April 11, 2020

Divorce Lawyer Chicago, IL

Chicago Divorce Lawyer

At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, we understand that navigating a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences in a person’s life. Based in Chicago, IL, our team of dedicated divorce lawyers is committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to guide our clients through this difficult time. We specialize in a variety of family law matters, including child custody, asset division, and spousal support, ensuring that each client receives personalized attention and tailored strategies to meet their unique needs. Our goal is to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome, while minimizing the emotional and financial stress often associated with divorce proceedings. At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, we’re more than just lawyers; we’re partners in navigating your new beginning.

couples who are signing divorce contracts

Financial Planning for a Divorce

Divorce is not just an emotional journey but also a complex financial undertaking. At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, based in Chicago, IL, we have guided numerous clients through the intricate process of financial planning during a divorce. Here, we share key insights and strategies to help individuals prepare financially for this life-changing event.

Understanding Your Financial Position

The first step in financial planning for a divorce is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation. This includes an inventory of all assets, such as property, investments, retirement accounts, and any debts or liabilities. We recommend gathering all financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs, to obtain a clear picture of your financial health.

Budgeting for the Transition

Creating a budget for the transition period is crucial. Divorce can bring unexpected expenses, and it’s important to anticipate these costs to avoid financial strain. We advise our clients to consider immediate needs, such as legal fees, living expenses, and potential child support or alimony obligations. This foresight is essential for maintaining financial stability.

Asset Division Strategy

Asset division can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Our team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC is skilled in negotiating fair settlements that reflect the true value of marital assets. We emphasize the importance of understanding the difference between marital and non-marital assets and how they are treated under Illinois law.

Managing Debt and Credit

Debt is another critical factor in divorce financial planning. It’s important to understand how debt is divided and the impact it can have on your financial future. We recommend reviewing credit reports and ensuring that all debts are accounted for in the divorce settlement. Protecting your credit score during this time is paramount.

Planning for Tax Implications

Taxes can have a significant impact on the financial outcome of a divorce. Issues such as alimony, child support, and the division of assets can all have tax consequences. Our team ensures that clients are aware of these implications and plans accordingly to mitigate any negative effects.

Securing Your Financial Future

Post-divorce, it’s important to update your financial plan. This includes revising your will, updating beneficiary designations, and reassessing your investment strategy. We encourage our clients to seek financial advice to ensure their long-term financial health and security.

Strategizing the Timing of Your Divorce

Deciding when to file for divorce is as crucial as the decision to divorce itself. At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, our experienced divorce lawyers in Chicago, IL, understand the complexities involved in timing a divorce. This decision can have significant legal, financial, and emotional implications, and it’s important to navigate this process thoughtfully.

Understanding the Importance of Timing

The timing of a divorce can affect numerous aspects of the process, from financial settlements to child custody arrangements. Factors like the duration of the marriage, age of children, and financial circumstances play a pivotal role in determining the most strategic time to initiate divorce proceedings.

Financial Considerations

One of the most critical aspects to consider when timing a divorce is finances. Income levels, asset accumulation, and debts can all be impacted by the timing of your divorce. For example, filing for divorce at a time when you or your spouse is due for a significant financial change, like a promotion or inheritance, can affect the division of assets and spousal support.

Employment and Career Transitions

Career transitions can also influence the timing of a divorce. If one spouse is considering a career change, starting a business, or returning to school, this can impact both the financial aspects of the divorce settlement and future earning capacity.

Children’s Needs and Considerations

The age and needs of children are another vital factor. The timing of a divorce can impact child custody arrangements and support. It’s essential to consider the emotional and educational needs of children while planning a divorce.

Emotional Preparedness

Emotional readiness is a subjective but critical component. Each individual’s emotional state and readiness to undergo the divorce process should be considered. Counseling and support networks can be invaluable during this time.

Legal Implications of Timing

Certain legal aspects, such as the length of the marriage, can influence aspects like alimony and property division. In some jurisdictions, the length of the marriage can impact the division of retirement benefits and other long-term financial assets.

Tax Considerations

The timing of a divorce can also have significant tax implications. Marital status as of December 31st determines how you will file your taxes for that year. Consulting with a tax advisor can help in understanding these implications.

