settlement agreement during the divorce process.  If medical insurance is available through a parent’s employment, they may be required to cover their children through the plan.

How permanent are the provisions for child support in Illinois?

As in other states, orders providing for the support of children are subject to modification.  Child support is modifiable if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties, that is, a substantial increase or decrease in income or a change in the living arrangements of the children. 

Can Child Support be withheld from earnings in Illinois?

Virtually every state, including Illinois, has a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who is ordered to pay child support - much the way income tax is withheld.  This makes both receiving and paying child support more certain for both parents.  Child support is typically withheld by the employer and sent to the State Disbursement Agency, authorized to receive and disburse payments.  Once the support has been received and verified, the payment is forwarded to the parent who is to receive support for the benefit of the children.

If you live in Lake County, Illinois and require legal representation, I invite you to call me at 847-680-8520 or contact me through this site to arrange a consultation.  I look forward to helping you.


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The Law Office of Cynthia L. Lazar | Libertyville Illinois Family Law Attorney

611 S. Milwaukee Avenue, Suite 12
Libertyville, IL 60048 map and directions

847-680-8520
fax 847-680-8580