DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW
Attorney John Hoekstra can assist with a wide range of Family Law matters including Divorce, Child Custody & Support, Spousal Support/Alimony, Property Distribution, and Visitation Rights.
The attorney to whom you entrust your family law case must have the following essential skills to ensure a successful result:
Communication and negotiating skills, both with opposing attorney and with you, the client;
Extensive knowledge of the law and ability to properly evaluate your case.
These skills are not acquired by obtaining a law degree and obtaining a license to practice law as an attorney. The only way these skills are acquired is through experience dealing with thousands of family law cases on a day to day basis. Attorney John Hoekstra has acquired these skills over 30 years of experience dealing with divorce, child custody and support cases.
When it comes to divorce or child support cases, every family and situation is different. To get through these challenging times, turn to Hoekstra Law Offices. The expert legal advice you will receive will help you understand your rights and options, so you will be able to make the right decisions to successfully resolve your case.
Call Hoekstra Law Offices for a free consultation concerning your case.
Attorney John Hoekstra can assist with a wide range of family law matters including divorce, child custody and support, spousal support/alimony, property distribution, and visitation rights. Below are common questions about divorce and family law asked by our clients:
What are the grounds for divorce in Illinois?
With the change in the law effective January 2016, the only “grounds” for divorce is irreconcilable differences (or “no-fault”).
What does the term irreconcilable differences mean?
To rely on this ground, the petitioner filing for divorce must state that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. There is no longer any requirement for any separation period between the spouses.
Does fault affect the court's decisions about spousal support/alimony, property division, or child support?
No. Even when the fault is proven in the court to establish grounds for the divorce, marital misconduct is not generally considered when determining issues of property division, spousal support/alimony or child support.
Are there any residency requirements I have to meet in order to obtain a divorce in Illinois?
Yes. One of two people filing must have been an Illinois resident for at least 90 days before filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
In addition to giving me a divorce, what other things can the court do for me?
The court can also make the following orders:
Grant custody of minor children
Set a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
Set the amount of child support
Divide marital property
Divide responsibility for marital debt
Order one spouse to pay maintenance (formerly known as "alimony") to the other spouse.
How long will it take to get a divorce?
It may take as little as three to four months to obtain a divorce if the issues involved are not contested. However, there are factors that can delay the process to over a year or even longer. If your case is contested, the proceedings will be delayed until an agreement on all the issues or a final hearing when the court decides all contested issues.
There are a variety of factors that can delay a divorce, such as:
Difficulty notifying your spouse about the divorce. For example, it is possible that the sheriff or private process server has had difficulty delivering the summons and petition to your spouse.
The vehemence of the spouses' feelings and their inclination to settle.
Whether your spouse has decided to fight over issues as to custody, support, and the division of property.
The availability of both attorney's calendar and the court's calendar.
Your spouse's attorney can prolong your divorce by presenting an uncompromising position or argument. Keep in mind that just as your attorney is looking out for your best interests, your spouse's attorney is doing the same.
The timeline for divorce proceedings is unpredictable. By far, the most common factor that can prolong divorce actions are the intensity of the parties' feelings and the degree to which the parties want to put up a fight. Attorney John Hoekstra will ensure you are taking all of the necessary steps to conclude the divorce as soon as possible.
Distribution of Property
In the event of a divorce or separation, assets that have been obtained during the couple's marriage will be evaluated and equitably divided. Most divorce proceedings require an attorney to ensure the proper handling and fairness of the division of property. Among the types of marital property disputes that occur during a divorce include bank accounts, home ownership, vehicles, inheritance, retirement plans, and investments.
Property ownership falls into two categories. Generally speaking, marital property refers to all the property that is acquired during the marriage. The non-marital property consists of gifts, inheritance, and possessions obtained before the marriage. Non-marital property can change its status to become marital property if the property has been comingled. Depositing your inheritance into a joint bank account with your spouse is an example of how that money can become classified as marital property. Divorcing couples must deal with the division of property. Hoekstra Law Offices will work diligently to make certain that the property division is properly classified and fairly divided.
Common Disputes over Marital Property
Property Value increases - It can be disputed that property improvements made by your spouse may allow entitlement to a portion of the increase in property value if they had contributed to the improvement and maintenance of that property.
Hidden Assets - When a spouse does not declare the ownership of some items to avoid the division with the other party.
Commingling Separate Property - When spouses have mixed together separate property they owned before the marriage. This can be especially difficult to sort out in the case of a long marriage.
Spousal Support / Alimony
Following a divorce, the court can order maintenance, or spousal support, to be paid on either a temporary or permanent basis. The court considers many factors to determine if spousal support should be awarded. Influencing the ruling on support and how much one spouse will pay the other includes the income, needs, earning capacity and job skills of each spouse. Other considerations include any physical or mental incapacity of the spouse or if a spouse has been the caretaker of the children during the marriage.
The Duration of Spousal Support
The obligation to pay spousal support may be permanent or for a fixed period of time depending upon the income of both spouses and the length of the marriage. The order to financially support your spouse may be modified if circumstances change, such as if the recipient becomes self-sufficient, re-marries, or cohabitates. If you are facing a divorce involving property, child custody, and support, maintenance/alimony, or allocation of debt, you will need an experienced attorney to guide you and safeguard the handling of your situation. Call Hoekstra Law Offices for a free consultation.
Child Custody and Support
Hoekstra Law Offices represents men and women throughout Illinois in child custody, support disputes, and paternity proceedings. The court has discretion based on the facts of each case to determine custody and parenting time based upon the best interests of the child. With the goal of ensuring that children are financially provided for, the courts follow guidelines for child support but may deviate from these guidelines based on the evidence presented by the parties. The court considers many factors while trying to meet the best interests of the child, which include the well-being of the child in the home and the mental and physical health of the parents.
Having the legal representation of family law attorney John Hoekstra will clarify your parental rights and responsibilities, and guide you through the difficult process of divorce or separation. Our approach at Hoekstra Law Offices focuses on providing you effective communication to resolve divorce, custody and child support cases as soon and effectively as possible. Contact John Hoekstra for a free consultation.