How Is Child Support Determined

Understanding how child support is determined is a critical aspect of any divorce or separation involving children. At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, our team of seasoned divorce lawyers in Chicago, IL, specializes in navigating the complexities of child support to ensure fair and responsible arrangements that prioritize the well-being of the children involved.

The Basics of Child Support

Child support is a financial obligation paid by one parent to the other, intended to cover the costs associated with raising a child. This includes basic necessities like food and clothing, as well as education, medical care, and other essential expenses.

Factors Influencing Child Support Calculations

Several key factors influence the determination of child support, including:

  • Income of Both Parents: The most significant factor is the income of both parents. This includes wages, salaries, bonuses, dividends, and other forms of income.
  • Number of Children: The amount of support increases with the number of children.
  • Custody Arrangements: The amount of time each parent spends with the child can affect child support. In shared custody cases, support may be adjusted to account for the time the child spends with each parent.
  • Children’s Needs: Special needs, health issues, and educational expenses are also considered when determining child support.

Illinois Child Support Guidelines

In Illinois, child support calculations are generally based on the “Income Shares Model.” This model considers the combined income of both parents and the number of children to determine a support amount that resembles what the child would have received if the parents had stayed together.

Adjustments and Deviations

In some cases, the court may deviate from standard guidelines. This can happen if following the guidelines strictly would result in an unfair or inappropriate amount. Factors that might lead to such adjustments include extraordinary medical expenses, special educational needs, or significant disparities in parental income.

Duration of Child Support

Typically, child support is paid until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, there can be exceptions, such as extended support for a child with special needs.

Legal Assistance in Child Support Matters

At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, we understand the nuances of child support laws in Illinois. We work closely with our clients to ensure that child support arrangements are fair and reflect the best interests of the children involved. We assist in negotiating agreements, navigating court procedures, and addressing any modifications or enforcement issues that may arise. 

Things You Should Avoid When Getting Divorced

Divorce can be an emotionally taxing and complex process. As experienced divorce lawyers in Chicago, IL, at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, we understand the challenges and pitfalls that can arise. We’re here to guide you through the process and offer advice on what to avoid for a smoother transition.

Avoid Making Emotional Decisions

Divorce is inherently emotional, but allowing emotions to drive your decisions can lead to regrettable outcomes. Decisions should be based on rational, long-term considerations, not temporary feelings. We encourage our clients to approach divorce as a business transaction where possible, focusing on fair and equitable resolutions.

Don’t Overlook Financial Details

One common mistake is neglecting the intricacies of financial matters. This includes failing to understand the full scope of marital assets and debts, underestimating living expenses post-divorce, or not considering the tax implications of alimony and asset division. We guide our clients in thoroughly reviewing and understanding their financial situation to ensure a fair settlement.

Avoid Using Children as Pawns

Involving children in divorce disputes can have long-term emotional impacts on them. We advise against using children as leverage in negotiations. Instead, we prioritize their well-being, advocating for custody arrangements and support that serve their best interests.

Refrain from Making Rash Decisions

Rushing to finalize a divorce without proper consideration or legal advice can lead to unfavorable outcomes. We encourage taking the time to fully understand your rights and options. Our team provides comprehensive guidance to ensure informed decision-making.

Don’t Dismiss the Idea of Mediation or Settlement

Many people assume that divorce must be a contentious process, but this isn’t always the case. Mediation and settlement discussions can be effective ways to reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. We assist in exploring these avenues, potentially saving time, money, and emotional energy.

Avoid Hiding Assets or Lying

Being untruthful about your financial situation or attempting to hide assets can have legal repercussions and damage your credibility in court. We emphasize the importance of honesty and transparency throughout the divorce process.

Steer Clear of New Financial Commitments

Starting new financial obligations, such as purchasing a new home or car, can complicate your financial situation during divorce proceedings. We advise against making significant financial changes until after the divorce is finalized.

Don’t Go Through It Alone

Attempting to handle a divorce without professional legal assistance can be overwhelming and may lead to mistakes. Our team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC is skilled in navigating the complexities of divorce law in Chicago, IL. We’re here to provide support and expertise, ensuring your rights are protected.

The Essentials of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

In today’s world, where financial and personal circumstances can be complex, understanding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements becomes crucial. At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, a leading firm with experienced divorce lawyers in Chicago, IL, we offer our professional insights into these agreements, their importance, and their implications.

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” is a contract entered into before marriage. This document outlines the management of financial affairs and assets in the event of a divorce or death. Contrary to popular belief, prenups are not only for the wealthy; they can be a practical tool for couples to clarify financial rights and responsibilities.

Prenuptial agreements serve several purposes:

  • Asset Protection: They can protect pre-marital assets, inheritance, and business interests.
  • Debt Liability: A prenup can define what happens to debts, ensuring that one party is not unfairly burdened.
  • Children from Previous Relationships: For those with children from previous relationships, it can secure their financial future.
  • Financial Understanding: It fosters transparency and understanding of each other’s financial situation.

Creating a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, certain criteria must be met:

  • Voluntary Agreement: Both parties must willingly agree to the prenup.
  • Full Disclosure: There must be a full and fair disclosure of all assets and liabilities.
  • Legal Review: Each party should have their own attorney to review the agreement.
  • Fairness: The agreement must be fair and not lead to an unconscionable situation for either party.

Postnuptial Agreements: A Post-Marriage Financial Solution

A postnuptial agreement, similar to a prenup, is a contract entered into after a couple is married. These agreements are useful when financial circumstances change, such as receiving an inheritance, changes in career, or starting a business.

Reasons for Considering a Postnuptial Agreement

  • Change in Financial Status: Significant changes in wealth or debt can prompt a postnup.
  • Children and Family Dynamics: Changes in family situations can necessitate a reevaluation of financial plans.
  • Marital Reconciliation: Sometimes, in attempts to reconcile, couples opt for a postnup to address financial issues that may have caused strain.

Legal Considerations for Postnuptial Agreements

Like prenups, postnups require:

  • Voluntary Agreement: Both parties must willingly enter into the agreement.
  • Transparency: Full disclosure of assets and liabilities is crucial.
  • Independent Legal Counsel: It’s advisable for each party to have their own attorney.

Our team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC plays a critical role in drafting and reviewing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. We ensure that the agreements are legally sound, reflect the interests of our clients, and comply with Illinois laws.

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are essential tools for managing marital financial matters. They provide clarity, protect assets, and can prevent future disputes. We at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC are committed to providing expert guidance in these matters, helping our clients in Chicago, IL, make informed decisions about their financial future. If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, we encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation.

Division of Property and Assets

When a couple decides to part ways, the division of property and assets becomes a central focus of the dissolution process. This often complex and emotionally charged process requires careful navigation, legal understanding, and strategic planning. Particularly in regions like Chicago, IL, where state laws and local regulations add layers of complexity, the expertise of a specialized divorce lawyer is not just beneficial but essential. Here, we delve into the key aspects of property and asset division, highlighting the importance of professional legal guidance.

Understanding Equitable Distribution

The first step in navigating the division of property and assets is understanding the legal framework governing this process. Illinois, like many states, follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means that property and assets acquired during the marriage are not necessarily split equally but are divided in a manner deemed fair and just by the court. Factors such as each party’s financial contribution, the length of the marriage, and the future financial needs of each individual are considered.

The role of a Divorce Lawyer in Chicago, IL, becomes crucial in advocating for a fair distribution. They can present arguments, gather necessary documentation, and negotiate on behalf of their client to ensure an equitable outcome.

Classifying Property and Assets

The classification of property and assets into marital or separate categories is a pivotal part of the division process. Marital property includes almost all assets and income acquired by either spouse during the marriage, whereas separate property refers to assets acquired before the marriage, through inheritance, or as gifts to one individual spouse.

A divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL, is adept at navigating these classifications, ensuring that their client’s rights are protected. They work meticulously to identify and classify assets, arguing for the proper designation of property to maximize their client’s share of the division.

Complex Assets

High-net-worth individuals or those with complex asset portfolios face unique challenges in the division process. Businesses, retirement accounts, investments, and real estate holdings require careful evaluation and strategic planning to divide. The intricacies of valuing these assets and understanding their future worth make the expertise of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer invaluable.

In Chicago, IL, a divorce lawyer with experience in high-asset divorces can bring in financial experts, conduct thorough valuations, and negotiate settlements that protect their client’s interests while ensuring compliance with legal standards.

Negotiating Settlements and Litigation

Many couples prefer to reach an agreement on property division outside of court through negotiation or mediation. This can save time, reduce expenses, and allow for more flexible arrangements than a court might order. A skilled divorce lawyer can facilitate these discussions, ensuring that their client’s interests are well-represented and that the settlement is equitable.

However, when agreements cannot be reached, litigation becomes necessary. In these instances, having a divorce lawyer with a strong litigation background is crucial. They will present your case in court, advocate on your behalf, and strive for a favorable judgment.

Chicago Divorce Law Statistics

According to Illinois Department Of Public Health,  “In 2020, there were 1.6 divorces per one thousand inhabitants in Illinois. This figure is a decrease from 1990, when the divorce rate was 3.8 divorces for every one thousand inhabitants in the state.”

FAQs About Divorce Laws In Chicago

What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Chicago, IL?

In Chicago, Illinois, a divorce can be filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. This is a no-fault ground, meaning that neither party is blamed for the breakdown of the marriage. The state requires that the spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than six months prior to the divorce being finalized, although they can still cohabitate if they are living separate lives under the same roof. This no-fault approach simplifies the process by focusing on the dissolution of the marriage rather than the reasons for its breakdown.

How is property divided in a divorce in Illinois?

Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that in a divorce, marital property is not necessarily split 50/50 but rather in a manner that is fair and equitable. The court considers various factors, including each spouse’s contribution to the marital property, the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, any obligations from a prior marriage, and the custodial provisions for any children. Non-marital property, which includes assets acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance, is typically not subject to division.

How is child custody determined in a divorce in Chicago, IL?

In Chicago, IL, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider factors such as the wishes of the child, the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community, and the willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent. The court may award joint or sole custody depending on these considerations, with a focus on ensuring the child’s wellbeing and maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents.

Can I get alimony (spousal support) in a Chicago divorce, and how is it calculated?

Yes, alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, can be awarded in a Chicago divorce. The decision is based on several factors, including each spouse’s income and property, the needs of each party, the present and future earning capacity of each party, any impairment to the earning capacity of the party seeking alimony due to devoting time to domestic duties, and the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to acquire education, training, and employment. The amount and duration of maintenance are calculated using statutory guidelines based on the duration of the marriage and the income of both parties.

Is mediation required in a Chicago divorce?

Mediation is not universally required in all divorce cases in Chicago, IL, but it may be ordered by the court in cases involving disputes over child custody or visitation. Mediation can be a beneficial process for resolving these disputes outside of the court, focusing on the best interests of the children and fostering cooperation between the parents. Even when not court-ordered, couples may voluntarily choose mediation as a way to handle their divorce more amicably and cost-effectively.

Contact Our Skilled Chicago Divorce Law Firm

Even the easiest divorce can be difficult. Divorces with complex issues that need to be worked out can be even more so and require the legal expertise of a Chicago divorce lawyer. Call Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team and find out how we can help get you the marital assets – as well other marital and divorce issues – that you may be entitled to. Our divorce lawyer in Chicago, Illinois is here for you.

When you’re getting a divorce, talking to her divorce lawyer in Chicago IL such as the ones available Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC is one of the best things you can do. A Chicago divorce lawyer is going to know your situation in the best way possible and they’re going to know how to handle your divorce whether through typical divorce means or mediation. However you might have questions about divorce in Chicago Illinois, and that’s okay because your divorce lawyer in Chicago IL is going to be able to help you answer your questions.

Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC Chicago Divorce Lawyer

30 N. LaSalle Street 12th Floor Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Divorce Lawyer Google Review

“In a world where good guys are few and far between, Brian Hurst helped me navigate what could have been years of misery. He was intimately familiar with even the smallest detail and was fearless in keeping my child out of the crossfire. “Thank you” is just too small of a sentient. If you need a champion to help you through one of life’s tribulations, Mr. Hurst must be your only choice.” – Cory S.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

At Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen LLC, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the comprehensive support and expertise they need during this challenging time. Whether it’s understanding the nuances of Illinois divorce laws, negotiating fair settlements, or advocating for the best interests of children in custody cases, our team is committed to ensuring that every client receives personalized and effective legal representation. We understand the emotional and financial challenges that come with divorce, and we are here to help our clients make informed decisions and transition into the next chapter of their lives with confidence and peace of mind.


Client Review

“John Kay handled my divorce. He made a very difficult situation manageable. He listened to me, responded in a timely manner and was not afraid to challenge the opposing attorney. I would recommend him to anyone facing this difficult life choice.” Liz Nesbit Client Review